Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Blog God has smiled a wry smile

Nice to share a bit of good news...
A wee while ago, in one of my tangential trawls off e-Broadway, I stumbled across a site 'Does what it says on the tin'-styly entitled, in confident fashion, 'Best of the Web Blog'.
Anyways, I had a gander at the environment section, and it certainly had a fine selection, including several I am happy to subscribe to already.
It's interesting to note that 'blog' spans a fair spectrum, as a few are more what I'd deem online magazines, rather than my preferred personal definition of a personal journal, but all are very good company to be in.
"What's this," you cry, "...in!!!!!?"
Well, yesiree. Because nothing ventured, nothing gained 'n all, I rather immodestly put Junkk Male RE:View up for, er, review, and have just been kindly informed as follows:

Best of the Web is pleased to inform you that the blog you submitted http://junkk.blogspot.com/ has been approved and added to the following category within the Best of the Web Blog Directory:

Your blog will appear in the directory after our next update, typically within the next 24 hours.

Thank you for helping to grow the BOTW Blog Directory. We are happy to list your blog amongst the best.


Best of the Web Blogs
Not sure who I thank, but if you're reading this: 'ta muchly!'. And to any who have passed this way as a consequence 'Welcome!'.
I think it is also time we had a little look at how we up our game 'feed' and promo-wise.
Not to mention getting on that 'Best of the Web' with Junkk.com. When you're on a roll...

Back-scratching #101

It's nice when it works. And it's even nicer to help those who help us... help everyone.

So I am pleased to say that we have had our first 'mass upload' of data  from a major fmcg brand, and it is frankly quite a milestone for us.

Better yet, they have decided to gild that lily and attach ideas as well, with some really neat ones in the mix.

So a big 'thank you' to ecover, who now pretty much 'own' the 'E's' of the Ideas section for now.

I'm sure they won't mind us hoping that they soon find a few more joining them.

And we'll be doing all we can to keep spreading the word about them and their lovely products.

Paying To Promote The Piper, Who Still Calls Their Own Tune

I have figured out that it is pretty pointless (other than a bit of venting, which can be therapeutic) writing in to most media forums (though the Telegraph blogs do seem a notable exception), as the anonymity imposed makes the value of such effort altruistic at best. And the sheer volume of these things, and numbers contributing to them, has fast diluted any value I can assess in moving a view or cause forward. It simply serves to add to the media owners archive of nifty facts and quotes.

But I still can't resist writing to someone who at least has the grace to put a contact address on their work (mine is info@junkk.com), even though there is scant chance of them replying.

At least, thanks to this blog, the words need not be lost, and can be preserved in a relevant environment. 

So here's a little something I just sent to Sunday Times Columnist Rod Liddle:

Re: 'Brown's African squanderlust' & 'Bin the rubbish bag police'

I have not long returned (if not recovered) from a month exhibiting at the Ideal Home Show (supposed theme: Recycling & Sustainable Living. Not.) to catch up on a few back issues of the Sunday Times and, naturally, your columns. It gave me the chance to read two in sequence, and though you may wonder how (or why), link them together. 

A real frustration, to this householder/consumer-as-source-of-funds at least, is the sheer amount of money being wasted in the name of cutting back on... er... waste. We are seeing millions of pounds poured into meeting targets at the expense of real environmental benefits, with quangos, and even commercial businesses being funded to duplicate each other and set up massive administrative systems, ad campaigns, etc, before much money actually goes where it could do some good. 

I'd prefer investment to be made in making it impossible for people not to be able to behave responsibly, and better yet see the value in doing so. Sadly this seems an less favoured approach, with predictable consequences -  News story

Before we start forcing anything or finding countless ways to fine, we must get the mechanisms, infrastructures and incentives in place first... and efficiently. The trouble is there is little being done to hold anyone accountable, much less take those responsible to task for so woefully failing to do so.

The problem is that we now live in a culture that values being seen to do something more than actually doing anything. And which rewards success but fails to penalise failure. It happens because 'they' know they can get away with it. Just like Mr. Brown.

Sure it makes a lovely photo. And for that, and not following up, relentlessly, is where most of the media must share in some of the blame. And while any copy highlighting an abuse may score a temporary rating point, then letting it pass simply makes one part of the problem.

You say in your piece Mr. Brown flew some hacks for this photo op. You mean the taxpayer paid (on top of the planet, unless they planted over Belgium to compensate carbonally - another story) for this???! 

