Yes, I was top of Apollo’s December Apollo Tech Journalist UK rankings and had a fair old ponder about what it meant. I didn’t come up with anything revelatory. The rankings are here again however so let’s ogle…
In short no, I didn’t make it to the pinnacle for a second month in a row instead coming in 7th. Nevermind – I’m sure I’ll live. Here are January’s top 20 grand fromages and congratulations to Carrie-Ann Skinner whatever it means:
Not too much to say, except use your eyes, ears and mouse clicks but since announcing a blog and hosting transfer nine days ago it has been all hands to the pump (well, outside the daylight TR hours) to produce what you see in front of you.
Early MySQL issues seem to have been fixed and it has been quite a transition from the original GordonKelly.com – a basic WordPress blog – which itself only launched in early January. A huge amount of credit must go to my great friend Lars-Göran Nilsson, formerly my colleague at TrustedReviews and author of TheLostSwede.com. Without his tireless contributions this simply wouldn’t be here.
As for stats, traffic has been good (321.05% up on the Google Analytics’ benchmarking targets) and it seems I’ve been keeping your attention so far with the average visitor time spent on the new site 7 mins 8 seconds, a nice 909.81% up on benchmarking.
Benchmarking, shmenchmarking however we live to different blog standards here *cough* for a higher, more demanding class of reader *choke/collapse*. So please have a flick around, test out some of the new widgets and subscription options, type some comments and I’ll do my best to answer every single one of them.
Keep telling me what I’m doing wrong (I’ll attempt to do less of it) and hopefully a smidgen of what I’m doing right (I’ll do… you got it – see you are a higher class of reader!).
My blog has not been running long enough to know exactly who my readership are. I suspect many are UK journalists and PRs (probably due to all the Twitter links I post) while no doubt a number of TrustedReviews’ more avid readers have tracked me down. Hopefully some of you arrived here completely by chance – I’d like to think that’s the power of the World Wide Web. Whatever your make up however I suspect you may have heard something about what I’m about to discuss…
Here are the facts: on Friday 13 March I managed to scoop a fairly large story about the secretive mass recall of faulty Sky+HD digiboxes. It wasn’t life changing but as it affected 90,000 subscribers (approximately 10% of Sky’s entire HD user base) relevant nonetheless. The story was popular with our readers and two or three rival sites popped up articles kindly sourcing back to me. In short come Friday evening the Google News aggregator page looked like this:
In truth I had probably expected more sites to pick up the story but I suspect given it was late on a Friday before a large majority of the tech world jetted off to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona meant – understandably – their focus was elsewhere. Fast forward four whole days however and as MWC news began to dry up the sniffing around began again and guess what tasty little story they found? Yep, by February 17th the Google News UK aggregator page looked like this:
I was rather flattered. I presumed something additional must have been dug up for such a media frenzy. I was wrong it was just what I had reported four days earlier. Furthermore, on flicking through a few of the more major sites (broadsheets, BBC, etc) to my horror I discovered not a single, solitary credit back to TrustedReviews for my industry. This wouldn’t be so bad if a number hadn’t directly ripped off the quotes posted on our comments section by an appreciably hackled Sky+HD Team. Co-incidence? In some publications without the quotes – quite likely, in orders absolutely not it was word for word.
Of course no one is perfect. Bemoaning the problem on Twitter I was rather sternly reminded of my own shortcomings by my friend Ian Morris, the Television, DVD and PVR editor at CNet. He pointed out that 2 years ago I had posted a story and failed to credit him for the discovery. I had fallen victim to the ‘via curse’ which afflicts much web based journalism. This is where a story is written linking to the site where the author found the information without tracking down the original source. Following them all back can sometimes work, but not always. That said, it was my fault, I should have dug deeper and a few quick words (I’ll not repeat the exact colourful phraseology) sorted it. The difference is it wasn’t intentional and I ultimately held my hands up.
Funnily enough I pretty much took Ian’s head off for pointing this out during a rather undignified public battle. I was still rather raw so Ian – if you’re reading this – apologies.
Before I get too far off topic however let me conclude with this: I expected better. I expected better of myself when I failed to spot Ian’s original article 2 years ago and I expect better of the high profile national press who knowingly rip off the hard work of others. Now I’m sure I’m overreacting. My editor said I should ‘suck it up’ and he’s right, after I vent this Riyad I will. But the worst aspect in what essentially amounts to theft is it isn’t even unusual, for many it is common business practice. I’ve heard numerous horror stories far worse than my own example since this occurred and they all left an impression. Each is locked in tight – as is the tarnished image of my profession.
…Ok, Riyad. I’ve Sucked Up.
A (relative) oldie but a goldie. This controversial handset is still the device I get most questions about, bar none, so let’s clear up these issues once and for all.There has never been a mobile phone which more embodied the spirit of JtBP because boy-oh-boy are the good points good (in fact revelatory and revolutionary), but as for the bad points – well… Read more
So, we’ve moved the blog to a new host, which had some MySQL problems around about the time when we got everything up and running. This seems to have been fixed by now, although there’s still a lot more tweaking of the new template that needs to be done. Don’t be afraid of getting in touch if you see something that’s wonky or if there’s something that doesn’t work as it should. I’m doing my best to help Gordon set this up, but I’m not an expert at WordPress and even less so at editing PHP code, so it might take a little while before everything is up and running as it ought to. Hopefully you like the new design, it’s Gordon’s choice, so let him know what you think 😀
We’ve also implemented an anti spam feature for the comments, sorry about that, but it saves a lot of time and hassle, as there are sad people that go around and try to post spam on people’s blogs.
