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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You do get a whizzy button though

In the past week or so some of the blogs I read have started sporting a new button.

The button boasts their ranking in the various categories of the blog awards run by totalpolitics.

There are all sorts of categories - Welsh blogs, MP blogs, media blogs, Scots blogs, etc, etc.

The recipients of awards and a shiny widget for their blog are perhaps justifiably proud. I say perhaps, because if you take a look at the awards section it explains how the voting was sorted out and quite openly states that 'more than 1,500' people voted in the awards.

One might argue that 1,500 people is a respectable sample and not far off the size of sample that might be taken by a polling organisation to determine who might win a general election (usually their sample size is 2,000 or more) Therefore, a proud winner might argue that though the number of voters is small, it is representative of the blogging public and therefore quite an accolade.

That might hold true for something like MP blogs or, maybe, media blogs, where there are a lot of people voting in those categories. But how many voted in the Wales categories for instance? Those voted to the top in there might find they have attained their position on a very sparse sample indeed.

Naturally, if you cast your eye rightwards you'll see no button on this blog linking you back to totalpolitics, and so this post might be accused of vintage sour grapes. Maybe. But firstly, I did not engage in the shameless vote-garnering that some blogs did. Secondly, even if I had, I'd never be in the running for an award, the blog isn't active enough, and it's now a selection of random meanderings posted on a less than occasional basis. You would have to be very short of candidates indeed to vote for this in any poll.

But more than all this, why, when the blogosphere is supposed to be this free, anarchic, random, chaotic, joyous rabble, do people buy into blog awards run by anyone? As soon as your blog gets an award its become part of the establishment, respectable, and you should have the decency to shut it down.

One of the strengths of blogs is their freedom from the restraints felt by the dead-tree press. So why seek validation from a blog award system voted on by so few people?

If you are any good, people will visit your blog, you shouldn't need spurious blog awards to make them do that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hello to The Hindu

Thanks to what I assume is a Guardian syndication deal my piece on Twittering jurors appeared shortly afterwards in The Hindu

Monday, August 10, 2009

Media Guardian article

Occasionally I write pieces for Media Guardian on law.

I've got one in today on Twittering jurors.


Friday, August 07, 2009

RIP John Hughes

John Hughes, creator of the Bratpack teen movies of the '80s has died, aged 59.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off was a favourite of mine, but others included The Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, and he wrote Home Alone.

When he hit upon a winning plotline, such as Pretty In Pink, he wasn't averse to reversing the roles and remaking it, see Some Kind of Wonderful.

Ferris was his greatest creation though, his philosophy being: "Life moves pretty fast and if you don't stop and smell the roses once in a while it might pass you by."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Gravity sucks

Never underestimate how slippery a muddy hill is.

Never overestimate the amount of grip semi-slick summer tyres will give on said hill.

Never underestimate the chances a rock will come into contact with your knee when you go arse over elbow on hill.

Never overestimate your pain threshhold when you get two inches of North Yorkshire's finest sandstone inserted into your knee joint.

Never underestimate your ability to carry on biking to get home when you've no mobile and no choice.

Never overestimate the amount of time it gets taken to get seen in casualty if you walk in actually bleeding (they don't like it on the floor).

Never underestimate just how painful 'irrigating' a wound can be - my, my it smarts.

Never overestimate your ability to walk afterwards.

Some tendon and nerve damage, but I'll live to bike another day. Worst injury I've had in 12 years of mountain biking, so pretty lucky really.

Quotations (slight return)

A postscript to the post below.

David Jones has now added a link to this blog, to his own. Which should do this one the power of good in site traffic.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Theatrical quotation

It's a well-known, and derided, practice by theatres to selectively quote a review for the purpose of their playbills.

So a reviewer's comments such as "quite how this pile of drivel made it onto the stage is utterly amazing" becomes "utterly amazing" for the playbill.

When I said that David Jones MP was 'smart, acerbic and writes a very good blog' before going on to point out that those commenting on his blog were a bunch of roaring buffoons, perhaps I should have anticipated what would happen next.

Ah well, a journalist complaining about being taken out of context is beyond the pale though. But if he thinks enough of my opinion to quote me, perhaps he ought to link to my blog.

I might not agree with what he says, but at least you can find a link to what he does say here.