“Welcome to this morning’s event. I know that some of you in the room may be following us on Twitter. In which case, may I suggest that you turn your mobile phone off, concentrate for once in your life and listen to what I’m saying. You might learn something.”
This was NOT how Robert Phillips, head of Edelman UK chose to welcome guests to this week’s launch of their 2009 Trust Barometer. In fact, he encouraged us to use a special code to ‘tag’ our messages, so that they could be more easily found later on. They were even displayed on a large screen in the room.
Now reader, you may think that I could ignore this early morning temptation to join the Twitterati. Alas, this special tweet was more than I could resist. Two minutes later I was tapping away into my phone, providing anyone who cares to follow me an ‘exclusive’ peek at the contents of the report. A report which, let’s not forget, would be online half an hour later and had been loaded carefully onto a memory stick for each and every guest.
All of this got me thinking about how I confuse what is new with what is interesting. In the case of the Trust Barometer that morning, the report was both. What worries me is the extent to which my appetite for ‘freshness’ has developed. I’ve moved beyond the vegetable section at the front of the supermarket and I’m peering up the road to see if the next lorry is arriving.
I walked into Waterstones this week and headed to the business section. Picking up a tasty-looking tome, I opened the flyleaf to discover that it had been written in 2007. I dismissed the book almost immediately. I’m not looking for a book that’s two years old. 2008 is pushing it. I want a book that’s stamped ‘2009’. Yeah, that’s made its way onto the shelves in the last month. And that, reader, is absolutely ridiculous.
So my Old Years Resolution starts here. My magpie ways must change. I’m going to try to leave the surfers and body-boarders to their own devices, much as I’m drawn to the excitement of rushing up the beach (and wiping out) on the latest wave to break. Wish me luck! I’m heading out into the stiller, deeper waters. Whether its books, films, video clips or subject area, I’m going to make the most concerted effort I can to ask “How GOOD is it”, rather than “How NEW Is It?”.
Now where did I put that 1950s novel?