All entries for February 2006

February 28, 2006

Annoying conference marketing – Haynet

I am getting a bit sick with the organisers of the 2006 PR Week Corporate Comms conference.

I registered for the relevant day a few weeks ago and have since received about 3 emails still trying to get me to sign up for a conference I have already registered for.

I have also now just received an email asking whether I would like to register for the 2nd day (which is not relevant to me)

Haynet – please back off. You have my business (for now).

I would add this to the list of "bad marketing efforts". It certainly undermines the idea that the conference is about effective communications – the effort seems pretty bloody poor at the moment.

Contrast with the Changing Media Summit – they acknowledge the registration, send me an info pack and guide for the day – and that's it. Perfect.

Note to self

When interviewing notable academic for 25 minutes ensure that the recording device is RECORDING and not stuck on pause.


Miles vs Kilometres

There's been a lot of talk recently about changing road signs from Miles to Kilometres to bring us line with the rest of Europe for the 2012 Olympics.

Sounds like a load of rubbish to me.

If we're doing road signs, why not other things – which songs would the EU like to see brought up to metric standards?

The Who – I can see for kilometres and kilometres and kilometres
The Proclaimers – And I would walk 500 Kilometres
Someone else – I'd walk a million kilometres just for one of your smiles, Mammy

Just doesn't scan like 'miles'

February 27, 2006

What not to do with Shakespeare

Writing about web page

A marvellous list of things to avoid when staging Shakespeare:

"I will never attempt to cast Bottom as a woman, in order to make the scenes between Bottom and Titania "hotter."

You read this and can imagine some pretty awful interpretations. Funny how the fairies always seem to get the bad draw…

I hope the Complete Works season at the RSC avoids these pitfalls.

February 24, 2006


I just noticed that I have an icon in my favourites list for the David Byrne radio site – it's his head.

Everytime i go to favourites there is a mini David Byrne watching me.

Can't decide if this is good or bad.

University podcasts – thoughts so far

Writing about web page

I thought I'd note a few thoughts that have been sloshing around regarding the WarwickPodcasts thing.

I've recently been contacted by a few UK Universities asking about how we do them. Interestingly the questions have largely been about technical issues rather than why we do it.

So far they've certainly been fun to do and easy enough to release. I am sure they have not added any significant problems to Chris M and his team of highly trrained people. At least not that he's told me about anyway.

What's interesting is that most of the attention elsewhere seems to be towards two activities – eLearning and capturing keynote events. A quick scan of insitutional activity in this area comes up with a lot of lectures, seminars, round tables and learning materials.

I am not sure about the value in publishing this stuff willy nilly. We have taken a different approach and released specific interviews and discussions specially recorded for the channel rather than just recording public events (though I see no reason not to do this as well). John Dale has pointed out a number of US insitutions that are doing a lot of publishing of audio and video, but mostly it seems to be point, record and publish stuff rather than more creative content.

Is this an issue? I am not sure yet. I question whether 40 1hr30min lectures is something people are going to want to look at much. We learnt with the first podcast that an hour is a big ask for most people and have since kept things to around 20mins which seems a much better length.

A few stats for those who care about these things:

Since November we've had nearly 10,000 visits to the main podcast page and nearly 50,000 page visits to that plus the xml feed – I like to think that's a significant good thing :-)

The ID debate between Steve Fuller and Jack Cohen has been the most linked to piece (unsurprising perhaps).

Releasing items in the morning seems to generate more response from Warwick people than releasing them in the afternoon.

We have 3 Yahoo podcast subscribers (this made my day yesteday!)

We were the first UK University to be listed in iTunes (to my anecdotal knowledge – please refute this if you know otherwise)

Any comments/ideas/feedback would be helpful btw. This is still a project in its early stages so all input is greatfully recieved.

February 22, 2006

only post on the subject – promise

This will be my only post on the subject of my cycling accident.

A few observations.

1. When being pitched over your handle bars try and land on your helmet (Huh George!) rather than your face. Your helmet is designed to resist impact – your face is not.

2. Only try and damage one arm, not both. My left arm, which suffered some soft tissue damage, is more painful than my right hand, which has the fracture. The left arm is compensating for the loss of the right hand and is now very achey.

3. To all our medical students – please learn to communicate with patients. I may not care which bone is damaged but please listen to your patients and give them the info they need. Don't follow the lead of the consultants who tell someone to wear a cast for 4 weeks and then vanish before the patient has time to ask a few questions. Learn from them but don't copy them

4. To the dentist who rebuilt my front tooth – I retract all previous statements about dentists. You have restored not just my tooth but my faith in your profession. I also did not mind you nipping off to be sick half way through – I could see you were also having a bad day. The fact that it only cost £35 is still amazing – i was expecting an expensive cap, but you didn't sell me what I didn't need and still did a fantastic job.

5. To Mr Chris May – if you get a call from Messers Sue, Grabbit and Runne I would advise you to be co-operative! Only joking :-) – the bike is well and only needs a bit of TLC to get back on the road.

6. To the cyclist who stopped to help and the people in Walton who picked me up – thankyou very much. Your help was most appreciated. And sorry to the little girl who was frightened by a big scary man with a bloody face.

7. Is this wrong (I think so…) – on the back of the appointment card for the fracture clinic at Warwick Hospital is an advert for a law firm chasing compensation deals. I thought this was pretty offensive. Do we really live in a world where this is morally acceptable?

February 06, 2006

Breakfast and dentists

For breakfast today – home baked blueberry muffin – most delicious.

Also much strong coffee to counter act Dentist Anxiety. Some people hate heights, others confined spaces – me, it's dentists.

My sister visited the dentist once and he said he had to do a bit of work on a tooth. Started the drill and said if this starts to hurt let me know. Started drilling and Jane was in pain so grunted stop but he kept going. He hit a tender bit so Jane punched him – quite justified if you ask me.

My dentist now has new premises, but whereas they used to have a door between the waiting room and the consultation rooms, it's now all open so you can hear the previous victim's screams before you go in. Nice!

Still feeling a bit ropey an hour later…

February 03, 2006

More from the brain of Byrne

Follow-up to Secret shame – part 2 from Contemplating the Frame

Damn it, that David Bryne knows how to put a playlist together..


This month’s playlist could be considered eclectic pop music. It contains stuff ranging from the 60s to recordings that are not available yet. The overarching theme might be hooks and melody. There’re a few songs that survive mainly on groove, but not many in this batch. I love the segue from Beck to Baris Manço, the 70s Turkish psychedelic artist — you can hardly tell the difference until the voice comes in. Likewise Snoop Dog and Geggy Tah. Pop music sure can do some wonderful jump cuts.

February 2006

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