This tech-savvy associate director carries both an iPhone and Blackberry but would rather communicate over a meal and glass of red wine
What is your favourite website?
My favourite website has to be IMDB. My memory is useless and when watching a film I’ll constantly be asking ‘who’s that and what else were they in? Why do I know them?’. IMDB has replaced the enormous tome of Halliwell’s Film Guide and become my memory.
What is your worst digital habit?
Checking my Twitter/Facebook/email before I get out of bed in the morning whilst listening to Radio 4’s Today show.
iPhone/Blackberry/Android. Which side are you on?
I tote around both an iPhone and a Blackberry. Blackberry is great for actual calls, emails and BBM, iPhone is better for maps, internet and weather forecasts. If and when my iPhone dies I might switch to Android - but I still miss my hardy Nokia
Are you into social networking? (linkedin, twitter, facebook etc)
I think I can safely answer YES. I can be found on twitter @melstarrs and occasionally tweet for our work account at @PRPEnv. I am also on LinkedIn which again I use as my IMDB for contacts (how do I know them again - aha - they used to work for such and such, etc - the internet has become my memory!) I use Facebook purely for personal and family contacts - it’s a perfect way of keeping in touch with friends who have moved abroad and are in different time zones
Are you on Twitter? If so who do you recommend to follow?
I ‘follow’ just under 1000 people on Twitter but don’t try to keep up with all the content - I treat it as a stream I dip into every now and then throughout the day when things catch my eye. In the recent feed-in tariff debacle I’ve found the tweets from the court room invaluable - and the follow-up blogs and articles - so I’d recommend @VernOnBuilding @nickduxbury and @James_BG, plus of course @GregBarkerMP. Twitter comes into it’s own for real time reporting on fast moving stories
What is your favourite app?
I am a big fan of David Allen’s productivity book ‘Getting Things Done’. I don’t follow his system religiously but I do use the ‘Remember the Milk’ app both on iPhone and web to keep track of my to-do lists. I also love Evernote where I keep track of article snippets or clippings from books I might want to refer to again in the future, or draft blog ideas. Like I keep saying, the internet IS my memory. If it ever falls down I’ll be lost…
What is your preferred means of communication? (eg. Email, phone, face to face, text etc)
Face to face, preferably over a great meal and some red wine. Sadly, it’s usually more expedient to communicate by email…
What did you last buy online?
I got a Kindle for Christmas so I’ve been splurging out on eBooks - just bought and started to read ‘The Art of Managing Professional Services’ by Maureen Broderick, which was recommended by @nextmoon - most management books concentrate on firms which make stuff - this concentrates on professional services (knowledge workers) such as architecture and engineering, who create value by selling expertise rather than widgets.
PC or Mac?
We have PC’s at work and at home I have a linux netbook (Asus EEE), an ancient Toshiba laptop, a snazzy new MacBook Pro and a first generation iPad. Plus two old PC carcasses stored ‘just in case’. I have no loyalty really and switch between whatever is to hand. Keeping most of my ‘stuff’ in the cloud means I can be hardware agnostic and peripatetic - I can log on anywhere on anything and have access to what I need.
Guilty pleasures: Most played tunes from iTunes/Spotify?
Lana del Rey’s Video Games has been on repeat constantly since it came out but failed to knock Adele’s Rolling in the Deep off the most played tune top spot for 2011.
Mel Starrs is associate director at PRP Architects