Thursday, 28 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

What I think about Google Plus

Well, it's happened. I just blogged publicly for the first time on Google Plus. A blog about what I think about Google Plus, natch. Says it all really. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Post Murdoch? Post Newspapers?

An esteemed writer that I once had the brief pleasure of working with has written an article arguing that what may come next post-Murdoch may be worse.

He is of course absolutely right in such a heated mob-driven climate to tell such a cautionary tale and full kudos to him for having the critical thinking capacity to even consider such a scenario whilst most lose their heads (perhaps including this writer) around him.

But I see more of an opportunity, I think, than he does.

As a function of delivering daily news, newspapers are just clung on to for the wrong reasons. They are becoming entertainment because that's all they really are now. Entertainment. Not news. Not anymore. If you want news you go online for it. You get it on your mobile whilst waiting for the bus, train, at the lights etc. Ubiquity is eating into the very soul of newspapers and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

I would even go so far as to say that in a world post Murdoch, with a freed up polity, a more disloyal digital readership, a more level playing field, with lower barriers to mass communication, with a stronger and more powerful watchdog, with stricter rules on what it means to be fit and proper in relation to owning mass print media, that perhaps the shoring up of the newspaper industry, the subsidy-led survival thus far of said dinosaur may yet yield to a newer, more interesting, more competitive, more live, more transparent source of information for people.

Witness the birth of the Huffington Post in the UK. Clearly timed to perfection. Witness the birth of thousands of credible niche blogs drawn together seamlessly by the search box on Google.

Most news online is free because it's mostly ubiquitous. Why fight that? Add value if you will and charge for access to premium content but let's accept the basic fact that in a post-google, post-iphone, increasingly mobile world (it's often said that most web activity in 2014 will for the first time be via mobile not desktops), content and thus news, especially for newspapers, is basically marketing collateral to attract ideologically interested readers, who can then be sold a plethora of other relevant content, products and services. Charging for easily-available content, in any format to be honest, is not an option.

Cynical? Too soon?

So, whilst this might not suit many, in reality, it is a massive opportunity for those able to see and grasp it. The death of Murdoch allows the UK, yet again, to leapfrog the world and especially the US. First we moved faster than all or most in terms of broadband adoption. Let's be first again and move faster in the move to a post-newspaper and even perhaps, post-news, society. What dreams may come!

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Al Tepper Show - episode 3


Welcome to the 3rd episode of the Al Tepper show, where I pick out some of the best tweets of the week and thus edit the world as I see it. Enjoy :)

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Featured tweets:

ONE OF MY FAVE ADS: Carte d'or sunday roast 'He's not your dad' advert http://t.co/0E6NEuP
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84895226363265024

HA! Damn straight! Liz Feldman on 'Gay Marriage' http://yfrog.com/kfn71wj
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84567990699429888

GENIUS! Seinfeld: "Jerry the Great" re-cut trailer http://t.co/lnXIjgr
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84715139974176768

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence. - Vince Lombardi
via https://twitter.com/#!/BobWarren/status/82193400023093248

WOW: Type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed 'can be reversed' - http://bbc.in/kHtqZJ
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84414486374645762

One last thing: SAY IT AIN'T SO! RT @dwallm: r.i.p. Peter Falk, sadly this was the "one last thing"
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84335012442411008

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Innocent bystander tweets that just got caught up in the madness and didn't get out of the way in time and in front of the camera:

Level playing field: What would happen if the govt eliminated all energy subsidies? asks @marcgunther http://grn.bz/mScB7C
via https://twitter.com/#!/makower/status/84427080057622529

Everybody i need video clips and photo's of people protesting about the cuts please asap! It's for a new music vid i'm doing!
via https://twitter.com/#!/NxtGenUK/status/83231938386739201

What actually kills startups isn't competition, it's the back button. -- Paul Graham, Y Combinator #quote
via https://twitter.com/#!/jackschofield/status/84033650462695424

Great stuff by @EvanHD - watch him 'freerunning' at BBC Television Centre -http://bbc.in/jDQAGm
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/82201761519124481

RT @AronStevenson: Tony Blair's personal contacts book leaked by LulzSec rival TeaMp0ison http://ow.ly/1dreBk
via https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/84422796377194496

