Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cybervetting and all that

I'm having an interesting dig in the digital dirt to put together a piece on NetReps, cyber-vetting and all that, and it has got me to thinking about my own cyber presence. I obviously blog, but my footprint's also all over my Facebook profile, My LinkedIn profile and, as of today, my ViaDeo profile (though I can't find it at the moment!).

I'm also listed on the CiB freelance directory, the CIoJ's directory and in one or two others that are only on paper. Somewhere in cyberspace, old versions of my cv are sitting on Monster, at the IABC and one one or two other sites - and all probably say slightly different things.

Now for me that's not a problem. I run my own business and I'm not looking for another job. but what if I was? Is my footprint consistent? Are there flaws in my NetRep that might exclude me from that perfect job or do the inconsistencies in my online presence raise any questions in recruiters' minds? On the other hand, is cyber-me so exciting that search specialists might just check me out to see if I'm interested in prospective roles?

Before today, I hadn't really given it much thought....perhaps now I should devote a few minutes to eliminating any prospective web-negativity.....or maybe not.

More hits, fewer comments

More people ae hitting this site, but comments seem to have dried up completely since I started moderating them (to stop people selling dodgy web services in Toronto, Christmas gifts in China or viagra from wherever). However, when I track my outclicks, I quite often see the infuriating trail that shows someone has started to make a comment, and then not carried through with it.

Anyway, I've taken away the moderation or now to see if it makes any difference.

So, let me know what you think......about anything!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fall at their feet

Crowded House know how to give a good concert. It's a dozen years of more since I last saw Neil Finn, Nick Seymour and the gang perform at the Apollo in Oxford and give one of the best performances I've ever witnessed. They took a 10 year hiatus between 96 and 06, during which drummer, Paul Hester, died and the sum of the remaining parts never quite lived up to the whole.

I saw Neil perform with his band, and Neil and brother Tim graced the Oxford stage too, but I never really thought I'd see Crowded House together again...until last night.

Jac and I were back on my home territory: back to Wembley and the recently-revamped Wembley Arena . It's still a barn of a place, cold until the audience warms it up and we were a good 50 yards back from the stage, despite having floor seating. But at least the acoustics are about a million times better than before the revamp. At about 8.30pm, four middle aged men took the stage and lit up my year.
The band aren't all about greatest hits, though they've had enough of the and they were liberally sprinkled in among strong new material. But the big difference between Crowded House and many other bands I've seen is the way they connect with their crowd and make a concert for 10,000 people appear intimate and personal - they have a great way of turning a building the size of an aircraft hangar into a small room. The concert is all about banter and involvement - and, in celebration of Nick Seymour's birthday they were even taking requests as they played up to Wembley's infamous curfew last night.

They left the stage last night just before 11pm. YouTube and dodgy phone recordings can only give a flavour of a band on top form live - and there's nothing up yet from last night's Wembley experience.

The only downsides? Overpriced merchandising and over zealous stewarding. But that's just being picky. We had a great night out.

I'm sipping coffee from my Crowded House 'char' mug this morning and enjoying the band's extremely rewarding back collection once again.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Recognising business value - not the best use of a comma in a built-up area

Once again it's awards season and I'm frustrated as ever by the internal communications industry's abiding fascination with recognising publications - in whatever form they're produced - rather than their business impact.

Whether it's CiB, IABC or any of the other industry award bodies, we're too often judged in a beauty parade on the look and feel of our publications rather than on how they achieve business success and what value they bring to the organisation they represent. That's horribly skewed thinking.

External publications exist to generate sales and turn a nice profit. Therefore, they need to look good and read well to stand out from the competition. They need to understand their audience implicitly and appeal to whatever the instinct is that generates a purchasing decision.

Internal communication is different - for one thing, readers don't pay for that magazine or intranet - and many choose to ignore the content foisted on them. We can't judge these publications in the same terms.

Shouldn't we be looking instead at their objectives within a corporate business strategy and how well they've delivered on those objectives? Wouldn't it be great to be the communicator who could stand up and say 'My communication won an award because we could show how it contributed to my organisation's success.' It's absolutely about understanding the readership and connecting with them - but to a business end, and that's not all about looking sleek and glossy.

An award based on a measure of true, tangible and measurable business value would be far for powerful to me than simply to have picked up a fairly meaningless certificate in a beauty parade.