Four Press Releases In Search Of A Journo

It's Monday, of course. My iPod has just chosen that Boomtown Rats song at random - random!
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

It's Monday, of course. My iPod has just chosen that Boomtown Rats song at random - random! Hah! It knows, I tell you - and I'm trying to divert the thundering lumpy torrent of my inbox through the filter beds of my personal relevance farm.

As part of my fitful attempt to show how this works, here are four press releases that landed in the past ten minutes (go on, do the sums) - and my initial reaction to all of them, based on title alone.

11:16am - "News: Five Nortel Enterprise Customers Net Awards for Unified Communications"

Good point: Unified Communications is a hot topic, in theory. Bad point: It's Nortel talking about Nortel being nice to its own customers. Usefulness: 4/10. Can't do a news story on Nortel being nice to its customers. Might be useful as general background for some future story. Does at least remind me that Nortel does UC, but that's going to fall out of Google when I need it. Do I want this?: No, not really. But I suppose it's good for me.

11:20am - Symantec Deploys Cyberwar Defence for Future Military Systems Good point:I now know Symantec knows people with guns Bad point: We're doomed Usefulness:8/10. Worth a blog in its own right - dammit, worth a 4000 word report off the back of a week's research. Possibly a book. But not for the reasons Symantec (whom I regard with as much baleful suspicion as I do the military-economic complex) would like Do I want this?: In a tin-foil hat way, yes

11:24 - British male drivers are more considerate, TomTom study reveals Good point: None Bad point: Where to start? Usefulness: 1/10. It's a pure puff piece. Studies funded by manufacturers are rarely worth the pixels they light up, it's about a consumer technology, it's opportunistic populism with that great scent of sexism, it has absolutely no tech angle. Oh, looks like I worked out where to start Do I want this? No. A thousand times no.

11:24 - Tullett Prebon agrees global deal with Orange Business Services -Trading Solutions Good point: I now know Tullet Prebon isn't a French prog rock group. I think Bad point; French prog rock is more interesting than a financial services "look, we won a client!" story Usefulness: 2/10. We don't do win stories. Enterprise services are worth knowing about, but the press release (I sneaked a look) says very little in a very pompous way. I've forgotten it already. Do I want this? I probably shortened my life reading this by more than if I'd smoked a cigarette instead. Do Not Want.

It's taken me half an hour to write this, in which time another five releases have arrived. I'm not keeping up...

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