BBC News - World's oceans in 'shocking' decline: http://me.lt/2S9q8 #overpopulation
via https://twitter.com/#!/NormanGrande/status/83004442391224320

Councils & Police to be ordered to reveal speed camera stats? Money earnt and accident stats b4 and after cameras http://tinyurl.com/66nkhz7
via https://twitter.com/#!/LynnFOI/status/84969456303996928

"Remember, the mightiest oak was once a single nut that held it's ground"~Winston Churchill
via https://twitter.com/#!/Foodimentary/status/84016409172127744

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Gutenberg, Berners-Lee, Aristotle, McLuhan, Chomsky, Rubel & Zappa's Eyebrows all walk into a blog post...

A penny finally dropped today that has been dropping since 1998. I thought it had dropped back then. I was wrong. It started dropping but it didn't finish. Until today. 

I'll start at the beginning. 

DIGITAL DISS
In 1997 I enrolled on the MPhil in Publishing Studies course at Stirling University in Scotland, having completed my undergraduate BA degree majoring in Political Science & minoring in Sociology at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. From Scotland 2.0 back to the beta you might say...

During my PubStud masters (it's the official degree name and a pretty cool name if I may say so) I stood out on the course as rare having been online since 1993. I remember being the only person doing a dissertation looking at digital anything. I remember being the most proficient at HTML on the course, even more proficient than the chap teaching us HTML.

BIGGER PICTURES
I had a keen interest in macro-level societal and systemic observation, analysis and critical theory and this interest and skill set had been identified and sharpened during my PoliSci degree. I now ported all this into digital communications theory and publishing specifically. It was clear my Masters dissertation was going to be either very very right, or very very wrong. I remember the course leader saying to me when I told him what I wanted to do my dissertation on that they had no clue what I was talking about but that they were looking forward to reading it. Oh, and no one felt capable of advising me on the content itself either.

I felt unique but very alone. I felt like such an explorer: scared and excited all at once. I really felt like I was charting new territory. I loved every minute.

CLOSE ONLY COUNTS IN HORSESHOES & HAND GRENADES
I thought I was very very right. Like most students. Turns out, I was only very very half right. I was so close to being fully right but I missed one key element. I failed to make one more degree of progression, a move that would have really made me appear prescient. In hindsight, it was so obvious. I just failed to connect two simple pieces together. Or rather, I failed to disconnect two pieces from each other. I made a logical flaw and I have only just realised that flaw. I failed to realise that the nature of publishing was changing but so were the players.

PICTURE IT, MAINZ, 1440...
It actually all started 557 years before I went to Stirling, in Mainz, Germany with Johannes Gutenberg & it ended with Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 with the first website going live (a CERN page naturally).

For me, the information age we were all bleating about in the early to mid 90s had come and gone. The information age started with Gutenberg when information became a realistically retail (not just retell) commodity with a concomitant value. The information age ended with Berners-Lee creating the WWW as we know it today thus rendering, in the long run, all information ubiquitous and therefore valueless, in essence.

Post Berners-Lee information only has a value in a certain context (time, place, packaging etc) and not just a value in and of itself, as was the case from Gutenberg to Berners-Lee.

For me, I argued, seemingly successfully in my dissertation (althought I suppose no-one I knew really had enough of a clue to disagree back then), that information now had no value and that we therefore, with Berners-Lee contributions to communications, entered what I called the post-information age.

THE POST INFORMATION AGE
I went on to argue that the publishers of tomorrow (after all, my dissertation was titled: 'Go forth & inform: the role of the publisher in the post-information age') would not be the those that, as had traditionally done up until this point, simply lock up and retail information, but rather would be those that free and retell information.

DROWNING IN A SEA OF INFORMATION...
I remember drawing an analogy of how historically we started on a beach of knowledge with direct access to knowledge without effort (Garden of Eden anyone?) and as more noise had disrupted the signal, that we were finding ourselves wading ever deeper into a sea of information which lay on top of the knowledge. As a result, we tended to mostly float on a superficial layer of information with little access to the knowledge underneath which in turn was becoming harder to reach due to increasing noise (water levels) as a result. We are enjoying increased access to information but decreased access to knowledge.

