Critique of a website: The Times Online

May 8, 2010

 I have critiqued how well The Times Online engages with its users through use of searchability, usability, navigation, design, content and interactivity. The findings of which are as follows:

Searchability

  • – When searching ‘The Times Online’ or ‘The Times’ in popular search engines (Google, MSN search, Yahoo and Ask) the first result is The Times Online with several links to different sections of the website proceeding it, as such it uses its potential search engine optimisation.

Usability

  • – The Times Online is quite simple to get to grips with and easy to use. The hyperlinks work and pages are quick to load which makes for a stable website that works to its advantage as users are likely to return.
  • – Generally, it is easy to find information on The Times Online which fulfils its purpose to inform the reader. However, it was found that there might be slight confusion for users that were using the website to look for holidays. It may be assumed that ‘holidays’ would be located under ‘travel’ in the navigation bar whereas it’s actually located under ‘jobs and classifieds’ leading the user to the ‘travel directory’ but with useful navigation tools, the user will not get lost.

Navigation

  • – There is one main horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page on The Times Online which makes the website simple to use.
  • – It reads left to right which is natural, logical and easy to follow.
  • – There is a secondary horizontal navigation bar at the bottom of the page that repeats the same links as the navigation bar at the top. This allows the user to read to the bottom of the page and be directed to pages without having to scroll back to the top of the page.
  • – The hyperlinks are clearly signposted making it efficient for the user to navigate around the website.
  • – There is a lot of intra-linking which keeps the user contained to the website and creates more hits.
  • – At the top and bottom of every page there’s a “where am I?” hyperlink that tracks the page that the user goes to recording their history which makes it easy for the user to back track and not get lost
  • – There is also a search bar at both the top and bottom of the page which makes it easier for the user to find their desired content.

Design

  • – The layout is simple but effective, there is a white background and a consistent colour theme that matches the logo which looks professional and does not distract from the content.
  • – The main site logo constantly stays at the top left of the page when navigating around the site which makes the website consistent.
  • – There is an advertisement above the main site logo. This could be considered as distracting from the content.  However, as it’s above the logo, at a glance, it’s not noticeable and is separate from the main page.
  • – The homepage is divided into two columns, seperating information.
  • – The left hand column features news stories that have been divided into categories with hyperlinked bold sub-headings. The headings break up information which makes it easy for the user to scan the text and find the latest news stories according to their interests.
  • – In the left hand column, hyperlinked images are used to grab attention and direct users to featured news stories and generally, this is effective.  However, around the website it is found that images have been stretched. This is unimpressive and looks unprofessional.
  • – In contrast to the left hand column, the right hand column is unorganised and cluttered with a mixture of adverts and information. An example of this is that a box containing the popular searches of The Times Online is halfway down the page, below several advertisements which can be confusing to the user and may be better suited at the top to encourage and direct users.

Content

  • – As The Times Online is a News website, visitors have expectations to find the latest information and the content must be kept up-to-date for visitors to return. The Times Online updates the content regularly, so the users know that they are getting the latest information this is a reason for its popularity.
  • – The stories on The Times Online are arranged in order of importance which makes the information easily accessible and suits the websites purpose.
  • – The Times Online has the right amount of information for the user to feel informed without overload.
  • – The Times Online also features some UGC* in which users are invited to submit and publish reviews. These can be found in the entertainment section, this is unique information that visitors cannot read elsewhere which also offers users a sense of importance, believing that what they say matters.

Interactivity

  • – The use of video on The Times Online offers visual stimulation and breaks up text to make a story more interesting.
  • – On The Times Online users have the option to sign up to the website where they are able to create a profile. Once a member, users have access to a range of interactive features including: competitions, games and puzzles, polls and the ability to comment on news articles which is successful in building a community and encourages users to return.

*User Generated Content

This critique was heavily influenced by the work of Jakob Nielsen.

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A short story

May 4, 2010

This is a short story that I have written for my professional writing unit.

Acceptance

“Good morning sweetheart” I whispered into my wife, Gemma’s ear.

