West Midlands Media Top 100

This was going to be quietly shuffled off to my delicious links but I thought it worth a few extra words.

The North West has a Top 100 people in the Media in the North West list. It comes out of a site that was new to me called How-do (sub-headed: News, opinion and resources for the North West media industry). In terms of keeping up with who’s who and what’s happening in the media in that part of the country How-do is actually a very useful site. Makes the place seem vibrant and busy and connected (which of course is probably how it is).

So I’m really just wondering what we’d get out of a Top 100 people in the Media in the West Midlands list. The media has seven entrants in the Birmingham Post’s Power 50 but maybe it’s time we deemed it mature enough to get a list of its own. 

Oh and before we begin; this is the meedja I’m talking about: TV, radio, the press and publishing, film and production, new media, PR and advertising. NOT the arts. They can sod off and do their own top 100. Any suggestions? Bob Warman at number 47 anyone? And no jokes about there not being a 100 to choose from.

(pic from flickr: andreaweckerie)

Links for November 4th through November 6th

Some links for you:

Creative Industries Book Club

Now here’s a great idea: today we had the first meeting in Birmingham of a book club looking at books and policy documents of relevance to the Creative Industries. At the moment it consists of a small group of academics/researchers/lecturers at Birmingham City University but the plan is to widen its scope. Evidence of that comes from the fact that even though I’ve moved on I still got an invite as did someone who works for the Arts council and Creative Partnerships.

Up for discussion was ‘We-think’ by Charles Leadbetter. At the risk of truncating what was a wide-ranging discussion I’ll just say that nobody really thought the book was that great to be honest. Generally it’s so utopian about the future of how we function as a society, as shaped by the collaborative influence of the internet, that one of our group described it as “like overdosing on marshmallows or a double-dose of ecstasy with crack on top”. Many of the examples given in the book to exemplify We-think in action lack a sufficient depth (and in parts seem curiously under-researched) but there was value in some of them in highlighting that collaboration as Leadbetter conceptualises it isn’t a new thing. 

We touched on big themes – the role of cultural studies, the public sphere, praxis, technological determinism – and suggested that this was a book that would appeal to policy makers since it identified in straightforward terms the kind of opportunities for positive action that the web offers. That’s not a criticism (that policy-makers somehow can’t read complex stuff), rather a strength since academics who can articulate in clear terms are to be applauded. Which makes the lack of rigour in the book all the more disappointing, as is the occasional attempt at futurology – inadvisable in an era of such rapid change.

The above does little justice to two hours of superb debate and a realisation that this kind of discussion should also involve others who want to raise the level of debate about the Creative and Cultural Industries. It’s not in my remit to dish out invites but we meet again on the 17th December – drop a line to paul.long [at] bcu.ac.uk if you’re interested.

Up for discussion next the very-difficult-to-find-at-a-reasonable-price John Hope Mason’s ‘The Value of Creativity’ in the context of the government’s Creative Britain policy paper from earlier this year.

(pic by Sifter – British Library Reading room)

Paula Radcliffe to run 2009 Birmingham Half marathon

…according to Monday’s Guardian anyway:

“November 2009: Three marathons in a year might be tough but will she resist the temptation of being back in New York? She might opt for the world half marathon the month before in Birmingham as well”


In fact I’d mentioned this as a possibility to a couple of people recently and there is some logic in thinking she’ll come to Brum. This year she would have gone to the world half marathon championship as preparation for running the New York Marathon which she won in style on Sunday. However, as the halves were in Brazil she opted for the 10 mile Great South Run instead.

So next year, if she decides to run New York again, I reckon the Guardian have it spot on and she’ll come to next year’s world halves in Birmingham in October as well. Now that would be just great, both for the city as a whole and for us runners who would have the privilege of running in the same race as her in our home town. The thought of Paula legging it past the Bartons Arms and avoiding bolshy Sunday shoppers at the back of Rackhams fills me with glee. Bring it on!

(pic by matt semel)

Links for October 28th through November 2nd

Some links for you:

  • 4iP | School for Startups and 4iP-y ideas – "In your market segment, what do the customers have in common and is this group of customers growing? Where’s the proof that it’s growing? What other segments adjoin this group. What unique capabilities would make this appropriate for another, adjoining segment? All of these questions help come up with ideas for the web, mobile or in social gaming which will not end up one-hit-wonders, but which will find growth well into the future without the need for much more support from 4iP."
  • More than just watching TV | BBC Internet Blog – "Watching TV is more than just watching TV – how you need to understand people to create successful technology". Nice diagram with this one – go check it out.
  • 4iP | What is 4iP not? – Just in case you needed reminding…..
  • Matthew Postgate appointed as Controller of BBC R&I « TEST – Matt Locke, himself former BBC, suggests "five things that would be inspiring, intriguing, or even controversial" for the BBC's new head of research and innovation at BBC Future Media and Technology.
  • BBC NEWS | Health | Saving lives in a virtual world – Example of how Second Life can be used as a learning tool.