Did we really want to know that?

Celebrities are everywhere, and I mean everywhere. We see them on our TV screens, in magazines, on billboards whilst waiting for the bus, on the actual bus itself  and now more than ever the internet is swarming with them. We cannot escape the drama that is associated with a celebrity ‘personality,’ but quite often we don’t want to escape it. See I’m not gonna claim some higher ground here and fake a disdain for all things celebrity, I love reading gossip magazines and I do watch those trashy shows that follow a spoiled celeb around whilst they buy the groceries and show us just how ‘normal’ they really are (yeah right) but all things considered I think somewhere a line has to be drawn.

Nicole Ritchie with another interesting tweet...

When twitter appeared on the scene celebrities were quick to jump on the bandwagon, tweeting about their music/show/book/product or just their lives in general.

Twitter allows a whole new dimension of interaction with most celebs tweeting personally and scrapping the publicist who would normally adopt the job of addressing fans. They are all too eager to tell us what they had for breakfast, who their latest crush is or if their relationship is falling apart. Not more than 10 hours ago we have Paris Hilton tweeting:”In bed watching “The Office” So funny and relaxing!”

But do we want to know every detail of our idols lives? Isn’t part of being a ‘celebrity’ to do with that aura of fame and mystery? Now I’m a massive Katy Perry fan. I’ll put that on the table now. I love how she looks, sings, her whacky outfits and quirky interviews. But. After following her on Twitter I’m sad to say my opinion has slid. Recently Katy began seeing British comedian Russell brand and before we knew it an engagement was announced, juicy gossip for those with a hunger for all things celebrity.

Katy Perry's quirky style won me over

But this was no secret romance, all was/is revealed and I mean ALL.@Katyperry tweets a few days ago: “♋? @rustyrockets” (rustyrockets referring to British ladies man Russel, Katy’s fiancé)(♋ referring to, I can only assume, the sexual position) And just yesterday “Bet @rustyrockets would like a HJ with these nails… : P” I’m sure we can guess what HJ stands for.

Now before you assume I’m a prudish person, I’m not! I just preferred it when Katy Perry was a mysterious celeb to me, and not just another girl going out with a guy and stirring things up a little with some cheap dirty talk on a site millions of people use. It really lowered my opinion of her, and just made me think. Do we really want everything to be laid bare? Or were things better when the people we admired or followed in the limelight attempted even an ounce of privacy? – Just food for thought.

Katy and Russel share all on Twitter


Q&A time with Norwegian student Stian Christensen

I had a quick ‘twitter’ style cyber chat with Norwegian student Stian about his life in Norway and time in the army. Stian, 21, is currently studying for a degree in Archaeology at the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Q. What attracted you to the course you’re studying?

Stian currently studies in Norway

A. I always liked it, I was going to try some engineer course, because I got math and physics in college, but when I was in the army I just came across archaeology in the catalogue. Then I was like oh yeah… and picked it.

Q. What are your plans for when you finish the degree?

A. I don’t know really, haven’t gotten that far in my plans. I guess I’m going to get a job in some sort of excavation (or at least try!)

Q. Your English is very fluent, was learning another language important to you?

A. Well, we don’t have any dubbing or voiceover on TV/movies so as the majority of the entertainment on the TV is in English with Norwegian subtitles knowing the language helps a lot. We also started early with English in school, 4th grade I think, so it just happened. It’s not really important to me, but it sure is useful.

Q. It’s a requirement for men to join the army in Norway when they are 18, what was that like?

A. I didn’t want to go at first but it was only for a year, it turned out to be one of the best ones in my life. It was real fun, meeting new people and making friends while playing war in the forest.

Q. Did you encounter any dangerous situations?

A. No. We were only running around training, training in case someone attacked us, any international operations you have to volunteer for, and 1 year is not enough time to put us in any live situation.

Q. Despite enjoying your time in the Army, what is your opinion on it being essential, do you think it would be fairer to be optional to teens?

In Norway a year in the army is a requirement

A. I think it’s fair enough. You can always do some social service work for a year as an option, if you say you’re a pacifist for example. So you can, if you just want it enough, get dismissed.

Q. What do you enjoy most about living in Norway?

A. I don’t really know, haven’t thought of that. Always lived here, so I can’t really compare it to somewhere else. I just like it.

Q. Do you hold any stereotypes of us English?

A. I really like English humour, so whenever I think about English people or hear, I think of some of the characters that John Cleese plays in different sketches, like witty, arrogant and a very serious face. But in general I don’t really hold to stereotypes.

