BBC: “Manilow to drive out ‘hooligans'”


A council in the Australian city of Sydney is taking radical measures against car-revving youths – the calming tones of singer Barry Manilow. [snip]

Deputy mayor Bill Saravinovski said … “Daggy music is one way to make the hoons leave an area, because they can’t stand the music”.

Now, I totally sympathise with the residents, but can we be sure that:
1) there’ll be no subliminal damage either to the residents or the youth
2) that this won’t simply enrage them beyond their powers of endurance; and
3) we won’t have BM-singalikes in future years on Ozzie Idol (Idle?) saying ‘I was inspired in my teens at the local supermarket…’

They are conjuring powers which are greater than any single small town to contain… Be afraid.

Inverin marketing conference: bit of a joke.

Now I’m not particularly shy when it comes to speaking on matters many and divers (well, digital marketing, eCommerce etc) and I’m happy to speak where I like the people, the event and it seems ‘real’. We all get spammed to death with ‘expert conferences’ or ‘captive sales sessions’ (where "decision-makers" are locked on a ship and get free food/drink in return for meeting with suppliers. Yuk) so I try and avoid these.

One pet hate is the "Blue Chip Frottage" event, where you don’t really care who the speakers are so long as they’re from suitably large companies. I was asked to speak on one event this summer – The Marketing Directors Strategy Forum in June, run by a company called Inverin.

When asked I mentioned that I was leaving Littlewoods, and were they interested in me or in the company. It was the latter and so I gave them some other names who would (I hoped!) still be there. It was all very amicable, if a tad inept. The aim was clearly to create a haze of ‘top company’ logos and then trap gullible middle managers who would then become intimate chums with the BigCo Speakers.

Imagine my surprise then when a friend emailed me the marketing PDF for the Inverin conference, noting that there would be a ‘contribution from’ one Ian Jindall (sic):

Honestly. When you see the PDF you realise that for a given session there are four keynote speakers, 6-8 headline contributors and then ‘contributions from’ another dozen… Is there room for anyone not contributing?

I rang Inverin to query this and they’re still "looking into it". How can people be expected to credit anything they say?

I was going to link to their site, but at this is all you could see:

Great – that cheers me up! I wonder if I’ll ever hear from them about why my name’s there (not that I’d expect people to be deciding to go just based on my mispelled presence).

If you’re one of the select, "C-level" lucky people to have been spammed with this, let me know your thoughts. Even better if you’re a "contributor" taken by surprise! 


Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

Egad, do I love the internet! Or, rather, I love that people with time, creativity, energy and humour put in the effort to create such wonders… The Blog of Geoffrey Chaucer!

GC’s ‘about me’ saith:

I here neyther that ne this, for when my labor doon al ys and have made al my rekenynges I goon hom to my hous anoon and, also domb as any stoon, I sitte at another book tyl fully daswed ys myn look. Certes, I oghte to get outte more. Thou kanst fynde myn feede for liveiournale at the username ‘chaucerhathblog,’ sum swete soule hath sette yt vp for me.

Sum swete soule indeed!

This reminds me of my anglo saxon teacher, Nick Jacobs, who would read Chaucer with fluency and enthusiasm that brought it to life. This is certainly one to watch for a while on ye rss-reader.

It wouldn’t be right to leave the topic of historic blogs by famous dead people (!) without a tip of the hat to the excellent Pepys’ Diary. Bravo.

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means

Very enjoyable and thought-provoking book. Step by step examination of the emergent network theory behind the popular "six degrees of separation" that we now take as a truism – by the person who seems to have made many of the major advances. The first 50 pages are a quick read, and I nodded along thinking "yeah, I get this", only to have the next 200 pages show how this was an overly simple view and take us through to a more current, complex understanding. Well-written if very dense. There are dozens of pages of detailed notes at the end – showing the academic foundations – but it also meant that the end came rather quicker than I’d expected! Worth a read if you’ve got beyond the pop-science re-treads of network theory, but you’re not actually enough of a mathematician to be hanging with the researchers 🙂

The Bus Uncle – Wikipedia

Thanks to Antony, our ‘man on the ground’ in HK, I’ve just caught up with the global phenomenon that is "Bus Uncle". This wikipedia article shows WP at its best: rapid, considered, analytical and giving an excellent cultural view – I can but point you at it and step back. The wonderful aspects of this are the way the "meme" (pur-lease) has spread so quickly and the immense enthusiasm of the parodists and spoofers: there are fake movie posters, spin-offs, catch-phrases… You know we’re in a digital world and that Steve Job’s cry that we’re all now media producers is true when you check out the footnotes to the story: here is one of the spin-offs:

Music: Eagles’ ‘Hotel California‘ in ”’Uncle Bus”’ and Crazy Frog Remix (Featuring William Hung)

Thanks Antony!