Her response was indecipherable, a grumble. I stroked her hair and she stirred, opening her eyes for a split second before deciding that the light of the mid morning sun was too much to bear. It is summer and the sun streamed through the blinds, heating up the room to an uncomfortable temperature. The fan located to the right of the bed on the chest seemed to be redundant, only recycling the warm air rather than actually cooling it. Today is Sunday, Sunday is my favourite day, our favourite day. As it is a Sunday, the alarm has been disabled allowing us to sleep in, a luxury which I normally appreciated but the heat of the room made a lie-in impossible today.

I looked at Gemma lying peaceful, silent, and seemingly unaware of the dense heat that blanketed us. She looked cool and calm and beautiful as ever, her curly red hair framed her face as she lay. Her unusual red hair is something that had attracted me to her, the clash of the red with the green of her eyes screamed spectacular beauty to me. She was like no one I had ever seen before and every day I wake grateful to be graced by the sight of her. I brushed her hair from her eyes and kissed her forehead and she woke.

“How long have you been awake?” she smiled.

“Not long” I replied.

“I suppose it’s time to start the day” she sighed exhaling deeply before continuing “What time is it?”

I checked the alarm clock before turning to her “It’s only 10:31”

She got out of bed and sauntered to the bathroom. She mumbled something as she left the room but I didn’t catch it.

We live in a one bedroom flat in the East of London. The flat is decorated modestly, a collection of both mine and Gemma’s belongings. Although it was far from perfect it had a rather homely feel to it. There is a narrow hallway as you walk through the front door, which is where we dump our coats and shoes. To the left as you walk in leads to the open plan kitchen/living room and straight ahead leads to our bedroom and ensuite. Traces of Gemma were all over the flat, the vase of flowers in the hallway, the cushions strewn on the sofa, the incense sticks in the bedroom, the photographs of us and the family throughout. It was a relaxing place to escape to, a place that was ours.

Gemma came back into the room, whilst brushing her teeth and said something to me whilst trying to control the toothpaste foam dripping from her mouth.

“Did you sleep okay?”

I think that is what she was trying to say although it sounded significantly different to that. I nodded at her and smiled politely and she attempted to smile back.

I turned to retract the blinds to allow more air to circulate the room, as I leaned out of the window my face was hit by a hazy breeze. Inhaling deeply, the smell of petrol and exhaust fumes stimulated my nostrils. I glanced across the street, there were children playing in the park opposite. I could hear a faint sound of screams and laughter muffled by the sounds of the city.

Several lazy hours rolled by. In that time, I went to the market to pick up some fresh vegetables for dinner whilst Gemma showered and changed. Together we completed the majority of the crossword puzzle (something that we attempted every Sunday) had a roast dinner with all the trimmings and were now collapsed sprawled on the sofa in front of the television.

We had just got comfortable when without warning the doorbell rang. I felt uneasy. We don’t often get visitors and the flat wasn’t tidy enough to entertain.

“I’ll get it” Gemma said, she had obviously noted my expression of unease.

“No, it’s fine, I’ll get it, you stay there” I replied sounding noticeably worried.

I stood up slowly and took a deep breath in, holding it until I reached the door. I looked through the spy hole. It was someone I didn’t recognise. Thoughts raced in my head, I felt irrational, afraid. I took hold of the handle and opened the door.

“Hello Mr. Wilson… is it alright if I call you Gregory?” she said politely, with an aura of calmness.

“Hello, yes, call me Greg” my voice had begun to tremble, affected by my fear.

“I thought maybe I could pop in and have a word with you, have you got a few minutes?”

“Who are you?” I questioned.

“My name is Hillary Wheeler, I’m from the Royal London Hospital. I’ve just come here to check up on you”

“Check up on me? What do you mean check up on me?”

“Honey who is it?” Gemma shouted from the living room.

“It’s no one” I shouted a reply to Gemma.

