Friday, 29 May 2009

Decision engines and Chandler Bing

Today we have had the announcement regarding the long awaited search engine from Microsoft. This for a long time was under the codename Kumo but now they have launched it with an equally ridiculous name. Once upon a time Bing was just the surname of a man called Chandler who had the pleasure and pain of being married to Monica in Friends. Now however the word Bing will also be associated with Microsoft's latest attempt to crack the search engine market.

As the engine is not live i cannot comment on it apart from to say that as much as it pains me to say it, i like the fact they are describing it a "decision engine". The problem Microsoft have is summed up in one word: dominance, the dominance of a certain Google. Its search engine is the main way that most people on the planet search the web. It is a true "search engine". By calling Bing a "decision engine" and positioning it as an alternative to Google and as a tool to help individuals find information to make decisions it at least gives them a positioning statement to build a marketing campaign around.

That marketing campaign is what i am really looking forward to as Microsoft's campaigns have started slowly but surely to become much more innovative and encompassing. Its last two campaigns: the "I'm a PC" campaign, to the latest one featuring young children showing how easy it to use PC software have been the best so far. Big spenders as they are the world launch budget for Bing is going to be a reputed $100m so look out for a range activity in the UK soon.

If you want to learn more about Bing you can watch the promo video here:

If you want to watch something better however why not spend 20 mins in the company of the original bing and his best bits here: and here:

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Google and the country of origin

This blog was created as part of research into the best route forward to create a blog for one of our classified sites As it is we are building that using and the Thesis theme. However the lessons i am learning from running this have been very useful, from how to install Google Analytics, to the latest when i realised that the site has dropped completely from Google index of pages from the UK.

Of course i should not have been surprised as this is a .com address and hosted in America, it is just a blogger free site. However despite this, i just presumed that it would rank equally when using and searching "the web" as when searching "pages from the uk". On investigation Google makes it clear that you can set preference for where your site is targted in Webmaster tools if the domain is not the country of origin.

As we have a number of sites that are .com and hosted in America i asked our search consultant Just Beerekamp at Traffic4U, our natural search agency, for his comments. So if you were not aware here are some handy pointers:

"Google uses various indicators to determine a country or language a website is targeting. Common factors are:
- Top Level Domain (.com for US or International, for England, .nl for the Netherlands etc.)
- Location of server (determined by IP address)
- Language on the website itself
- META-language tag

Apart from these there is a more important factor, the origin of the incoming links. If your website receives many links from websites in some country your website is bound to target that country (according to Google). Therfore link, you need accumulate more link from UK oriented websites.

Also If you're sure that your site only targets the UK then it's wise to target the site to the UK in webmaster tools"

So if you have a .com site and you are really only targeting the UK make sure you let Google know that in your webmaster tools to make sure you rank.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Nokia, Ovi and catching up with the iphone

I am currently playing with an iphone for a month to check out both how people are using it and what opportunities are there for the mobile platform for a regional newspaper group. Having had the phone for a paltry three days i have to say that i am already hooked. I could waste time rambling about how cool the phone, how good the mobile web browser is etc but you can read that elsewhere or just borrow one of a friend.

One of the drivers of the take up of the iphone has been the applications you can download onto the phone. This has been backed by the usual high quality of campaigns to promote how these apps can improve your life. From choosing a cab to finding a restaurant to working out a tip there are thousands of apps available both paid and free and that number grows daily. Of course the Google Android phone also allows you to run apps and unlike the iphone on Android the apps are open source so you can get them from other places apart from the locked down Apple App Store. Add to that the blackberry and windows app offerings and you can see that mobile applications is a burgeoning business.

Missing from this list though is the giant Nokia who sells around 40 million handsets a year compared to the iphones 20 million. However this week Nokia launches the amusingly called Ovi which sounds like a children's TV animation but is in fact its own App store. It is being launched this week in Some European countries and Singapore and will roll out across the world quickly.

Nokia has been slow of the mark with this despite the clear market dominance they enjoy. Having this huge number of handsets should create an immediate market for the store and a new revenue stream for Nokia but it will depend on how Nokia markets Ovi. T-Mobile launched the Google Android phone with a lot of people dancing together in Liverpool Street Station. This was very memorable but did not explain why you should buy one and every day the campaign was on i was also exposed to ads from Apple showing me how the iphone could improve my life through not just being a phone.

