The Register nails it with Cyburbia Interview

A great read over at The Register is Andrew Orlowski‘s interview with James Harkin, who has brought out a new book called Cyburbia (website for book here). It’s a refreshing and sober look at not only web2.0 but the people behind it.

The interview is full of great quotes – and there’s a piece of the book adapted here – but the one salient point that stuck out for me was this:

Large media companies are laying off good, seasoned journalists at the same time as they’re paying these internet gurus huge sums of money to talk rubbish about the medium.
It would be a shame if we abandoned seasoned journalists who are capable of researching and breaking stories, and capable of doing more than just simply going on Google, in favour of people who are simply obsessed with the medium. That’s the danger.

I know I can be as guilty as anyone for overhyping web2.0 – and I stand by my claim that if a large gathering of people is using a digital form then PR and marketing people have to be using it too – but this book looks to be a fantastic read – and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it, if for no other reason than something a lot of the tech crowd forgets – only by challenging your assumptions and beliefs can you actually improve your arguments and reasoning.

O2 cock up iPhone 3G Launch?

There’s a PR point to this one: According to The Register and the comments people are leaving O2 stores and an Apple store after waiting up to two hours for their new phones – and leaving not only empty handed, but also giving negative interviews to reporters.

Ouch.

Surely after last year, someone saw this coming? Yes, the phone didn’t launch great here last year but this was the version – and at a price point – that everyone could get behind.

The PR response seems quote interesting though – more or less a denial that there’s a problem while people are going online and saying there is a problem, but from O2 there appears to be no attempt to counter the online moaning. Surely they have a team monitoring and countering this stuff? That’s basic in this day and age. If I was them I’d have someone right now logging on to every blog and forum where there is a moan and countering it. Or at least be honest and upfront with people.