There seems to be an addiction to squandering cash on hype over substance, unsurprisingly with those who do not bear the consequences of the commitments made to boost their status. ROI is often used in business as a fair measure of a project's value. And, simplistically, the checks and balances of someone paying for it and seeking to be paid back are fairly effective. When the return is not viewed as a financial gain against a financial commitment, the waters muddy. And it must be accepted that there is undoubted value in many worthwhile social enterprises. But what we are seeing more and more is the return being much more in favor of the commissioning individuals, or at least their empires (which is pretty much the same thing). 

And it doesn't really matter much whether we're talking rich western waste or third world poverty, one thing above all matters most, and that's overpopulation. Stick several thousand more homes on a flood plain in Surrey, and where their extra rubbish ends up (in a hole or up in smoke) is not going to be counterbalanced by savings elsewhere, no matter how many Priuses get made for them to drive. Equally, pumping money at any group that have little else to do other than that which comes naturally is unlikely to reduce their impact on the immediate environment's ability to sustain them.

Like you, I am no mathematician, but it doesn't seem too hard to imagine the closing gap between finite resources and an ever-expanding global consuming society. Especially as we now have a new component to the equation, in the form of the negative impact our consumption is having on the resource-production side, which serves only to speed the process up.

Malthus had a point. And it's looking like Mother Nature may be gearing up a few tricks to rectify the imbalance. 

We can't stop it, but we can reduce it. But not when it's being guided by politicians who view their legacy no further than the day they retire on gold-plated pensions, idealists who would prefer to be loved now than share in hard decisions (the benefits of which will only kick in when they're long gone), and populations who are easily seduced by a media that seeks the instant gratification of big ratings hits rather than the ongoing, campaigning effort that goes into shaping futures.

Truth & Consequences

Like most of us, I feel I was made to make things. Some do so more
than most, and more tangibly, and I guess I fall somewhere in the
middle ground of those who 'create' concepts, or words (or websites),
etc, as opposed to actually constructing a 'thing'.

And so it has been since the start of time. But now a rather odd fly
that has always lurked in the ointment has started to really make its
rotting presence felt, and that is the consequence of making
something, and especially in terms of its global impact.

For sure, it was only sensible to be concerned how one's new
invention would perform across all sorts of criteria, from safety to
economics, but there really was no question to the value of trying to
make it.

But now I wonder. As populations ever-expand, the potential for
people to dream up and then wish to see through their ideas will
surely keep pace. Which inevitably means the consumption of
additional resources to meet new demand, should it be generated, when
a successful product comes on line. And though I have no clue on
economics, I suspect that it is the only way for things to proceed
without falling into chaos.

I recall the dilemma of my ad agency's success, which I saw as being
like a shark (a fair analogy in other ways, too): to survive we had
to swim, and in swimming we consumed, which in turn made us grow. So
we had to swim and consume a little faster to grow a little bit more,
ad infinitum.

I know where I am going with this, and I don't think I want to make
the journey. But the sad fact is, thanks to the situation we find
oursleves in, I feel cursed by worrying about the consequences of
creating, which is a heavy burden to bear.

For most, ignorance (or at least blissful unconcern) is profitable
bliss, but I am not sure how long the system can sustain it as an


...further to my last blog: what will happen is that the whole thing
will sort itslef out, and by posting this, the others now appear.

I guess this is the equivalent of either Ctrl+Alt+Delete or, if all
else fails, janking the power out and having a coffee.

Oh (all's well that ends) well. Fingers crossed.

Out of Control

These are testing times. No, really. As many will know, much as I
admire anything that is useful, powerful and above all FREE, it can
be frustrating when it all goes pear-shaped and you have little
control over finding out why, putting it right or getting in touch
with someone who will help.

This latter is important. I am proud that we at Junkk.com are there
to help, and will get back as soon as we can when (not if, as
gremlins are inevitable) a cock-up occurs.

Sadly, this is not so true of Blogger.com, who I use for my Junkk
Male RE:View blog. I've just noticed that while the latest posts are
on the admin section of the site, they are not viewable.

I know from experience that there is no point asking anyone why (it
has to be admitted that they do run a slightly larger operation) or
what to do about it, so I am now working through the bowels of the
FAQs and Forums. Not the best use of my time.

I really wish I could get this under my control, as this is happening
too often. And unlike Junkk.com, if they don't care enough to make it
work or at least help me, then it's not really worth it. Sadly, for
now, money keeps me loyal, if critical.

Anyway, this is a test to see what happens. If this appears then it
will be a glitch and I'll just resend those that didn't make it
before, which will therefore out of sequence or get duplicated. Sorry.