Well, I admit that I wasn’t exactly enamoured with the idea of getting up early on a Sunday morning to attend the course that I had booked myself onto in a technology self-development mad moment but I travelled to Southwark on a delightfully empty commuter train. My heart sank though as I trudged around some rather dubious Waterloo back streets where the leftovers from the previous evening’s alcoholic excesses lay strewn about the pavement. It sank further still when I arrived at some rather shabby portakabins with a motley crew hangingaround outside waiting for the doors to open. However, all this was to change.
During the excellent instruction I was in my element. Call me a sad technie but I LOVED finding out about how to do all those clever things with beta versions of new Google products. I was in my element experimenting (on my friends, natch) to see just how much information I could obtain about them – legally – with the latest tools. I was wowed by the Google translate gadget and immediately grabbed by the scholar and trends products and bowled over by the latest live web site visitor tracking software and the freedom to browse – untraceable – using a proxy server. And watch my really advanced Internet searching now – lock up your PDFs! I was speechless at Google Earth photos.
And I am now initiated into the wonders of cloud computing – no more software storage and version control problems for me when I am mobile computing. No wonder the world of journalism has changed so dramatically! And the venue location turned out to be just 5 minutes walk from the home of one of my sports journo buddies who lives in Borough – so we met for a quick drink afterwards so I could tell her all about my exciting discoveries. It just remains to express my sincere thanks to the team at the Chartered Institute of Journalists for putting on such an excellent day and at such a reasonable price and to lecturer Alun Hill whose enthusiasm, patience and expertise was boundless.