The curse of Stuart Free – The Neon Laureate of North London

Like a lot of N postcoders I adore the paintings of the man who the
Indie dubbed as ‘The Neon Laureate of North London,’ aka Stuart Free.
I love the way he captures landmarks I know all to well in a dramatic,
colourful style. If Hopper had been British and painting the early
21st century I think he would have painted in this way too.

What is slightly disconcerting is what I think is the curse of Stuart
Free. Basically he paints a building and within years it has gone.

The evidence

Piccadilly Cafe, Walthamstow Dog track, Arsenal’s East Stand. Need I
go on. And I bet there are plenty more buildings in his collection
that won’t be around for too much longer. Please don’t paint Senate
House Stuart!

Anyway to see his fantastic work go here


Top Blogs Football – Who Ate All the Pies is number one!


Cheers to the guys at Wikio for confirming what we knew already that Anorak’s Publishing’s Pies is the UK’s number one football blog. You can see the list here

Well done then to Ollie and the team who in a year have taken Pies from 250k unique monthly users to over 800k.

And Pies is much more that a blog these days too. The First Pies magazine (for print and iPad) is merely weeks away and it will be amazing

Who Ate all the Pies to launch (iPad and print) magazine crowdsourcing some of its content from its readers


Massively excited about this. The UK’s best football website,, is to launch a magazine. Available in early December the magazine will be available as a free download for the iPad and as a printed version.

Some of the content for the magazine will be crowdsourced from Pies huge (over 800,000 readers each month) and passionate community.

There’s more information about the project here…

We (Anorak Publishing) are looking for sponsors for the project – especially sports and photography brands – contact ashleyatanorakdotcodotuk

UK print newspapers dead by 2019 – US ones by 2017


Ok, so it is speculation, but speculation based on trends, which if anything are being exacerbated by the current tricky economic climate.

Anyhow this post uses a series of metrics to predict when newspapers in their print form will become extinct. The UK will apparently be a print-free zone by 2019.

It is worth remembering that many in the newspaper indusrty have also made similar predictions. The Guar’s Ed Alan Rusbridger has said that he thinks the paper’s print edition could be gone as soon as 2015…

Why The Times’ paywall ‘success’ could be great news for social media agencies


Today’s big story is that The Times has unveiled the numbers of subscribers to its website and iPad editions, and it seems to be quite good news for newspapers in general and Rupert Murdoch in particular.…

Apparently the the overall number of those who have paid something to read digital content since July is 105,000 for The Times and Sunday Times, which includes sales for the iPad and Kindle. Half of that figure are subscribers with the rest made up of people who taken advantage of the various offers and dipped behind the paywall.

Overall it is good news for The Times. It may only boast a fraction of the traffic that it acheived pre-paywall, but it is clear that there are people who will pay for online content. In theory at least that number will grow as print dwindles and users get accustomed to paying for online content.

We should be a little cautious about the figures though.

For example I may be counted twice – once for a free iPad sub and a second for the day I subscribed for a day pass. If I am typical then NI certainly isn’t generating a lot of income.

I do think the figures will encourage other publishers to experiment with paywalls and we will see more media brands establishing themselves as paid content online companies.

So why is this good for social media agencies? Well if more and more publishers find that the paywall works as a business model then there will be less free content online. The number of people paying/subscribing will only be a tiny fraction of the people who were using the sites before. Publishers will be happy because they are making money, but their online influence will decline dramatically. From a brand’s perspective that could make it far less essential to talk to journalists and much more important to talk to larger numbers of people directly – via social media.

Once again this presents a huge opportunity for publishers and brands who champion the open web as they will be be able to attract many more users than publishers who use the paywall.

At Sutro we believe that there is a great opportunity for brands to establish themselves as content companies. The success of the paywall makes this task even more attractive, and in a bizarre way, slightly easier.