Sunday, January 22, 2006

Marvin has a point

Kids on a sleepover. Wife asleep. Waaaaaay too frosty to do that
gardening I'd planned, and with no heating in the shed my latest pet
project may need to wait a few more weekends.

So of course the best thing to do is overload my already fried brain
by surfing around signing up to a bunch more newsletters. It really
is amazing what's out there if you start looking at odd links tucked
away on more frequently travelled sites.

And one thing struck me. We are not alone. At least when it comes to
the dreaded registration confirmation issue. Because having signed up
to various newsletters that politely advised that 'I would get an
email confirmation with a link to activate...'; I didn't. At least
until I looked in my spam filter. And there they all were.

What was funny, in a tragic sort of way, several of these had little
pleas to 'put this email sender address in the favourites folder to
avoid being intercepted', which of course I wouldn't have known about
had I not been up early on a Sunday and looking at places I don't

Life... don't talk to me about life.

Getting noticed for all the [your thoughts here] reasons

As you'll have gathered, I was (still am) a tad grumpy at the reaction of some news media to our little bit of Xmas PR. While it has to be admitted it was designed to get us some coverage, and did involve some resources, it's hard to grasp with getting told by one major that they're not in the business of free commercials for start-ups, and getting slagged off by another for wastage when the item sent was a paragon of 2cnd-usefulness.

So I had a certain sympathy for a couple who I read about who have announced... well, for reasons of derriere coverage let me instead quote from a publication, Grist, that quotes some publications:

"Leaving London this week, a pair of drivers set off on a trip around the world, pledging to use fewer than 50 tanks of gas, hoping to "show people that in these hard environmental times they can save fuel." By driving 14 hours a day. For 70 days. No wonder Shell is sponsoring them."

I have to say that when I first read about this, my eyebrow also twitched a bit at the logic behind the message, but you do what you think you've got to do, and in light of our experience I thought it best to keep it zipped to avoid seeming hypocritical. But we did take the decision not to share this editorially  as it simply didn't make much sense to us.

However I have to raise it here in this blog, because it certainly got a fair bit of coverage, and outside of more overtly enviro, and some might say insightful organs as the mighty Grist, there was little questioning of how exactly consuming all these resources (They are planning on using 'only 50 tankfuls, which is my Golf for two years, but there is the small matter of "Some of the fuel has already been transferred to depots along the route, while the rest will be flown out to other points of their journey at a later date... The couple will be accompanied by a crew travelling in two Volkswagen Passat estate cars, including an independent witness, a videographer, a writer and two mechanics") really is the best way to make this point.

Maybe it was deemed worthy thanks to the participation of that well-known non-start up, non-commercial organisation, Shell. Or maybe they have better PR. I wonder if this adventure was one of the Springboard entries?