Monthly Archives: March 2010

Strange Maps

Strange Maps is a superb blog. Ronsealesque. Think it was my buddy Hugh who first showed me it. That is all.

Normandy shoot for Global Cool

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I went to Normandy for climate change charity Global Cool. And rode a horse.

It was nice.

Recent Foursquare checkins

Yup, I’m a Foursquare fan. Above is a simple Google Map of my recent checkins – using the KML file from my feeds page simply pasted into a Gmaps search bar. To be honest, this map should look better… I want direct links through to the venue pages on Foursquare, but this will have to do for now. NB the Foursquare API is still relatively unexploited – expect a lot more to come.

For a little backstory on the concept – one I’m fairly excited about – read this piece in the NYT, and see how it had already collaborated with the Canadian Metro, Zagat, and the NYT.

Blogging the Vancouver Paralympics

Joe, Jake, Renaye and Kim are amazed as Claudia pulls off a triple-pirouette on the ice

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting six kids from Stoke Newington School. They had been chosen to visit the Vancouver Paralympics, to cover the event as budding journalists. I taught them how to blog using WordPress; integrating images, audio and video. They took to it incredibly quickly.

It’s fascinating to see how easily the yoof of today get their heads around relatively complicated online software. My mother, for example, has a PhD and has published various books, yet struggles to understand the difference between a ‘click’ and a ‘double-click’. And these kids, aged 15-16, learnt how to blog in less than two hours. That said, this was a particularly bright and enthusiastic assortment of kids – ones to watch, certainly. I left the school that day feeling incredibly positive about the future of self-publication.

You can keep up to date with all their stuff on the microsite at A New Direction. And to tune in to their individual blogs, click below:

Claudia’s blog
Jake’s blog
Joe’s blog
Kimberly’s blog
Renaye’s blog

Recent work

A little update on my recent bits and bobs.

For the Guardian:
• A TwiTrip to Leeds, fuelled by live tips from Twitter, which went very well indeed. I ended up at the fantastic Brudenell Social Club, where I happened upon one of the finest mohawks I can recall [pictured above].
• A blog on virtual travel, inspired by the wonderful interactive Trans-Siberian Railway map produced by Google and Russian Railways.

For the New York Times:
• A post for the NYT Goal blog on David Beckham adorning the anti-Glazer green and gold scarf at the end of Manchester United and AC Milan’s Champions League replay. Since then, poor old Dave got himself crocked. A shame.

For A New Direction
• I taught some fantastic kids from Stoke Newington School how to blog.

Spot the news parody

First up, The Onion on 24-hour news:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Next, Charlie Brooker on, well, the news:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Finally, Taiwanese network Apple 1 on the Gordon Brown’s bullying:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Amazingly, the last one is real, from the same people that brought you the digitally recreated Tiger Woods debacle. Genius. In a post-modern kind of way. More!

England’s World Cup Squad: The People’s Choice

We are cleverererer than Fabio, so let’s make sure he takes the correct arrangement of philanderers, egomaniacs, idiots and drunks to the World Cup this summer. This will be running until the end of the month the week the real squad is chosen, after which we shall submit our demands, and kidnap Theo Walcott until our squad is chosen.

[NB…polls began when Beckham was fit, please ignore him, if you don’t mind]

Technorati tags:

6 reasons why ditching 6 Music is stupid

1. 6 Music is the best music radio station in the country

2. Not all listeners are created equal… yes, the numbers might be low, but they are dedicated, regular listeners. These are the type of people who will whine loudly when pissed off.

3. No-one else is providing a similar service. If a publicly-funded media organisation is competing in a sector where there is healthy commercial competition, then fine, cut it. One can fully understand cutting the Asian Network, as it was skewing the market, perhaps unfairly. Many commercial Asian-orientated media outlets have complained that they couldn’t compete with the BBC’s wages and remit. But there is no direct commercial competition for 6 Music. So what’s the point?

4. One of the primary responsibilities of a public broadcasting service is to fill niches. Yes, radio stations like 6 Music could never be commercially successful, which is exactly why I want my tax money to fund it.

5. The BBC, like many publicly-funded bodies, is extraordinarily wasteful. I say this from direct experience, having worked with them. Their budget deficit is public proof of this. The solution is not to axe low-cost loss leaders like 6 Music, it is to cut waste.

6. Gideon Coe is a masterful radio host, and needs a home.