So Nokia although late to market has a great opportunity and i look forward to interest to see what messages and channels they use to push this new competitor to the iphones crown. If you want to know more feel free to visit here however as a word of warning i dont think it has launched in the UK yet as i have already registered my phone but there seems to be no apps available yet so watch this space.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Facebook presents "delete or not to delete that is the question"

While watching My Name is Earl last night i laughed as the character Darnell set himself up on the fictional social media site "Buddy Book" because all the "old people" had now got onto Facebook and Myspace. You see there are various reasons why i have no personal presence in the world of social media. It is my job to understand them all and so i do have dummy accounts that i use to see how the technology is being used and developing and more importantly how they could and are being used as a marketing channel. But personal accounts, no way.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly when i used to have personal accounts for Myspace and Facebook etc i could not keep up with them and also could never understand the correct digi social etiquette for rejecting a friend request from someone you had spent years trying to avoid but who had managed to find you online. Secondly working in the regional press i am acutely aware that if anything unfortunate ever happened to me, whereas 10 years ago my next of kin would have been asked for a picture, today journalists go for the easy option. That option is to see what photos are online, especially ones that i would not want shared.

It amazes me on a regular basis how many people are caught out by posting images of themselves in dubious circumstances or situations which then miraculously end up in the public domain. Of course you can delete any images that you would not want your mother to see or the whole world for that matter. However recent research from Cambridge University shows that even if you delete them they may not be as out of reach as you think.

A group of researchers put photographs on 16 popular websites, noted the exact url's of the photos and then deleted them. They then checked 30 days later and managed to find the photos on 7 sites including the behemoth Facebook. As you can imagine this created a whole pile of press and forced Facebook to come out and make the following statement:

"When a user deletes a photograph from Facebook it is removed from our servers immediately.
"However, URLs to photographs may continue to exist on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) after users delete them from Facebook, until they are overwritten. Overwriting usually happens after a short period of time."

What that means in English is that your facebook pictures do not sit on one single but enormous computer in California. The reality is that they use storage facilities across the world and that picture that you deleted because in the cold light of day you realised that your prospective employer, partner, pet (delete as you will) would not think too highly of you if they saw it, could actually be stored anywhere.

They do of course eventually get deleted but would you have put them up there in the first place if you knew it could take 30 days before you hitting delete and them actually leaving the web. To be clear they come off your profile straight away but if you know the url of the picture then they will still be there.

The basic reason for this is the cost that these networks would occur if they had to delete photos from the whole network the minute a user wants them. To do that would involve a huge investment in process, server technology etc etc and to be fair you have to know the actual url of the photo after it has been deleted to stand a chance of finding it.

So this situation is not going to change, indeed if the figures on the usage of Facebook are to be believed then it may well get worse with more photos online hiding in the "cloud" of the modern web. So can i advise those of you that do have social media sites or even use image sites such as Flickr or Picassa (they came out quite well btw) check what you are uploading to them. My advice would be if you would not want your mother or your boss to see the photo don't put it online, especially if you don't want it to end up in the papers if anything happens.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Google new search options and universal search

Google has added a new featured to its search listings albeit without a lot a fuss. If you look underneath the Google logo on a search results page above the first listings you will now see a text link stating "show options".

When clicked on this introduces a new range of search filters allows users to select results from videos, forums, reviews, and also by various time criteria i.e. past 24 hours of past year. I mentioned Google's move to Universal search in my post regarding the Wolframalpha search engine and this is another step towards that.

An excellent view and description of this new development, far better than i can explain, and including a link to a Googles video explaining the new options can be found on the Further blog from Mark Cook its search marketing director which is well worth a read here:

O2, the Joggler and the family fridge

Last night my eye was drawn to a new campaign from O2 promoting its calendar service and associated product the Joggler. Like all good campaigns it made me want to find out more about the service which allowed you to organise your life through a device that ran a family diary and sent sent reminder texts to your phones for important dates etc.

The reality of the service is that you of course need to be registered with O2 and have an O2 phone to get the best benefit. Although if you are, you do not need to shell out £149 for the Joggler itself you can just use the calendar app on your PC. So once you realise that you don't need the Joggler box to use the calendar what is left?

