Glass houses and stones

16 March 2009

There’s been a bit of furory in the blogosphere recently. A story involving a journalist, children, tragedy, and drunkenness.

Children, who survived the Dunblane shooting tradgedy, are now eighteen. Erm, that’s pretty much the story. The journalist writes:

A number of the youngsters, now 18, have posted shocking blogs and photographs of themselves on the Internet, 13 years after being sheltered from public view in the aftermath. In the days and months that followed the survivors, then aged just five and six, were the subject of overwhelming worldwide sympathy. But now the Sunday Express can reveal how, on their web-based social networking sites, some of them have boasted about alcoholic binges and fights.

I am not sure why this is a story – how are these kids, discovering drink and sex different to any other teenagers in the UK – how it this the shame of Dunblane survivors, thirteen years on? Are they supposed, because they survived tragedy, supposed to be exemplary? Regardless of what one thinks of this behavior, how are these things linked?

The editor of the newspaper has blamed bloggers for their inundation by complaints and refused to make any form of apology for their intrusion.

But maybe the journalist who wrote the exclusive story should remember that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” – after scouring social networking sites for Dunblane survivors being teenagers she herself has been found: “Paula Murray Drinks” is the shock tactic headline used by one of those bloggers her paper despises. In her own words she’s been legless, fallen off the wagon, drinking large glasses of wine and posted pictures – over a social networking site (like those she scoured) drinking and drunk.

It’s one of those amusing blogosphere stories, but shows the hypocrisy of someone who quite clearly will stoop to the lowest of lows for a “story”…

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Have Your Say

20 February 2009

Friendfeed pointed me to the fact that a friend of mine posted a link to this Friday rant. The blog is dedicated to the stupidity of BBC News Website’s “Have Your Say” – indeed BBC news more generally – encouraging the kind of people that love to moan to write in and tell the world their thoughts on a news story.

Anyway, the real problem with the BBC comments system is the range of options you’re now presented with. You’re left with a choice between clicking “Recommend this comment” or else stepping away from the computer and banging your face on the wall for a few minutes. There’s no button for “This is bollocks”, “I can’t believe there are people this gullible and stupid in the world” or “I pity the confused, angry, cat penis that wrote this”. Even the Daily Mail manages to provide both “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” buttons. The end result of all this is that browsing the BBC’s “Have Your Say” forums makes reading the Daily Mail seem like reading the Socialist Worker. Left-wing bias my fat fucking arse.

Why is the commentosphere full of whinging whiners? OK so the blogosphere has it’s fair share of moaners but at least most of them are committed enough to put some thought into what they’re writing and construct some relatively legible sentences, hell, even put them into paragraphs!

More to the point, why does the BBC, which refused to show the DEC Gaza Appeal for risk of appearing to be impartial allow these halfwits to splurt their ill-informed claptrap all over their “news” pages?


Tweet Tweet

24 January 2009

I recently discovered that London tweets more than any other city… The ‘micro-blogging’ phenomenon which lets you tell people what you’re doing in 140 characters or less has become well known in media-circles and was utilised by Barack Obama in the run up to the US election, by British stars such as Stephen Fry (whose tweets are particularly amusing) and even by 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson (from a boat, no less)… and me… (a friend of mine has more twitter background here if you’re interested). It’s a way to tell people what you’re doing, where you are and can be used to post to this blog, if I wanted, or update my Facebook status (for example) by sending a text message/SMS without actually having to be online…

It’s also become – like Facebook – a social networking tool which is used by companies, such as Aleksander Orlov from CompareTheMeerkat.com (are we getting a little too off the wall here? The Meerkat founder of a website allegedly oft-confused with a famous insurance comparison website CompareTheMarket.com sending tweets?). He even sent me a personal message saying “Many thank yous for kind follow.I spend long time finding best meerkat and hope you enjoy website.I look forward to internet speakings!Aleks” (who on earth has the job of doing that?!)…

It’s also a source of news itself – or at least news breaking – sending an SMS/text message update while seeing a plane crashing into a river, or the like, will always announce what happened to the world faster than any news wire could ever be. And when it’s not a source of news it’s providing comments on it, such as the concern over Huw Edwards freezing during the Presidential Inauguration this week.

Long live twitter!


Twits!

15 August 2008

I had no idea Twitter had removed it’s SMS updates – I had noticed things had changed – until I read this. It’s a shame that they cannot manage this service successfully – SMS updating was the real advantage Twitter had over any other social networking facility (together with it’s ability to link in to other services)… I think I’m likely to use it less now – not out of choice, but because it’s usefullness to me is diminished.


where on earth?

11 August 2008

Thanks to Ade for pointing out Recess Monkey’s posting on Sky News’s journalistic qualities and not actually knowing which Georgia they’re on about… It’s probably a good thing Bush doesn’t rely on Sky for his breaking news alerts otherwise he’d already be lighting the blue touchpaper and aiming his nukes at Moscow if he thought the Russians had invaded *that* Georgia… We can add this to the same list as the ‘Tiananmen Square Massacre Remembered’ by Yahoo… No wonder I hold the media in disdain


iGoogle

9 June 2008

I have recently discovered the joys of iGoogle… being an avid Gmail user I am usually logged in to what they like to call my Google Account. I have, however, always been bemused by RSS feeds so clicking randomly on them I realised I could add feeds to a ‘Google Homepage’. I now have three pages (I am sure I will get more) one with my gmail and blogs I read quite regularly for personal or work reasons, feeds from newspapers or work journals and even my gmail and TfL updates… I no longer need to search through multiple websites each day, I get it all in one place!

I haven’t worked out yet, though, whether that means it’s time saving or whether sitting in front of it as I listen to Radio 4 with my coffee in the mornings means I’m wasting time when I should really be heading to work!


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