The brief: Local mayors, hyperlocal awards and Google glasses

Posted: April 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Journalism, the brief, web | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Here goes my daily round-up of interesting links I’ve seen around the web today, a mix of politics, super advanced glasses and some cool awards for hyperlocal folk.

Elected mayors: The debate about the candidates or whether there should even be candidates?

Les Reid, of Coventry Telegraph fame, gives a great overview of the issues facing cities which will soon be electing mayors. The battle to be Mayor in Birmingham will be very interesting, and Reid interviews figures including Lord Adonis and Greg Clark about the impact a Mayor can have on a city.

Whether their claims of a directly-elected figurehead having the influence, power and clout to achieve strong decentralisation from Whitehall remains to be seen. I think there is truth in the Boris principle, he certainly acts as a focal point and rather amusing cheerleader for London. But whether he makes any meaningful economic impact for the capital is unclear.

Personally I think elected mayors are a good step. Too often council leaders are voted in to pacify factions within political parties, and not judged by the skills for doing the job but by how they will perform for their party – not by how they will perform for the electorate, and those are two very different masters.

The Hyperlocal UnAwards

I was very proud to win one of these last year, the Talk About Local UnAwards are back to celebrate those people who strive to inform their communities across the UK.

The Talk About Local event in Birmingham later this month will be a gathering of all those involved in hyperlocal and it gives a chance to share ideas, problems and cool stuff you’re doing.

Really useful list of Android apps for journalists

If you’ve got an Android phone, or your work has given you an Android phone, here’s a quality list put together by Richard Kendall of useful apps.

It’s handily split up into sub sections around Twitter, multimedia and organising your life style apps. I pitched in to recommend Seesmic which is fast becoming my most used app on my phone, and I find it to be much better than the standard Twitter app for Android.

Best of all, they are all free apps so no need to try and sneak paying for an app through on your expenses sheet.

Google’s Project Glass: a step too far?

Has Google played its cards too early? I watched the video, below, for Project Glass and found myself having visions of Minority Report.

I thought it might be an April Fool at first but it isn’t, this is actually Google’s vision of the future. This is nothing but intrusive and invasive, not to mention I’d have to buy a new pair of glasses! And also, everyone else would be wearing glasses, and that’s not cool.

Perhaps this parody video, sums it up best…

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