I turned to Hillary, looking her up and down. She was a young woman, shorter than average in height. She had a slim figure disguised in a baggy shirt and ill fitting jeans. She had short brown hair and matching brown eyes. She was pretty, but nothing like my Gemma. She looked at me, not like you normally look at someone. No, I mean she really looked at me, as if she were studying my every move. She looked at me analytically, critically, and I didn’t like it. Besides, what did she mean, ‘check up on me’.

“So can I come in?” she repeated.

“I suppose”

***

I followed closely behind Greg, he seemed uneasy about my visit, perhaps he didn’t receive the call of warning from the hospital. The flat was like nothing I had ever witnessed. The first thing that hit me was the putrid smell of mould and decay. I had to prevent myself from gagging. As I stepped through the door I stumbled over piles of old mail. Weeks old I suspected. I ran my hands up the wallpaper which was saturated with damp, it felt cold and oily. I quickly withdrew my hand and kept it closely to my side. I walked past the small table in the hallway which on it lay a telephone. I noticed that the answer machine had 23 blinking messages, that would explain why he didn’t know I was coming I thought.

“I’m sorry it’s not very tidy, we weren’t expecting company” Greg turned to me.

“Come through here” Greg said, leading the way.

I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see. As Greg opened the door, the buzzing of flies could be heard and I was exposed to the full smell of rotten food. Reluctantly, I followed him in to the room. My face contorted as I recoiled in disgust. The living room was a mess. There were clothes, mugs and newspapers all strewn across the room. There was nowhere to sit and little floor space to even stand. The filth was indescribable. I stepped further into the room and looked to the right, the kitchen. Plates upon plates of uneaten rotten food were stacked on every available surface. I held my breath to avoid the stench and then suddenly something moved underneath an old newspaper an inch away from where I was stood. Greg looked at me, apparently unaware of filth in which he lived.

***

“Mr. Wilson, there is no easy way of saying this but I am here to assess your mental condition”

Hillary stared at me as if to gauge my reaction. I didn’t know what to say or indeed what she was saying.

“What does she mean your mental condition honey, who is the woman?” Gemma looked up at me from the sofa.

“I’m not sure Gemma, her name’s Hillary, she’s from the hospital” I answered.

“Who are you talking to Greg?” Hillary said looking at me concerned.

“Oh, sorry, I haven’t introduced you both, Hillary, this is my wife Gemma” I pointed to where Gemma was sat.

Hillary looked to where I had pointed. She then looked at me and frowned.

“There’s no one there Greg” she said calmly

“What do you mean there’s no one there? Gemma is there, she’s sat right there!” I said looking at Gemma.

“Greg, your wife Gemma died in a tragic car accident three weeks ago. You were with her in the car when it crashed and rather incredibly you managed to survive. Stricken with guilt, you’ve taken the accident very badly and have experienced exceptional traumatic shock and severe depression.

“The hospital have called you several times urging you to book an appointment, these calls went unanswered and as such I have been sent around for a home visit to assess your mental state”

Hillary looked at me with such concern, I listened to her words and the crash replayed in my head over and over again. I fell to my knees and broke down in tears. She knelt down beside me and told me that understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.


Photo blog of Westward Ho!

April 29, 2010

Saying that i’m from Devon usually generates some interest. I live on the outskirts of Bideford, between the seaside town of Westward Ho! and the little village of Northam. During the Easter break, I returned to my home town. I’ve found that since moving away to university, i’ve developed a new appreciation for the area. Before moving away, I saw it as slow-paced dull town with little to do. This is still true. However, more recently i’ve noticed what a beautiful area it is and seeing it through fresh eyes has certainly changed my perceptions. I’ve decided to capture the area of Westward Ho! (The only place on the map with an exclamation mark) to show you where I live and how beautiful it is:


A students guide to saving money

March 27, 2010

I’m absolutely terrible at saving money, always have been. If I’ve got it, I’ll spend it. Uni is a costly experience from tuition fee’s and textbooks to having a life. With the cost of tuition fee’s rising, here are a few ways to save money which I have learnt since being at Bournemouth Uni:

  1. Make your own sandwiches instead of buying them, ditto for coffee/tea. Probably about £5 saving a week, possibly more depending on how much of a caffine addict you are.
  2. Don’t eat so many takeaways. I’d be a hypocrite If I said don’t eat any, it’s quick and easy and yummy. Here is a website that may save you a bucketload on pizza from Dominos and other highstreet shops.
  3. Don’t be a snob when it comes to doing the weekly food shop. As much as Waitrose may appeal, it’s not really suited to the student budget. Also, don’t be fooled by the deals at ASDA. Just because they’re selling four jars of pickled eggs for £3.. doesn’t mean you need four jars of pickled eggs. Lidl, Iceland and Aldi are your friends, I will personally recommend the £1.99 curry from Lidl, yum! Oh, and plan your meals for the week so you only buy what you need and never go shopping hungry, you’ll end up buying the entire stand of Pringles, just sayin’
  4. Keep a jar for loose change. If your wallet/purse is clogged with 1ps, 2ps and 5ps like mine, don’t scatter them around your room. Keeping a jar of change comes in really useful when you’re running late and you need money for the bus, plus it means you don’t have to break in to a note.
  5. Don’t get store cards, they’re dangerous, same with credit cards.
  6. Stay at home more often, you don’t need to go out on the lash every night. Your liver will thank me. Go to the cinema or stay in and watch evening tv with the housemates, it can be just as fun and a hell of a lot cheaper. Also you get to remember the evening, bonus.
  7. If you are going to ignore #6 then drink cheap. It is a lot cheaper to buy booze from a supermarket and drink before you go out then it is to buy alcohol from bars. The pre-lash at someones house is also a lot of fun!
  8. Make use of your student card. There are probably loads of places that you can use it that you didn’t even realise. Did you know that you can get a free McFlurry, or Cheeseburger from Maccy D’s when you present a valid student card?  lovely. With discounts varying from 10% to 20% you can’t go wrong. There’s no harm in asking.
  9. Share meals with housemates, you can all cook together and have a bit of bonding. It means that you don’t cook four persons worth of pasta for yourself and throw 3/4 of it away. If you don’t know what to cook, you don’t have much food or your cooking skills are limited then this may help you.
  10. Buy books second hand or from Amazon. I’ve bought a few books required for my course on Amazon for a penny, bargain!

An example of a script: ‘A Murder Forgotten’

March 25, 2010

Here is a peice of work that I’ve recently handed in for the professional writing unit as a part of my course. It is a script written with the aid of the BBC writers room. Inspired by my favourite crime/thriller author, Nicci French.

A Murder Forgotten

INT. HOSPITAL – DAY

A Blurred shot of a hospital room. Doctors and nurses can just be made out gathered around a hospital bed. A young blonde haired woman (MARIA CARLYLE) is laid in the bed.

VOICE OVER (MARIA’s thoughts)

This was it, my time was up. This was the day I was due to die I thought. I knew I was gone, lost somewhere timeless, dark. My thoughts were racing in my head but I was still dimly aware of movement. Is this what death is like? My eyelids fluttered and relief flooded over me, I could see shapes, hear voices. I mustered all of my energy to open my eyes and everything was clear.

The once blurred shot of the hospital room focuses. There is one doctor stood at Maria’s side.

DOCTOR SMITH

Good afternoon Maria, how are you feeling?

MARIA

Confused and sore. What’s happened? … Where am I?

Maria touches her head and recoils in shock and pain. Her face contorts as she struggles to focus on Doctor Smith and the confusion of the situation.

DOCTER SMITH

You have suffered major traumatic brain injury which has been caused by a jolt or blow to the head. It’s likely that you’ll have suffered significant memory loss from the accident, you’re lucky that you survived people often don’t recover from head-blows such like this.

MARIA

I don’t understand, how did this happen? How did I get here?

CUT TO:

INT. COFFEE SHOP – DAY (FLASHBACK)

Yesterday at 12.00 pm, a close up of Maria buys a coffee and a sandwich. The till assistant smiles at Maria, Maria returns the smile politely.