...WHOEVER HAS SCUBA GEAR IS KING
I further argued that the successful publishers of tomorrow would be those that helped us navigate our way down to the sand (knowledge) now under an increasing layer of water (information). I likened publishers of tomorrow to SCUBA gear.
Interesting aside #1: The first king: Google! 
I published this dissertation in May 1998. The Google domain name was registered September 1997 and the company was  incorporated September 1998. I often feel like I should have seen something like Google coming. If only I had committed myself to getting into the SCUBA business in relation to information. I digress.

WHEN THE GAME CHANGES, SO DOES THE PLAYER
My dissertation stopped at the point of realising that the future of publishing involved publishers as they had been. But the very entities and actors, the players, within the publishing business were also changing. At the time though, there were only publishers. And that is why I only got it very very half right.

See, when we spend time doing something it tends to become a habit.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) Greek Philosopher
MESSAGES CHANGE US
As Aristotle indicates, and as Darwin might agree, it would become inevitable that some of us, after much hard work and presence in a new medium, would start to navigate that medium better. To move throughout the sea of information for ourselves more competently.

I loved the theories of McLuhan a lot at the time (not to mention Neil Postman & Joseph Campbell) and if the medium is itself the message then clearly the medium we use ultimately trains our brains to behave in certain ways. Chomsky's theories on Linguistics convinces me he would agree. Digital would be no different. It would evolve us. So publishers were now not the only players in the game. SCUBA gear itself was devolving into the hands of all of us.

BACK INTO THE SEA WE GO
Therefore, use of the new medium of digital communications offered by the WWW would move us, counter to the direction established by modern physiological evolutionary theory, from land back into the water so to speak. From a world of information with gatekeepers into the world of information overload with knowledge underneath, a world where we are all free to move about exploring knowledge as we see fit, if the right tools are available.

GROWING GILLS
This desire has been met with increased ability in the tools we use i.e. Wikipedia, Twitter etc. And so it became. We figuratively have grown gills and became adept at navigating the depths ourselves. So where does that leave publishing?

WE HAVE EVOLVED, BEYOND PUBLISHING
We became brands, editors and publishers. Blogger, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn et al are all the tools of our trade. The majority of us do not use content to generate revenue directly. The majority of us want to communicate with people, establish that we know something and that they should pay attention. For the majority of us, this will define who we are, what we know and what we do.

Commercial publishing used to absorb the vast majority of our media attention spend. I am sat here writing this online, my wife is also blogging. We are both talking to each other about what we are writing. The TV is on pause. We may be unlike the norm, but MSM is losing our attention. Period.

For most of us, our filters (digital and otherwise) on the world are both the best source of information/knowledge available to us and equally the best marketing strategy we could ever have. The oral tradition never went away, it just got drowned out by television, and is now back with a vengeance thanks to Facebook, Twitter et al.

THE DEATH OF PUBLISHING?
So, you probably think I think publishing is screwed. Nah, too easy. I still love books, magazines, music, movies and so on - although I haven't bought a paper in ages. 

So publishing will also evolve, is evolving. Publishers just got billions of competitors for their readers attention that's all. How do they compete? Build faith, trust, authenticity and so on. many are doing just that. But it's not their world any more. 

Like the Church producing bibles pre-Gutenberg in Scriptoria, publishers will continue to package and ship content. But many others will too. Sadly for publishing, it has less to fall back on than the Church, so I expect there will be heavy casualties ahead in the publishing industry. Indeed, that degradation has already begun.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF PUBLISHING
So I got it very very half right. The completely correct future of publishing in the post-information age is that it will become more and more a part of everyday life and not a commercial specialism. It will recede into the background and just become a part of what we do, he said blogging on blogger.

THE SYSTEM CANNOT BEAT US
I have often spoken of my belief that because of all of the above Facebook simply cannot lose to Google. Facebook is us. Google is a machine. Facebook has the emotion, connectivity and authenticity in all of the content we give it to help refine what it puts in front of us. Google just mostly relies on a specific thing we are searching for at a particular moment in time. Mostly. Oh, I know it's algorithm is much more complex than that. But the point is, and please don't lose sight of this key point: Google is an algorithm. That's why Facebook is avoiding search like the plague. That's why Google are gagging to get into social, and failing badly. It's not Google's fault. It's like any machine trying to be human. It just doesn't have the capacity for humanity, for feeling, for authenticity.

