The metamorphosis of Twitter

I remember when blogging first captured the attention and imaginations of early adopters and online adventurers in the early part of this century, not long after the dot-com bubble burst. It was a time of discovery, learning new things and being part of something that was a great equalizer. For the first time, the Average Joe and Joanna could very easily and quickly have an unfiltered open voice on topics that might show up in online search results alongside other reports, narratives and opinions, typically from the mainstream media and big organizations, and expose their thinking and ideas to others anywhere in the world. Other people might leave comments on your blog and recommend your posts to their friends and […]

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The rise of the cognitive PR machines

Within two years, 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines or “robo writers,” as Gartner puts it in its list of ten predictions of an algorithmic and smart machine-driven world that the analyst firm published last October. It was a topic I used as a focal point in my presentation about PR measurement and how it’s getting smarter partly through automation that captured close attention from the 50+ PR pros in the audience at a CIPR event in London last week. Content that is based on data and analytical information will be turned into natural language writing by technologies that can proactively assemble and deliver information through automated composition engines. Content currently written by people – such […]

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Actions and consequences: what will 2016 present?

2015 was a stepping-stone year in the evolution of technology and people’s behaviours, with events that gave us greater insight into actions and consquences. A big one is the thorny matter of balancing the long-held expectation of individual privacy – regarded as a fundamental right in many countries – and freedoms of expression with the requirement of government to safeguard its citizens in today’s world where acts of freely expressing opinion can have dire consequences. Enter plans to enable government to know everything about everyone when they go online as part of the ways in which they believe they will be able to protect citizens. Is that the best balance? And do we have a choice anymore? While we expect […]

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How to solve the ad blocking question

If you run ad blocking software on your computer or mobile device, you’re either preventing the appearance of obtrusive, annoying ads that sometimes block content and add code that slows down the loading of the site you’re visiting, especially on mobile devices; or you’re strangling the revenue lifelines of companies who need to advertise to keep their businesses running, or enable media companies to keep paying for great journalism. That’s pretty much what the current situation looks like, divided into two camps – the for and against. I’m very much in the ‘for’ group as I think advertisers need to make their advertising compelling enough that visitors want to see it or, at least, don’t mind it; and publishers need […]

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7/7 perspective 10 years on

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London in 2005, known as 7/7. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist men detonated four bombs – three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. As well as the four bombers, 52 civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom’s worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country’s first ever suicide attack. I was in London that day and caught up in a very minor way with the unfolding  events as I tried to get to Heathrow airport […]

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