Cyberdrum: A Day in the Life
Gerry Farrell, creative director, The Leith Agency
You are what you Google. Using that as I guide I’ve looked back at all the places I’ve visited on the internet over the last month and been surprised how much I go online. It takes a good hour to drive to Mike’s Tackle Shop in Portobello and browse the trout fly selections. That’s good for getting out the office but there’s a bigger selection at fliesonline.co.uk and I love the wee Jiffy bags of fur and feather they deliver to my door. Online shopping’s got bigger and bigger to the point that this year some people I know did ALL their Christmas shopping online. I got my wife an iPod Touch for Xmas. It’s internet-enabled so, as well as being a joy to play with, you can sit up in bed and go shopping. From our old bed, she chose to go shopping for a new bed and took me to buy it next day. It wasn’t even in the sale. Ouch.
Outside of work me and my Fatboy bandmate Vince write songs so I’m often online to rhyming dictionaries wondering if there’s a better rhyme for ‘stake-out’ than ‘naked’.(NB All you sectarian fitba songwriters, almost bugger-all rhymes with ‘orange’.) By the way, if you haven’t a clue how to write a song, there’s a Radio 2 website dedicated to it with little videos of famous musicians saying how they composed their hits. Jeff Lynne on Mister Blue Skies is well worth a click.
There’s a pretty big music scene in Peebles and every third Friday there’s an Americana night in The Neidpath pub. People turn up with banjos,double basses, fiddles, boxes of harmonicas, slide guitars, the lot and the pub give us free drink and sarnies. The next day I’m usually on YouTube looking up songs I played along with the night before like the video for Wagon Wheel by The Old Crow Medicine Show or Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions.
At work I’m subscribed to davidsreviews. Jason Stone writes this and as well as being a lovely bloke and clever to boot, he bumped our UK creativity rating up to third place this year, behind Mother and Fallon on the strength of our Irn-Bru and Strathmore work. He’s the perfect antidote to the scattergun snootiness and random bitchery of Campaign’s Private View because he actually makes an effort to say something intelligent and constructive. Contagiousmagazine is another weekly site that gives you a well-edited ‘best of’ what’s going on digitally so I always browse that thoroughly.
I sometimes log on to hibs.net especially when something big’s happening like John Collins walking out and big Mixu walking in. It’s a more reliable source of breaking news than any other medium and it’s clearly where The Scotsman’s sportswriters go first for their Hibs stories. Lazy bastards. I used to go on jamboskickback and noise up the Yams but I got thrown off and it’s no fun now because it’s too easy.
I can’t get into Facebook although I can’t resist looking when someone puts something on my Funwall. Funniest thing to date is Eddie Izzard doing the VO of a Lego animation featuring Darth Vader getting his lunch in the Death Star Café and telling the counter assistant “Give me a clean tray or I will destroy you with a thought.”
My last site visit was to Gareth Howells flickr page to look at his new twins, Holly and Morgan. I really love flickr. It just pisses all over conventional stock libraries and you can browse it for hours without getting bored. Truth is though, that I’ve now been to visit Gareth’s new babies and nothing on the internet compares to the feeling you get when you pick up one of those warm wee bundles. Left me feeling rather broody I can tell you. I’m sure you don’t want me to finish off with a detailed account of the directions I’ve searched on AA Routeplanner so I’ll shut up now.
Martin Cryans, managing director, Firefly PR Scotland
We connect to the UK network system via Citrix so I am, to all intents, online constantly in just about everything I do.
Living in Glasgow and working in Leith means that I have the time to log on via my laptop or TynTN II while on the 7.04 National Express train through from Motherwell, so immediate emails and research can be done before reaching the office at around 8.15.
I check the BBC first thing and throughout the day – the technology pages obviously, but also news, politics, business, sport, and entertainment. I also get the TMT sector morning briefing from PA News. I monitor news from digital marketing forums such as marcomprofessional.com, theregsiter.co.uk and mguerrilla.com.
I also search out the Guardian media site and get PR Week breaking news.
My internet usage is a combination of keeping abreast of general news and technology issues and specific monitoring on behalf of clients such as ITI Scotland, Freescale, Origo, Alfred McAlpine-IT Services, MoveMachine, and the international accountancy firm, Mazars.
I have quite a few information sources to follow and I have found that using RSS feeds and aggregating them with a reader like Google’s make life a lot simpler and means I can scan through multiple resources like an email inbox. I also have several items primed for Google alerting.
Firefly has Bebo as a client and, although I try to keep up-to-date with the world of social networking, I have so far resisted joining Facebook, although there is now a PR industry group on it as well as one dedicated to the Firefly alumni. Twittering has taken off among the early adopters and is to blogging what text messaging is to voice calls.
In my other life I’m a football referee and admit to visiting a couple of the anorak sites from time to time as well as the SFA, UEFA and FIFA pages. The laptop will sometimes end its day with a quick visit to Cbeebies at the BBC or the Disney site.
I was one of the earlier users of 5pm.co.uk and still land here periodically, admit to shopping on asos.com and have only recently given up on CDs and switched to itunes.
As the internet moves back to the role its founders originally intended for it – namely as a peer-review, information-sharing vehicle and away from being a tool merely for the downloading of static information, our interaction with it as marketing professionals needs to keep pace. Sites like blogplus.com and technorati.com allow for decent blog monitoring and blog influence research can be conducted through buzzlogic.com.
Since joining Firefly from Beattie Communications in November I have realised more than ever the importance for marketing types to have a firm grasp on what’s out there.
John Campbell, managing director, Spider Online
Of course, the internet plays a big part in my daily routine. Both in work and in play.
I tend to start the day with a quick click through the BBC site, though. From sport to business and news. I have been trying out the new iPlayer – does it work on the iphone? No!
I subscribe to Management Today and it has very good online resource, while The Drum’s site is great for a bit of gossip and business insight too.
I also have a wee nosey at our competitors every now and then to see what they are all up to and to see if their sites are as out of date as ours.
Meanwhile, over lunch, Football365 is a must for the latest football gossip – The mighty Killie even had a few mentions. Youtube is great too for bit of light relief and catching up on any champions league highlights I have missed. Mock The Week re-runs and Frankie Boyle routines brighten-up the dullest day.
Even my shopping has now stretched online with Kelkoo, Pricerunner and Amazon: These are the big three for me when buying anything – note a bit of brand loyalty there, folks!
Also, online banking saves so much (time and money) and with more clients going to BACS it makes admin less time consuming. Thankfully.
While I’m on the subject of finances, Moneysavingexpert is a fantastic site – Martin Lewis is the champion of the people, with great for advice on personal finance.
As I’m travelling a lot by train just now (doing my bit for the environment) I also often find myself on Trainline. While it’s ok to use, it could do with an update.
When I’m not saving the environment with my train travel, and have to travel that wee bit further, BA.com is my choice of airline. The site is easy to use and they have convinced me to use the Airmiles scheme. (I may get a free flight to Paris one day!)
I’m also looking for a new car just now, so Autotrader is excellent for finding a wee bargain and the Whatcar site is great for reviews on new or used cars.
Elsewhere, ASDA is ideal for some home shopping from the office. It’s a great site – simple to use and they give you next day delivery – keeps me out of the cold and wet.
Finally, how could I forget Google – is it a web site or a search engine... discuss!
It is amazing how many sites I do look at but, in the end, I do tend to stick to a core selection on a daily basis.