Tim Lloyd last month asked the question What Does a Digital Press Office Look Like ? What caught my attention was that the press office Lloyd pictures has a TV screen for displaying a social media dashboard. Which is exactly what we have in the office.
With the explosion of social media I have worked with a number of teams who are either located in the Marketing department (such as at Figleaves.com), or online teams who are either editorial (Sun Newspaper) or merchandising (Agent Provocateur) depending on the products they support. I am currently experiencing what it is like to work within a Communications and PR department. It is the first place I have worked, which has a wall mounted television displaying tweetdeck.
This new experience for me has reinforced Lloyd’s observation that monitoring or as Lloyd puts it “listening to the web” is very valuable. Reuters have just released a video on how they monitor breaking news stories. Again the emphasis is on gathering analysis and checking facts. To paraphrase @fionamclaren we like this because it is how we twitter junkies monitor news stories at home or in my case from my brother’s home wondering if I can get back through the rioting and looting.
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During the buzz of London 2012 One Year to Go celebrations and my teams very well received competitive tweeting campaign I was introduced to Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith.We loved his teams visualisations of the 1yr2go campaign, so it was with excitement that I tore myself away from work ‘s summer party for my first visit to the London Transport Museum.
London Transport Museum is exquisite. One has to wander through an array of London buses old and new to attend the exhibit. I met Hudson-Smith sheltering in a proposed future bus shelter and he kindly showed me the city scape data visualisations from Carlo Ratti of MIT, Aaron Koblin of Google Creative alongside his own Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. Publicised best as ‘beautiful data’.
I found the past future sections the most riveting. Here was a series of images that showed transport of the future as imagined in the past. Robotic driven trains and flying cars.
Most disturbing were the objects that I would once have considered every day. Such as AtoZ or the floppy diskette . The curator of this section was deeply excited by her eBay shopping. Next time, I suggested, she should come over to my house and grab my old technology from the loft. Equally bizarre was the inclusion of a terminology section detailing words such as blog and tweet.
The star exhibit for me was this set of Modern Mechanix magazines. It was also purchased from eBay. I love that every transport on the cover has materialised in some form but doesn’t look nearly as beautiful as these illustrations. I do think we are poorer for not living the alternative universes shown in this exhibit.
Until Sunday 18 March 2012