I lost my job the day my son, Joe, was born, so my work-life balance as a freelance journalist has been tied to my children growing up. I’ve given them breakfasts, packed them lunches and cooked them dinners. I’ve got them to school and gone on trips. Continue reading →
Unless you are Facebook, dealing with Apple as an iOS (iPhone app) developer is challenging. Facebook managed to do two updates within 24 hours but Apple never even looks at my updates for five days and can take almost 24 hours to reply to basic communications.
After protracted correspondence after my latest version of the-Zebra app was rejected, I asked Apple, seven hours after my last communication, if I should wait up for a response or could go to bed. Within minutes my app was reviewed, approved, sent to the store and put on sale. Continue reading →
Monday morning must give tweets maximum exposure. Presumably because many Twitter users do not use Twitter at the weekend but start looking on the way to work on Monday or once in the office.
I tweeted a joke on Friday afternoon that was retweeted a bit. But this morning, before 9am, it was retweeted 53 times and seven people made it a favourite. It was still being retweeted as I wrote this. So Monday morning must be the key time to target tweets for maximum exposure. Continue reading →
I had a letter from a graduate that was just so appalling – they invariably are – that I started to write to tell him. My wife said the criticism might be enough to push him over the edge so I stopped myself.
She’s probably right. But how is he ever to know that he is getting it so wrong? As his errors were similar to errors I see in these sorts of begging letters all the time I wondered if I should share the lessons. Of course I am an arrogant know-it-all, but this is what I would have sent: Continue reading →
Leveson’s report includes just 456 words on magazines, if you exclude the case studies on OK, Heat and Hello. It makes just two references to the “4,765 business to business magazines” and barely touches too on the “515 consumer magazines” he mentions.
Leveson does say: “Whereas newspapers are essentially ephemeral, and understandably have developed a reputation as tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers, magazines are kept and referred to because they are considered to be a “trusted friend”.
He also says: “Most of these consumer magazines are specialist interest titles of varying sorts and are not engaged in the sort of news and current affairs reporting, or reporting on individuals, with which the Inquiry is primarily concerned.”
So the question for Leveson is, why try to regulate them? The question for the NUJ is why they called for huge swathes of their honest and ethical members to be treated like criminals?
The press were fascinated by Leveson today but the public were interested in the simultaneous event going on in court where SAS soldier Danny Nightingale was released – after a press campaign to free him. Hurrah for the press.
Leveson did not ask for examples of good journalism, only bad, so that’s all he got. The Leveson report is an example of biased research and reporting. A statutory regulator would fine him and demand a right of reply. Continue reading →
This blog post is written using Dragon Dictate voice recognition software for Mac. On Sunday I broke my right arm just below the shoulder. Although I have insurance, it made more sense to try dictation software to see if I could continue working.
I’m sure with practice get faster, but it goes at this speed the whole time, I’m going to be unable to be productive. For example that last sentence I dictated with only one mistake–the software thought I said reductive instead of productive. Continue reading →
I stopped commissioning stories for AOL Money this week – Wednesday to be precise. I started commissioning the predecessor site Daily Finance in December 2009. Recently I worked on the design and build of the new site and the integration of DF and its sister title Walletpop into AOL Money.
It has been a labour of love. The old DF CMS tells me “You have written 312,078 words on 522 posts.” I’ve written a fair few thousands words for AOL Money too and I have commissioned millions more. I’ve known it was coming to and end, looked forward to it even, but I’m feeling a bit sad too. Continue reading →
The sinks in the H2 Bike Club in Soho are a triumph of design over functionality: the classic design error. In all walks of life designers so often get it wrong because they fail to consider the practical as well as the aesthetic. Bad editorial design similarly adds hours to production time.
The sink has no taps. Instead a temperamental sensor eventually picks up the motion of your waving hands and lets out a short, timed stream of tepid water that is not hot enough for a good shave and horribly warm if you need to clean your teeth. What was so wrong with hot and cold taps? Continue reading →
Guardian ecology columnist George Monbiot has listed his earnings and savings and said all journalists should do the same. I am not sure if he is just showing off about how much he earns – more than £60,000 from the Guardian – but he cannot be serious.
Journalists should feel no more compunction to reveal their earnings and savings than anyone else. And it would be a mountain of work for the many of us who are freelance and such scrambled data would prove meaningless. I’ll have a go at explaining why. Continue reading →