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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 6 November  2012


FROM Strictly to Skyfall and the Merseyside derby to the weather, the hot topics that get Liverpool talking online have been captured for the first time ever in a unique digital portrait of the City created by world renowned digital artist, Brendan Dawes.  Commissioned by EE to mark the of arrival 4G in the UK, Dawes worked closely with a data analysis team at University College London (UCL), capturing the social media conversations and topics trending across the region over the 3 day period from 29 October to 31 October 2012.  The result is a fascinating digital snapshot of life in Liverpool in 2012. Dawes and UCL worked within the categories of sport, politics, film, music, TV, educational, culture and weather; aiming to dig deeper into the topics that affect how people communicate in the City and what they talk about when they go online. Each chosen topic and the hundreds of thousands of digital conversations associated with them are represented by a specific colour coded keyword. From the keywords at the bottom of the artwork a series of lines flare out to form a myriad of coloured interlinked circles. The thickness of the lines and the size and brightness of the circles represents the popularity of each topic and the frequency at which people were speaking about them.

Dawes said:- "People know the Scouse accent as soon as they hear it. Now, for the first time, we've discovered what it actually looks like."

Steven Day, Chief of Brands and Communications, EE commented:- "Superfast 4G is here for the first time in Liverpool and we wanted to mark in a visual way that everyone in the region can relate to and enjoy. 4G will change the way people use the internet, enhancing the way they communicate. This digital snapshot marks that step change."

Liverpool is a City obsessed with the weather according to the artwork, with the giant aqua circles showing just how much people like to discuss it. However, the City's other great passion, football, also dominated the design, especially as the local derby between Liverpool and Everton had taken place the day before the period of measurement began.  Discussion about Steven Gerrard and his comments post the game and the controversial disallowed goal by Luis Suarez raged on for the full 3 days, shown by the numerous red circles. Brendan Dawes concluded:- "It is the people and the activities within it - work, play and the connections within that define a City. This design is a modern sophisticated response to the representation of a City; formed from millions of bits of data as people talk and interact about the biggest events of the day. The shape, derived from nature, evoking the organic nature of a network softens the often harsh representation of digital, leaving instead an impression of a modern dynamic system, that we call cities, in the 21st century."

The key areas that the research focused on during the research period were:-

New York
X Factor
Pride of Britain Awards
Strictly Come Dancing

The artwork will be displayed free to the public at the Fact Gallery from 7 December 2012.  For more information on EE, please visit:-

Still time to give a child a magical Christmas with the NSPCC's Letter from Santa

THE NSPCC is reminding people in Merseyside, there is still time to add some extra magic to a child's Christmas this year by ordering a Letter from Santa, before 17 December 2012. The charity is helping to give a truly memorable Christmas by arranging for a personalised letter from Santa to be sent to children throughout Merseyside for a suggested donation of £5.

There are 5 magical styles of NSPCC Letter from Santa for children of all ages, making them the ideal gift for families with more than one child as each child can receive a truly unique letter. Santa can even write a special letter to celebrate Baby's First Christmas; a keepsake to treasure for years to come. Already the charity has processed 110,000 letters, with more orders coming in every day.

Janette Drew, NSPCC community fundraising manager said:- "Christmas is such an exciting time of year for children, so why not bring even more magic and excitement by ordering your letter for a child, friend or relative, before 17 December and support the NSPCC and ChildLine during this festive season. Every £5 raised by Letter from Santa could help ChildLine be there whenever a child seeks help either online or by phone. And every £25 raised could enable a trained practitioner to deliver 1 hour of support through the NSPCC's helpline for adults who are concerned about a child."

Each letter is uniquely personalised with the child's name, age, address, gender and best friend's name, and there's also the chance to include a final 'P.S.' thought from Santa when you order online. The letters are beautifully illustrated and arrive via reindeer mail to make the experience truly unforgettable. Children will be amazed that Santa knows them so well!

By sending a Letter from Santa you can make a child's Christmas and help the NSPCC to protect children all year round through its projects and services including ChildLine; the UK's free, confidential 24 hour helpline and online service for children and young people in distress or danger.  The reindeer mailroom will be open until 17 December 2012, and all those who request a Letter from Santa this year will be entered into a free prize draw to win a once in a lifetime trip to Lapland for a family of 4. For online orders please visit:- or alternatively you can call:- 0845 839 9304 to place your order.

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