Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Vulcans and Veyrons - Abchurch visits the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Sunday saw Abchurch on site at the motoring event of the year, enjoying the exquisite delights of some of the world’s finest machines. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010 was a sell out and it was no wonder given the wondrous array of sights, sounds, smells and motoring legends on the line up combined with unusually balmy and consistent British summer weather. Where else can you see a shiny chrome Bugatti Veyron, a newly flight certified Vulcan and Lewis Hamilton doing doughnuts in his 2008 Formula 1 car?

Yet, at the heart the cacophony of V12’s, W16’s and spitfire engines stood the peace and calm of the FoS-TECH pavilion, rather ironically in association with BP Ultimate, showcasing sustainable cars and technologies of the future from major car manufacturers such as Lexus, Audi and Honda. Stifled yelps were common as the public scrambled out of the way of silently approaching vehicles slinking their way through the drifting crowd. Amongst the exhibitors was Abchurch client and clean energy products company, Acta S.p.A, which exhibited its hydrogen fuel enrichment technology as well as its award winning electrolyser to the general public for the first time in the UK. The British reception did not disappoint, with both manufacturers and the general public alike demonstrating profound interest in sustainable technologies.

As this Abchick soaked up the last rays of the day while munching happily on scones with clotted cream and the final hours of the Festival of Speed 2010 came to a close we were treated to an ostentatious display of bravery and stupidity in equal measure with a crowd-pleasing motorcyclist displaying more stunts than James Bond on the roof of Goodwood House. A truly spectacular day and bring on Revival.


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Monday, 5 July 2010

Online readers about to set the news agenda

Traditionally, the news agenda has been the domain of editors who decided what was interesting and journalists were sent forth to write, but rumour has it that Yahoo! is soon to turn this process on its head with the announcement of a new blog whose content will be determined by the topics users search for on the web.

While blogging and tweeting have given the public a voice, the improvements in search and the rise in content sharing mean that in addition to an overwhelming amount of information available in general, there is increasing data to indicate what, amongst the billions of column inches, readers actually care about.

Yahoo!’s new blog, Upshot, will track popular search terms and topics across its online network and use these patterns to fuel content, generated by its team of journalists and editors. If it works, the blog should be more closely aligned with its readers’ interests than other mainstream news sites.

Using search queries to guide content also means that the blog will potentially feature more niche and unusual stories in response to its readers’ demands. The editorial team will need to make careful decisions about how closely they will be influenced by the trends and journalists will need to write with a degree of authority to pacify sceptics who see this as a potential quantity over quality play, biasing news simply to reach the top of search engines.

Media is certainly changing at the moment with broad news stories widely available from innumerable outlets. Several UK papers have started to put up paywalls but for this to be an effective move, generalist online news sites will have to think about what exactly they can offer readers to beat off the competition – it’s hard to justify paying for me-too content.

Whether the Yahoo!’s search information will be used to directly influence the news agenda or simply as a tool to understand readers and aid editorial decisions, content that takes into account what the reader is looking for could certainly be a good start in setting itself apart from the masses.


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