Archive for the ‘Good’ Category

Vov, vuf vif, vov vov, grrrr vuuuuf

January 30, 2009


Vov, vuf vif

Vov, vuf vif

In Copenhagen for a meeting the other day, and saw this outside a local supermarket, above a place to tie your dog lead to.

It says “Hundeinfo” at the top,  and you can figure out what that means. The hard-to-read yellow text at the bottom says “Rolig nu! Det ta’r kun 5 minuter…” which means something like “Quiet now! It’ll only be five minutes”.



On being good

January 6, 2009

In the middle of a rather overlong post about how computer programmers should work and don’t, this. Apparently in the Ministry of Defence here in the UK

if you design software for a plane you go up in the test plane when the software is beta-tested.

Now that would concentrate the mind.

My new favourite joke

December 23, 2008

Well it’s the end of term. What a cool year. Can’t wait for the next one.

And to end a year of blogging, a new favourite joke.  Son #1 had to bring some jokes into school for homework the other night, so got to google some good ones. And here it is. 

An egg and a chicken are lying in bed, smoking. The chicken says to the egg, “Well, at least we’ve sorted one thing out”.

Happy Christmas to y’all.

You don’t want to do that

December 16, 2008

A splendid post from Chris Applegate entitled “20 signs you don’t want that social media project” including such gems as:

5. Client wants something edgy “like that suicide bomber viral” – but first subject to clearance by their legal department.


10. Client panics over a random blogger’s negative post about them and orders you to get it taken down. Won’t take “sorry, it’s impossible” for an answer.


20. “We want our site to be as popular as, you know, Facebook.”


I’m glad I work in internal social media…

We all speak intra

December 15, 2008

We just put a video live on a client’s, with ten languages of subtitles. A record for us.

German, English, Spanish, Estonian, French, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portugese and Russian.

Makes me happy, anyway.

Wisdom of the herd

December 4, 2008

An interesting trip last night to a screening of Us Now, a new documentary about how the wisdom of crowds is being applied in the real world. Lots of familiar stories – Zoba, Couchsurfing, Ebbsfleet United – and some new ones on me – a community deciding how to allocate grant money.

“Us Now tells the stories of online networks that are challenging the existing notion of hierarchy.  For the first time, it brings together the fore-most thinkers in the field of participative governance to describe the future of government.”

It’s enjoyable stuff. Clay Shirky and Don Tapscott doing their shtick, and a wide-eyed tourist arriving in scary ol’ London and meeting his couchsurfing host. Will he or won’t he be a predatory axe-murdering maniac?

But it felt a bit relentlessly upside. I had my hand up to ask a question but didn’t get picked, so here goes.

Remember Mr. Splashypants?  

Mr. Splashypants is a humpback whale. Greenpeace was launching  its “Great Whale Trail Expedition” and decided to ask the internet to name a whale. And inevitably, I suppose, the contest got gamed. Somebody suggested “Mr. Splashypants” as a name, and then somebody else broke the voting machinery and then Boing Boing, Digg, Reddit etc got hold of the story and all of us joined in the joke and “Mr. Splashypants” won the vote by a country mile.

So my worry about online networks challenging the existing notion of hierarchies is that online networks don’t promote responsibility. It’s all so damn disinhibiting. People are ruder, sillier, more destructive online than in person. Which doesn’t really fit with a new model of government.

It’s a pity. I’d really like this to be a brave new world and human nature not to be such a bitch all of a sudden, but I think it probably still is. 

Good film, though.

Chicken head tracking

November 28, 2008

Ain’t YouTube marvellous?

Without it, we’d never have seen this.

I can honestly say that I’ve never thought about how much we’ve got to learn from how chickens comport themselves. Until now.

Happy weekend!

How consultants consult

November 24, 2008

I’ve been a fan of Jaunty Angle for a wee while, and a big hat tip to Karl Roche for this:

So I was there to share, for what it’s worth, what I know and do in internal comms with the Danish comms team. Actually they know quite a bit.  They really just needed someone with a lack of diplomacy and nothing to lose locally, to kick things off and turn that academic knowledge into actions.

Yee ha.

Cult of Bob pt. 3

November 18, 2008

A little while ago, I posted that Bob the Builder on Wikipedia was described as being “inspired by the Kafka short story, ‘A Departure’” Telling my sister about this the other day, it was there no more, so today I had a look at the history of the page.

Let us marvel at the wonder that is Wikipedia.

The history lists all the changes that people have been made to the page, and when you make a change, you can add a comment. And here are a few:


12:20, 28 October 2008 Surturz   (add Lofty and Farmer Pickles to Morrisey’s credits)

Surturz clarifying some info on the voiceover. Fair enough.

12:34, 30 October 2008 Lost Number  (Other media: added appearance on The Daily Show)

19:54, 30 October 2008 Gladys j cortez (Reverted 1 edit by Lost Number; Rm unencyclopedic info.)

20:22, 30 October 2008 Ism schism (restore pop culture reference by Lost Number)

21:00, 30 October 2008 Gladys j cortez (Reverted 1 edit by Ism schism; Oddly enough, just because Jon Stewart deigns to mention something does NOT make it encyclopedic. Take it to the talk page.. )

Or in English, Lost Number added a reference to Bob The Builder being mentioned on The Daily Show (saying “Yes we can” I expect), then Gladys Cortez took it out, describing it as being “unencyclopedic”, Ism Schism put it back, and Gladys Cortez took it out again, with a rather sniffy comment.

At 01.42 on 19 October, someone replaced the whole page with “‘if u search this up, then u are no00b! w00t w00t” and the same minute Flewis put the page back.

And back on 29 September, the dearly beloved Gladys Cortez, protector of all things Bob, made a change and commented “I can’t believe that we’ve had “Bob the Builder” based on a Franz Kafka story since AUGUST. Jeez louise!!!!”

Thanks Gladys.

And the amazing thing is this. Do you know how many people actually work full-time for Wikipedia? In January 2007 it employed five people, according to New Scientist. I heard somewhere that it’s up to twenty now. Gladys Cortez, dedicated to the integrity of information about Bob the Builder, is a volunteer.


Today’s most uselessest fact: a West End beer Tsunami

November 17, 2008

One hundred and ninety four years and one month ago exactly,  in a brewery a couple of hundred yards away from here, a vat of beer containing over 135,000 gallons of beer ruptured, causing other vats to follow suit. Something over  323,000 gallons of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. Ten people were killed: eight drowned, one died of alcohol poisoning and one from dysentery.

The brewery was on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, where the New Dominion Theatre is now.

There ya go.