Friday, March 30, 2007

Click here! Meet interesting people.

A note to any of my students checking out this blog (some of them do apparently!) – if you would like a brief respite from lectures given by myself and colleagues and have your lectures delivered by the likes of Ray Kurzweil, Richard Dawkins, Bjorn Lomborg, Barry Schwartz, Peter Gabriel or Bono, visit TEDtalks (Technology, Entertainment and Design). The website offers a growing selection of videos of talks given by a diverse range of interesting, brilliant or iconoclastic people.

You can download audio or video or simply watch online. Click and enjoy (and be inspired, at least by some of them). The site also includes its own blog plus access to press and blog coverage of this gathering of ‘icons, geniuses and mavericks’ whose words and ideas are archived here.

Filed under:
TED talks

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ITV's answer to The Apprentice?

This is all getting very incestuous.

For years the popular press has thrived on stories from Reality TV – now Reality TV is setting its sights on life behind the scenes of the print media. And who better to give us an insight into the trials and tribulations of producing a glossy magazine than a bunch of Z-listers?

Deadline hits the screens next Wednesday (4th April) at 10pm on ITV2 and 11pm on ITV1. The magazine will be edited by Janet Street-Porter, with Darryn Lyons running the picture desk and Daily Star's copy editor Joe Mott.

The celebrity reporters are:

Celebrity Love Island evictee, Abi Titmuss
Radio 1 presenter and Celebrity Big Brother evictee, Lisa I’Anson
Ex-Neighbours actor and Australia’s Big Brother evictee, Blair McDonough
Ex-Eastenders actor Chris Parker (remember Spencer Moon?)
Dean Holdsworth – football player
Iwan Thomas MBE – athlete
Spoof chat show host and writer for Independent on Sunday, Dom Joly
Spooky presenter of FTN’s Most Haunted, Yvette Fielding
Writer, theatre producer and famous daughter, Imogen Lloyd Webber
Former ITV This Morning presenter and estranged wife of a quiz show compere, Ingrid Tarrant

In keeping with the experience of most newsrooms these days, the staff numbers for the publication are to be systematically reduced – indeed Ms Street Porter’s task is to determine each night which celebrity is the most incompetent and give them their marching orders. Comparisons with Sir Alan Sugar are inevitable.

Only last November, Michael Grade announced his first priority was to improve ITV programming. Anyone anticipating a new era of creative, blue sky, out-of-the-box thinking will find this combination of tired old formats and uninspiring celebrities an interesting response to the challenge of winning back ITV’s wayward audiences.

Filed under:
Deadline   celebrity  reality TV  ITV  Michael Grade

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Confessions of an 'extreme blogger'

OK - time to get a new routine. I took a short break from blogging last November. Next thing I know it's Daylight Saving Time again and not a word has been added to Screaming Headlines.

For excuses, choose a combination from any of the following: I've been busy (I have!), I've become accustomed to a new routine; I've been blogging elsewhere (a news blog for a folk band I play for); I've been focused on my PhD research; I've been preparing teaching materials for new subjects/marking assignments/external name it, I've been up my eyes in it.

But I've missed this routine and today I've been shamed back into blogging by two events. One is news of a survey that discovered over 2.7 million blogs lying around abandoned in cyberspace. The other is an email from a friend which demonstates a masterful technique in tact and persuasive skills (Bill is wasted as a folksinger!). I quote:
I have noticed that only very, busy people own or run a Blog. I haven't read a single Blog that says .... "Got up this morning, washed, dressed.... nothing to do.".

Those with Blogs seem to be excruciatingly busy dashing around at 500 mpg. Bloggers seem to be either journalists, politicians, multi-skilled musicians, Friends Of The Planet people or terrorists/ wannabe terrorists.

Bloggers live life in the fast lane, rush around like the proverbial Bat Out Of Hell and then, as quick as a flash, somehow find the time to get a few words down on their Blog before going on to the next task. Do Bloggers make lists? No! Do they plan their next day in their Outlook Diary? No! Why? Because they are just too busy!

Out of these Bloggers are fast emerging the "Extreme Blogger". These are Bloggers who are just so busy that they haven't even got time to update their Blog. Now that is what I call busy! How can they do anything when they haven't got time to actually DO anything?

Pete do you know anyone that falls into this category?

Another friend has a maxim that if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. (He's always asking me to write his press releases!)

So - point taken. Screaming Headlines is active again. However I am determined to keep this going at a pace that suits me and fits into my priorities. Worrying about how much traffic passes this way leads to madness. I shall control this blog - I will not let it control me.

Now I've got a conference paper to prepare. Until next time...

Filed under:
blogging   time management