Author: Laurence Borel

Symantec report shows that mobile and Social Media vulnerabilities are on the increase

Security software company Symantec recently published a couple of interesting infographics and whitepapers highlighting an increase in online vulnerabilities particularly in social Media and Mobile. According to Symantec, an alarming 53% of scanned websites in 2012 contained a vulnerability, which happened to me last year

I was a Norton anti-virus  user for many before I switched to Mac computers (I’d like to think that Macs are safe… for now anyway), and I would recommend Android users to download Symantec’s Mobile Security App. Better safe than sorries, especially as all our devices are interconnected nowadays.

You can download the whitepapers and view the infographics here (part 1) and here (part 2)

Website Security The Most Important Trends from 2012 - Infographic Part 2

From Symantec Website Security Solutions

How to find your academic research question

When I started my MRes last October, my goal was to carry out and publish research in ‘Social Media’. One year on, and I am now in the middle of drafting my research proposal; the past 12 months have been exactly what I expected them to be: blood (due to paper cuts!), sweat (I have lost count of the late nights I spent frantically editing essays or doing some last minute pre-exam cramming) and tears (especially during the stats module). But overall it’s been a very exciting journey, and the beginning of a new chapter as I start working on my research.

I started drafting my proposal at the beginning of July and submitted a very much ‘work in progress’ draft to my lecturer 3 weeks later. Something was missing; the right research question. And for the past 3 weeks, I have focussed on nailing that question by reading (soon I’ll need storage space for my articles!), thinking, brainstorming, scribbling (on my Moleskine), rewinding my thinking and occasionally Googling (!!).

The Googling I did helped find this super useful presentation

And in the spirit of sharing and helping future researchers, I have put this SlideShare together  based on my personal experience of wrestling with the dreaded research question!

Feel free to leave your tips in the comments box below, and for those interested, you can find out more about my research or get involved right here!

Why MoMa acquired Pac-Man – TED talk

Things have been quiet on my blog lately as I been extremely busy with my studies, and have had no spare time on my hands to blog. I have started working on my proposal which is very exciting. I should be able to share more info about my research topic in the coming weeks.

Designers do not aspire to be artists, designers aspire to be great designers

I came across this TED video Paola Antonelli on TED explaining why MoMa acquired Pac-Man as well as a number of other video games from the past decades. As an art lover, I tend to sit on the fence who thinks that video-games are not art but I fully appreciated her point about design, and interaction design and the role these games have played, and still play in pop culture. The key thing for me is that they’re acquiring a code, thus preserving the games’ legacy.

Thumbnail image via

Case Study: SW Fitness brand identity development

Project objective: brand identity development, website build with direct return on investment and Twitter training

SW Fitness, a personal trainer based in South West London needed a professional-looking website to promote personal training services in a competitive and saturated industry. First, a clear, yet simple and effective visual identity was developed with the help of a graphic designer. Second, we needed a flexible website, which was built on WordPress for ease of use. A clear content narrative and website hierarchy was also developed to ensure maximum conversion.

The next challenge was getting the site to organically rank for the keywords ‘ Personal Trainer Clapham’ and ‘Personal Trainer SW London’. Through offsite content marketing/link-building, we managed to get the website to rank the site now ranks on the first page of Google generating a healthy traffic and return on investment.

SW Fitness have also had some Twitter training and use the social network to connect with potential customers.


Celebrating 13 years in the UK and a decade spent working in Marketing!

Today is 13th anniversary in the UK; that’s right I moved over here on 11th June 2000, a very special date to me.

I was gifted at languages as a teenager, and my mum sent me on 3-week EF trip in 1994 with an English family; that’s when I fell in love with the UK, spending every summer in Great-Britain until I finally permanently relocated following the completion of my Modern Languages degree in 2000.

I went onto studying Marketing in Canterbury and moved to London in 2003 to kick start my marketing career. Over the past decade I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and brands, and done some pretty amazing things.

Time to reflect on a decade spent working in marketing.

1) The Qualitative Research years (2003-2008) 

St Basil's Cathedral - colourful domes

I originally started my career in International Qualitative Research. Working with international clients, I got to jet off to some pretty cool places to moderate but also watch focus groups. There were weeks where I could travel to two or three different countries before flying back to London to debrief the client. The most ‘exotic’ place I’ve undoubtedly been to is Moscow and I’d love to go back some day.


2) The Digital PR years (2008-2010) 

Sergio (Blog Motori) and myself at the launch of the Honda Live Every Litre campaign in London (July 2010)
Sergio (Blog Motori) and myself at the launch of the Honda Live Every Litre campaign in London (July 2010)


Thanks to this very blog, I was headhunted in 2008 and landed my dream job as a Social Media/Digital PR Strategist when the industry was still in its infancy.

As a blogger myself, my specialism quickly became Digital PR.

I managed the pan-European blogger outreach/content creation element of  Honda’s Live Every Litre campaign back in 2010 and met Sergio from Blog Motori at the premiere in London. I even visited Sergio in Sicily last year. 


3) The Social Media years (2010-2012)

Following my two-year stint in PR, I then moved onto a broader Social Media role agency-side. Highlights include creating infographics around the X-Factor for Virgin, working with some of the top fashion bloggers in the UK but the cherry on the cake has to be comissioning a piece of art from Popbang Colour for Ford and going in a car with stunt driver Paul Swift.

You can briefly see me at 2.43 just behind Popbang Colour! 😉

 4) Lecturing Marketing at my former University 

I have been lecturing Social Media and Digital Marketing at my former university for the past couple of years as well as being on the board of advisors for the Marketing department. I also train organisations on how to use social media and occasionally take part in industry panels.

5) Going back to University and creating my company (2012-ongoing) 

Last year I made the decision to go back to University part-time to complete a Masters by Research in Marketing. I am currently working a major piece of academic research around the use of hashtags in advertising. Juggling a Masters whilst working full time is not an easy task but it’s been totally worth it! Incidentally ‘going freelance’ and creating LHB Digital Ltd.  has hugely helped my career.

6) Heading up the Social Media and Digital Engagement initiative during the London 2012 Olympics at the Greater London Authority 

As some of you may know, I was responsible for the overall digital engagement (Social, Web and Email) around the London 2012 Olympics at the Greater London Authority last summer, which truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity.


So what about now? 

Thanks to my stint at the GLA I am now a Global Programme Manager at a large oil company looking after the Digital Engagement strategy (web, social, email and mobile) across the world.

I wonder where I’ll be in 13 years time, but I can confidently say that I am still madly in love with the UK. Here’s to the next 13 years!

What crazy things have you done in your career?