In the end, something will come along and be even more human than Facebook. It is inevitable really. We already exist, and our representation in digital space can only become more real, true and authentic over time.

That's the great thing about humanity. How could a machine-based system made up of us out 'us' us? Truth is, the system can't beat us, the machines can't win. They have no capacity (yet?) for emotion, failure, authenticity and much more that makes us 'us'. Thankfully.
Interesting aside #2: Water into wine?
More proof from Steve Rubel's blog today titled 'Social influencers shift SEO' about SEOMOZ's explorations into the impact of social on search. Basically, SEO is also algorythmic but now needs to get into search. It needs to be human. For me, that's like asking accountants to get into design. They are mostly oil & water, chalk & cheese etc. We're not built or wired that way in general. We have two sides of the brain and we tend to excel in one hemisphere or the other, but rarely both. Yet. I spoke with a chap recently who says he grows workforces and is working on creating a creative technical workforce So perhaps that might shift our capabilities?.
THE FUTURE OF PUBLISHING?
And so we come back to my dissertation and why I got it only half right. The future of publishing is not about the future of commercial publishers. That was my mistake. Publishing is a function, not an industry. The future of publishing is a story of two parts: 1) Commercial publishing will continue on, will evolve, will shrink and command less of our attention. 2) Publishing as a human function, as a set of practices and tools will integrate into our societies (albeit at different culturally and developmentally different speeds I'm sure) and become an invisible part of the fabric of those societies and the ways they communicate. 


ZAPPA'S EYEBROWS?
On the cover of my dissertation I had the following Frank Zappa quote:
The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.
Frank Zappa 
Google, SEO, machines, businesses, systems and so on just don't have the eyebrows. Only people have the eyebrows. And as Frank rightly points out, it's always all about who has got the eyebrows ;)

Friday, 24 June 2011

An impromptu Friday Night Disco

Tonight I went a bit 80s nuts and threw a Friday Night Disco (#AlsFridayNightDisco) on twitter. You can view all the tweets by clicking the above link and I am grateful for this massive list of 80s classics to choose from. The ultimate classic for me has to be:

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Al Tepper Show - episode 2


The second episode of the Al Tepper show, my twitter clip show editing the world as I saw it this week through the eyes of twitter. Enjoy :)

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Featured tweets:

BRILLIANT! 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes http://t.co/L028Xg3 (HT @frucool)
https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/82003907328483328

I liked a @YouTube video http://youtu.be/OPoZq-Wlfa8?a Hump Like Bunnies
https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/81105481782919168

"From a security perspective, if you're connected, you're screwed." --Daniel J. Bernstein, mathematician RT @esukop
https://twitter.com/#!/sznq/status/82016584977223680

You thought Susan Boyle was amazing. Check this out. From Korea's Got Talent http://t.co/vzEvKDa via @antcohn
https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/82012968539258880

MUST WATCH "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die" http://bbc.in/k8IQVq - & I still support the right to die...
https://twitter.com/#!/altepper/status/80746946591076352

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Tweets that just didn't make the cut this time round:

HA! [This is doing the rounds.] Nice group photo, oh, wait...http://bit.ly/kkTuxe

The women drivers in Saudi Arabia are heroines - Rosa Parks to a woman. Saudi Arabia should be ashamed of its sexism.
https://twitter.com/#!/LouiseMensch/status/82139484942114816

SHIZ! RT @xenijardin: RT @BoingBoing: Lulzsec scalps CIAhttp://bit.ly/jYet7v

Tweet from me: Everyone on Twitter needs to see and support this fab little man http://jackdrawsanything.com/ on his mission - Go! RT! Spread the word!

Quote from me: "It's no longer enough to just get my attention, you have to deserve holding it when I get there...and that requires depth."

HA! FTW! SPECTACULAR #FAIL - Guy tells 'Dalai Lama' joke to the, er, Dalai Lama, and he doesn't get it - http://bbc.in/mAAJqR

How NOT to do a video for a dating website! http://youtu.be/mTTwcCVajAc HT (@daren140 @CarolVerity) #IThinkSheLovesCats

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds http://on.msnbc.com/jHiwPx

HA! Zombie fans invade 'unprepared' Leicester - http://bbc.in/kIeJHE

HA! RT @charlesarthur: Fatal error: SUMMER failed to load: out of drought. Try removing the WIMBLEDON module and rebooting.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Me Me Me - My Press Page

I figured I needed a page where I draw together, with the most recent first, all the press I have been lucky enough to get over the years. Enjoy :)


Recently had my thoughts about the impact of Google + published on the Real Business website.