INT. GROCERY STORE – DAY (FLASHBACK)

Yesterday 2.00pm, a mid shot of Maria carrying a basket filled with a few essentials, bread, milk and eggs whilst holding and contemplating buying a bottle of red wine.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF MARIA’S FLAT – EVENING (FLASHBACK)

Yesterday at 11.00pm Maria is having an argument with a man, his face is blurred and his words are unclear but have an angry tone.

INT. MARIA’S FLAT – EVENING (FLASHBACK)

Earlier today at 1.00am, an object is hurtling towards Maria.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL – DAY CONT’D

Mid shot of Maria as she screws up her face pulling her hair back with both of her hands it is unsure as to whether she is trying to making sense of her thoughts or shut them out.

DOCTOR SMITH

You were brought in to the hospital in the early hours of the morning by a young man who is sat in the waiting room at the moment would you like me to send him in?

MARIA

Yes of course, send him in.

DOCTOR SMITH

I will but before I leave is there anybody you’d like me to contact for you? Are there any friends or family…

Maria thinks for a split second before interrupting.

MARIA

No thank you, I’ll be fine.

DOCTOR SMITH

Oh okay are you sure? It’s just after accidents such as these you may need someone to remind you of…

MARIA

I’ll be fine.

DOCTOR SMITH

Okay well, I’ll be in to check on you again in a little while, I’ll send Mark in.

Maria looks puzzled. The name Mark resounds in her head trying to think of a Mark she knows that could be her rescuer.

MARIA (Quietly, almost miming)

Mark, Mark, Mark… Mark from work? Hmm, Mark from the bar?

Maria continues thinking aloud as Mark walks in, she is embarrassed from being caught talking to herself and tries to recover.

MARIA

Ah yes, Mark, welcome, I have been expecting you, sit down.

Mark, a young man in his mid to late twenties who is startlingly handsome enters; he is wearing a suit jacket with a hooded jumper underneath matched with a pair of ripped jeans and converse trainers, hesitates then sits down next to the bed nervously.

MARK

Hey, how are you feeling, do you remember anything?

MARIA

I’ve felt better (forces a laugh). No, I thought perhaps that is where you could help me.

MARK

The doctors tell me you’re lucky to be alive and that I’m some form of hero, I don’t believe that.

MARIA

I do… Thank you. I don’t mean to be rude it’s just that I have no recollection of your face. I mean, I have always been a faces rather than a names girl and I just, I can’t place you.

MARK

(laughs) Don’t be silly it’s not rude to not remember. The doctors say that memory loss is inevitable. My name is Mark Stokoe. I found you a few feet from what I would assume is your flat, you were in a bad way so I brought you here. Do you not remember anything?

MARIA

No, I don’t. Well, thank you Mark Stokoe for bringing me here.

Maria smiles at Mark and he smiles back, their conversation is interrupted by Doctor Smith who knocks lightly on the door then enters.

DOCTOR SMITH

Sorry to interrupt but Inspector Marsh is here to see you and he’d like a few words Maria, do you feel up to it?

MARK

I’ll leave you to it.

MARIA

Thank you, would you mind staying for a little while? It’s just there are a few more questions I’d like to ask you.

MARK

Not at all, I’ll be in the waiting room

Mark smiles at Maria and exits the hospital room.

MARIA

Sorry Doctor. (Maria squints whilst attempting to read DR. Smith’s badge)Smith is it? Yes I don’t mind speaking to the police, send them in.

Doctor Smith exits the room and then enters two policemen, one is tall and slender (MARSH), the other is short and overweight (BAIRD), the shorter of the two is carrying a pen and notepad.

MARSH

Good afternoon Maria, I’m Inspector Lloyd Marsh and this is my partner, Christopher Baird. We’re both very sorry to hear of your ordeal, we’re just here to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind.

MARIA

I don’t mind, unfortunately my memory is a little hazy so I don’t know how helpful I will be to you both.

BAIRD

Not to worry.

MARSH

Can you think of anybody that you may have upset?

