Take a look through our weekly features and opinion pieces, including insights into some of the most exciting companies in the North, as well as interviews with the people who run them.

The Northern accent is back in fashion according to a recent survey by Manchester's PH Media Group. So Prolific North asked Dan Lafferty, the company's head of music and voice to tell us why more UK companies are speaking with a regional twang.

In June 1993 a chance meeting in an Altrincham wine bar between Mark Duerr, MD of preserves manufacturer F. Duerr and Sons, and Tony Tighe, who had just sold his PR Company GTPR to the multinational Euro RSCG Group, led to a new PR company being established.

With almost 61 million websites across the world and 40 million new posts published on its platform each month, Wordpress is one of the truly remarkable stories of the internet age. But while one of its two founders has gone on to 'rockstar' status in the global tech community and a net worth estimated at $40million, the other lives in virtual anonymity in Stockport running his own small web development company.

The modern newspaper editor’s dilemmas are many. In a metropolis the size of London for example you would expect the 13 million citizens to support a paid-for evening title. It doesn’t. Paid for circulations are inexorably shrinking, writes Mark Dickinson, former editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror North West and of the Midlands.

It’s the third and final day of my trip to San Francisco and I’m travelling from the city to San Jose, with a stop in-between, to see some of the most high profile businesses in the world and talk to the people that are shaping them right now. Here’s a summary of what I discovered:

So it’s day two of the trip and we’ve ventured out of the city and circumnavigated the whole Bay area to meet three of the biggest business brains on the West Coast - if not the whole of the US. It’s been quite a journey that has not disappointed. Here’s a summary of today’s enlightenments:

Tangerine's MD, B2B, Sam Gregory, is currently on a five-day business fact-finding mission in the United States, learning more about how some of the largest, most successful companies in the world got to be that way. Meeting CEOs, founders and other senior leaders of dot com businesses like Google and LinkedIn as well as more 'traditional' enterprises in construction, services and finance, Sam is hoping to return from her trip with inspiration and ideas. This is her first dispatch.

A Yorkshire-based website for mountain bike enthusiasts is experiencing "unprecedented growth" - with monthly website hits about to soar through the 10-million mark. Singletrack Magazine was launched in April 2001 by two freelance journalists who saw a gap in the market when their favourite publication, Mountain Bike World, went under.

The Skinny, which lays the claim to be Scotland’s largest entertainment and listings magazine, is planning to launch a dedicated monthly magazine for the North West this April. The core editorial focus will be on Manchester and Liverpool and the company's plans are ambitious as it intends to hit the streets with a monthly print-run of 34,000 copies.

I'd only been in the country 72 hours. Three days after landing back in England following 12 months working as chief sports-sub on the Bangkok Post, Steve Hanrahan, the senior editor at Trinity Mirror Sport Media in Liverpool, walked over to the drinks machine – where I was battling jetlag with a much needed cuppa – and handed me the professional opportunity of a lifetime just seconds after joining the company.


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