Well the box can store and display photo's and can be used as a music player (however it does not supported Apples AAC format). Digital radio is coming in December so hard luck if you buy one now and it has traffic updates from traffic master (useful in a kitchen) and news from sky news.

The advert tries to explain that the Joggler allows you to clear up all the clutter from the family fridge from children's pictures to reminders. Of course as someone with a 13 month old, what they have forgotten is that i don't want to see a picture of what my Son has created on a digital screen, its actually nice to see the real thing.

I hope that this was another attempt at creating a digital hub for the home rather than just creating a product because they could, but i fail to see how this justifies its place on that journey. It is limited in its application and you can do more things by having a notebook permanently in the kitchen which might cost a bit more but it would do an awful lot more. The ability to access the web for recipes for a start!

If you are on O2 for your mobile phone then the calendar, which can be found here:, would be a very useful tool however i would stick to that and ignore the joggler.

Monday, 18 May 2009

WolframAlpha versus Google

Over the last two years there has been a number of new search engines that have been launched that have claimed to be able to take Google's crown. Many have tried, lured sometimes though a desire of the creator to make the world a better place. Most however have been created to try and get access to the revenues that Google enjoys as the world's search engine of choice.

The latest to join this list is a search engine created by a British scientist Stephen Wolfram, a British computer scientist now based in Illinois. His new engine is the web’s first “computational knowledge engine”. In English that means that it only holds factual data and all the data has come from official websites, libraries and academic journals, and checked by experts.

It is getting a lot of hype because the engine that drives it can link every piece of information in its database to other bits of information that are related. So for example if you type in GDP Spain not only do you get text results based on those keywords but it also brings back graphs and also related content such as economic reports. So from plain English questions you get detailed academic results.

Looking at the engine now it looks like a tool for academics rather than those who just want to find a picture of Paris Hilton. Google indexes the whole web which means the dross as well as the valuable stuff, reporting results in an order based on a range of variables. This new engine just looks at the factual. What this means is by definition it will be limited in its content and i suspect use, although a targeted search engine for research is no bad thing. However its the process of linking data of different types to a plain English input could be he start of the next generation of how we search online. Google started this with its Universal search project and this looks like another step on the way.

Check it out here:

Friday, 15 May 2009

Murdoch and the war against free content

The different between the PC based Internet and the mobile based internet is the cost of content. In the pc internet world people have got used to not pay for content. If they want news they can go to hundreds of newspaper sites or content sites and even places like Google news which links to all the top stories and just reads them. They do not have to pay they just have to accept that the content will have ads around them. On mobiles people stated to get used to paying for content via micro payments such as an enhanced text message cost.

Now with the rise of smart and internet enabled phones publishers are once again giving their content away free. On my mobile within two clicks i can read all the news from the BBC, The Sun, The Guardian and Sky and all for free. However for the news international titles among them that may not be for much longer.

In a recent Q&A session with journalists Murdoch announced that he intends to sort out the "freebie" culture of news on the internet and to start progressively introduce charging models and fee structures on his online newspaper portfolio that includes The Times Online, The Sun and The News of the World.

The business model so far for newspapers has been to give the content away, build an audience and then monetise that audience predominantly though digital display ads. Unfortunately virtually all have not managed to make the same revenues as the print products which are still supporting the cost of the content creation hence the current round of massive reduction in costs seen across the newspaper industries and especially the regional press industry.

Murdoch has one model in the Wall Street Journal which has managed to increase its circulation and also charge for its online content but it is very specific in its content nature. If anyone can succeed it will be Murdoch and the £3.6bn in cash he has in his empire to fund trials of different business models. Media owners will be watching this with keen interest as if he can make this work they will all follow and this will probably spare thousands of journalists from loosing their jobs around the world.

So the next year will see whether Mr Murdoch really can be Citizen Cane or whether the great newspaper man of our time will turn into the next King Canute.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

To Twitter or not to Twitter that is the question

Once again i have been dragged into argunments recently about Twitter and more specifically its value as a tool for marketing. So just to make my position clear i have copied below my April Eastern Daily Press column in which i set out my views on the subject.

It is worth noting that since then a poll on Marketing Weeks magazine website has 44.4% of marketing professionals thinking it is a significant tool and an equal 44.2% thinking ot with 11% unsure yet. Certainly in America a new poll by Harris has speculated that because of the recent media hype and take up by everyone from Martha Stewart to Opra Winfrey the younger age groups are now leaving Twitter to look for the next cool thing.