I am honoured to have been interviewed by the Guardian & Business Week in my capacity as a green blogger.


Additionally I have been on a few publishing industry panels and have been published in relation to my digital publishing knowledge on both the AOP site and in New Media Age to name a crucial two.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Al Tepper Show - episode 1


I'll be doing a 'making of' blog post this week about the hell I went through as a PC user in making this first episode. It's amateur, rough, full of room for improvement I know, but my objective is to bring life to twitter. To give some tweets a real voice...it makes it easier to relate to them I think.

I will also blog each episode and include the links of course. Enjoy:

Fred Wilson on Disruption:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/11/fred-wilson-on-disruption-tctv/

What I just told my Empire Avenue shareholders:
http://blog.altepper.com/2011/06/what-i-just-told-my-empire-avenue.html

The fish are all gone: A completely horrifying map of North Atlantic fish stocks. They're not "depleted", they're GONE.
http://ljv.me/8k

Google's Les Paul logo tribute:
http://www.google.com/logos/2011/lespaul.html

SHOCKING: Syria death toll rises amid violent government crackdown on protests
http://t.co/ZoVmWOY

And last but not least, from Chris Voss

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt


Enjoy!

Friday, 10 June 2011

What I just told my Empire Avenue shareholders...

I just sent a message to all (e)ALTEPPER shareholders on EmpireAvenue (not on EmpireAvenue yet click here to sign up now). This is what the shareholder email said:

==========================================
FIRST THINGS FIRST
What can I say folks, thanks for investing in me. Am loving eAV :)

MORE ROI THAN (e)PIRILLO?
Eave for eave, you get more bang for your buck by investing in me than in (e)PIRILLO. You should still invest in 'His Eavness' of course but investing in me is a smart financial move. here are the numbers to prove it:

His stock price is 222.21
His dividend is 2.42
That's a ratio of 1 : 1.09

My stock price is 50.40
My dividend is 0.71
That's a ratio of 1 : 1.41

Simples!

SHAREHOLDER-EXCLUSIVE ANNOUNCEMENT
Now is definitely the time to MAX out your investment in me and tell EVERYONE you know to do the same.

In the immortal words of the Carpenters, 'we've only just begun...'

My share price will be going up & my dividends will be climbing. Here's why:

All my activity across YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook & Twitter is increasing.

PLUS, exclusive news.

Apologies but this section is exclusively for shareholders who get to find out this bit in advance of it happening. On EmpireAvenue? Invest in me - (e)ALTEPPER - now to make sure you get future exclusives. And if you are not on EmpireAvenue yet click here to sign up now.

So don't forget: BUY BUY BUY and spread the good word of (e)ALTEPPER.

Cheers

Al

P.S. this shareholder message will be posted on my blog in 5 minutes, minus the exclusive bit...doesn't that make you feel special? ;)
==========================================

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Alternative Vote v First Past The Post: Both positions and my opinions

The AV v FPTP debate has to be one of the biggest political issues I've actually been invited to vote on in my life thus far. And it's easily one of the most contentious.

My declared position: I have never voted in an election where the seat I voted in could have changed hands. My vote was and felt pointless. I felt disenfranchised and voiceless. Under AV that ends and my vote has meaning again. I may not get the result I want, but my vote will have counted for longer and for more.

Below is what both sides say with my comments in red after each point. Do join the debate.

This is what the NO TO AV (5448 likes on Facebook / 2243 Twitter followers) campaign say:


WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE NO

AV is costly
The change to AV will cost up to an additional £250 million. Local councils would have to waste money on costly electronic vote counting machines and expensive voter education campaigns. With ordinary families facing tough times can we really afford to spend a quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers' money bringing in a new voting system? Schools and hospitals, or the Alternative Vote – that's the choice in this referendum.

Ah, money, always the first and easiest refuge of a weak argument. But where there's a will there's a way of course and asking us to choose between schools and hospitals or the alternative vote is patronising and disingenious.