Q. And finally what are your hobbies and interests?

A. I really like to create stuff so I make some jewellery (I have a small dream about becoming a goldsmith), doing some origami, also taking photos, helping my dad with restoring old cars. And in addition I play tennis and some computer games.

Thanks for your time Stian 🙂


Live lounge love

I love a good cover. One that makes you fall in love with an old favourite or listen to a song in a whole new way

Okay, so my favourite live lounge cover so far is Paramore’s version of ‘Use somebody’ (probably because I am just a teeny bit in love with Hayley) but here’s a few of my other favourites : )

5. The Stereophonic’s with a great acoustic version of ‘Best of you’ by Foo Fighters

4. Tinchy Strider taking on a Beyonce/JLS medly  with ‘Sweet dreams vs. Beat again’

3.The notorious N’dubz covering The Script’s ‘Man who can’t be moved’ (It’s a grower!)

2. WARNING not likely to be everyone’s cup of tea but as an Enter Shikari fan I quite liked their version of Kid Cudi’s ‘Day and Night’

1. And last but not least, Just Jack does Rihanna’s ‘Live your life’ (you know the one that samples O-Zone’s ‘Dragostea din tei’ – which I ashamedly admit I love)

and then I also heard this today, Ellie Goulding (the one with the beautiful voice) covering ‘Sweet Disposition’ by Temper Trap. Not sure what to think really, but definitely mesmerising. What are your thought?


Does the Now magazine website hit the spot?

Now magazine – A look at the magazine’s website

Searchability – Appeared as the top hit on Google after searching for ‘now’ and ‘now magazine.’ – The site is definitely easy to locate on the web.

Usability – Technically stable – navigation tabs all link correspondingly and quickly

Navigation – Clear navigation tabs are situated under the website header plus links appear spread over the homepage to other sections and some stories. However ‘Top stories’ section is at bottom of page and is not immediately clear to see. If it were located more centrally on the home page it would allow for easier navigation to the top stories and key articles. The home page would also benefit from larger navigation and a snippit view of the ‘blog’ section which is buried to the far right of the navigation bar.

Design – The colour scheme is simple consisting of a mixture of white, pink and blue. The theme sticks in the users mind, is aesthetically pleasing and does not overload the page however it is very bright which although allows the magazine to be easily identified can come across as tacky. Pictures accompany all text grabbing the users attention and allowing them to quickly identify celebrities they want to read about. The layout of articles is less pleasing. After being directed to ‘top stories’ there is no apparent structure to the articles which appear one after another vertically.

Content – A vast amount of celebrity gossip features, presented in short articles and located under news however these are not well signposted. There is only around ten articles per page with no way to browse through months or weeks to look back at stories.

Video and audio – is used, but more is needed! we want to read, hear and see our celebrities in action!

Interactivity – limited, polls appear but are buried beneath a tonne of links! The general public love to voice whatever they want so Now magazine needs to provide a better platform for this to take place. Celebrities cause controversy, everyone loves a scandal but even more everyone loves talking about a scandal. Having more comment boxes and forums easily accessible would benefit the magazine greatly.

UGC – Could barely find any? Come on Now. Aside from a few polls and the odd comment at the end of a news story readers don’t have many options to contribute, ouch.

Overall? – It does the job but I’d rather buy the magazine, improvements needed!


Timeline: History of the social networking site

They dominate our lives but how and when did they begin? A brief look at the history of the social networking site.

1985: The Well was one of the earliest established social networking site, which provided an online community for users to connect with one another.

1994: Live Journal began, an online blogging and sharing site for users to interact.

Friendster was a major hit attracting 3 million users in the first few months

2002: Friendster appeared and was one of the first really successful networking sites, attracting 3 million users in the first few months.

2003: MySpace was established and grew quickly in popularity and users. It allowed users to list their top friends and upload songs. Hi-5 and  Xanga were also launched.

2004: Facebook (originally ‘The Facebook’) was created by American student Mark Zuckerberg, Flickr – a photography orientated social site is also launched.

2005: Bebo was founded as a blogging/networking site intended to rival MySpace.

2006: Facebook became available to all and was an instant success now hosting over more than 400 million active users and around 5 billion pieces of content shared each week. In the same year Twitter hit the social networking scene bringing something new to the table with that of its ‘micro-blogging’ approach. Now extremely popular with celebrities and socialites worldwide.

2010: Google Buzz is launched and is set to rival Facebook… watch this space 🙂