Power of Tweets (MediaCityUK Photos)

October 18, 2010
University of Salford MCUK Building

University of Salford MCUK Building

I had an interesting experience last week of the impact that Twitter now has on (some) corporate activity.

As those who have read some of these infrequent posts before will know I’m part of the team preparing University of Salford for moving some of its media and media technology related activity to its new home in MediaCityUK. So on Wednesday it was such a beautiful crisp sunny day I came to work via Salford Quays to take a look. Grabbed a camera at the last minute to capture some pictures so I could incorporate them in presentations etc at work – perfect morning for it! Didn’t realise the trouble it would cause….

BBC Building

BBC Building

So arrival at the site, perfect photo weather for shiny new buildings and it looks great!

This is one of the main BBC buildings on site, lovely curved front onto the ship canal overlooking the Imperial War Museum North, itself something of an iconic building.

Onto the MediaCityUK piazza then, only opened a couple of days before it’s looking great. Mature trees, grass etc all making it look more bedded in than expected.

Here’s the piazza looking toward the building above…

MediaCityUK piazza

MediaCityUK piazza


Just what’s needed to generate some excitement about moving into the building below in autumn next year….

University of Salford MCUK Building

University of Salford MCUK Building

It’s looking great!

Which is one of the reasons I was so irritated when a security guard wondered over and said I was “not allowed to take pictures of the buildings”.

Errrrrm, why?

“Because they’re private property”.

OK so I’m on publicly accessible land, and I”m not permitted to take pictures? Why is that then?

“oh you can take pictures….. but only in that direction” (motions toward the Lowry)

Well, it’s a pretty bulding but I’m really interested in these ones. So am I allowed to walk all the way over there by the Lowry and take photos?

“You can’t take pictures from anywhere of these buildings, they’re private property”


“But then again I couldn’t run all the way over there to stop you so, yeah go ahead”

I did try to explain that we’d actually commissioned the building and were taking the keys to it in 4 weeks which caused some embarrassment but still, NOT PERMITTED. Odd really when there are so many great pictures of the site all over the net.


I thought of emailing Peel Media who own the site and would have but thought, hang on, I follow their tweets – I wonder….

So ensued the following conversation:

Ben Shirley @BenGShirleyBen Shirley
@creatingacity wondering why photographing #mediacityukbuildings is forbidden? Was told to point camera elsewhere this morning.
MediaCityUKcreatingacity MediaCityUK
@BenGShirley We are more than happy for people to take pictures here of the site. We’ve got lots of people wandering around, doing so.
Ben Shirley @BenGShirleyBen Shirley
@creatingacity maybe you should mention this to the security guards who are rushing around stopping people from taking photos?
MediaCityUK@creatingacity MediaCityUK
@BenGShirley What building were you trying to take images of? If it was the Uni it is still a construction area and that may be why.
Ben Shirley @BenGShirleyBen Shirley
@creatingacity pictures of several including the Uni one but from the piazza which is public access. Security insistent that I stop.
MediaCityUK@creatingacity MediaCityUK
@BenGShirley You should not have a problem again with rest of site. Security have been briefed.
Ben Shirley@BenGShirley Ben Shirley
@creatingacity thanks for quick and positive response, glad to hear it and I look forward to next visit more now!

Many thanks to @creatingacity for such a sensible, cool and timely response. Also thanks to @Mark_Whitfield, @TonyChurnside and @pixbyvish for supportive vibes and comments.

I do wonder how long this would have taken to resolve had I emailed Peel media through the normal channels and the email had been filtered through the corporistas and perhaps never reached someone that understood online though. Full marks to the person who looks after @creatingacity for common sense and a sense of humour.

Anyhow, here’s some of the other (illegal!!!) pictures from the day on Flickr, I hope you enjoy.


University of Salford MediaCityUK building from BBC

University of Salford MediaCityUK building from BBC



  1. Thanks for the update Ben and great blue sky pictures. I have posted this Blog entry on the MediaCityUK LinkedIn group. Looks like today is shaping up to be another nice, blue sky day in the Quays.

  2. Yes, Twitter helps us to release the power our words have. But then, I guess, I’m rather in favour of words. As I teach Creative Writing and am a writer. I too find Twitter a powerful tool.

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