Need a Tableau dashboard? Here’s the information I need

This post discussed my use of Tableau Software. For more information on Tableau visit the official website I've always used Tableau to quickly get to grips with a new data set and play with different chart types until I come across something effective. I've also created several 'personal' projects using this tool. More recently, I've been talking to several clients about creating Tableau dashboards or interactive infographics for them. These are

The Kernel Returns [updated]

The Kernel Returns [updated]
UPDATE Well, blow me down with a feather ...  new look The Kernel is  definitely worth a revisit. I was always put off by the overly-snarky comments (see below) and it appears I wasn't the only one. The  site has managed to shift from vicious bile to playful teasing  - and it works. It's definitely back in my RSS feed - I just hope the many tech power-players they took pot shots at in the past are willing to let bygone be bygones. In terms ...

Telling Stories with Data

Telling Stories with Data
(an edited version of this article originally appeared in the HyperWM newpaper, Nov 2012)   Once upon a time … When was the last time you sat down and read a fairy story? It may be a few years, but I’m sure you could tell a few of those childhood stories from memory. Whether it’s the interesting characters, the exciting storylines, the emotion you felt or the moral lessons you learned; the stories stick. When was the last time you s...

Google+ – do you hangout? Would you hangout?

Google+ – do you hangout? Would you hangout?
  In one of my roles as a social media / content manager, I am currently looking into the world of webinars, and online group discussions – and specifically the pro’s and cons of Google+ The idea is to schedule a regular event for discussions around particular area of business. The content/format is still under discussion, but I am more concerned right now with the broadcast method. When Google+ launched, I was as excited as the next g...

Will this app solve the Jewellery Quarter parking woes?

It's no secret that parking in the Jewellery Quarter can be troublesome. 18 months ago the council introduced a new parking permit system giving residents and local businesses access to more spaces. However, this really doesn't encourage visitors to the area, who will inevitably spend a frustrating Saturday afternoon trying to locate a space. Now the US iPhone and Android app Parker has landed in the UK  - and is trialing it's service in the JQ.

How do you blog? Just do it

As part of my recent New Year Resolutions I mentioned blogging - and more specifically, how I'd like to blog more. Here are a few of my thoughts about the process. But I wonder - what stops you from blogging more often?   What I like about blogging is the fact you don't need to spend hours slaving over an article, creating a story arc or creating a masterpiece - you just need to get the information out there, whether that takes 3/4 par

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging
I've decided to group this years New Year Resolutions into several categories Social Media Health and Well-being Productivity ----------------------------------------------------- I use social media a lot, but sometimes it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and become distracted with ineffective activities. As someone who is trying to build a freelance business, I need to be more focused in my online actions. So, this years New Years Reso

IPad App Review: Sticky Notes

IPad App Review: Sticky Notes
  Sticky Notes on the App Store here Cost: Free An app that seems silly and gimmicky - but is actually VERY useful! Great if you use your iPad as a second screen / organiser And these post-its won't fall off your monitor!! Possible Uses Daily todo lists - different notes/colours for different groups (ie email, phone calls, errands) Presentation notes - one for each slide, then email or share on Twitter afterwards Organisa...

Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest

Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details In this post I discuss how I personally use image services Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest.  You can see my Flickr images here, you can follow me on Instagram here and see my pins on Pinterest here Designers? How do you use these sites to promote your work? (I'm working on a future blog post about this) [toc] There has been a lo...

The Spread of Tech [animated]

Key: RED: fixed broadband internet BLUE: mobile phone subscriptions YELLOW: internet users GREEN - telephone lines (all per 100 population) STORY OF A VIZ: Altered last minute to the deadline for the Guardian / Google Competition This gave me 2 hours do something with a range of data available, to address the issue of the worldwide recession and how national behaviour protected against this, or aided recovery. THE DATA Due to the l...

Six Ways to Spice Up Your Podcasts

Are your podcasts limp and lifeless? Then try these tips to spice up your audio output ... Location Location Location Get out there!!!  You might think that you need peace and quiet to record a podcast, but remember  - the joy of a podcast is that you can get to the centre of a situation or story. Sometimes silence just sounds strange. Example: If your podcast is about farming - why not record it in a field, with the sound of the wind, sheep and birds

Wave Goodbye

Wave Goodbye
Just received this Email from the Google Wave guys ... Despite my ups and downs with Wave, it's still sad but good for Google for giving it a go! ------- Dear Wavers, More than a year ago, we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. At the time, we committed to maintaining the site at least through to the end of 2010. Today, we are sharing the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down...

Become Master of your Email Inbox

Is your email inbox bursting at the seams? Overrun with nonsense,? Drowning in newsletters? Here are a few easy tips to get your wayward email inbox whipped into shape. The idea here is to reduce the number of emails in your inbox, so the important ones aren't forgotten about. Before you clear out your inbox (we'll do that later), LOOK at the emails in there – they should fall into one of four categories: EASY TO DEAL WITH EMAILS  Deal with them...

6 Tips for Using Evernote

6 Tips for Using Evernote
Here are 6 ways I use the productivity tool, Evernote Feel free to add yours in the comments below Or have a free months trial of Evernote Premium here [toc] Evernote is the equivalent to an external hard drive, on the cloud - so you can archive important / interesting information - read more here (http://www.evernote.com/) There are hundreds of different ways you can use Evernote - here are my top 6 tips: 1. A DESKTOP FOLDER In Evernote o

Dear Delicious User …(email)

Dear Delicious User …(email)
Dear Delicious User, Yahoo! is excited to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, Hurley and Chen have firsthand expertise enabling millions of consumers to share their experiences with the world. Delicious will become part of their new Internet company, AVOS. To continue using Delicious, you must agree to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks...

