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Month: March 2011

Au Revoir, Publican

Publican Newspaper - October 1996

In the mid-90s, I finally got myself out of university, and into the working population. And my first job was on a weekly B2B magazine – for the pub trade. This week, that publication puts out its last issue, before it merges with its long-term rival, the Morning Advertiser (called the Licensee back then)

The current staff have just published a retrospective of the title’s 36 years, and have included an issue I worked on (right). I remember vividly the very first sample crate of the very first alcopop (Hooper’s Hooch) arriving in the office, not long after I joined, and the staff generally poo-pooing the concept. Oops.

Another little bit of the print heritage of B2B passes into history. Of all the magazines I’ve worked on full-time, only one is still publishing now. Times really are changing…

Afternoon Coffee Reading – 30th March 2011

Coffee and laptop

The tabs in my browser were getting out of hand. Time for a link dump:

Vale Computer Weekly


I didn’t want to let the working day end without a quick post to acknowledge the news that RBI – my employer – is in the process of concluding a sale of Computer Weekly and Microscope to TechTarget.

Obviously, there’s not a huge amount I can say about this at the moment, as the sale process is still in progress, but there are a couple of things I’d like to mention. The first is that I’m surprised that so many people are surprised by the proposed closure of the print products with the sale. RBI itself has followed this path in the past, and given the size of the magazines these days, focusing and investing in the online business seems like the right strategy for the new owners, especially in the computer trade…

Also, there have been a number of tweets of this nature in the past 12 hours or so:

RBI sells Computer Weekly and title goes online only, at @pressgazettehttp://bit.ly/hD4H8L << Dismembering Reedless than a minute ago via web

Now, while Jack has never been one to shy away from a bit of controversy, I think this is just plain wrong. This isn’t RBI being dismembered, but part of a long process of refocusing the business. Oddly enough, the sales get all the attention, the investments and acquisitions get much less play…

Update: I feel the need to clarify after an accusation of corporate mealy-mouth syndrome. RBI is a radically different company to the one I joined in 1997, and even the one it was when I moved into editorial development in 2006. I truly believe that this evolution is a good thing – it has become the sort of company that can survive the rapidly changing times for the publishing business we’re in right now. If I didn’t think the ship was steering the right way, I’d have jumped overboard a long time ago…

A simple path to productivity

Hotdesking at estatesgazette.com's offices

This post on Unclutterer might go some way to explaining why I’m always so productive when I’m hotdesking from the Estates Gazette offices in Holborn:

When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.

My work environment here is hardly rich in clutter, as you can see…

Reading the Internet: it’s work, honest

Mary Hamilton:

I take what I’ve read and I pass the best bits on, because that’s the other kind of journalism I do, and because I hope that my personal Twitter account is just as much a resource and a source as any professional one, and I hold myself to higher standards still. And I keep what’s relevant and use it every day to inform the decisions I make and the way I work, to back up my hunches and make sure I’m always learning more about what I’m doing.

I, too, have a job where reading the internet is in the job description. Honestly, it rocks. Feel free to hate us now.