CUT TO:

INT. MARIA’S FLAT – NIGHT

Yesterday at 1.30am, Close up of gloved hands that have blood on them, the gloves are removed and disposed of. The person is cleaning up splatters of blood and whistling a tune whilst doing so. The person is not revealed, the face is hidden, blurred.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL – DAY CONT’D

MARIA

I’ve not upset anyone enough to bash my head in, if that’s what you are insinuating.

MARSH

We are not insinuating anything Miss Carlyle. Incidents like this are unlikely to be random, without cause.

MARIA

I didn’t bring this on myself. I’m the victim here!

BAIRD

I’m sorry about my partner Maria. We’re simply asking if there is anyone in your life at the moment with a motive to harm you.

MARSH

Or the capability.


What Katie did to Princess next

February 25, 2010

Princess Tiamii with straightened hair

This is a continuation of my outrage of the ‘beautification’ of Princess Tiamii by Katie Price. Last week, having watched What Katie Did Next I was disgusted that Katie had dolled Princess up in make-up and fake eyelashes so wrote a blog. This week, I feel I need to continue the rant as she takes a straightening iron to the two-year old’s naturally curly locks.

Princess Tiamii is an absolutely gorgeous two-year old girl and without resulting to swearing it really annoys me that she is being exposed to make-up/straighteners at this age. It is likely to lead to low self esteem and low body image, the feeling that she is not good enough or that she has to change the way she looks to feel accepted and where is the route? Her mother! Increasingly we are seeing the issue of low self esteem stemming from ages 6+ the last thing our society needs is parents of young’uns who look up to Katie Price following in her steps ‘beautifying’ their daughters lowering the age of self hatred to just two years of age.

This. Must. Stop


25th Anniversary live Eastenders episode

February 19, 2010

It’s all that everyone has been talking about since before Christmas and I cannot wait until people stop jibbering on about it!  For the marking of the 25th anniversary of Eastenders a live episode is to be shown on BBC one at 8.00pm on the 19th February.

Is it a wise choice for those actors so used to pre-recorded Drama to go live? Only time will tell and this blog shall update with the verdict post 8.30pm.

As I edge closer to the tele, hooked in to the story, i’ll be thinking the same thing as you: “Please muck up! Please publically humiliate yourself on national television!”

Okay, it is now, 8.36pm and we’ve tuned over to BBC 3 for the ‘backstage’ coverage. As the opening titles of Eastenders were rolling I couldn’t help but feel for the actors and crew, the adrenaline they must have been feeling must have been overwhelming! I found the live episode on the whole, to be executed very well. It was evident that it was a tough task for everyone involved and unfortunately there were very few muck ups by the actors which was disappointing. In various points in the show there were a few errors with camera angles/positioning but I suppose technical hiccups are to be expected especially in this experimental episode. When comparing the live episode of Eastenders to the regular ol’ episodes I found the cuts to be quite strange. I also noticed how much soaps rely on sound effects for scene transition.

Still – what an unexpected ending! Stacey.. How could you?

In answer to the question should pre-recorded Drama go live? I think not. I thought it made for a brilliant one-off and a great way to (finally) finish the storyline whodunnit of the death of Archie Mitchell but for the regular episodes? I think they are just fine as they are.

It is thought to believe that Stacey looked something like this before the attack on Archie:

Just kidding, that’s just my interpretation and if I’m honest, the best of my Paint skills.


Q&A: Reading the life of Jess Storey

February 19, 2010

Jess Storey is a 19 year old Communication and Media BA (Hons) student at Bournemouth University. To find out a little more about Jess I decided to grill her about everything from what she does in her spare time, to her future aspirations. To make it interesting, I challenged her to answer Twitter-stylee, in 140 characters or less. Here’s the outcome:

A normal day in the life of Jess

Describe yourself in three words:

A Smiley, bubbly and (slightly) sarcastic

Q What was the last thing you bought?

A I bought a Costa Coffee this morning, I’m not a huge fan but I find that at Uni I’m always sucked into buying one

Q If you could compare yourself to any celebrity (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

A It would probably be Alan Titmarsh because I’m a floral girl

Q If money was no object where would you like to travel?