AV is complex and unfair
The winner should be the candidate that comes first, but under AV the candidate who comes second or third can actually be elected. That’s why it is used by just three countries in the world – Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Voters should decide who the best candidate is, not the voting system. We can't afford to let the politicians off the hook by introducing a loser's charter.

It's not complex. I have a form with all the candidates on like usual. But this time, instead of one cross, I get to put 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on. So I get to make more choices. Not less. My vote counts for more and for longer - I may still not pick the eventual winner of course. Hardly complex, allows me to tactically vote, register protest votes etc.


AV is a politician's fix
AV leads to more hung parliaments, backroom deals and broken promises like the Lib Dem tuition fees U-turn. Instead of the voters choosing the government, politicians would hold power. Under AV, the only vote that really counts is Nick Clegg's. We can't afford to let the politicians decide who runs our country.

Hard to believe theTory party are advocating this view but they are. Weaker parliaments (like the one we have now) leads to coalitions (like the one we have now) which means more checks and balances. How can more checks and balances be bad? This government don't seem to have much opposition to getting their policy program across after all.

WHY FPTP IS BETTER THAN AV

It creates strong governments
Our current system tends to create strong, accountable governments and means that coalitions are uncommon, with no horse-trading by politicians behind the scenes. AV isn’t proportional and it leads to more backroom political deals, the worst of both worlds.

See my above point. No horse-trading? Are they serious? Compromise is rife, in party and between parties.
 
It's fair
It sticks to the principle of 'one person, one vote' – unlike AV, where supporters of fringe parties can end up having their vote counted several times, while mainstream voters only get one say.

It all ends up with one vote though, just heard louder - this is a very disingenious point to make.
 
It's simple to understand and easy to implement
Each person votes for the candidate they support and the one with the most votes is declared the winner. Staying with our current system also means we will not need to spend £26 million telling people how the complicated system works, or £130 million on expensive vote-counting machines.

See my above point.
 
It excludes extremist parties
Parties such as the BNP have never been able to get enough support in a single constituency to have one of their candidates elected as an MP. Under AV, however, the far-right One Nation Party won 11 seats in the Queensland state legislature, whereas they would have only won 8 under First Past the Post.

Ah, extremism, the refuge of the seriously weak and flawed position when even saying a plan will cost too much fails. Such is the risk of a democracy. Perhaps if we educated our citizens and engaged them democratically we would be less worried about extremism?

It's the most widely used system in the world
People the world over have copied our tried and tested system. It's used by 2.4 billion people – more than any other system – in 50 countries, including Canada, India and the USA. AV, on the other hand, is only used by Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Yes and we've got unethical, immoral, unaccountable governments and MPs around the world that are virtually impossible to throw out after an election when they are in power, have a majority and can change their minds and forget their manifesto's. Plus, let's face it, the world is in a bit of a mess...so maybe FPTP is not that good a system on the face of it.

This is what the YES TO FAIRER VOTES (7520 likes on Facebook / 4853 Twitter followers) campaign say (impressive list of supporting organisations incidentally and tellingly no similar page on the Vote No campaign site):

WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE YES

MPs working harder to earn - and keep - our support
Your next MP would have to aim to get more than 50% of the vote to be sure of winning. At present they can be handed power with just one vote in three.  They’ll need to work harder to win - and keep - your support.

Bloody good idea to me. How could this be bad?
 A bigger say on who your local MP is
Ranking candidates gives you more say - in who comes first and who comes last. If your favourite doesn’t win, you can still have a say. It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

Finally, my vote has a chance of making a difference. I get to voice my opinion as we wittle down the candidates until there are two left and one wins by majority. Simples!

Tackling the ‘jobs for life' culture
Too many MPs have their ‘safe seats’ for life. Force complacent politicians to sit up and listen, and reach out to the communities they seek to represent.

Could not agree more.

What do you think?

Monday, 21 March 2011

Tories & LibDems to become one party?

