Digital Britannica

Today at 4pm would be a good time to bury bad news in the media sector, says this tweet. ITV isn’t recomissioning Primeval, that weird ‘lads and dads’ show featuring rather dangerous looking overgrown turkey chicks. ITN is doomed. Channel 4 will merge with ‘a bit’ of the BBC. 3000 BBC staff to go. Channel 5 will er, be replaced by 1Extra.

That’s because today’s the day that Lord Carter releases an eagerly anticipated (in the media at least) report on Digital Britain. There were many action point included in the interim report, including UK content for UK users, next generation infrastructure, access for all, copyright and so on, each of which exercises the various affected industries with a red hot poker. Back on January, there was a little bit of ’19th century protectionism for 20th century businesses that have no intrinsic right to success int he 21st century’ going on. <cue endless discussion about the future of journalism>

One industry which deserves a little airtime is the ‘creative sector’. Another is the software sector. Now the financial services business in the UK is in meltdown, UK government needs to find economic prods that can create economic wealth. The creative and software industries are inextricably linked in a digital economy.  Where’s the UK software industry in all of this? Where’s the next Google, Microsoft or Twitter application being developed? I’d like to see more support for British businesses that are building future businesses. The fact that I’m posting this on software developed in the US, on a computer designed in the US, built in the far east, talking about a microblogging habit orginating in the US, must tell us something.

Julie Burchill can’t text. And thinks Twitter is for boring twats.

Yesterday was Ada Lovelace day. Thousands of bloggers celebrated the world’s first lady programmer. Today’s bitter morning after pill is Julie Burchill in the Sun slagging off anyone who pumps driveling status updates on tweetdeck into the unlistening, uncaring ether.

Have you heard of Ada Lovelace? She was Byron’s daughter and worked briefly with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine project in the 19th Century. The first Girl Geek. Those personal reflections amongst the bloggerati, twitterati and digerati on how there should be more inspirational heroines are great, and can be seen here on a neat map, too.

There’s no question that men tend to dominate the workforce of the more technical end of the business, as anyone who wandered into an engineering faculty at university can testify. But this speaks to a broader issue with science and education, and a bias that kicks in at secondary and higher education levels. Society too easily parses out the artists from the scientists. Now that being a geek is cool, geek girls are cooler. And geeky girls are getting famous, and it’s a natural step for anyone who ‘networks’ easily to migrate to Twitter where small talk skill (‘chatting’) matters.

Peaches Geldof [@peaches_g]  knows that being talked about is what matters to her future lucrative column inches, so she tweets, sometimes incomprehensibly about dashing off to write up some piece for some celeb rag. On the other hand, Julie Burchill proudly proclaims that she has no mobile phone. And that anyone who twitters is a boring twat. There are of course enormous amounts of inane private thoughts and status updates out there, but the old unfollow button applies in twitterville just as it does anywhere else.

Rather like thinking before speaking, I prefer tweets that have been thought about for a second longer before being sent.  But the fact that humankind is so capable of making social signals, and we can speak succinctly to a following of people we know and nosey people we don’t is all rather fascinating, don’t you think? I bet Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace’s dad, would have relished the creative challenge of ditching the iambic pentameter for coaxing out melody, fluency and beauty in 140 characters.

let’s just say this is in beta

As I’ve moved this out of the MRM Worldwide world, it’ll take a few days to get it all up and running and looking the way I want it to. If you do follow this blog, I apologise for the construction work status (beta no less). I’ll be posting a few comments along the way, including the infamous ‘banned post’. Thanks to the crew for sorting out. All our base belong to us again.

ad:tech London update

Well done everyone who came to Ad Tech to hear the panel sessions. MRM Worldwide Session One – “can brands be friends” – with a great panel discussing some pretty hairy topics around where advertising is going, and how the always on consumer leads us to need always on brand communication strategies. Can brands be friends? Probably not, said the panel, but we concluded that they can be friendly. This event was one of the most highly attended at Ad Tech this year, so kudos to the panel.

Thanks as well to Simon from Intel and Rob from Microsoft for doing the follow up MRM Worldwide Session Two ‘the workshop’, were we got into the detail of some of the work we’ve been doing here at MRM Worldwide with those brands. We turned around a cynical (though tiny) audience of social media experts who begrudgingly admitted everyone was doing a pretty good job.

the agency of the future

The agency of the future

And today, the Japanese delegation and the early risers got to see the full flow of the networks versus the micronetworks versus the independent in the agency of the future debate, MRM Worldwide Session Three – hosted by Nigel Morris from Isobar. Will agencies exist in the future? Probably, but not like they are today. This debate was really good fun. Jason Goodman showed the Skype Nomad thing, Marc from GT talked about xbox and Neil from Avenue A Razorfish talked about how complicated it was all becoming, and I talked about the different competitive advantages agencies have and how the business needs of brand owners varies so dramatically.

Excellent stuff. At least the Japanese seemed to think so.