February 2004 Archives
February 27, 2004
February 26, 2004
I'm sick. I depend upon my computer for entertainment and communication today, because my wife has turned into a cleaning fury. Is this why my mail is so delayed and some websites have slowed to a crawl?
Scaryduck talks about the BBC/LandSec outsourcing deal in passing:
The sale of BBC Technology killed of the illusion of St Greg in some quarters, as did the outsourcing of property management and the construction of the Grey Lubyanka in White City, where jobs would mysteriously disappear en route from other locations.It's interesting to view the deal, which saw developer Land Securities effectively become the BBC's property manager and partner, from the inside, because from the outside, or at least the property industry, it's viewed as a roaring success and a model for the future.
February 24, 2004
February 23, 2004
Why do people choose to put animal lives before human ones? What sort of person thinks it is just fine to publish the home addresses of scientists and their families
Well, as it turns out, people who have no respect for the law:
Once, when I was driving home from Suffolk, I heard a show on Radio 4 where they quizzed animal rights activist on why they thought it was acceptable to publish scientists' home addresses on the internet. Then the journalist, quite rightly, challenged the interviewee on why she wouldn't reveal her real name, and why she wasn't prepared for the BBC to publish her name and address on the website. Her answer was, of course, that she was afraid of attacks from the scientific community. Boy, she hasn't spent much time around scientists has she?
Interestingly, the activists fell back on a similar excuse for the publishing of judges' family details on the web:
But Greg Avery, a spokesman for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, said the animal rights movement was not interested in judges' personal details. He said: "Somebody involved in the industry has set this up. I don't believe that it is anything to do with the animal-rights movement."So, let's get this straight: the scientists are publishing the family details of the judges who are protecting them? Uh, yeah, of course.
February 20, 2004
Rural housing market in 'crisis' says the BBC's Scotland site.If prices up there have really got this bad, then the housing market can't be going anywhere good for any of us.
For anyone who like words, The Word Spy is an invaluable read, giving you a feel for the linguistic zeitgeist.
More importantly, it has given me a new phrase to describe my wife at the moment: mucus trooper. These are the noble souls who troop into work every day, carrying their flu and cold germs along with them as happy little passengers. These germs are promiscuous sorts, and before long we have a whole new load of mucus troopers to keep the clan going.
If I get another cold, it's straight to bed for me.
February 19, 2004
Ladies and gentlemen, please take a look at this picture:
This is a new sign that has recently appeared near Lewisham station. It talks about the river Quaggy, which you can just about see at the bottom left of the picture. This river, once the heart of Lewisham's life, has been relegated to a concrete and brick funnel of water skirting around Lewisham town centre. The Qwaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG) want to do something about this. This sign is just the first step in a campaign to reopen the river for public use and enjoyment, or so the sign says. It encourages us to head to this website for more information. Go ahead and have a look. I'll still be here when you get back.
Do you see the problem? No? Go back and have another look. See the bit, down the page a bit, listing future meeting in 2001. Oh dear.
What a way to blow the publicity your brand new sign is generating.
February 18, 2004
Feeling too rotten today to post anything intelligent, so here's a pic from the archive that sums up how I'm feeling:
February 17, 2004
Make up your own mind:
February 16, 2004
Y'know, there's a danger in asking for donations to help keep your blog running. I blog I read with some regularity started plugging the PayPal tips box fairly frequently. I made my decision not to danate based on the criterion "would I really miss this site if it disappeared?". The answer was "no", so I didn't donate.
Then I got to thinking. If I wouldn't miss the site if it disappeared, why was I bothering to read it? It's gone from my list of regular visits. So, in an attempt to make some money from his blog, the writer has lost one reader.
Does it matter? Probably not, if he's more interested in the money than the readership. However, if readership is important, you do need to be really sure that what you're offering is worth money to people before you start asking for it.
February 12, 2004
February 11, 2004
Andrew Gilligan, the ex-BBC reporter at the heart of the dossier dabate, has a new job:
Good to see that he's employed again. Just because a journalist made a single mistake, which was compounded by the culture in his office, doesn't mean that he should end up a professional pariah.
February 9, 2004
The snowman of Everything Hurts is getting a little despondent about the fact that most people seem to be coming to his blog from search engines. That's no bad thing in of itself - I've gained some readers from that source.
However, I think he's missed the point which many of the commentators on that posts were quick to make: hit counts are increasingly meaningless.
My visits per day swing from single figures to 60+ in a faily unpredicatble fashion. However, I know that many people are reading this blog using aggregators (like NetNewsWire and FeedDemon), using my RSS feed. Other people are reading it in their Livejournal Friends page, by friending this account.
We're busy inventing new ways to distribute content, and to read it. Old ways of measuring readership are becoming obselete at a fair old rate and that includes measure like hit counters. Reading the One Man & his Blog webpage is just one way of getting my content. I suspect other ways will prliferate in the coming months and year. Bruce Baugh has the right idea. He doesn't measure hits to his blog, nor does he solict comments on the page. He just writes what he wants, when he wants.
Blog because you enjoy the process. Count ever visitor who swings by as a bonus, not a rationale.
February 7, 2004
February 6, 2004
The first of a series inspired by this post. It's easy to forget that we are no longer constrained by the size and shape of negatives or paper in the digital age. I thought I'd experiment with some old pics to see what I could find.
The site reminds me of Brian Micklethwait's comments about recording "the god-awful waste land bombsite, total dump places, and the most hideously nothing buildings you can find, because they are the ones that will change."
It's good advice and it makes for a good site.
It's not often a piece of software impressed me enough to pony up the shareware fee pretty much straight away. Ecto is just such an application. It's a new Mac blogging client, compatible with Movable Type, TypePad, Blogger and the like and it's really, really good.
Essentially, it's a grown-up version of Kung Log, which I used from time to time to post here. The interface is hugely improved, though, and it's matured into a decent blog- management tool. I can't recommend it highly enough.
For the Apple-challenged, apparently there's a Windows version on the way, too.
Dammit. I'm about to give Mr Milton more publicity. I hate myself.
I just browsed to his website from my last entry and found that he has some photo pages of local problems, including one virtually on my doorstop.
Not only has he spotted something that's been annoying my wife and I, but he's a Mac user as well.
He's making it really hard for me to hate him...
Much as it galls my journalistic soul to give a politician any good publicity, our new Liberal Democrat councillor actually appears to be doing a good job. Distressing, I know. For one thing, the local LibDems have pushed a local contact numbers sheet through the door, which gives you all the local contact details that the Lewisham Council website works so hard to conceal. It was very useful when I had to call the council recently and ask that, seeing as I was paying them council tax to collect my rubbish and all, could they see their way clear to actually doing so?
Even more disturbing was my discovery that the Focus newsletter that came with it actually addressed some local issues that I cared about, rather than the normal political propaganda. Kudos to Mr Milton and his team.
It can't last.