Media Influence on Persona

Recently there has been a lot of coverage in the media on missing Madeleine McCann.

Initially, there was a massive international manhunt and lots of coverage on all types of media (newspapers, television, radio, internet etc). Everyone was backing the McCanns in the search for their daughter, including a number of famous celebrities such as David Beckham and J.K. Rowling.

However, over the past couple of weeks the Portugese police have turned their attention to the McCanns and have made them suspects in the disappearance of their daughter.

My aim here isn’t to discuss the innocence or guilt of Madeleine’s parents. I’m sure there will be plenty of focus on this in the upcoming weeks and months.

My focus is on the McCanns persona. Within the Identity world there is a lot of talk about a person’s persona and how different personas are portrayed to different groups of people. For example, my work persona is quite different from my home persona. However, the recent events with the McCanns goes to prove that we only have so much control over our persona and how we are portrayed to different people. Alot of this influence comes from the media. In the past week I have seen how the British people have slowly started turning against Madeleine’s parents through no direct actions of the McCanns. It is all based on speculation in the media.

So, whilst the McCanns have not changed their public facing persona towards the world, the influence of the media means that people are viewing them very differently than before.

The McCanns are by no means the only example of this. There are examples (mainly celebrities) of this happening time and time again.

It reminds me of the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, where the media mogul is trying to control people’s reaction by controlling the information that is provided to them through the media.

I do find it quite disconcerting that the media can have such power of people’s lives.

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Better experience

San Francisco has redeemed itself.

After my slightly derogatory comments earlier in the week, today I had chance to explore a bit more of the city. After walking round for several hours as well as driving a number of miles around, I managed to find the ‘better’ places in the city.

I would love to come back to San Francisco when I aren’t working and bring my wife. She would love the place. Especially all the designer shops around Union Square!

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Recent travels

I know I have been fairly quiet on the blogging front recently. Not only have I had a lot on at work but I have been travelling quite a bit.

I also find it interesting when I travel to compare the different places I have been and to make some observations. Over the past couple of weeks I have been to both Munich and San Francisco. Unfortunately, I didn’t get chance to see much of Munich so don’t have much information to compare.

However, this week I am in San Francisco. I love America. I have only been here a couple of times (last time was Boston in 2004) but really enjoy it here. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much chance to do a lot of sightseeing due to work (it always gets in the way) but I have managed to see a few things whilst here.

My ‘piece de resistance’ this week was visiting Alcatraz. This has always been a childhood dream, so turning it into reality was fantastic for me. It was just as I expected and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I would love to go back there again. I have also done a few other obligatory tourist things like drive over the Golden Gate Bridge etc.

Despite my limited time here, I couldn’t help but compare SF to Boston. I must say there seems (to me anyway) to be a stark contrast.

Boston seems clean, spacious and friendly. However, SF seems the opposite. For me it just doesn’t have the same experience. I am stopping in a hotel just off Union Square but despite being central, the area seems a bit rundown. There are tramps and beggars on every street corner and I don’t have the same sense of safety whilst walking down the street as I did in Boston.

I’m sure there are some lovely parts of San Francisco but so far I haven’t managed to find them. It looks like I might have a bit of spare time on Friday so if anyone can suggest some nice places I should see, I would appreciate it. I would hate to leave SF with a negative view of my time here and the city in general.

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Its official (finally)

Finally, after much speculation and a couple of leaks on the Internet, Oracle has finally announced that they have bought Bridgestream for their Enterprise Role Management capabilities. Despite Mel’s thoughts that Oracle has paid over the odds for them, I think this is a very good announcement for Oracle.

This acquisition stands to further enhance Oracle’s already comprehensive offering in the Identity and Access Management space and put them in an even stronger position to offer a complete solution.

I am currently in San Francisco (more on that later) finding out more details about both the Bharosa and Bridgestream acquisitions and hopefully will find out the strategy for these two products moving forward.

From a personal point of view, I must say that Oracle is certainly a good place to be working right now around IAM, what with these recent acquisitions and their strategy and vision.

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One of the funniest acts on the planet

Whilst on a training course this week, someone showed me a clip of a guy called Johan Lipowitz (David Armand) performing “Karaoke for the Deaf” to Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn.

I don’t think I have laughed so much in a long time. If you haven’t seen this guy in action, check out the following (my favourites):

Clip 1
Clip 2 (including Natalie)
Clip 3

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