Interview with Steve Chambers (@stevie_chambers), Wikibon’s first analyst outside of the US

April 29, 2015

By Rosalind Carr (@Rosalind_at_O) and Rose Ross (@Rose_at_O)

Stevie Chambers

The Countdown Team catch-up with Wikibon‘s newly appointed Senior Analyst Steve Chambers, who is flying the flag for the Wikibon community in the UK. We chat hot topics in cloud for 2015, the best way to pitch him and his favourite industry events of the year…

Leeds_United_-_Logo.svgTell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a living paradox: I love my home town, but I also love global reach.  I love football, but I’m a Leeds United fan.  Most importantly the tech world I came from is being eaten alive, and I’m cheering on Pacman.

Tell us a little bit about your firm and its interest in the cloud. 

Wikibon meets my paradox criteria because it has history and future and I love it because it always aims to look at the crazy world of IT from the perspective of the bamboozled end user.  There’s so much change, variation and hype that it’s a nightmare for enterprise IT to make sense of it all: all those folks want is to make the best informed decision, and I think the channels of Wikibon are one way to help that. Read the rest of this entry »


5 golden PR rules for events…

March 4, 2014

By Rosalind Carr @Rosalind_at_O and Rose Ross @Rose_at_O

 ipexpo-exhibitionnewsIn the midst of a busy events period, the O-team have had some tips from Désiré Athow (@desireathow), Editor of TechRadar Pro, and are armed with a trusty event PR checklist at the ready!



Here are 5 handy hints for PRs looking to make the most of event opportunities with the press…

 1.      Timing is key in the run up to events – Do not wait for the last week to invite journalists to briefings- pitch as early as possible to bag a slot in their diary! With an initial conversation in advance, you’ll also have the time to get a sense of what they’d like to discuss, and can prepare accordingly if a briefing is arranged.

2.      Communicating with the press – Each journalist is different in the way they like to be pitched. For instance, we can definitely understand Désiré’s aversion to out of the blue PR calls pitching interviews with unknown companies. However, there are now so many ways of communicating, that over time, you can gage different journalists’ preferences for contact.

For instance, the old fashioned PR call may be welcomed by press you’ve been in touch with before or those in search of relevant content for an upcoming feature, but perhaps not by a journalist who works part-time, or is on a tight deadline (who may prefer to respond in their own time over email). Alternatively, if they’re a Twitter addict, there’s no harm in a quick tweet to see if they’re interested in what you have to say, you could even get involved with their current discussions if you can contribute something relevant and notable to the conversation.

Knowing your audience goes a long way.

3.      Don’t expect a feature to be written on the back of every briefing – Journalists are often short on time, and may end up writing shorter than expected content pieces. In this case, there are ways that may keep you on their radar for future opportunities. See what they’re chatting about on Twitter/LinkedIn, or download the publication’s forward features to gain a sense of their hot topics in the coming weeks and months!

4.      Unfortunately, no shows can happen – This could be for a number of reasons, but it’s always best to follow up with an offer of a phone briefing, or find out if they’re attending another upcoming event where they can re-schedule the meeting for. Consider your efforts in getting the initial nod from the journalist – better to do a quick follow up, maximising the opportunity at hand and the chance of getting exposure.

5.      Making the most of time with the press   In most cases, journalists’ busy schedules mean they’re not likely to stay at said event from start to finish. If your client is chatting with a journalist without a pre-organised briefing, communicating clear messages that will be of particular interest to them is key.

Have a snoop of the press list in advance if available, and do a little research on who’s attending and if/why they’d be interested in your client.

Overall, understanding and responding to how journalists work will maximise your press success at events.

The common link between these five pointers is preparation and flexibility –such as identifying how best to inform and engage with the journalist, pro-active follow ups, and therefore uncovering future opportunities.

And you’ll be pleased to hear we’ll also be interviewing Desire to find out more about what makes the editor of TechRadar Pro tick


Rose Ross talks to Hans De Leenheer, independent Blogger and vEXPERT

August 29, 2013

Hans de Leenheer, Independent blogger

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O, and Rosalind Carr, @Rosalind_at_O

This summer Rose caught up with Belgium based independent Blogger Hans De Leenheer @hansdeleenheer, chatting storage, virtualization, American Football and Storage Beers… Check out his latest insights at  http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.co.uk/

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:

As I was previously a systems engineer, I suppose initially I fell into blogging by putting solutions to problems encountered into a blog to help tackle these problems. In the last three years, I have put my focus more towards storage, compiling the how to’s and offering my insights into different areas of storage and virtualization.

As I started blogging more about new products and industry moves I gained interest from the vendor community. I got invites from DELL, HP and others to come to their events as an influencer. The best thing I do is being passionate about technology and sharing that passion with others, whether that is through writing, presenting or just speaking to people in person. And that is what I do today; I represent vendors when they need someone passionate to explain their technology. Read the rest of this entry »


Check out interview with Colm Keegan, Storage Switzerland, at Countdown2StorageExpo.com

July 10, 2013

Colm KeeganAn in-depth interview with Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst at Storage Switzerland, is available at Countdown2StorageExpo.com. Check out the interview here.

Olivia Shannon writes: “Colm Keegan has been involved with Storage Switzerland for several years as a ghost writer, but came onboard full-time at the beginning of this year. Read the rest of this entry »


Rose Ross talks to W Curtis Preston (aka Mr Backup – @wcpreston), @TruthinIT

May 13, 2013

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O, and Olivia Shannon, @Olivia_at_O

W-Curtis-preston-190-x-150Countdown2StorageExpo blog editor Rose Ross’s (@Rose_at_O) interview with W Curtis Preston (aka Mr Backup) from TruthinIT is available here. People who know Curtis are used to seeing him interview the leading storage CEOs for TruthinIT – but at this year’s CeBIT in Germany, Rose got the chance to interview the interviewer. Curtis explained that TruthinIT is a publishing and media company that organises seminars, webinars and videos (even parody music videos). The audience Read the rest of this entry »


4 steps to winning a speaking slot at SNW Europe (@snweurope) #snweurope

April 16, 2013

snw_largeBy Olivia Shannon, @Olivia_at_O

As our own Rose Ross (@Rose_at_O) blogged back in February, next Friday, April 26th is the call for papers deadline for the Storage Networking World Europe (SNW Europe), Datacenter Technologies and Virtualization World conferences.

As in previous years, the event organisers are seeking “quality submissions from IT end-users, consultants, industry analysts and system integrators/VARs, describing case studies or technology update sessions that focus on real-world deployments and/or methods and best practices to evaluate new, existing or future solutions. ” More information and suggested topics are available here.

If you’re busy putting together your submission, you might be interested in these tips for winning an SNW Europe speaking slot, taken from a previous Countdown2StorageExpo blog post based on a conversation with the conference programme director at the time, Paul Trowbridge: Read the rest of this entry »


Act quick for VMworld 2013 call for papers deadline this Friday

April 10, 2013

By Rosalind Carr, @Rosalind_at_O

There’s only a couple of days left to get your entries in for the VMworld 2013 call for papers deadline (Friday 12th April).

Create a unique overview describing your experiences of integrating VMware solutions and technologies – offering advice, sharing your key elements of success as well as the challenges you have overcome.

Useful links: Read the rest of this entry »