Just had a fascinating chat on a Tory Facebook wall about the ConDem alliance and what I think will transpire in the next 2-4 years. These are my best bits. Thoughts?
Cameron's clock is ticking I'm afraid. When it all starts to bite he's gonna go down about as well as a nun in a brothel. It's easy to sing when you are winning. Give it 2-4 years and when the LibDems have realised how seriously shafted they are, they are gonna go to town on the Tories...should make the next election a right laugh. Labour landslide (unions are about to enjoy a boom period which will empower Labour of course) whilst the right dukes it out amongst themselves. Fractured right lies ahead. On so many fronts. Inevitable. Less fractured left. Left will regain the middle. LibDems will be selling french fries at McD's...

---------------
 It's the Tories' election to lose not Labour's to win. Labour have no leader capable of beating Cameron in a fair fight, even DMili. But with a crap economy on one side, the LibDems spilling all manner of beans on another side, a couple of years of union restrengthening and restocking of the labour coffers, regardless of impact on policy on another side and loads more people in Britain hurting financially...the Tories are going to have to turn water into wine...pretty sure Cameron is not THAT good ;) 

Much of the the LibDem support is going to go red, and Labour will be able to mobilise the student/young/old/poor/pounded middle class vote in a way that'll make the Obama campaign look old school. All it takes is passion...

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So there you have it. And when the LibDems start flailing against the dying of the right in a couple of years, pre-election, and attacking the Tories, the Tories who never really liked there sort anyway, will tear back into them. It will be civil war and I predict Labour will be the last-man standing...regardless of how unsuitable they may be.

The only solution, the only way to prevent the poison from coming out is for the LibDems and The Tories to forever merge. To marry, shotgun at the ready, as lets face it, you are now both in full shag mode. And that marriage will never work...because the rest of the Tory family on the fringes will not want to be a part of that, no doubt, euro love fest, and so fragmentation awaits, either because of the marriage or because of the lack of a marriage.

So, for me, the Tories have one choice to make, hold the middle and marry the libdems or lose the middle but retain the right. To hold the country you need to hold the middle. To hold the party you need to hold the right.

So I predict a new party will be born. A centre-right, Euro-tolerant, New Conservatives...oh the sweet irony...Blair gets the last laugh either way...
 
God I love politics!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The worst song ever?

Yesterday Dan Whitworth of the BBC reported that the 'Worst Song Ever' has got 16,000,000+ views on YouTube.

A day later and it's pushing past 22,000,000+ views.

It's not the worst song ever. It's no prize winner but then lets face it, almost all the music we hear these days is processed tripe. In a race to the bottom this track hardly stands out as being significantly worse. It has a remotely catchy hook. I suspect it will do well. With the right PR campaign. Hmmm...oh damn, wait a minute, I've just PR'd it too...dagnabit!

Genius PR campaign!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Six reasons Facebook's new comments system is a bad idea

I am a huge fan of Facebook and set out my stall pretty early that Facebook will beat Google in the end. However, on this occasion Facebook have got it wrong. Badly wrong. They have rolled out a new comment system for site owners to essentially integrate one's wall onto a site for commenting purposes. Techcrunch are testing this new feature and have the full story with all the bells and whistles but it is genuinely a terrible idea to do this. Here's six reasons why:

1) Why would Google & Twitter join the party? For the first time they can make Facebook look like fools. Yahoo & Facebook is not enough to roll this out. I'll bet Techcrunch walk away from this and Facebook take it back into dev. There it will die. I would not run it on the sites I run for these very reasons. I am very happy with Disqus.

2) On my wall give people a choice to reply 'Just On FB' OR 'On & Off FB' not just the latter.

3) Facebook: stop worrying about breadth and focus on depth now. Breadth creeps people out, depth impresses.

4) The spacing formatting I applied on Techcrunch in my comment is gone when it appears on Facebook.

5) People SHOULD be more aware on the web but in reality they are not. Most of of my FB friends probably have no idea what TechCrunch is so why would they assume they are posting off of Facebook. Answer? They wouldn't make that assumption.

6) When I post on various threads on the Techcrunch article they do not unify anywhere anyway so what is really the overall point? Not comment unification. Just Facebook creep really...

Any more reasons needed?

Facebook: backburner and more dev now. Before anyone really thinks this is a serious rollout and you lose face a la Google...(buzz/wave/latitude et al)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Social Media is all about the eyebrows

I recently guest posted a blog about my thoughts and tips on Social Media for Business. Includes my Social Media for Business '13 essential questions'.

And it really is all about the eyebrows...enjoy!