Author Archive

The power of ‘we’

Becky Rowe writes:

I’ve been in Australia for a few days for a client project and one of things I have noticed (aside from the jetlag and great weather) is the constant reference across all kinds of public communications to ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘together’, ‘you’, and ‘community’.

New building projects mention ‘helping our communities grow stronger’, while ‘no alcohol’ signs on the beaches explain why it is beneficial to everyone if you don’t drink your beers on the beach. The taxi rank at the airport had a large sign which communicated clearly and simply what you could ask of your taxi driver, and what he could expect of you (you are entitled to ask your driver to turn on or off the radio or aircon, and to take a different route, but you aren’t allowed to be drink or eat in the cab).

The prevalence of these signs, the explicit wording, and clear reference to shared responsibilities, all communicated in a friendly and understandable way, somehow surprised me. In some ways I found them a bit patronising, but I also found it refreshing to have ‘the rules’ of ‘good citizenship’ made clear.

Knowing the rationale behind an apparently bureacratic or even irrational rule can make all the difference to compliance. I think the UK has something to learn from the Australians about how to behave – and how to get people to behave.

15 May 2008 at 9:29 pm 1 comment

Online couch potatoes

Xfactor Logo

Becky Rowe writes:

Watching TV on your own or looking to indulge in the irreverent wit of a bunch of Guardian Unlimited readers? Then log on to the ‘Real time telly – talk about it now’ thread. The premise is that you can chat about what you are watching, whilst you are watching. Particularly good to spice up the solo viewing experience, or if your ‘witty’ comments have been banned by your sofa buddy, but you are still desperate to share…

This phenomenon came to my attention last Saturday when I noticed that the X-factor thread had become one of the most active on the GU discussion boards. Not only is a place to share observations about the contestants, or canvass votes for your favourite, but there is now a real sense of online community around the live Saturday night transmission. A perfect example of what happens when real (if you count X-factor as real!?) collides with virtual

26 November 2007 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment


The Futures Company blog

The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.


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