Saturday, September 01, 2007

Many happy returns of the day, er, 6 months, er...

RE:tie burbles along, and I'm getting to a point soon where we try and sell it. So I was amused by this: Dragons’ Den reject eyes riches abroad

And especially this: Reflecting on news of Gordon’s success, Ms Elnaugh (she'd be 'the founder of Red Letter Days, which collapsed later that year, said it was the “most ridiculous” she had ever heard of) reportedly said she is pleased he has done well, but said investors want to see a return in six months, rather than the three-year window he envisages.

I'd say I'd always like to see a return within a decent period, but so long as you make more than you spend and cover costs and time it's going to be ok. And if in being so determined to get it in 6 months rather than 3 years one ends up going bust, I think you get all you didn't deserve.

I believe there are a few Dragon's Den successes out there, but mainly I'd say all involved (with the exception of the inspired guys who gave it a go and pitched despite the obvious desire of the makers not to support or motivate the true entrepreneurial spirits, but solely to seek car-crash TV) should hang their egotistical (judges), ratings-driven (production and BBC) heads in shame.

Bin Money

I was listening to the radio yesterday on the way to a meeting, when Martin Lewis' moneysavingexpert slot came on the Jeremy Vine Show.

I'm attuned even more to this as I've noticed some sign-ups on that cite this as the source.

He certainly gets a lot of tips and tricks to share, which probably explains his success. Though I remain at little confused as to the way his business model works, falling as it does between a few I'm aware of. It's free of course, but also makes play of being ad free. However there's a lot of promotion for various offers flying about, plus his own products, such as books, via our very own public broadcast system. I must see how to get in on that act.

Anyway, they had a bit where folk phoned in with their tips, and I was aching to call in with my own, as several were eco in nature. Frankly most were a bit naff, if not daft (like some on our ideas pages!).

But they really liked one guy's list which, amongst others, involved swiping cans out of people's recycling boxes and selling them to recyclers.

Now I am not sure about the legality of that (mini-totting?), but it is telling that what 'we' are asked/required to do for free is recognised to provide a significant income from those who collect from us.

I wonder how much more people would recycle if the profit motive was payed up.. and upon?

What's in Vogue?

Commy time! The disconnect between those who would talk about saving the palnet and what gets done around them continues: Rich pickings

Wasn't Vogue one of those that for a wee while had a 'green' phase and/or issue? Bless.

While no real excuse, but as a reason I think there may be a problem with all this climate change activity now being in the hands of celebrity and the media that serves and feeds off them to create vehicles to flog stuff to the wealthy.

And that is what on earth such folk would do with all the money they have worked so hard to accrue (or... not) if they did/could not spent it with obscene purchase sprees or jaunts to ever more exotic places.

And what, exactly, does it say that there is such a thing as a 'luxury goods specialist'?

With a bevvy of the necessary number of journalistic chroniclers in tow, of course.

Guardian - What can you do with a brick-sized Vogue?- Sounds like a question for!

News, views and whose who's?

I had better watch myself!

I was just having my breakfast when Newswatch came on with a 'special' from Edinburgh based on the recent TV Fest (was it so recent? It feels an age ago. So I had more than a splutter when they read out a quote from 'regular'.... me! It was my comment that they should stop asking for opinions and then not pay a blind bit of notice to them. So I guess I can't fault them paying attention... and sharing... though still stick by that opinion. I'm of course feeling awkward, because I think I went on to say that I'd given up commenting on Newswatch because I had no sense that it went beyond the featured edit-sneer (not Mr. Snoddy, who is in the unenviable role of posing some nasty questions to colleagues and does do so... though I too often feel that he asks, they answer and... nothing more happens) basically saying it wasn't a problem and if it was they didn't really care.

But if they are taking note maybe I will plug away a bit more.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to Biased BBC.

By virtue of a thing that pops up to advise me of a new comment (some RSS doo-dad I should get to figure out on here, probably), I do get seduced back a fair bit.

But it is proving a bit of a trial. I fear most of the diamonds are getting well and truly swamped by the rough, and there is a lot of rough.

I'm learning some lessons about forum and blog management for here, but one thing I certainly believe I'll keep is my moderator approval facility. It's pretty anti-democratic I guess, especially when I complain about it on several other sites, but while I am actually not so concerned about the more PC-concerns that most retain this facility to censure, I feel I need a check for (if it ever happens - so far I have found debate here to be refreshingly civilised and based on fact more than opinion) the selective cut and paste 'tis/tisn't' epic exchanges that I am seeing on the site, usually between two totally entrenched protagonists.

As I mentioned in my appeal (I guess that was what you'd call it) on their blog, cherry-picking something, and that includes a link, really doesn't serve the story or an observer's ability to track it well enough to make a judgment. And I fear that where there may be valuable debate some, like me, simply switch off and leave them to fill ether-space with usually increasing name-calling as they spiral to nowhere.

While I'm not a fan of the Newsnight 'twofer' style, I do see merit in inviting, or welcoming, diverse opinions, and then having a central, hopefully objective but informed moderator, ready to intervene to request claims are properly substantiated before moving on. Too often I see things, even in the major online media, simply popped in, and possibly countered, but not to my satisfaction, or at least enough to know what the actual facts are.

I think I will revise my participation with BBC is Biased to more of an observer role, and use it to act as a valuable potential counterpoint to some sloppy reporting I know does occur. They do catch some howlers!

One thing to note (and to be fair to the site), is that it does pin its colours to its blog title, so it's a tad silly to expect it to be that balanced in itself. It's there to find out what is perceived to be bias in the BBC. Fair enough. They can hardly be expected to fall over themselves to 'put the other side', but it looks like there are enough to provide such context (or call out the more rabid extremes) to make it a reasonable resource to use still.