"Never expect things to be good" A blog from Chris Welton

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Thames Valley Social Media Cafe

I wasn’t sure what I’d do to replace my local, the Edinburgh Coffee Morning (#EdCM). Luckily, thanks to a tip off from Claire, I happily found out about the Thames Valley Social Media Cafe (#tvsmc).

Spotting that many of the attendees of London based meetups were from a similar area outside the city, the TVSMC is an embryonic get-together of likeminded social media enthusiasts that has visited Reading, Farnborough and Basingstoke so far.

Today we even got a sneak preview of Google Wave! http://qik.com/video/3062568

To find out more, visit: http://tvsmc.redcatco.com/tiki-index.php

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Seven Premiere.


The newest season of Larry David’s freakshow ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ has now arrived on US television. The question is after six brilliant series under its belt, can the show keep the incredibly high standard of comedy going?

Every time a new season of Curb arrives it’s hard not to have a thought of resignation that it will never be as good as the last. So far, however, the genius that is Larry David has somehow managed to continue improving on what has come before.

Season Six delivered arguably the finest finale in Curb history as Larry finally put Cheryl behind him and got together with Loretta and the Black family. Even for Curb finale standards, this was exceptional.

But wait a second...Larry David’s character actually getting something he wants? Joy? Family? Shurely shome mishtake and it’s actually some annoying dream sequence?

Happily Season Seven shows this wasn’t a trick, but typically Larry is now unhappy. Loretta is sick and showing he still has a vigorous helping of wickedness about him, Larry is intent on ending the relationship before results come back, inevitably for Larry, showing cancer – which in his mind means it becomes a permanent union.

In the meantime, just to up the stakes, legendary comedic actress Catherine O’Hara is thrown into the mix as: "Funkhouser's Crazy Sister". Queue an awful display from the ‘fat fuck’ Jeff which even has Larry shocked!

In classic David style we can reflect on the episode with a clear view of the arc that will envelope season seven. Cheryl has returned to the fold on a chance encounter where she spells out that a Larry not working is not a Larry she could ever be with again. With the entire cast of Seinfeld returning for Curb, could it be that Larry develops a Seinfeld reunion with the sole selfish intention of pleasing Cheryl and winning her back?!

And in the end, Larry is indeed stuck with Loretta, which has to have the audience delighted. The opportunity for more Leon and Larry banter is stupidly exciting!

So, after six great seasons, how do you keep a show firing on all cylinders? By retaining an incredible cast of memorable characters (Jeff, Leon, Funkhouser et al), bringing in yet more quality (Bam Bam, and the entire Seinfeld cast!) and making sure, in classic Seinfeld fashion, no hugging, no learning.

Season seven looks set to continue the upwards march of this outstanding show.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Bad coverage :: “I don’t make the stories, I sell the stories.”

It's an uncomfortable experience but who's to blame?

Well, for the client it's clearly the PR. You managed to arrange an interview and your client successfully spoke to the journalist - yet it’s a disaster!

The article hasn't quoted your client, the quote is wrong, something might be spelt incorrectly...Either way you're in the doghouse.

But often it doesn’t end there. Clients might ask for some kind of extra piece of coverage or retraction as a result of the mistake.

The issue is, a good PR should see the journalist as almost a god-like figure. Someone that cannot be bothered unless absolutely necessary and relevant.

So, under no circumstances can this relationship be wilfully damaged. Going back to him/her and complaining about an article will ruin all the groundwork that was put in to secure the opportunity.

Granted, if the coverage is incorrect, be it legal or otherwise, there could be a necessity for further engagement.

It’s a tricky song and dance. There’s no way you can revisit the journalist to complain but the client is adamant.

This got me thinking of a classic scene in Seinfeld. Any of you who know me, even a little, are familiar with my Seinfeld obsession.

The incident of journalist error being blamed on the PR takes me back to the episode ‘The Mango’ in which Kramer, disgusted by the taste of a peach Jerry has bought at 'Joe's' grocery store, returns the fruit.

The following exchange (of course with less hostility and confrontation!!) effectively reflects the difficult nature of this PR experience.

The client is played by Kramer (the “tall, lanky doofus with a birdface and hair like the Bride of Frankenstein”)

Joe is the PR and the journalist is omnipotent off-screen...


Monday, 28 September 2009

Looking to the future – I need your help!

Please forgive me if I talk entirely about myself in this post but it’s all change in the house of Welton.

I recently had to leave Hot Tin Roof after almost two glorious years. This period was a learning experience like no other. I worked in a cracking team and developed relationships with some charming journalists, businesses and networking types who I will solely miss.

If this is news to you, it may come as a surprise I’m also not even in Edinburgh anymore! I’m currently sitting with no job in my home in Godalming, Surrey nursing some sunburn from a particularly bright September weekend and enjoying not being woken by rabid seagulls.

And so we come to the conundrum. What am I going to do now?

This could get me nervous but I do have a plan.

If there is anything the Edinburgh Coffee Morning and various meetups in the city have shown me, it’s that networking and developing your contacts is the best way to further your own profile.

So as of today I am looking to build up some buzz about Chris Welton, in hopefully a less haphazard style as Tobias Fünke.

