Manchester Bloggers MEN Visit

Slightly off topic, but Manchester Bloggers had a visit to the home of the Manchester Evening News last night (organised by Sarah Hartley from The Mancunian Way blog on MEN), the local paper of note which is one of the oldest and most recognised regional paper brands in the UK. We bloggers got a look around and chat with journalists, sub-editors and other members of the hack trade, along with a debate with the Night Editor about the future and how GMG (the group that own the title) are going to deal with the present and the future. We suitably adjourned to The Old Grapes for a pint where I caught up with some more of the old time bloggers, particularly Michael Taylor who writes The Marple Leaf.

The Moors Murders Archive at MEN

The Moors Murders Archive at MEN

I was particularly intrigued by the paper library – the size of the archive dedicated to The Moors Murders was immense and sat uncomfortably with the slightly smaller paper archives of Harold Shipman and The Yorkshire Ripper. It’s almost symptomatic of the City to find this large trove of information relating to the cases, even though more than 40 years has past. Perhaps the library almost represents the soul of the city and the dark secrets it sometimes has to conceal.


A New Hope

A new term is about to start here at The University of Fun, and I notice that recruitment onto the BA in Digital Marketing Communications programme currently sits at 4 students. On top of that, I also notice that a number of students are opting to transfer in the second year of their degree programme from the Digital Marketing degree to a more traditional marketing and advertising programme that I also teach on.

Why might this be? Why aren’t people flocking to do the Digital programme (unlike the Masters programme of the same name which is pretty much “full”)? It’s difficult to understand why, when there are clear signs of a continued business leaning towards digital away from traditional. In these enlightened and recessional times, we keep seeing a path away from unmeasurable offline mechanisms towards more quantifiable digital communication levers.

Standing on my soapbox – I blame the teachers and careers officers in schools who have to kept up with the state of the industry. I blame the candidates for not researching the industry themselves and thinking that it’ll just be one long carry on into media. I blame the industry for not marketing itself to potential new recruits.

And I blame myself for not getting to enough careers fairs, schools and open days. But there are only 24 hours in a day.

You folks out there are going to have to help me out here and start pushing this industry not just to your potential customers but to your future workforce, because at the moment they don’t seem like they’re convinced.

Google starts to eat the world

2 things catch my eye.

First is the arrival of Chrome, Google’s take on a web browser. Do we need another when Google already fund Mozilla and its development fo Firefox. Well they seem to think so, and the Google Comic (mistakenly sent out several days to soon) provides the technical reasoning behind it.

It seems to be about bringing the notion of browser and operating system together. The browser being just a cool place to do things not a special application in its own right.

The impact for marketers could be immense. Google will no doubt be considering its marketplace amongst its advertisers when developing this environment, and such a tool could take behavioural analysis of users a more interesting proposition. But it’s a giant leap of faith and will require some people to really rethink how they’ve developed their web presence.

The other news is how Google has won some battles against people who use the word “Google” in domain names, and a ruling by the prestigious WIPO shows that using a domain such as “” is just not playing fair. Domain/typosquatters/black-hatters should now start to take note.