Anyway here's the column and if you agree or disagree feel free to comment or email me your views at

I was recently asked by a colleague about creating a feed on Twitter for one of our commercial sites. For those who don’t know, Twitter is a micro blogging site, micro because each post has to be less than 140 characters. It has become extremely famous very quickly as it has become the darling of the media. Every celebrity known to mankind seems to have their own twitter page and the media does love to write about it. Sky News even has a twitter correspondent for crying out loud.

Twitter was designed for friends to let each other know what they are doing in brief statements. However research from O2 has shown that UK businesses are sending about 3m posts a day with 700,000 business using the services. But what are they saying? In effect they are saying very little to a small amount of people who are not interested. It is just the next big thing and another bandwagon that businesses think they should be on. Don’t get me wrong Twitter for individuals can be fun, even the voyeuristic pleasure of reading posts written by celebrities themselves not the distorted and re-interpreted words from celebrity magazines is interesting. However a marketing tool it is not.

A couple of years ago Second Life, the online virtual world, was all the flavour. Thousands of businesses paid a lot of money to create their own environments within this virtual world but now two years down the line many are pulling out. Why, because they simply cannot justify the expense. The Department for Work and Pensions has had to defend publicly its “waste” of tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money in building a government “innovations centre” in this virtual land. The users moved on to the next cool thing. Second Life “jumped the shark” (it’s a colloquialism, look it up in Wikipedia) and Twitter will be next. Ever since Jonathon Ross banged on about it on his show and Stephen Fry and Philip Schofield made it famous, the early adopters, those that many businesses want to target, decided to move on to the next big thing.

Geoffrey Moore, in his 1991 book Crossing the Chasm, created a life cycle for successful technology products and named groups of users based on the timing of the use of that technology. These are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and eventually onto laggards. Twitter is current moving into early majority but it needs to make money. In reality most of today's social networking businesses will struggle to make a viable business. Evan Williams, one of the team behind Twitter has said “We will make money, but we can't predict exactly what's going to work,” Which is great when you get multi-million funding boosts but not when they run out.

Web 2.0 history is now starting to get littered with social sites, from Friends Re-united, Pandora, Bebo, Second Life, MySpace, Flickr, You Tube, Facebook and now Twitter. All in their time have been heralded as the future of the web and the next Google in terms of revenue potential. Some have been lucky to have been bought for millions of pounds ensuring that their creators retire in luxury. However although some still have vast audiences none have lived up to the hype. There is always something else just around the corner.

So for any business who is thinking they must be on twitter, ask yourself, why do you really want to be on it? Who are you trying to attract and what are you going to say? And is there some better way of communicating with your target consumers? My advice would be sign up, but just to find out what Philip and Steven are doing today as tomorrow they will probably be on something else.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Audioboo, podcasts, Flickr and the search for an image

Due to the fact that i have to spend most of today working on a board presentation regarding digital strategy that is hurting my head i will keep today's post short.

Last night I managed to create a debate regarding the vlaue of a service that allows you to create what are effectively mini podcasts from the iPhone. This in itself is not that exciting, what is though is the fact that the app then allows you to tag the audio with a photo, title and tags and also available geo location data. I personally thought this was a very useful tool and could point the future for both podcasts and also potential development for twitter on which i have certain views. Certain collegues disagreed but if you want to learn more you can get it here:

Just to re-dress the balance here is the most fun site i have seen for a while that allows you to spell out words from photos on Flickr. Have a play here it can be very funny:

Monday, 11 May 2009

EBay, Archaeology and Fakes

My favourite story of the day regards a metal detector who has been jailed for selling fakes Of course it is sad when someone decides to con others especially when he is trading off his reputation as a renowned finder of rare items. If you are interested in what he did read the article on the Times site before Mr Murdoch decides to implement a charging mechanism and watches his visitor count plummet.

Most interesting to me was the link between this and another article which appeared on an American archaeology site. Here a Professor Stanish has written regarding the fact that eBay has not become the source of all evil that most in the time team supporting fraternity thought it would.