Gordonkelly.com might only be 5 weeks old, but it has received a lot of feedback, some excellent comments and some rather decent traffic (proportionately speaking) so the time has already come from some proper hosting.
The site will be moving from WordPress across to Fat Cow hosting over the next 24 hours and while the content should all be here it may go back to looking like a dog’s dinner for a short spell.I’ll fix it don’t worry, that’s my job!
NB – Should everything go balls up, the old blog will be available at gordonakelly.wordpress.com during the transitionary stage.
Looking for something a little more positive following news the planet was 24 hours from economic and political collapse. Try this on for size…
After the wholly immeasurable honour of winning the UK’s top technology journalist in December (January results should be any time soon – I’ll chase them up!) I’ve turned up on another list, well at least part of me has.
The Twitter profile @iamgordonsliver has been named as the 8th ‘Greatest non-human Twitter User’ on CNet portal Crave. Irony is, I don’t write this (seemingly) tribute profile and have no access to it! Here’s what CNet had to say:
8: I am Gordon’s Liver
Type: Human organ
Typical tweet: “Building my hopes up again for a healthy lunch, but expecting a liquid one.”
This is the liver of a journalist called Gordon. Day to day, the personified organ comments on life inside the human body, providing a unique and easy-to-digest account of what it’s like to work as an organ in a 21st-century male.
Thankfully other bizarre copycats such as @iamgordonsego and @iamgordonstoe have yet to show similar signs of take off (the liver is on over 120 followers as we speak). Of course it’s always possible to just follow me on Twitter instead – it may prove slightly less disturbing…!
via 8 Greatest Non Human Twitter Users (Crave/CNet)
There has been much debate recently about whether bankers deserved their huge bonus pay-outs this year or indeed the high salaries given to them in general after their starring role the current international recession. Now I think the answer is pretty self evident and that’s not what I’m hear to discuss at this point. If you want to vent your frustrations at that then here’s a petition where you can be pro-active in doing that.
No, what needs to be pointed out above all during these endless talks of interest rates, job cuts and businesses going into administration is just how close the planet was from complete economic and political collapse: 3 hours in the US, 24 hours globally. This may sound melodramatic but it’s not, it’s a spine chilling fact according to previously undisclosed insight from elected Democratic politician Paul E. Kanjorski.
The full video is below, but here’s the shocking core of it – which kicks off 2 minutes 21 seconds in:
“On Thursday [18 September], at 11am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two. The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped a $105 billion in the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn’t be further panic out there…
If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed… It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.”
Now knowledge of this doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t make the banks any less culpable or the political leaders who ignored their negligent high risk practices any less responsible. If anything it makes it worse. It does do one thing however and that’s the next time you’re feeling down about the latest national or international turmoil just remember: it could’ve been one heck of a lot worse…
Great kudos to Zero Hedge for this brilliant – and important – spot.
…when I say this is a rare piece of satirical genius to which we can all empathise. This first must-see video of 2009…
The second of my two part Twitter feature inspired by comments I made on an article entitled Correct Twitter Usage on my good friend Spode’s Think About Tech website. Part I: ‘Twitter & The Land of Opportunity’ can be found here.
Let’s get this lazy comparison scrubbed from the very first line: I don’t believe Facebook and Twitter are even remotely connected.
The old line: “Twitter is mass Facebook status updates for your friends” I believe to be utter – well – shite. The difference is Facebook has a certain ‘distance’ to it. With it I feel I get to know something about the LIVES of my friends on it and also the school friends I haven’t seen in years, but vitally many – if not most – of my Facebook friends I have no desire to interact with. Facebook is largely voyeuristic.
By contrast, Twitter is INTERACTIVE. Sure, there are professional sites simply rehashing their RSS feeds but they are largely catastrophic failures when you consider their number of followers when proportional to their site’s web audience.
No, Twitter is not about saying “I polished my car today” it is about interaction. It is a great online IM brothel between your friends/respected colleagues or others and one which goes on whether you are there are not. With Twitter I genuinely feel I have BONDED with virtually all of those I follow, I have not just watched them from afar via a sterile ‘Today’ page. I would even go so far as to say Twitter has helped improve social relations with a number of friends because we no longer need to engage in fatuous small talk . We already KNOW what is going on with one another’s lives and have often commented on it via Twitter so when we meet up we already feel comfortable, can cut the “so how has your week been…” waffle and have far more meaningful conversations.
Personally speaking, I know many people have issues with Twitter but let me be blunt here. If you find the people you follow say things you find dull then DON’T follow them. Cruel as it may sound I have many good friends in real life whose Twitter feeds I do not enjoy. I had the stones to remove them and we get on as if Twitter never existed.
Likewise for those I do continue to follow I find I now feel genuinely closer to them. Their tweets delight, entertain and touch me about the goings on in their lives. One friend in particular who is living abroad I watch to see how his very ill son is coping. From his Twitter updates alone and my occasional real time responses to them I feel more useful than 50 Facebook wall messages, virtual app flowers, ‘pokes’, and picture posts ever could.
In essence then, perhaps what I am trying to say is that while Twitter can seemingly be written off by generalist and trite statements it is actually a hybrid creating a new form of communication. A merger of Facebook and IM, a grand forum or cyberspace town hall where you can share your daily/weekly/monthly highs and lows in a way representative of what drives you in this wonderful thing called the human condition.
Hardest of all however is to realise your own tweets paint an unrelenting self portrait, something which scares away many. Yet hopefully this close-up study of yourself and others also brings about realisation of where and how more can be made of your own life. After all, it will give you more interesting things to Tweet about…
Link: Twitter Gordon Kelly Profile (follow me and see just how exciting/dull my life is!)
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