Christmas gift ideas for gadget heads

I went looking for Christmas inspiration, needing ideas on what to get my husband this year, and I found some unique gift sites for gadget heads:

*Gift Ideas
Lots of unique, very random gifts. Will shortly be buying my brother-in-law the 'badass motherf*cker' Pulp Fiction wallet and my husband the denture ice cube tray. (Probably best not to ask.....)

*Hammacher Schlemmer
Fabulous gifts for the gadget-minded. I'm not sure what their international shipping policy is, mind. It's from the US.

Some excellent deals on software this holiday season. Direct downloads, no discs-in-the-post nonsense. I've got my eye on Dragon NaturallySpeaking to speed up the process of completing my novel.

Ok, ok - disclaimer - Softwareload is a client. Shameless plug: we disclosed some interesting Yougov research statistics last Friday on online shopping habits, found here.

See how I did that?

Merry Christmas shopping!


How I rekindled my Facebook love affair

(by Emily McDaid)

Having used FB heavily for upwards of three years, I started to notice a change in my attitude towards my friend Facebook. I'll refer to Facebook as a 'he'.

He was starting to bother me. Not just when I was logged in, physically using him to look at my newsfeed or to get in touch with friends. I was thinking about him when I wasn't logged in, but not in a good way. He was starting to interfere with my thought processes. I was becoming paranoid that my activities with him were putting my innermost thoughts and information out there for everyone to see, while keeping me from updating people I actually liked. I was worried that my 'friend' was actually a gaping security and privacy hole in my life -- and could potentially affect my life in a profound way. He was connecting me to people who I didn't really know, and didn't really want to know. And more importantly I didn't really want them to know me.

So, I closed my Facebook account. Immediately, I felt much better. However, I have a lot of friends who live across the pond. They put a lot of pictures and fun information on Facebook. I missed being in synch with their lives. Email just wasn't the same.

So I set up a new Facebook account with a different name and birthdate, starting a new gmail account to receive the endless (and completely, utterly redundant) FB notifications. It was an alias account. Some of my friends laughed at me, others said it was really smart and they wanted to follow suit (and some actually followed suit). My husband thinks it's weird. (But he's not really that technically savvy, so I don't think he really understands why I did it. And because he has a job where he deals with the general public everyday, I think he should do it too.)

Anyway, the point of this blog is that my new alias account rocks. I love Facebook again. I have 35 friends who I actually like. I can see their updates in my newsfeed because it's not overtaken by random people I don't really know. In one fell swoop I deleted old pictures I didn't really want people rifling through anymore, I deleted personal info that on retrospect I didn't really want online and I deleted false friendships that weren't adding anything to my life. It was worth being laughed at by the odd few.

There are much better articles available by people who understand security and privacy issues much better than I do. But here is why I chose to surf Facebook with an alias:

It has become nearly impossible to delete old stuff off Facebook, meaning that, for heavy users, FB is essentially an online diary of everything you've done in the past X years. That really bothered me, but I couldn't delete things easily.

Facebook's nonchalent association with Face.com's picture recognition software freaks me out. A lot.

I don't want to be anywhere near that "People you may know" tool, because I didn't want to grow my friend base with random schoolmates anymore, but you can't opt out of it.

I absolutely despise that sidebar application that draws up old photo albums. I had people who I just met in 2010 commenting on stuff that I had uploaded in 2007. Weird.

It was connecting me to people I really didn't want to be connected with.

My newsfeed was out of control with said people's random updates I didn't really care about.

I was paranoid that with the correct spelling of my name, my real email address, and my birth date, people who really weren't that skilled at hacking could steal my identity far too easily.

It really, really annoys me that you can't opt out of tagging - so anyone can tag anything of you they want. Even that picture of you holding a gigantic bottle of gin.

