Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Tube alerts to your mobile - one small problem there, guys...

News today from Revolution that Orange will provide frustrated commuters with text alerts on travel delays, so you can plan your way out of tube hell by knowing about where 'there-may-be-trouble-ahead'.

This all sounds wonderful, but unfortunately when you most need this service you are stuck underground going nowhere on the circle line and can't get a signal on your phone. Oh dear...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Aussies - you've always got to go one better...

Now our antipodean cousins have gone one too far by claiming they invented streaking. Given that the Poms invented original versions of nearly every sport going (even if we can't win at them), it's sacriledge to lay claim the ultimate sporting compliment, the streak.

The date they proudly claim is April 1974, but a very quick trawl through the internet streaking archives reveals a previous streak at Mortcombe FC in the 1969-1970 season. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?
As part of the great traffic experiment the site's been submitted to Is my Blog HOT or NOT?, a derivative of the (in)famous 'Am I Hot or Not?' that proved the ruin of so many young egos - could this site prove the end of this young blog?

I'll update on what this does to the traffic dribble that's come through in the last few weeks since I put that embarassing counter up.
Will it, won't it?

The big story in 2004 looks like being the will they/won't they Google IPO. Things are starting to reach a head with speculation that it is "expected to file for its $1bn IPO later this week".

One interesting question is whether UK investors bitten by the Lastminute.com share price IPO will be tempted to gamble once more. With the growing number of good news stories in new media that have been trickly through recently and the recent profits at big names Amazon, Ebay and the like (even Lastminute, kinda), this blog believes there'll be plenty of takers if the big announcement does prove true.
Why weight?

With obesity issues reaching a crescendo, I've found a timely way to check how you fare on the web with an online Body Mass Index calculator, echoing the onmipresent health quizzes so beloved of of the lifestyle press - a good example of using the interactivity of the web in online communications. And the best bit is you don't even have to move from your desk to find out...

Friday, April 23, 2004

War Child Music gives downloads a good name

With the wealth of negative press around illegal downloads, it's been interesting to see some positive news coverage for once. A series of artists, including Badly Drawn Boy and Travis, have donated tracks to War Child Music which can be bought individually at 99p or as part of a monthly unlimited subscription. It remains to be seen whether this will gather sufficient critical mass to be worth a monthly subscription, but it's an innovative approach to fundraising which may well catch on.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Dancing chicken update, just don't mention the Golden Arches...

As the dancing chicken takes the net by storm, there have been numerous debates on discussion boards and across the office about what he will and won't do. Helpfully you can save yourself considerable time (if interacting with guys in chicken suits does it for you, that is), by letting someone else do all the hard work for you and viewing the request list.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Dance chicken, dance...

Hats off to BK for one of the weirder (and braver) Easter virals. Take a guy in a chicken suit, a clever database and let the audience make him do whatever they want him do (more or less) - presumably before consuming him in some unrecognisable form on the way home from the pub.

They even included a 'bad taste' feature just to keep the lawyers happy.

So go on, make that subserviant chicken dance!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

E-bay PR team, I salute you (but you're weird)

This blog is a big fan of the E-bay publicity machine. Every week they churn out yet another weird E-bay item story providing a valuable service to hacks with deadlines looming and pubs to patronise.

This week they have surpassed themselves in the bizarre stakes with news that someone is selling Potpourri clams on the site and have helpfully including several verses all about it, including the instructive lines:

There is nothing so refreshing
As a house that smells like clams,
Except, perhaps fresh compost,
Or Prostate-gland Exams,
(it goes on and on from here in a similar clam-inspired vein)

As usual, this has been picked up by blogs everywhere (if you can't beat them, join them, I say) and no doubt will soon be adorning those difficult to fill spaces on page 11 on every print publication on earth.

E-bay, I defy you to trump this one next week.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Playing the April fool

Yesterday saw the annual media sport of trying to fool the public into believing their April fool's stories. Efforts ranged from the inspired article claiming that Peter Mandelson was going to become the new chairman of the BBC (cue mass hysteria among many BBC staff) to a more commercial effort from BMW announcing new technology allowing your to cook your dinner as you drive home.

With the speed at which stories proliferate across the media, the game has become seeing how far your story can spread before it's revealed to be a joke. A clear winner in my eyes was the story about plucky Brit's schemes to create a chicken-powered nuclear bomb featured in The Times which they are still denying to this day. The story featured the memorable quote: 'It does seem like an April fool but it most certainly is not. The civil service does not do jokes.'

Given that they do actually do leaks, how about a rumour that former immigration minister Beverly Hughes will be appointed as the new BBC Director General?