New Look, New Home

So, a few weeks ago I moved this blog from it’s former home to this new location, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the software I was using, from a site called ‘edublogs’ was proving extremely painful to use despite being based on WordPress, resisting updates on a seemingly arbitrary basis. Secondly I also wanted this to be more personal and less a blog about Punch (we have one of those already – here), which takes up most every waking moment outside family life anyway. Hence, this blog’s new name – Out of Office Messages.

Much of what I had written previously is actually still relevant, so I’ve imported the content here – but really, this is more about my personal point of view and perspective which, increasingly, as Punch is now growing (we’re on the point of appointing two more people, taking us to ten) is happily just one facet of the whole picture during the working day.

I’ve also changed the look and feel a couple of times in recent weeks and have finally settled on this layout. Whilst the ability to choose templates on wordpress is undoubtedly fun and designed to ensure that there’s something for everyone, I’ve found that most of the templates feel very old very quickly – and in some cases even quite amateurish – the blog equivalent of clipart. So, the simplicity of this particular layout suits me perfectly.

I have wrestled a little with the extent to which I make this about my interests – which has made me reflect on what my interests actually are. As anyone that knows me personally will, I’m sure, testify, I’m very fortunate in that I’m hugely passionate about my working life. So, whilst it is clearly work related, it’s fair to say that one of my interests is technology and moreover, at present, how technology is effecting sociological change – with innovative web applications breeding new means of personal interaction, for example.

Similarly, it’s interesting to me that reputation management is becoming ever-more relevant, with the current shift towards personal reputation management through web 2.0 and the trend for execs constantly having an eye towards their next opportunity. I suspect this is likely to crop up fairly regularly.

I love the fact that this post may be read by no-one or hundreds+, based on a number of factors, not least merit – but also context/distribution. As per my recent post referencing a couple of bloggers that apparently hadn’t grasped that their entry may in some way have a detrimental effect on their careers, it’s hugely interesting to me that the traditional ‘rules’ of PR still very much apply here – it’s just that the distribution landscape is dramatically different.

Finally, on this, I’m also hugely interested by the prospect of how ‘PR2.0′ can be integrated with (note, not a substitute for) traditional PR techniques, meaning that all reputation campaigns can benefit from a coordinated approach to search engine optimisation, social media and bloggers/blogging, for example.

So, on a different note entirely, outside work my life is really almost entirely devoted to three girls – my wife and two daughters. We’ve had an extended period of intensity at work, dating back to September ’07 when we our first employee joined us to work alongside myself, meaning that I rarely have too much time for anything else.

With a set of golf clubs in the garage now gathering dust having not been used since the birth of my daughter 4+ years ago, I think that can safely be discounted as a likely regular subject. However, as a season ticket holder at Leicester Tigers (having just bought two more for my two daughters for next year) I try to go as often as possible – although that has meant about five times a year for the past two seasons, which is criminal really.

Finally, the last subject which is likely to crop up regularly is my love of the water. Again, swimming has suffered in the last 18 months but it’s something that I do love with a passion. Moreover, I try to get a surf at least a couple of times a year – which dates back to when I was first taken into the sea with my Dad and his board when I was about four.

So, that’s a wrap as far as I’m concerned. My main issue with blogs is that they are frequently too self absorbed so my aim is to always avoid that – but I did want to somehow mark what feels like a significant shift, if only in terms of intentions as opposed to output.