Monthly Archives: May 2010

Hype Pad

How revolutionary will the iPad actually be? There’s a suddenly a big opportunity for Apple to provide a much needed boost to publishing and media brands using enhanced digital content, music, video and social networking. But it’s by no means guaranteed. Here’s my feature as it appeared on the shelves last week, published courtesy of Design Week: (post updated 28 May 2010)

We all knew it would be big news, but just how big will the iPad turn out to be? If you work in the digital media space, the chances are you’ve had one of Apple’s new ’tablets’ knocking around the studio for weeks, while everyone else in the UK waits patiently just to find out the release date.

Even so, the blaze of media coverage has been so prolific that we already know what it looks like, how it works, and that it’s sizzling on the shelves in the US – Macworld reports the iPad hit the one million sales mark in 28 days, almost three times faster than the iPhone.

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Design underinvests in its people

This article was published in Design Week’s supplement on Continuing Professional Development (May 6th), and can be downloaded from the DW website.

Does the design industry actually need to take training so seriously? After all, design studios are innovative and creative hothouses full of naturally inquisitive and adaptive people who never stop learning and thinking. Everything they do deepens their professional experience and quality of work. We learn on the job, that’s all there is to it.

This sounds like a nice theory but the fact is it doesn’t add up in practice. At the end of the day, all the evidence suggests design groups just aren’t doing enough to train their staff. In fact, design consultancies Continue reading

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The real digital election just began

Despite predictions that this would be the first truly digital election, it really hasn’t felt like it. Facebook managed to recruit the young vote, but there was no Obama-like swelling of the ranks, nor any great campaigning moments for any party. Claims yesterday that the Conservatives had stolen the social media high ground by buying YouTube’s homepage for the day, frankly, felt pretty thin.

But today, as the country and its elected representatives sit in some sort of electoral purdah, the BBC is reporting unprecedented web traffic to its UK news site. We just can’t get enough.

As I sit typing here at 1.19pm, the country sits glued to the networks, waiting for the last 25 of the 650 parliamentary seats to be called, knowing no single party can form a majority on its own. While MPs bargain behind Whitehall’s closed doors the real digital election is happening now, on the broadcasts, posts and chat of the post-election news sites – BBC, ITV, and Sky.

Media owners understand that the race is still on to break the hottest political story since the Obama victory – that someone, we don’t quite know who, will manage to wrestle up a UK coalition government worthy of its own 24 hour news channel for the short time it must surely last.

Mike Exon

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