Digital editions of things I’ve edited

I manage all the content for Building‘s contract publishing supplements which, by the magic of the web, are now available as digital editions. Here you can have a virtual flick through a recent eight-pager for ICI – as it’s about paint, it was a good excuse to have fun with a very lairy colour scheme. And today we published a 32-page magazine for the government’s waste quango, WRAP. But this one is probably my favourite, for Waitrose earlier this year, which was rather more successful than my shortlived stint on their checkouts in 1994.

I’ve also edited quite a few editorial supplements – like this one on the retail sector in November 2007, this careers guide with a sustained “Choose Your Own Adventure” theme (complete with “If you decide to leap the ravine, turn to page 5” links) and this one, focusing on construction in the Gulf states – a must if you like pictures of very tall buildings…

Back to the future

2009 wasn’t a great year to be working in, or writing about, construction, and by October Building’s Good Employers Guide could be forgiven for deciding to reminisce about the boom instead. I looked at what HR departments can do to make life easier for staff at the mercy of frenzied M&A activity – deal-making is enormous fun for top execs, but less so for the underlings whose fate they’re buying and selling. Something to look forward to when the upturn finally comes…

Not-so-deserted desert city

Post-bust press coverage of Dubai conjured up poetic images of deserted half-built towers and tumbleweed blowing down the Sheikh Zayed Road. But what about all those construction people who moved there? They can’t all have abandoned their 4x4s at the airport and come home. I tracked them down and discovered that not only has expat life gone on, it’s considerably less blighted by traffic jams…

The case of the kamikaze pigeon

With a few pages to fill in a hurry, Insurance Times asked me to call some claims experts and ask them the maddest claims they’d ever heard – and whether or not they turned out to be true. The most ludicrous was probably the one about the man who claimed that, on Christmas Eve, he was doing some painting at the premises of his printing firm – the next thing he knew, he woke up and his trousers were on fire (paid!). The saddest was the story of the old lady who was convinced that her neighbour was climbing into her attic and wearing out the print in her books by reading them. But I’m particularly curious to find out which Northwest London-based rock star paid £25,000 for a worthless bit of carpet…