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and writer Sean McManus

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Obama inauguration photos

27 January 2009


I was working from the Boston (US) office on the day of Obama's inauguration this week and we watched it streamed over the web. From his opening line ("My fellow citizens" - reaching out to everyone living in America, not just the born or naturalised Americans), it was clear that this was the start of an era of change. There was a great spirit of optimism in everyone I met. At a concert in a local bar on Friday, the biggest applause was not for the band, nor the singer, but for Obama namechecked at the end.

When I returned home, the Amnesty International magazine in my post tray was calling on Obama to close down Guantanamo. He'd already started. It remains to be seen how much he can achieve how quickly, but he promises a return to values-led politics, something which has been lacking in the US (and the UK) for too long.

Obama's face carved in snow on Widdener Library

Obama's face carved in snow on a pillar of the Widdener Library, Harvard University, on the morning of the inauguration.

Obama merchandise

Obama merchandise in Borders includes a jigsaw puzzle of the Boston Globe front page on the day he won the election, t-shirts, and numerous books, including two written by Obama himself. Whether you want to read Obama's own take on politics, or just wear the icon on your chest, Obama is there for you.

Grocery shop window decorated for Obama

This deli and grocery store was decorated for the occasion. A small crowd was gathered around this shop window watching the news again as I walked home in the evening. The inauguration took place the day after Martin Luther King Day and the shop's other window had a picture of Martin Luther King alongside a picture of Obama.

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Viral marketing for musicians, and flash games

14 January 2009


I've written a new article about viral marketing for musicians, which reviews some examples of how major acts are igniting word of mouth online. It includes an embedded platform game in which you have to help Lily Allen to escape The Fear.

I'm also hosting a version of Space Invaders and an official clone of Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, the game for the DS.

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BBC Radio 4 mentions 'University of Death'

11 January 2009


My novel University of Death was mentioned briefly on Radio 4's Saturday Live, yesterday (at approximately 44:30mins if you want to listen again). I emailed the programme to ask Joanna Trollope for tips on writing titles for novels, given that the title 'University of Death' has put off as many people as it has intrigued.

Joanna's advice was that she follows the model of the 19th century novel, and keeps the title short, plain and descriptive, but she says that the music industry might need something a bit more hip than her book titles. I already have a one word title in mind for my next novel, which follows Joanna's guidelines closely, so perhaps I'm on the right track with that.

As well as getting some free advice from a leading author, it's nice to get a short mention on Radio 4 for my book, including the author, title and subject matter. Radio 4 has 9.45 million listeners, and it's extremely difficult for independent authors to reach an audience of that size.

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New York City photographs

06 January 2009


Happy new year everyone.

In December I visited New York City, and I've just uploaded my gallery of New York City Photographs. It was a great time to be there - the city was decorated for Christmas, including giant baubles and giant Christmas tree lights. There was also a great vibe around Obama's recent election - some people had their Obama campaign stickers left on their jackets with pride, and he was on the cover of nearly every magazine, and on t-shirts on many a street corner.

Here's one photo that didn't make it into the main gallery:

Invisible wigs shop

According to the shop owner, there are actually three wigs in this window display. Incredible.

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Books by Sean McManus

Scratch Programming in 

Easy Steps

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Learn to program with the Scratch programming language, widely used in schools and colleges.

Set up your Pi, master Linux, learn Scratch and Python, and create your own electronics projects.

Coder Academy

Coder Academy

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Learn to make games and other programs in Scratch 2.0, and make a web page in HTML, with this highly interactive book for 7-10 year olds.

Discover how to make 3D games, create mazes, build a drum machine, make a game with cartoon animals and more!

More books

©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.