Words come when you need them

I have been proud to work with The Glenlivet for the last 18 months. planning their global digital programme - but the time has come to hand over to another agency to take this forward.

It was a hard call and I needed a boost, something to remind me that whenever you hand on work it means something new is around the corner. Apt then that I found this on the first page of The Glenlivet's Moleskin notebook ...  

"You have to invent something. Do something no one has ever done before.
See the world differently. Describe the world differently.
You must stand firm.
Be popular one day. Be unpopular the next.
And stick to your guns regardless.
Be brave.
Forge ahead."    


To Twitter, my love

A love letter to Twitter, whom I once loved

It was three years ago. We'd flirted at a few parties but I just couldn't understand you: I followed you, but you didn't follow me back. I called out "Hello World" but not a chirp.  Ignoring the advice of others I gave you up.

Of course I thought of you. I tried to shut you out but I kept hearing your name on everyone’s lips. Even Philip Scofield was talking about you.

Then we bumped into each other at some work event I'd been pressed into.  It was electric, you followed me, then I followed you, and suddenly … we were surrounded with people: you and me at the heart of a thousand conversations.

Oh that night, and the many nights we shared. Of ignoring people we had long known in favour of the unknown, of staying up later and later to never miss a moment together...

That was three years ago now. I'm not saying we've changed. Oh, who am I kidding, of course we've changed. No don't look away, you know it's true. The passion has gone, well it has hasn't it? We shared everything with each other, not a moment wasn’t recorded and broadcast. Our very location drew comments or people checking in with us but now our relationship is more and more, well, normal. The honeymoon is over.

I still love you, of course. How could I not? We moved together, changed jobs - life before is a distant memory. Everything is different now but for the better. We still laugh, and sometimes not just in nostalgia. And we learn from each other, debate and banter. We'll not weary quite yet, are we?

I just wanted to ensure I recorded these words lest we forget ourselves, and what we once had and might not again.

I MADE IT #techbikers

I made it from Paris to London on a bike, almost 200 miles (minus a little when we got flooded off the Sussex hills) over 3 days with 40 others to raise money for Room to Read. Thank you to those who supported me with donations, tweets and Facebook messages, it made all the difference to what was the most gruelling thing I have ever done.

Be it the frosty mornings, the pea-soup fog at 40 miles an hour, the river that was once a road I cycled up or the 10 mile stretches all uphill each mile I cycled closer to home broke me but renewed me at the same time.

I know lots of you were waiting for payday to support me - this means a lot and each donation after the event has been an extra pat on the back: if you can, support me here

Some stats for the group:  

  • Collective miles cycled: 6,925
  • Collective calories burned: 68,634
  • Collective pedal revolutions: 3,985,200 (Four million!!)
  • Collective feet climbed: 197,702

To add some context, that means the team cycled from London to Mount Everest, and along the way ascended its height seven times over.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you,


Support here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/techbikers

Things you should know if you work in digital communications: some history

I was rendered unusually speechless on Monday evening and I wanted to put you in the situation and ask what you think. The scene is a Social Media Week conference, 150 professionals interested in digital communications, are packed into a room and as an aside a speaker says “Hands up who has heard of Alan Turing?". How many hands do you think go up?


Yes, three. Three hands go up in the room to signal that they know of the man who by played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer.

Come on, something is wrong when people don’t know the origins of the technology that allowed social media to exist, right? I wanted to ask the room if they know who Tim Berners-Lee is, but I refrained; I might leap into the Thames if I didn’t see 150 hands go up.

Does history matter?

Do words mean the same to say as to hear?

That old adage about us all seeing the colour red differently* got me thinking, what about words and interpretation?

We use words as currency or placeholders to sum up different emotions in shorthand. The problem with this is in the interpretation - although the words we use commonly should have a common meaning for them to be effective, we in fact all have our own interpretations. 

Take the straightforward word “grumpy” - what does this mean to you? If someone described you as grumpy would they be saying that you be upset, depressed, angry, frustrated ... ? I debated this with a friend recently and we both disagreed fundamentally about the specifics, so I want to know what you think?

How would you describe grumpy?

*Apparently this is rot and we do in fact see almost the same colour as each other ...


On a related note, this is fascinating  Linguistic relativity and the color naming debate