All posts tagged 'Facebook'

Breast-feeding backlash has happy ending

by Nikki's world, with Nikki White Tuesday, November 27 2012

People power never ceases to amaze or inspire me, and none more so than a group of mums.

When human beings feel strongly about something, they’ll quickly band together and make their feelings known.

Many a planning development has been overturned, clubs saved from closure and open space protected thanks to protest.

It doesn’t always work but sometimes, just sometimes, others do listen.

So when a mum breast-feeding her child in a coffee shop was asked to move to the toilet, the outpouring of reaction came as no surprise.

Hundreds of complaints were posted on Facebook after the incident at the Rochester Coffee Company last week and the debate has continued on our website.

The company has since offered a “full and frank apology” to the mother. They said they “have always been a breast-feeding friendly company” and it was a momentary lapse of judgement.

It isn’t all the coffee shop’s fault. From their statement, it sounds as if staff were suggesting mum moved to a quieter spot in a bid to keep everyone happy, but ended up upsetting more than just the few customers who complained.

When and where to breast-feed always seems to raise huge debate when it shouldn’t. It’s natural, it shouldn’t be an issue and if you don’t like it, don’t look.

Most mums are as discreet as they can be – they don’t want people to notice what they’re doing – and those few who do don’t deserve your attention, so don’t give them the satisfaction.

Congratulations should go to manager Stephen Ruffle who as well as apologising has said that, as a goodwill gesture, 50p from every cup of coffee sold this week will be donated to charity. Good news.


For those of you who were wondering, my brother’s wedding went well.

I didn’t trip up the aisle, I didn’t stand on the bride’s dress, although I did have a mishap with the necklace she was planning to wear when it broke in my hands – I was mortified.

And if anyone has a video of a bridesmaid jumping up and down on the dance floor for several hours, it wasn’t me, honest...

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Technology is no substitute for old basics

by Nikki's world, with Nikki White Wednesday, May 9 2012

We've had some journalism students in the office over the past few weeks for a spot of experience.

They are an absolute whizz on putting together video and audio and think nothing of sourcing stories from websites, Facebook and Twitter.

Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes the good, old-fashioned method of wearing some shoe leather out on the streets is the only way to get things done.

And that inevitably ends up with the likes of me, and one or two others, harking back to the days when we were trainees.

One of our students couldn’t quite get their head around how we used to get a paper out without modern technology. And, to be honest, by the end of the history lesson, neither could we.

When I first started as a cub reporter, computers weren’t part of a newsroom. Reporters wrote on typewriters, everything double-spaced and in triplicate – top copy for the editor, second copy for the subs and a copy for you.

When computers arrived, the screens were clunky. All you could do was type green letters on a black screen and how it ever appeared in print, with pictures alongside, I never really understood.

By the time I joined the KM Group, computers were part of everyday life, but technology was still a shadow of what it was today.

We worked on the daily paper, Kent Today, and would dash out first thing to a job, phone our copy back from a phone box (when was the last time you called the operator and reversed the charges?) and any borrowed photos had to be driven to our head office in Larkfield and put through the company’s only scanner.

And we were ahead of the rest. Just how did we do it? With grit and determination and the fear of missing a deadline.

On Friday, I stood watching HMS Ocean sailing up the River Thames. We had three reporters on scene – one taking pictures, two shooting video on smartphones, and, within a very short space of time, it was published on our website.

So what’s changed? Just the deadline. The grit and determination is always there. It’s just the deadline that’s moved.

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Who needs technology? Bring back the quill!

by The Codgers' Club Friday, November 5 2010

by Alan Watkins

Grab the New Jerusalem (I gather that’s this week’s in-phrase for the World Wide Web). Seize the communications powers..... I did (puff). I have (puff). I will – if only I can keep up with developments.

These days my legs don’t move as quickly as they used to. Did you know we Codgers now blog and tweet? Now in my younger day tweets were certainly an insult, and might have been grounds for selecting weapons at dawn in Gillingham Park.

Having blagged for most of our lives, we are having to get used to calling ourselves bloggers. Back in the early Eighties I was one of the first to have a computer attached to the internet.

It allowed me to send quick letters to customers and clients. It was a strange device, however, big, grey, extremely hot and noisy.

It needed lots of words set inside funny brackets that might have escaped from a British Railways misguided notice board.

Now, as it happens, I have been blogging for a little time, picking up various tales from Gun Wharf and relaying them to the wider world for Medway Messenger’s on-line readers.

Incidentally, I thought playing on line was dangerous: my old gramp told me you should never play on railways, then took me to a loco shed to look at the brutes on which he worked. I also Google (but the doctor says it is all right providing I keep it under control).

In the past few years new words have appeared, and old ones have been corrupted (something that apparently happens occasionally to hard drives).

There are things I draw the line at undertaking. I refuse to socially network on something called Facebook (whatever it is).  I even have a tag (which, for Mr Cook’s benefit, we used to call a handle).

I have a digital camera. It has a piece of plastic the size of an undernourished thumbnail. Somehow it holds 16,000 pictures, and thanks to an army of pixies (I think that’s what they call themselves) can be uploaded to a computer in a matter of nanoseconds.

You can let loose a Paintshop professional who lives inside your computer. He can turn them green, add faces, words and nu merous other things to distort your original image.You can write a document using a similar number of fonts in different sizes.

As for vocabulary, heaven help my 20-month-old granddaughter. She already knows how to choose TV channels, call grandma on her parents’ mobile phones (another device that deserves kicking into touch) and change the music on the multiplayer at home.

What will she have to confront when she is a Codger herself? It is time for Codgerdom to demand: Bring back the quill!

At least David Cameron should be delighted at the savings that will achieve for the British economy.

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Categories: Moans and groans

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