Friday, February 10, 2012

Whatever works best

Earlier, I was tweaked by a Twitter chum to look at this:

Well, I had a ponder, and decided to apply. The rationale being that things are a bit stagnant all round (here, there.. the whole sorry soup of 'green' reporting), so why not take a punt and stir things up.

No way on God's Earth will I get it, of course, but applying was fun. And as I hate to waste anything, even a 30 minute disgorge of words, here they all are anyway... can't hurt, eh?:

Tell us about yourself  - Who you are, your academic (or other) qualifications, your day job, anything else you feel is relevant

After two years as a specialist vet science undergrad at Reading University, I eventually got a BSc in Civil Engineering from King's College, and after a brief career in that vocation entered advertising.

Following a globe-trotting set of steps around the world I founded my own Ad agency in Singapore. At the height of its success, with billings in tens of millions, I sold this, and the multi-national blue-chip clientele secured, to US giant FCB.

This offered an opportunity to indulge more in developing and promoting my passions.

Now, by day, I work as a writer and designer with my creative collective,, which specialises in helping green and social enterprise clientele.

Then, by night, weekends, holidays and tea breaks I edit

This multi-awarded and world-renowned free (to user) eco-site is essentially a ‘FaceBook for Rubbish’, matchmaking those with nifty ideas for finding 2nd uses for stuff with those who can't bear to chuck stuff away if new ways can be suggested to save time, money... or the planet (good enough to be asked by The Guardian to create and run a competition in a special insert called ‘World of Plastics’, highlighting how a potentially negative topic can be treated objectively, and also with positivity, reward and…fun).

And from Junkk was spun off RE:tie (, a patented, multi-awarded packaging enviro-design that has re:evolutionised the caps of bottles and jars to turn them from being a throw-away to something consumers will want to keep. Plus now offering a real aid to those with weaker grip.

In all things I advocate savings that include via the pocket at the same time as serving the planet, and believe in motivating via 'end benefit' as the most potent sales technique that can be deployed in achieving these goals. I also created, and maintain a commitment to the principle of eniviROI+, a measure of ‘green’ with some numbers attached that means, and demands, a lot more than most from the politico-media-NGO establishment bandied about still these days.

That often means pricking a few hot air-filled balloons. Having a Science/engineering background means I can often avoid being blinded by ‘science’, but then also see smoke and mirrors, and what they are trying to obscure, a mile away.

I have engaged, politely, with such as Mariam Cook and lately Dan Roberts on blogs and twitter, gently probing in areas where I have suspected the ‘news’ is more PR, or driven by agenda. Less politely with a few others as well.

What is your favourite, must-read, existing blog? - I don't believe politicians, and most tribal MSM versions of what all of them say, or do... or say they do. Mr. Staines is a vile person [having been abused by him when he did not read what I wrote to him once, I can testify to this], but a necessary evil who  delivers more than misses, or distracts. Of value in this day and age. And you don’t compete by only mixing in your comfort zone.

What subjects do you write about at the moment?

Environment, Science, Engineering, Design, Advertising, Invention, Packaging, All the 'Re's, Media, Fun, Politics, Hypocrisy, Family, Kids… Life & Work

What is the traffic on your existing blog?

No idea: a few thou. Current just <4k opt-ins on newsletter. Once had 130k when running more seriously.

What is your idea for a blog on the Guardian's science network?

Science as an Art: level-headed words on science & stuff, on the street, pitched at the interested, independent, facts-over-opinion buff.

What would it be called?

‘Junkk Male RE:view’...what else? Actually, there’s a nice concept in the two idea summary statements above: ‘Science at street level

What subjects would it cover?

Environment, Science, Engineering, All the 'Re's'. Maybe a focus more on the things we use but have a dubious ‘green’ tag hanging off them and may not deserve it, or those that have green halos and are less wonderful than billed.

Why should your blog be hosted by us? This is your pitch: sell yourself and your blog idea but keep it pithy - no more than 150 words

The Guardian has a justified reputation for commitment to the story. However it's losing it fast as dogma overwrites fact. That’s hurting the value offered via sensible science story-telling to people who will, ultimately, make a difference: not ideologically-linked urbanites or trustafarian commune-ists, but Joe Public at large. People trying to get on, do their best but also do right... without being nagged, nannied or scolded by those a bit too insulated from reality, or too bound by peer influence to always share things straight. You need to get back some balance and credibility; I need a vehicle to help make the future better for my kids than what I have to deploy at present. Not another echo in a mirror-lined bubble. More Ben Goldacre than Tom Chivers, but even less ‘pigeon-holed’. Also, looking at the question above, I might even help with that famous Guardian proof-reading reputation... yor:)

How would you deem your Guardian science blog to be successful?

Anything that leads to information and education on matters of waste reduction and efficiency enhancement, with a growing and better engagement in these areas by the public, would be a victory for the environment... and folks' pockets. Win-win. Getting people to actually think about practical & pragmatic issues, less swayed by often over-idealistic intangible tribal dogma, would be a plus, too. OK, and numbers, as well. Preferably more agreeing and chipping in with ways to enhance and evolve than spitting bullets, demanding closures and having hissy fits or sniping with no constructive alternatives.

Anything else you want to tell us?

*What would it be called?
*If you had a blog at the Guardian, would you aim to keep your existing blog going too?

Further to that last question; there would be no point. I would simply link to it. That would serve both our profile and traffic aims.

Actually, to that last, on reflection I'd need to reflect on that. Eggs in one basket, 'n all. Especially if (though assured otherwise) any threat was made to pull unless toeing a line, by which time the other audience would have been lost, or at least absorbed.

Not that I expect it will come to that, considering some of the answers/input proferred.


anita said...

Oooh, good luck Peter. I'd love it if this happened. ;-)

Peter said...

Thanks Anita.

No word, one way or other, yet.

So I'll take that as good news.

Glass half full guy, me.