When eBay launched, many thought that the fact that you could buy antiquities online direct from those who found them would encourage a rise in looting and people running off the Egypt to come back with statues stuffed down your trousers. In fact what it has down has created a world of online fakes. Why travel the world when you can knock up a knock off in the shed at the bottom of the garden. It seems those people who used to go off looting and sell what they found to middlemen now sell fakes direct with a lot less risk as you cannot be nicked for importing forgeries only if you get caught selling them.

In the paper Stanish states:
"because the low-end antiquities market has been flooded with fakes that people buy for a fraction of what a genuine object would cost, the value of the real artefacts has gone down as well, making old-fashioned looting less lucrative."

I'm off to buy that fake pyramid now!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Google Streetview, Property and spare time

As one of my responsibilities is a property website i often get to spend time looking at competing property portals to see what they are doing. This is of course quite boring unless you do it linked to that great English pastime of checking property prices near you, searching for property you can afford and looking at others that would require a lottery fortune.

Last night i was looking at such properties and found what looked like the rural cottage not far from Norwich in my price range. Before the internet i would not have even seen that unless i had happened upon an ad in the paper. Now it seems commonplace to see these things online. Last night however was the first time property hunting became really interesting.

Luckily unlike many agents, this one had provided the postcode of the property plus further map details in the online brochure. This meant that i could use google maps with the satellite view activated to find the property and see at least an overhead view of it to get a sense of its position. This again is nothing new and has been available on Google and indeed integrated into many property portals sites for a few years. What was different though was the addition of Google streetview.

I knew that the streetview service was available in 50 UK cities and they are slowly rolling it out so i did not expect it to work in this rural spot. Sure enough when i tried it over the property Google duly informed me that Streetview did not extend that far. However as i moved towards Norwich on the map i managed to activate streetview and turn round back to the cottage. Despite being told from the map/satellite view that streetview was not available i actually managed to "walk" right up to the property and take a good look at it virtually.

The result was that i realised the art of the estate agent was not dead because as good as it looked online and in the brochure with the numerous pictures they did not show the sub station right behind the house. Also the complete lack of back garden with dark north facing back of the house. So apart from saving me a trip on Saturday it clearly shows that Google is slowly but surly extending streetview albeit making it difficult to find that out.

Unlike the Daily Mail i actually believe Streetview is a real leap forward, not a threat to our privacy. Its uses with positioning software is the most exciting technology of this year, especially when linked to a mobile phone. When demonstrating the service Google showed the system on an Andriod phone allowing a user to tell the system to look for restaurants and then walk down a street with a virtual street on the phone taking you straight to your eateries of choice. When this is all linked to Ad Words and Ad Sense and Google positioning ads you can see why they are spending literally millions on this.

This technology is very much in its infancy but in a couple of years time it will be mainstream and not only will we never be lost again trying to find that bar in London but we will also will not be frustrated with a wasted house viewing.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Baking Cookies and the Web

Last night in my continuing decision to improve my skills i decided to bake cookies. This was partially because i wanted to teach myself how to bake but also following some web based inspiration.

Over the last few years i have really enjoyed not only growing vegetables but learning the art of cooking. This has come from the usual sources of inspiration from TV chefs such as Jamie and Hugh. However i have always stopped short of deserts of any kind. I can knock out a range of starters and some great main courses learnt and adapted but deserts scared me.

They scared me because of the need for precision. No throwing an extra pinch of thyme in here or there, no things have to be measured and accurate. I don’t mind that at work, its part of the job especially when you are dealing with budgets but when i am at home cooking i prefer a little more freedom.

However as a grown man i felt this was something i needed to get over and so last night i entered the world of baking, starting easy with chewy oatmeal and raisin cookies. As a first attempt i was quite pleased although i will definitely be adding a lot more cinnamon and some nutmeg next time. As you can see from the picture, i brought a few into the office this morning and they were well received by my colleagues so ginger cake next.

The point of this however was more about how i found the recipe. Rather than just resorting to wading through numerous cook books I simply went online and searched for a chewy oatmeal and raisin cookies and bang along comes hundreds of sites all with different variations on a theme.

Cooking is big online and getting bigger. I have added a couple of links to foodgawker that links to different sites and CakeSpy blog has more than 100,000 visitors a month! Some cookery blogs are run for fun and some look extremely professional and are clearly run by people who have learnt how to make their blog look a lot more professional than my humble attempt.

