2013 in review – work

laptop stickersIt’s been a pretty busy and fruitful year on the work front – bar the occasional CMS-fuelled RSI resurgence, which I’ve mostly resolved by working at a stand-up desk since September.

As well as postural changes, there’s been a promotion, a lot of public speaking and the setting up of a new company. More on all of this below…

Continue reading “2013 in review – work”

RebelMouse ‘social front page’ on test

Okay, so I’ve tried ScoopIt, Bundlr and Storify but not Pinterest. Let’s see how the curation element of new RebelMouse works, which is similar to Pinterest. So here’s my social media splash page, which pulls in my blog feeds, selected tweets and clipped content, and which I’ve customised. It looks ok and took about 30 minutes to set up and sort, but there were some glitches and hitches…

Plus points…

Helping print sub-editors go digital


Kings Cross last Saturday – and I delivered my first-ever workshop. While the rest of the UK was firing up the barbecue to make the most of a beautiful sunny afternoon, seven sub-editors were arriving at the very cool Centre for Creative Collaboration to learn some digital editing skills. (C4CC is a brilliant neutral space that exists to foster collaborations between and help improve outcomes for freelance creatives. If you have a creative/collaborative project that fits the bill, I highly recommend getting in touch with them and putting in a proposal.)

My workshop project arose partly because I’d already been approached by a friend whose work was drying up. She asked if she could come to Birmingham for a day and just watch what I did as a web editor. A quick ask around some other friends told me she wasn’t the only one who would be up for learning some online publishing skills.

But the idea was further kicked into life after the NME posted a sub-editing job at a below-industry-standard rate on the London Freelance sub-editors forum Subs UK. There was much consternation on the group messageboard with suggestions of setting a minimum rate for those seeking access to Subs UK talent, as well as calls to boycott the job offer.
Continue reading “Helping print sub-editors go digital”

Photo School, Friday School and Social Media Group Therapy

This is obviously the Year of the School. Firstly, there’s my moveable cake-fuelled feast of learning, the Friday School, while over on the other office sofa, Pete has just launched Matt and Pete’s Photo School.

Photo School is a monthly ‘photo club’, that’s also designed to combine learning with fun. It is based in Birmingham and the idea is to learn more about your camera, the art of photography and how to improve your picture-taking skills both in and out of the classroom. It is all but sold out for the launch session this Sunday but there is more to come in March so book ahead to reserve your spot – here’s the flyer: Continue reading “Photo School, Friday School and Social Media Group Therapy”

Cantal press trip blogged – and a travel request

Just back from a week in the centre of France in a little known area called the Cantal. It may be “one of the most sparsely populated and geographically isolated French departments”, according to Wikipedia, but it does have one big claim in that the region encompasses Europe’s largest volcano. Snowshoeing a sleeping volcano seemed an irresistible storyline. Continue reading “Cantal press trip blogged – and a travel request”

Travmedia launches new social network for travel trade


Travmedia, a press release and journalist alert service which connects journalists and PRs, has just made a very smart move (I hope) by launching a Facebook-style social network, that will facilitate many more travel trade connections and work opportunities, and make travel freelancers like myself more visible to travel editors.

‘My Network’ is a little clunky to use at first – a beta feedback option would be good for members so that they can improve the user experience. And there are currently some privacy issues – if you are a Travmedia member you should immediately update your default profile so that your full address doesn’t show, for example.

But I think this might be the first useful work-oriented network I’ve joined since Twitter, which has become a little noisy of late.

The success of ‘My Network’ may be dependent on whether others adopt its usage and how Travmedia develops the service. But it’s already been helpful to me in finding PRs for areas I want to cover, for reconnecting with friends I’ve met on press trips and for posting feature pitches and commissions.

We shall see how our relationship progresses after the first flush is over.

Dataviz first attempts

Having wrestled with a significant number of roadblocks for what is a fairly straightforward dataset, I am happy to announce the birth of my first data visualisation comparing 2011 figures for the percentage of women in the boardroom across a number of different countries. (Data source: Grant Thornton International Business Report). This is just a tester graphic, though. I now have to figure out how to show this over time, and with many more countries, and on a world map. *Gulp.*

Women in Senior Management 2011 Many Eyes

Update: I have added in the rest of the 2011 data by country so that it can be represented on a world map. Can’t seem to customise the horrible brown colour though.

Women in the Boardroom 2011 Many Eyes

Now to try adding in extra maps to show the data in different years…


Less than 15 minutes later, the rest of the data is input and a graphic created which shows the state of play for senior women in business since 2004. You’ll have to click through to see this in action. Either click ‘All’ maps in the toolbar above the map, or select by year from the dropdown menu bottom left.

Women in the Boardroom 2004-2011 Many Eyes

Phew. Logging off now and going to pub.