Posts Tagged ‘Rory Cellan Jones’

Google meets the mob

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 by Jon Clements

UPDATE #2: This is what Rory Cellan-Jones found in belligerent Buckinghamshire and this is what he says.

UPDATE: Hear what Google has to say about it.

 As I write, BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones is on his way to the Buckinghamshire village of Broughton, where the locals are revolting.

Is this a copy-cat outbreak of #G20 summit protests? Actually, no; it’s all about the Web’s favourite search engine Google.  

According to news sources, local residents have sent the Google Street View vehicle packing by forming a human barricade. Thames Valley Police, in customary non-judgemental police speak, report a “dispute between a crowd of people and a Google Street View contractor”. It’s about privacy, say Broughton’s inhabitants; Google says it’s working within the law and that there’s “an easy way to request removal of imagery”.

What’s got Broughton so hot under the collar? According to UpMyStreet the inhabitants have a bigger predilection for “golf, gardening and visiting National Trust properties” – hardly the stuff of anarchic, direct action.

But while Google sees Street View as a “rich, immersive browsing experience”, some Broughton people see it as a burglars’ charter.

Just this week, while talking with a client about the impact of social media, the question was mooted: “Has Google gone too far with Street View?” But despite the privacy backlash on its launch, there was no suggestion it would result in Home Counties’ insurrection.

Twittering lawyer, John Halton, pictures a baying medieval mob, though is careful to disclaim this view:

 broughton.png

Others in the Twitterverse are divided on the topic, but have the “good people of Broughton” touched a nerve within the populace that Google – maybe over-estimating the benign acceptance it enjoys around the world – never anticipated?  

Broughton seems to be saying: “Listen Google, I’m happy for you to track down the cheapest car insurance and my secondary school sweetheart, but keep your 360 degree cyber nose out of my property.” An Englishman’s home remains his castle, it seems. You don’t get much more medieval than that.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Social media is business as (un)usual

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 by Jon Clements

Twitter users are growing by a factor of 10, so says web measurement firm, Hitwise. Not bad going for what was a niche, online tool with no clear use apart from giving other intrepid social media pioneers a running commentary on your day-to-day life – in 140 characters or fewer.

But now the BBC, according to correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones’ “Tweets”, is having meetings about its own reporters’ use of Twitter, surely it’s gone mainstream.

And so, social media is becoming part of the fabric of our lives. When your Mum and Dad are on Facebook – even if they are slightly bewildered by it – you sense a corner has been turned.

In the past 24 hours I have been involved – for the first time – in a new business discussion that began on a social networking site. A few hours later, it went offline and is progressing in a way you’d never expect after meeting someone in today’s equivalent of the infamous “chatroom”.

But it makes absolute sense. If you need a service, and you know that people looking to do business are gathering in particular places online, why not congregate? Not only can you get an insight into the background, knowledge and expertise of prospective business partners or customer (it tends to be spelled out in a clear chronology), you can open a dialogue and get a feel for the person you’re dealing with. Interacting on social media is disarming, so you should get a truer, more unvarnished view, free of marketing gloss.

This model, in my opinion, would serve the procurement of professional services such as PR and marketing very well, as it allows for a more natural evolution of understanding between buyer and seller, rather than the unnatural beauty parades that dominate the sector. Companies can be dazzled by a pitch, but does that translate to a long-term working relationship? Sometimes, but not always.

Social media is out there and – for business – it’s coming of age. Get with it, before your Granny beats you to it.

Update: Here’s what the FT has to say: “Social media…transforms a business if you use it correctly.” (Bob Pearson, Dell)

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Official: you can’t prove there’s a God (or not)

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 by Jon Clements

 

And so, the verdict from the Advertising Standards Authority on the Atheist Bus Campaign is, in summary: “Nothing to investigate, case closed.”

Despite 326 complaints, it comes down to being a matter of “opinion”.

Hat tip to Rory Cellan-Jones for bringing our attention to it on Twitter.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''