Its clear to see that there is a growing appetite (forgive the pun) for food online and not just people looking at the major sites like BBC Food or Market Kitchen. As someone who understands that cookery is actually about trial and error and learning from others i can only applaud those people who diligently update and add new recipes to their own blogs so that people like myself can try and lean. So if you have not already looked I can recommend spending a happy lunchtime reading the different cookery blogs - you will not regret it.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Sainsburys, Pollack and Marketing tricks - EDP COLUMN - May 2009

This was of course written before the sad event that was the relegation of NCFC to the third tier of English football. As I have tried to explain to others you cannot chose your family or your football team, they come with birth. Supporting Norwich was passed to me by my father and I will pass it to my son but with a larger dose of realism. Enjoy......

Published Eastern Daily Press May 6th 2009. - yes i know this is going up before publication date but i wrote it!

By the time you read this you will already know whether I will be feeling the same pain I felt in 1985 and again in 2005. So it’s probably quite fortunate that my deadline means that I will not pepper this column with sad/glorious anecdotes (depending on the outcome of last Monday) regarding NCFC. Instead I am dedicating this column to the brilliantly mad marketers at Sainsbury’s.

Recently Tesco announced that they were enjoying weekly sales of over £1bn a week and annual profits of more than £3bn. This is despite being in an ongoing media battle with Morrisons and Asda on who is cheapest. All three forcing us to watch ads regarding the average cost of a shopping basket, great price crunch deals and now spotty teenage Asda workers telling us how they are amazed how cheap everything is in their store.

To be fair Sainsbury’s is on the same bandwagon albeit with the classic female worker who also is a caring mum and the odd appearance from the almighty Jamie. However they are also coming up with surprising strategies based around product ranges the latest being Pollack, yes the fish.

Sainsbury’s have re-branded Pollack to Colin. Now to be totally clear, that’s Colin as in Colin Powell the American ex-General not Colin as in Jackson or Firth. This is the French name for the fish when it is cooked and supposedly it has a much higher gastronomic reputation with our Gallic cousins than here where it has traditionally been deemed cat food. It seems that if we eat as much Pollack, nee Colin, as the French it would have a major positive effect on our cod stocks. Especially as it is much more plentiful and cheaper than the more popular cod and haddock.

Sainsbury’s are urging shoppers to “try Colin and chips on a Friday” and even hired designer Wayne Hemmingway of Red or Dead fame to create new packaging for the line. His new Jackson Pollock inspired packaging (creative thinking at its best there) is used right across the line from packaged fish to Colin fish fingers.

So why would I call the marketers at Sainsbury’s brilliantly mad. I do of course applaud the effort to support sustainable sourcing and protecting dwindling fish stocks by promoting a more unfashionable yet more sustainable and plentiful fish. However it is more to do with the fact that before you go rushing off to your nearest Sainsbury’s they were actually only running this as a trial in 10 stores to gauge consumer reaction. Of course the acres of media space they gained from this would suggest differently but that is why they gain the brilliantly mad tag from me.

They could have taken the easy route and pointed out how much cheaper their Pollack is compared with Tesco or Aldi. This route though gives them massive media coverage, lets them boast about their green credentials and will probably help them sell a pile of fish if it is rolled out across the UK.

So hats off to the marketers at Sainsbury’s, they broke the golden rule of re-branding i.e. don’t do it unless you really, really, really have to. FYI it’s always better to realign an existing brand with what your customers want than start afresh with all the associated costs. They turned a re-branding into a major marketing coup and a clever one at that. They used an obscure product line to cut through the clutter of the current supermarket promotional messages and that is very clever.

I hope I keep this up

I started working in the media and specifically online in the mid 1990's and have watched the rise of various new toys from blogs to social media, web 2.0 and I could go on. I never bothered to run my own blog for many reasons, many of them the same as to why i am not on Facebook or Twitter. I have tried them all for my job to see what commercial benefit they had and then deleted my accounts. A blog is only really a blog if it is updated and that takes commitment.

I used to have a weekly column in a regional paper in England called the Eastern Daily Press and that allowed me a creative outlet for all those comments I occasionally need to air. That is now a monthly column and yet the desire is still there so i now have this. The problem with understanding the internet is the knowledge that this will be visible to the world including potential and current employers and journalists. So I promise to keep this regular, relevant and hopefully vaguely amusing. At least the vegetable tips may prove useful.

To find out more about what i am up to visit here :