In a nutshell, Facebook's privacy and security settings are a complete farce. They are dumb, they don't give you any real privacy or security and I would go so far as to say FB has become irresponsible with the data it holds on 250 million people. Having watched The Social Network, it appears other people believe Facebook to be a largely irresponsible organisation too.

I dare say I'm on the cusp of a trend - if FB doesn't start tightening its privacy controls, more and more people will start using alias accounts.

What do you think?


Blogger on leave. I repeat - blogger on leave.

Hi Readers,

Just a quick note from this blogger to say, thanks for all the attention and support over the past year or so since Re:medial's inception. You have probably noticed our blogging has slowed down. This is primarily because I'm off on maternity leave now for my first baby. So, thanks for reading and we'll kick things off again after my maternity leave.

I put up a little tribute to PR in my Facebook status which I'll repeat here for your pleasure :-)

"Farewell to being a spin dr for now. Bye, press releases, briefings & conferences. So long, dealing with the overworked and underpaid press corps. Farewell to the constant battle against hyperbole and broken English. Ciao, inventing news out of thin air, pitching non-stories to irate journalists & teaching clients to employ the lethal cocktail of charm, evasion and persuasion. Bye, PR - catch you on the flip side!"



New decade lacks official nickname

Hatch PR survey reveals PROs and journalists disagree on a catchy nickname to replace The Noughties

5 January 2010 - Birmingham and London - Despite having already begun, the next decade hasn't yet been named by PROs and journalists, a survey by Hatch PR has revealed.

When asked what the next decade would be nicknamed, nearly half (44.5 per cent) of respondents from the UK media industry went with the most obvious name; 'The 2010s.' A further 22 per cent of respondents thought the decade might be nicknamed 'The Teens.'

Other ideas presented included:
• 'The Tweens' (11 per cent)
• 'The Teenies' (11 per cent)
• 'The Tens' (eight per cent)

A few respondents had more amusing suggestions, including:
• 'The Tense'
• 'The years between and including 2010 and 2019'
• 'The Ayrtons' (Ayrton Sennas - tenners)
• ‘The Tenties’

"The numbers suggest a lack of agreement on this decade's media nickname, leaving the door wide open for someone to coin a good one," said Hatch PR founder Emily McDaid. "It's not surprising the opportunity is still available when you consider that 'The Noughties' didn't take off until well into the last decade, and it was never fully embraced in the US."

Respondents to the survey agreed on one point - that the nickname needs to be catchy. Nearly 80 per cent (79.5 per cent) of respondents said the most important attribute of a nickname was its catchiness. Just under half (46 per cent) said it was most important that the media embraces the nickname. A third (36 per cent) prioritised the nickname being short enough to fit into a headline, while 28 per cent prioritised the nickname being impactful to demonstrate the importance of that decade in history. Interestingly, not one single respondent indicated that the nickname should capture the politics of the time, but a fifth (20.5 per cent) said it should capture the social trends of the time.

Respondents were also asked to rank the most important trends in today's culture that would help define the next decade. Responses were:

• Wars and/or world peace - 60 per cent
• Global warming - 47.5 per cent
• The increasing consumption of digital and online media - 46 per cent
• Asia's rising influence on the world stage - 38.5 per cent
• Social networks - 37.5 per cent

McDaid continued: "Little more than half (52 per cent) of our respondents thought 'The Noughties' was a good nickname - so we think it can be bettered this decade. Any company or organisation looking to put its stamp on this decade should consider staking a claim to a name.”

Hatch PR associate director Chris Lee said: "Given our focus on digital media, we were delighted the numbers showed media professionals are recognising the rising influence of digital media on our world this decade."

About the survey: The survey was conducted in December 2009 via online methods and distributed via Twitter. It garnered 53 professional respondents working in media on both the journalist and PR side.

About us: Hatch PR is a boutique communications consultancy for the digital industries, specialising in working with web and mobile small businesses and startups. The company was founded in March 2008 and is headquartered in Birmingham, England. For more information, visit www.hatch-pr.com.