A The world.. specifically Australia, Fiji islands, America again and those like, deserted islands that they use in films in stuff with white sand and clear sea.

Q You said you’ve been to America already, how old were you? What was your favourite memory of that holiday?

A From about 13 I’ve visited Boston, New york, LA, San Francisco, Arizona, San diego, I basically did all the West Coast in a big trip all together and saw like the Grand Canyon and stuff. I just love America. I just loved incredible New York is, i loved it all and the food!

Q What is your ideal career after University?

A I’d love to go on to either be on the radio or TV to do some sort of presenting i’d love to become something like Holly Willoughby or Fern Cotton

Q When you’re not in the library studying hard… What do you do in your spare time?

A Well as the library takes up a lot of time in my life, when i do find time to myself i like to be surrounded by my friends consuming alcohol, shopping, chilling out and i’ve started to have a bit of a relationship with the cinema.

Q What’s your favourite part of living in Bournemouth for Uni, where do you like to go to consume your alcohol and chill out?

I like going to Bournemouth University because it’s big enough to not know everything about everyone but small enough to recognise faces plus in the summer having the beach just down the road can’t. For nights out it depends what night of the week it is but Aruba is a nice place to go, Wednesday Lava is always messy and WAYF at the Firestation is probably one of my favourite nights.


Liam Gallagher at the Brits

February 19, 2010

What a shocking display of arrogance and cockiness! I can only be talking about Liam Gallagher at the Brit awards. Host Peter Kay described him as a ‘knobhead’ and there would be very few viewers of the Brit Awards who would disagree with his view of Liam Gallagher.Picking up his award for the Best Album of 30 Years for the 1995 record (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, Liam swore prefusely through his acceptance speech before hurling both the microphone and the award into the audience, what was he thinking? His shocking behaviour continued on to the ITV2 back stage coverage where in an interview with Nicole Appleton he says ‘Come on let’s all go and take some Class A drugs.’. It made brilliant TV and although I was shocked I was also thoroughly entertained, if you missed it (shame on you) I’ve got a few clips here to demonstrate what a ‘knobhead’ he was being:

I love Oasis but WTF.

I predicted this would be in the news the next day and was I wrong? Of course not. The crowd member got a lot more than they expected that night when they caught Liam Gallaghers Brit award and what did they do with it? Well they stuck it on Ebay of course. Within a day the Brit award had bids reaching above and beyond £1mill with 10 days remaining. It’s safe to say I’m jealous!


A timeline of social networking sites

February 19, 2010

Social networking sites seem to have been around forever and personally, i don’t know what i would do without them. From the age of about thirteen, i was a member of Myspace, later joining Bebo and more recently, Facebook and Twitter. Here, i have layed out a timeline of launch dates of major social networking sites, incase you were curious as to when these beautiful time-wasters came into our lives:

  • 1997: Six Degrees – This was the pioneering social network site which lasted from 1997 until 2001 and paved the way for further, more successful networking sites
  • 1999: LiveJournal – This social networking site allowed users to create a blog, journal or diary in a virtual community
  • 2002: Friendster – This site offered users to contact other members, maintain contacts and share online content and media with those contacts
  • 2003: Myspace One of the most dominant social networking sites, although now more popular for its music content
  • 2005: Youtube  – Is the largest online video sharing community making video blogging popular
  • 2005: Bebo – Bebo is an acronym for ‘Blog early. Blog often’ a popular social networking site for a younger audience
  • 2006: Facebook – Facebook is currently a very popuar social networking site that allows its users to join networks organised by city, workplace, and school or college
  • 2006: Twitter – Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers.
  • 2010: Google buzz – Google Buzz is a social networking and messaging tool from Google, designed to integrate into the company’s web-based email program, Gmail. Users can share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments organised in “conversations” and visible in the user’s inbox.

Will Google buzz replace Facebook in popularity in years to come? Who knows. Keep your eyes peeled