Statement: Demand Media acquires CoveritLive

Statement: Demand Media acquires CoveritLive
Demand Media acquired CoveritLive in February: Many of our biggest customers already know this but for those of you who didn't...surprise. It's all very very good for us and for them. Given that Demand is a publicly traded company, I can't really talk too much about the acquisition other than: a) it made us all happy; and, b) it will make all of our customers happier. Live Gaming is Live: We're crazy excited about this. Customers love our Polls featur

Top 10 Crimes of Online Writing

Top 10 Crimes of Online Writing
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Are you blog posts not getting the attention they deserve? Check out these points to improve your writing and reduce that bounce rate [toc] 1. Too Clever/Too Boring/Too Complex Title The title of an online post needs to be clear and succinct - no clever tabloid puns or vagueness here please! Avoid figures, but use place names,...

Why don’t students use Twitter?

Why don’t students use Twitter?
I've recently been helping out with teaching 1st year Journalism students at BCU in Birmingham. Dan Davies - who is leading the course - and I are both former Online Journalism MA students, and hence very wired in to the social networks, blogs etc. However, it's not our background and education which makes us HUGE Twitter fans, but our AGE. The students we teach are all Facebook afficionados, they use it every day, and often it's the first site they

Y-not? Embedding YouTube

Y-not? Embedding YouTube
I'm intrigued as to why some record labels still don't allow embedding of their music videos on Youtube. Surely Youtube is a KEY viral marketing tool, which means your artist's music is spread around the net and promotes the album? MP3's yes - restrict those all you want if you believe it will impact on album sales (a whole other debate that I won't go into now), but videos? Unfortunately you restricting embedding won't stop the videos being share

Making Online News Pay – Pt 1 paywalls

Making Online News Pay – Pt 1 paywalls
I am currently exploring the various avenues for making money from online news as part of my MA Online Journalism. Over a series of Posts I hope to explore the various methods of generating revenue from online content - looking at the various issues, and pitfalls along the way. The Project My idea is a website that offers short, exclusive video interviews with bands - often bands that would not get mainstream coverage elsewhere (e.g. radio and televis

6 tips for good blogging (and social networking)

6 tips for good blogging (and social networking)
Recently I began writing a blog and looking after the social interaction for a music venue. Here are a few things I have learnt along the way (NOTE: this is a work in progress and will be updated - feel free to comment with any suggestions below): * Polls work. People love them. Asking people for their opinion on something gets them excited. A recent poll asking simply "Which band are you most looking forward to seeing" not only attracted a

Do they want you, or your contacts? (updated)

Do they want you, or your contacts? (updated)
We've all heard the phrase - it's not what you know, but who you know. But: if your job involves promotion/marketing - where do you draw the line between your friends, and your contacts? In this social-networking world we find we have more contacts than ever before. Many are perhaps real-life friends from school or university, but others may be people you met briefly at a party back in 2007 or, perhaps, you've never met them. For PR profession

iPhone Apps: RSS READERS

iPhone Apps: RSS READERS
Continuing in my series of posts about my favourite apps, I move onto ... RSS READERS I currently run 2 RSS readers on my phone. I struggled to find one that could accommodate forwarding to 2 different Twitter accounts. iNEWS PREMIUM (£2.39)  I am a big fan of the iNEWS interface - it is fully customisable, so if you are a white-on-black text girl like me, then so be it! I use this app by importing my Google Reader feed. Unfortunately it does not sy

iPhone Apps: search

iPhone Apps: search
After jumping into the iPhone apps world with both feet, I thought I'd run through my favourites. Watch our for more posts in this series. SEARCH/RESEARCH Google (free) (Itunes link) Image via CrunchBase I am a big fan of the Google app. Not only can you search by typing, but there is an incredibly clever and effective Voice Search tool, which has never let me down. Tell it what you want to find, and it will do it (useful if you are browsing on

Blogging: what is it worth?

Blogging: what is it worth?
Bloggers are often considering to be inferior to "proper journalists". Whether the argument is about training, responsibility, impartiality or audience, they are often treated as second class online-citizens, despite the fact many are competing with, and in some cases, filling a gap left by a declining traditional media. However, there is a definite gray area when it comes to money. Journalists are paid to do their job. They work for a title, rece

Election Question Time Special in Birmingham: live blogging tonight from 7pm

As part of a series of pre-election session around the UK, Birmingham will tonight host a Question Time special at the City Inn. On the panel: Andrew Mitchell - Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Jacqui Smith - MP for Redditch and former Home Secretary John Hemming - MP for Birmingham Yardley Mark Reeves – Former Editor of the Birmingham Post Iain Dale (Chair) ...

It seems we can’t have it all … hand held video recorders

It seems we can’t have it all … hand held video recorders
I am in a dilemma. I am the owner of a perfectly good (despite the reports) Sony Ericsson Satio mobile phone. The 12 megapixel camera (and other gadgetry) means the picture quality of video recording great for still interviews. The only downside, is the audio. the internal mic is terrible. It is useless for interviews, and makes the subject sound like they are down a mine the handsfree kit mic records excellent quality sound, but it gradually fall

Thomson Reuters: What Price the News: Live Blog #reutersethics

Thomson Reuters debate: What Price the News?? Intrusion. Payment. Scandal. Access. Ethics. Rights. Appetite. Celebrity. Obligation. Politics. Duty. Freedom. Harassment. Competition. Privacy. Security. Power. Press. In the last few years the way in which we consume news has changed but so too have the practices of news gathering - stories of plagiarism, cash for news and harassment charges have all questioned the accepted principles of good journalism.