Corporate Mugging

Working for a corporation (c.f. agency) has its benefits. We’ve got a Starbucks concession as part of the catering facilities on site and as it’s ‘double stamp Friday’ I thought I’d pop down this afternoon for my usual Grande Americano (data on the GA) (aside: ‘americano’ was originally a derogatory term sneered at Americans when they asked for espressos with hot-water in them to temper the strength, according to a Gaggia salesman & Wikipedia). Anyway, this afternoon I noticed a sign saying 250 china mugs had been half-inched from the café in the last 6 months. Clearly the appeal of having a worldwide mega-brand and, (specifically a twin-tailed baubo siren) on their desk is too much to suppress my colleagues' kleptomaniac impulses.

A Mouthpiece For The Enemy: Is It Right To Interview The Taleban?

I've just added a comment to Peter Barron's entry on the BBC News 'Editors' blog regarding the recent airing of an interview with the Taleban. In my opinion it is a fundamental part of a free media in a democratic country to report all sides of a conflict no matter how challenging and unsavoury. The proliferation of WASPish outrage in the Daily Mail readers' responses indicates just how blinkered we have become in our view of the Middle East. I am no sympathiser of fundamentalism but I am no fan of anachronistic fascist ramblings either or a return to the days when, as one commenter put it, people cheered at the bombing of Hiroshima in part because it was reported reported it as a military success. Honesty, transparency and accountability are only acheivable from a balanced perspective. Read every paper, watch a range of news programmes, absorb the views and make up your own mind.
The debate on Peter's post now exceeds 100 comments, some of them erudite, others depressingly naïve but nevertheless reflective of an almost 50:50 split of opinion. Because this is my blog and I like to bolster my own opinions, here's someone who shares a similar viewpoint to me [hope they agree :) ] ... and here's a technorati log of recent blog commentary on the post. Finally, Norfolk boy and journalism professor Adrian Monck's has had a bit to say about it too ....


Leaving Logs ... And Checking Them

Though I've had a good old moan about commuting in the past, I'm pleased to say my displeasure with the operator and subsequent criticism never developed into the scatalogical. This deranged individual has, however, served to highlight another curiosity, the British fascination with salacious and sordid news. The BBC's popularity tracker inevitably gets dominated by such stories on slow news days ... I'd love to see Auntie's server logs to see how deep into the site people go once reading stories like this, almost as if they're the hooks that get visitors in to the rest of the news content.


British Web Users Search Less - But Find More

An update to my recent post about odd search behaviour, a colleague sent me a list to Jason Lee Miller's interesting article the opening paragraph reads:"Recent numbers are showing that Google is an even heavier hitter in the United Kingdom than in the United States. But it also appears that UK Internet users are conducting fewer searches, and finding what they need more often." The debate of course is whether this is a true cultural difference or one of coincidental accident.
The search stuff just keeps coming. Boxes and Arrows have a great piece about search behaviours. Combine this with their notes on Quantifying the User Experience and suddenly I've got a compelling need to get inside our site's search logs ... what are people looking for and how?


Windows Live Writer

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A significant amount of software has found its way on to my system this weekend. Got a webcam, got a duplicate email remover from Outlook (gave up on Google mail and ended up with 600 duplicates when I pulled the last few months mails into Outlook...) and got Windows Live Writer to help me update this blog more simply.

I'm not sure how this experiment will work out, particularly as it doesn't support the Blogger Beta very well (no label option), but it might at least allow some faster posting and an end to the days of poorly formatted posts or posts with clumsy pictures.