I’m keen to meet as many awesome people in and around London in the realm of the digital. If you happen to know anyone and think we’d have a good old chinwag, please introduce me.

Point them to any of the following pages or drop me a line:

This recession may be hell-bent on stopping me from working, but dammit I’m going to stay active for these next three months.

I mention this time limit because there is further intrigue on the horizon. Following my redundancy, I did what any person faced with the prospect of not getting paid would do...I booked a trip to America!

Yes, the land of the free awaits in January and I’m not just planning a break, oh no, this is my chance to travel.

Coast to coast from San Francisco to New York between January and March!

The details are sketchy so far but one thing I am sure of is this is a journey to the heart of the USA. The American people.

I want to meet as many genuine and friendly Yanks as possible. Sites will be seen but my travels will revolve around you. If you fancy a visit from a cheery English chappy then just say the word!


And likewise if you know people in America please do an eIntroduction (CC me into an email to your US friend). I’m a social and positive person with no criminal record or any real annoying habits! Why wouldn’t you want to meet me?!

So, that’s the update. I apologise for such a ‘me’ style blog focus – rest assured I will get back to writing some less personal tripe soon. But in the meantime, please bear this in mind:

Can you help me?

Friday, 4 September 2009

Fringe 2010 and beyond!

Exit stage left: The Fringe 2009 takes its final bow.

It’s been a bumper year for the Edinburgh Fringe and despite the best efforts of tram workers, Edinburgh has enjoyed one of the most positive and successful Festivals ever.

Scrap that, let’s just focus on Twitter. It was always going to be the centre of attention and developers responded. Aggregating tools like EdTwinge and Fest Buzz meant regular opinions of shows via Twitter were presented in a format that could influence the kind of performances people might ultimately go and see.

EdTwinge started and grew quickly. The site really succeeded in alerting performers to the value of a positive tweet. Get into the Top Ten and not only are you doing something right, but the chances of people hearing about your show through all the noise rose considerably. The Top Ten list was even replicated on The Skinny Festival site and clearly was a great stab at capturing word of mouth and broadcasting it to a larger audience.

Of course it wasn’t the finished article, but EdTwinge gave a cracking real-time insight into the shows people were really enjoying. It did raise a number of questions that will certainly come into play come 2010. Firstly, how to ensure tweets about performers were about the show someone had seen, rather than a simple reference. For example, Tim Key (great as he is) benefited hugely from winning the Best of Fringe award (deservedly so I’m sure), as this stirred a huge amount of positive ‘noise’ on Twitter, helping him to almost topple the unstoppable force of Chris Cox.

Secondly, is it enough to look at the general consensus regarding a show? A key selling point for the arts pages in newspapers and magazines is the relationship the reader could build on a weekly/daily basis with their reviewer of choice. You are able to establish which reviewer shares similar tastes and select shows accordingly. In the rush to the Fringe, Bloggers and websites tussled to try and get their reviews read and appreciated. But was there enough time to connect with newer reviewers? And where were the mainstream media in all of this? Twitter is an ideal haven for sharing your newly published reviews but apart from a few exceptions the engagement with Twitter was limited.

Let’s not forget the apps. Fringe Guru and others brought us a fantastic iPhone application (iFringe) which would help with the opportunistic audience who were willing to take a chance and see something based on their location, the timing etc all through a simple interface. Are there opportunities for something like this the year round, or is the Fringe the only period we open ourselves up so much to culture that an app like this can be of assistance?

2009 was really the testing ground period, getting used to these new tools and trying to decipher the part they would play. 2010 is going to be the real meaty fun. A year to prepare and have knowledge of the impact social media can play. What will be the great tools of the Fringe be in 2010?

We saw fantastic tools bringing together and ranking shows based on Twitter audience opinion but will the professional reviewers feel overlooked? Is there an opportunity to aggregate the reviewers? Plenty of excellent bloggers and websites come to Edinburgh looking to cover shows, perhaps bringing these reviews together with writers from more traditional spaces such as newspapers and radio could be successful? The Guardian has always amalgamated reviews, so it does seem surprising there wasn’t a tool to do just that for prominent critics and budding bloggers.

And for the Fringe itself? After the success of its own Twitter profile, including hosting the popular Twinge party, could we be in store for more ongoing engagement through these channels and will the Fringe capitalise on this by creating more exclusive events and offers?

It’s all very exciting. The notion that there might be the next ‘twitter’ to consider in 2010 is very much a possibility. But one thing’s for sure, lessons and fun was the experience of 2009 and performers who fully embraced social media at the Fringe would have surely reaped the benefits.

This article was originally posted on the Hot Tin Roof blog

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Zen Bound :: iPhone games review on Square-go

Greetings friend, do you wish to look as happy as me?

Then just go to


and read my review of Zen Bound.

Don't delay. Eternal happiness is just a click away!

p.s. Buy this game for your iPhone. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Geometrix: Square-Go Review

Terrible lack of updates - must rectify.

But as you'll no doubt no, today is Friday, so my efforts are irrelevant.

To make up for this please accept a link to my first iPhone game review for Square-Go.