Do not read this post

I spent several hours coming up with a title for this blog, before rejecting all the witty and/or scatological Jack jokes in favour of what we’d now call the Ronseal option: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.I know I’m just moving with the times.

I spent several hours coming up with a title for this blog, before rejecting all the witty and/or scatological Jack jokes in favour of what we’d now call the Ronseal option: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.

I know I’m just moving with the times. Or, if you prefer, the Guardian. Journalists at my previous employer loved their punning headlines, and for a while there was a monthly competition for the best efforts. Not any more. In the past three or four years, the whole publishing industry has become much more concerned with SEO or search engine optimisation. Rather than racking their brains over catchphrases and obscure movie titles, today’s headline writers are more likely to be thinking about how many keywords they can pack in. In some cases, it’s less about what grabs the reader’s attention than what scores well on Google.

Perhaps this is not an entirely new phenomenon. You could argue, for example, that calling a company Aaaardvark Adventures is an example of YPO or Yellow Pages Optimisation. However, I think most people would agree that the analogue world is now trying much harder to fit in with the digital computer-based world than it was a decade ago. We’re a long way into the conversion from analogue to digital media -- from tapes and discs to MP3 files, from film and light-sensitive paper to CCDs and JPEG files, and so on. The conversion of “dead tree” media into PC or ebook-compatible files can hardly be considered a surprise.

Of course, it’s the speed and scope of the world’s adoption of digital media that makes IT such an exciting field, and one that will have a lasting impact. However, bear in mind that all the hardware and most of the software isn’t particularly important. As anyone who visited the Vintage Computer Festival at Bletchley Park this weekend will surely appreciate, today’s hot products will be amusingly limited antiques in 10 or 20 years: today’s Apple iPad is tomorrow’s ZX Spectrum. It’s only the data that needs to last forever.

If you’ve made it this far into my test post, in defiance of the instructions in the headline, I hope you’ll bookmark Jack’s Blog and come back tomorrow, when I’ll have started posting proper stories.

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