Friday, December 26, 2008

Media-Sport-Cookery-Advertising Quote of the Year

Not Gordon either.

"Charles dreamt I had an affair with Steve Coppell. I said to him, 'Thanks a lot! You might have made it Mourinho!'"

Cooking goddess Nigella Lawson reveals who hubby Charles Saatchi thinks is the man of her dreams.

From the BBC.


Monday, December 22, 2008

When the Trust Fund runs out...


From The Feinline, the blog of Sempre Management cofounder Michael Feinstein. On that Madoff Madness. (Financial Cliche Warning: there is that Ronald Reagan quote: otherwise it's a balanced account, as they used to say in Q1 2008.)

* Don't just trust your VCs reputation. Verify it through your own diligence, including blind reference checks and discussions with executives of companies that didn't work out.

* Don't trust your VC when she agrees to some additional terms that aren't on the term sheet or promises to 'take care of you' if you are let go. Verify every deal and agreement with terms in writing. You never know if the person you make the agreement with will be the one you have to enforce it with. If the deal is really a deal, no one should object to putting it in writing.

* Don't trust that your VCs will fund your company if you can't raise money elsewhere. VCs will always promise support for your company, but that isn't the same as wiring funds into your account. If the VCs are promising to backstop your company with a bridge financing in the event that you can't raise money, get that agreement in writing, including the terms. Once your company is actually on the brink, the terms may change. But, if you have a prior agreement, hopefully it will be honored.

* Don't trust the commitments that are promised by customers and partners. Follow-up with emails confirming, or formal contracts if appropriate. It may seem overly formal during more friendly relations, but the actual commitment may give you some moral high ground if the going gets tough.

Derek Draper and the Labour new media blitz - minus women

There was an interesting post on Guido Fawkes last week about a new media breakfast being hosted by Derek Draper at which Blue State digital presented how Labour can use the internet to win the next British election. PR Week reported, after the event:

PR Week has learned that [Philip] Gould was present at a ‘new media breakfast’ meeting which took place in London this morning.

Also present was David Lammy, the Labour MP with the best connections to US president-elect Barack Obama.

The meeting was convened by Derek Draper, who is overseeing the party’s blogging initiative. It was attended by an assortment of Labour-supporting bloggers, PR professionals and political campaigners....

PR Week added:

A handpicked selection of 77 individuals were invited to attend the meeting and around 60 are thought to have attended.

Those who were invited but could not make it included Weber Shandwick European CEO Colin Byrne and Google European comms director D-J Collins, but both are understood to be fully behind of the initiative.

Guido kindly added the names of those who were invited:

Tom Watson, Colin Byrne, Sadie Smith, Mark Hanson, Simon Buckby, David Clark, Charlie Whelan, Chuka Umunna, Sue Macmillan, DJ Collins, Sarah Mulholland, Richard Angell, Ed Owen, Simon Alcock, Douglas Alexander, Patrick Diamond, Sunder Katwala, Gavin Hayes, Jessica Asato, Robert Philpot, Richard Huntington, Tristram Hunt, Ben Wegg-Prosser, Damian McBride, Andrew Dodgshon, Theo Blackwell, Tom Miller, Tim Allan, David Bradshaw, Stuart Bruce , Jag Singh, Matt Strong, Paul Simpson, Spencer Livermore, Ed Owen, Chris McShane, Matthew Taylor, Alex Finnegan, John Miles, Adam Dustagheer, Dan Thain, Mark Lucas, Luke Pollard, James Crabtree, Tim Shand, Alex Hilton, Simon Redfern, William Davies, Howard Dawber, Nick Anstead, Richard Lane, Jon Steinberg, Pete Bowyer, Steve Cowan, Hopi Sen, Luke Bozier, Andy Regan, Toby Flux, David Taylor, Chris McShane, Matthew McGregor, Noel Hatch, Sunny Hundal, Greg Jackson, Dave Prescott, Luke Akehurst, Phil Dilks, Jonathan Upton, Simon Fletcher, Tom Price, John Stolliday, Adrian McMenamin, Paul Hilder, Paul Miller, Ben Brandzel, Anthony Painter, Ravi Gurumurthy.

Now I have no idea if this list is accurate, but notice only one fact: there are - I think - four women's names. Perhaps Guido was misinformed about the composition of the Labour leaning digerati?

Or perhaps Muscular technocracy is now the engine of British politics as well?

Those Big Beasts.

UK Parliament and Bloggers: a change is gonna come?

After initial scepticism at Westminster, the view now seems to be that e-journalism is here to stay and these bloggers should have passes, even though the print journalists take a broadly sniffy attitude to the likes of the Mole, while being happy enough to follow his lead.

Back to the green paper. It is likely it will make it easier for people to sue for libel by slashing the disproportionate costs of legal action, possibly by establishing a small claims court for libel.

More on small claims libel cases and a possible "blogger clamp down" here. From The Mole.

Database Hugging Disorder (Google & Africa)

From the blog.

Why is so much “public” information not accessible (i.e. government budgets, service level indicators, population data) and sitting on servers in London, New York, and Geneva but not accessible to citizens, media, and even planners in Africa countries? This clearly needs to change.

What is less intuitive, however, is that there is so much information, knowledge, and wisdom within Africa that is not making its way to politicians, planners, and policy makers who make decisions about Africa. We often hear that teachers, nurses, and civil servants do not show-up for work across the continent and this is a primary contributor to the poor quality of public services. Do we bother asking why absenteeism is such a problem? Ask teachers, nurses, or administrators and they will tell you.

More here.

Try telling this in print: Iranian 'metal'

From Iran Inside Out.

Forget newspapers, what about magazines? Twitter weekly?

If 2008 was the year that newspapers learnt that the diagnosis is fatal, they are going to die in print - maybe not today, or tomorrow: but someday - then 2009 must be about magazines...and books...sitting in that same doctor's waiting room. Here's John A. Byrne, executive editor of Business Week in the US, and editor in chief of

When we talk about other new ways to compete, most magazines don’t seem to know where to start. Aggregation? Forget it. Few editors want to link to other stories that send people away from their own sites. Curation? Writers don’t “curate” journalism or discussions. They report and file stories and move on. Verticals? Editors want content that appeals to the broadest swath of people and gets massive traffic. User generated content? Most editors still turn up their collective noses at stuff created by their audience. Computer algorithms that replace news judgment for the prominence you give a story? You’ve got to be kidding. And Twitter? What’s that?

Writing in the Nieman Reports Byrne describes how his title has morphed from:

...a brand that produces a weekly magazine to one that is pretty much a 24/7 multiplatform organization

Much more that's interesting beyond newspapers here.

US online newspapers - what's new in '08

Survival strategies here, everyone. My first is in Social but not in Print. My second is in Online but not in Ink...

Thanks to News After Newspapers - and ultimately the Bivings Group.