Howard Kennedy’s head of construction has very strong opinions…

What is your preferred means of communication? (email, phone, text, video conference etc)
Lately, it’s all been hour long conference calls listening to the parties’ agents trade insults while on ‘mute’ trying to do something else, but ever alert and ready to jump in. Possibly not the most efficient way of doing business. I like email, though if I want a client to sit up and listen I’ll post (and email) a letter. Some clients like text, the impermanence of which gives me the heebie geebies.

Are you into social networking? (LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter)
Facebook strictly for far flung friends and rellies only. I distrust Twitter’s ostensible anonymity. I’m a big devotee of LinkedIn and it’s great for keeping track of longstanding contacts as they move onwards and upwards. I get a lot of invites from, let’s face it, the Competition, and politely point out that I think they may be rather missing the point.

Favourite digital gadget?
Blackberry. No contest. You can do anything anywhere. You can even download a PDF, convert it to text, amend it and send it back while scheduling a reminder for 6.30 am in a month’s time (please see page 50347 of the manual…..) I’m learning to love my Kindle though.

Blackberry, android or phone?
Blackberry. I am mildly amused by all the consultants who wax lyrical about what the iphone can do, offer to demonstrate, and then can’t get enough signal to do so. But it’s all a bit of a fetish isn’t it? One of my favourite developer clients signs off emails “sent from Pioneer 10 spacecraft wireless service” because “Pioneer 10 was sent by NASA 40 years ago to explore the Galaxy and not only it has not come back but we lost communication with it eight years ago”. Quite. PS what’s an android? I know I should know.

Mac or PC?
You should ask “Apple” or “Microsoft”? Microsoft because a) with me, usually Apple’s hardware breaks down 3 and half minutes after expiration of the warranty and b) I object ethically to the alleged lack of “wealth trickle down” to Apple’s software partners. Ooh, is that a bit political?!

Favourite app?
Intermediate Welsh course and iPlayer

What is your favourite/worst website?
Fave: Wikipedia for instantly being able to check the age, critical reception and background of any media event I’ve just experienced (though I was disappointed to discover that even Neil Young doesn’t know what “After the Gold Rush” means because “it depends what I was on at the time”. Worst (for me) Amazon and iTunes because of the instant availability of everything all the time (see below).

What did you last buy online?
A girly pink leather Kindle cover with a light. Wildly overpriced but gorgeous.

What’s top on your iPod?
Complete statistical honesty? Apparently it’s my poppy bubblegum gym selection including Mark Ronson and Rihanna, my son Ed and his mate Cam’s Snow Christmas 2010 EP and Two Suns by Bat for Lashes. So there you have it.

Karen Kirkham is a partner and head of construction at Howard Kennedy.