19 October 2008

Media Diet Week 42

Press: once again, I've been sampling the joys of our national railway network and unsurprisingly this involved spending at station newsagents. I quite like hoofing down to London for meetings - it's a welcome break from the computer and the opportunity to indulge in print media. Wednesday's trip involved buying The Guardian and a copy of Look (because I love the high st. fashion spreads). I had little chance to read either as I got involved in a lengthy conversation with the traveller opposite, who turned out to be a repo man. He's working in interesting times (and in the field of business equipment repossession) so the insights were fascinating. For once, I didn't mind not reading on the train. On the journey home the next morning, I made an impulse purchase of Mojo, lured by the cover splash of the feuds that led to The Clash splitting and the free CD of rebel songs. Opening Mojo, I was reminded why I gave up buying rock mags a while back, despite my background as a rock hack. Today's crop are full of self-indulgent, rambling nonsense by writers of my generation who can't accept that punk is long gone and keep rehashing their own brand of nostalgia, like picking at scabs on the knee. I haven't tried the CD yet, it better be worth it. Also, Mojo has a truly nasty serif font in a ridiculously small point size that makes reading difficult and means I may never get round to investigating the finer points of the Clash break-up.

Blogs: this week's big theme has been Twitter. Dave Lee blogged first about his thoughts on extracting the best out of it. I also posted some thoughts. The Guardian's Charles Arthur reckons link-sharing is key to Twitter, while Sally Whittle shared the hilarity of TwitterKarma and etiquette. Me, I think Twitter is undoubtedly fantastic for spreading linky love but it is also a jolly useful grease gun for oiling the wheels of social networking - Twitter-natter is good for getting to know people and, this week especially, supporting friends and colleagues through tough times as they cope with dying pets and other stresses. On a technical note, I'm reluctantly contemplating abandoning Bloglines forever. Its RSS feed is still delivering the goods hideously late, unacceptable when you're in the media and need stuff quickly. My back-up is Google Reader and I'm probably going to switch permanently to that, despite my reluctance to succumb to all things G. At least Reader is reliable. And if IT apps don't want to lose market share to the Google monolith they need to ensure they are up to scratch.

TV/radio: the start of the week was full of gems on the small screen. Last Sunday, the ever-delightful and interesting Stephen Fry kicked off his US travelogue on the Beeb - yes, it was cosy and a tad predictable but it was perfect Sunday night viewing, especially as Fry has an unerringly instinctive eye for the quirky. Lulled into warm cuddliness, I flipped over immediately after to watch former Blair spin-doctor Alistair Campbell talk with extraordinary frankness about his breakdown in Cracking Up. This was top-notch telly - uncomfortable to watch at times but also important as TV desperately needs to show more good programmes about mental health, especially as 1 in 5 of us will suffer from depression at some point. I also enjoyed the opener of Wired on Monday, a thriller about bank fraud (great timing!) - it got off to a good start, let's hope it can sustain the pace and deliver a cracking denouement. Charlie Brooks (ex-Janine in EastEnders) was woefully underused, though.

Books: I'm still on The Arsenic Labyrinth! I know, I know, it's been 2 weeks already and I'm still only just over halfway through. I'm determined to finish it this week. Especially as I have some essential reads stacking up in the to-read pile.

1 comment:

ms_well.words said...

If you've time to spare (which I guess you don't have just now), you might be interested in this: http://www.mcelhearn.com/article.php?story=20051227200149536

I know it's from an overseas perspective, but still, food for thought re: 'onlining' of the nationals (and other papers).