This blog is now dead!

But I’ve got a new one over at

Check it out.

Digital Guyana

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m taking part in a volunteering project in Guyana this summer. Now it’s only a couple of weeks until I go.

There are four of us involved in the project – follow it here.

Rescue earth

I’m really liking Oxfam’s new video on climate change.

And while you’re at it – make sure you sign the petition too.

Good news

I’ve had some good news recently.

Firstly, I’ve just found out that I am going to go and do some more overseas volunteering. It’s a project called ‘Web skills for Guyana’ with the Commonwealth Youth Exhange Council.

We are a small team who are going to go to Guyana in July to run workshops, training events and skills-sharing sessions with young people in Guyana for 5-6 weeks. Looks set to be a great project. Here is some more information from Guyana:

I’ve also been accepted to do an MA in Global Media and Postnational Communications at SOAS, starting in September. Seems like a great degree and I’m really looking forward to being a student again, even though it will only be part-time.

Now all I have to do is get these things agreed with my employer…

My blogging has been very slow recently, but I’ve been planning to do something about it for a while. This is a good time to give myself a  kick up the bum.

Watch this space.


Jack Straw submitted claims for council tax he had never paid, luckily discovering his mistake and paying back £1,500 only after the High Court ruled that MP’s expenses had to be published.

Gordon Brown accidentally submitted a £150 plumbing bill twice.

Hazel Blears claimed for three different properties in one year and bought two new TVs and two new beds in 12 months.

Shahid Malik paid way below the market rent for his main home in Dewsbury, while billing the taxpayer thousands for his second home in London.

Andrew MacKay claimed full second home allowance on his London property while his wife, Julie Kirkbridge, claimed the full allowance on another home.

Elliot Morley claimed £16,800 in mortgage payments on his constituency home 20 months after repaying the loan.

And it goes on. And on.


In other countries they call in corruption.

The White Moose!

Don’t know Mattias Hellberg? He’s been in the bands Nymphet Noodlers and Hederos & Hellberg and played with both the Hellacopters (after Dregen left) and Soundtrack of Our Lives.

This week’s listening

Lars Winnerbäck & Miss Li  – Om du lämnade mig nu

The White Moose – Good day

Wynonie Harris – Shake that thing

The Beatles – Norwegian wood

Jimmy Jones – Good Timin’

The Dilettantes – Subterranean Bazaar

The White Moose – Mermaid Stomp

April Fool’s Day!

So what’s happened today then?

The Guardian gives up its print and web editions in favour of Twitter.

Youtube has launched a new layout. (View any video for laugh)

Opera lets you surf the web using face gestures.

Newcastle appoints Alan Shearer as manager.

The Pirate Bay sells out to Warner.

Expedia offers flights to Mars for only $99.

The BBC launches a iPlayer on a toaster.

Lovefilm bans French films.

Harvard Professor blames Twitter for the recession.

Sitepoint reports on the internet reboot.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Microsoft has bought Apple.

MSN Messenger launches automatic mood detection.

This week’s listening

The O’Jays – Love Train

Soundtrack of Our Lives – Firmament Vacation

Nirvana – Serve the Servants

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Before I Am Gone (You Better Love Me)

The Olympics – Secret Agents

Archie Bronson Outfit – Dart For My Sweetheart

Nirvana – Radio Friendly Unit Shifter

Soundtrack of Our Lives – Mantra Slider

Union Carbide Productions – Cartoon Animal

Always check your reciepts before submitting

This morning it emerged that the Home secretary, Jacqui Smith, had made an expenses claim for porn films.

The two films, valued at £5 each, were part of a £67  Virgin Media bill submitted last June.

As we know, MPs seem to be able to claim expenses for pretty much anything, but porn is apparently one step too far. Smith’s husband, Richard Timney, took the blame and said in a statement today:

“I am really sorry for any embarrassment I have caused Jacqui. I can fully understand why people might be angry and offended by this. Quite obviously a claim should never have been made for these films, and as you know that money is being paid back.”

My guess is that the house of commons was pretty empty today as MPs were busy rummaging around drawers looking for their expenses claims.

I wonder what the next thing will be?

What can I say?

Someone has found my blog by Googling ‘what should disabled people eat?’

Something to think about

How many times have you cut out an article from a paper and passed it on to someone?

How many times have you forwarded a link to someone?

Growing up


From via Ett Liv I Exil

The argument that just ended the discussion

This must be the killer argument that ends the discussion of whether newspapers can survive online by charging for news content. It’s from Jeff Jarvis, writing in the LA Times:

Perhaps most important, putting content behind a pay wall robs it of precious Google juice. Even if Google can search it, the hidden content will not attract as many of the links and clicks that Google’s search watches and values. In American newspapers’ sites, as few as 20% of users in a day come through the home page; most come to news via search and links from aggregators, bloggers, feeds and Facebook. Cutting yourself off from that rich economy of search and links is like taking your publication off the newsstand and making your readers walk to your office to buy it.

End of story.

This week’s listening

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Ballad of Jim Jones

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Woodfriend

The Asteroid #4 – Hold On

Black Lips – Starting Over

Pete Doherty – The Last of the English Roses

Soundtrack of Our Lives – The Ego Delusion

The Locomotions – The American Fuse

People power

Just watched a recent episode of Uppdrag Granskning – a popular Swedish investigative journalism programme – on the brilliant SVT Play.

This particular episode was about how Swedish state-owned financial institutions have decided to – in the middle of the finance crisis – increase the bonuses given to directors. This because of the Swedish right-wing government having changed the rules governing bonuses in state-owned companies last summer.

To add to this, the Swedish Finance Minister, Anders Borg, has spent the autumn being very outspoken against the bonus culture in the private banking sector, introducing caps on bonuses and attempting to influence other European leaders to do the same.

During the course of the programme Borg, along with several other politicians and finance directors are seen sweating in front of the cameras as they are forced to eat their own words from last summer.

However, the most interesting thing is not the programme itself. It’s a 3-minute add on, recorded one week later, showing what happened next.

Within, 24 hours, and as a result of the public outcry that ensued, the government had met and decided to change the rules regarding bonuses in state-owned companies.

Time and time again, Uppdrag Granskning manages to change things for the better. In the last couple of months it’s managed to ban cod fishing in Öresund, stopped McDonalds from paying cleaners below the minimum wage and made Sweden’s largest supermarket introduce stringent rules on the sustainability of the Norwegian salmon farms it buys from.

Basically, if a consumer problem is brought up on the programme, it’s almost guaranteed to be set right immediately.

Why does this not happen in Britain?

Courtesy of

Why Sweden rules the web

Read the article

Analog blogging in Liberia

And once again Twitter throws some great content my way. This time it’s @ourman who links to one of the best stories I’ve ever seen, about a Liberian analog blogger,  over at

Alfred Sirleaf’s blackboard news blog, the Daily Talk, can be found next to a busy road in the middle of Monrovia. Apparently, he reads a dozen newspapers a day, then summarises the stories on a blackboard that hangs on a shed.

You can even advertise on the ‘blog’. It costs $5 to be at the bottom and $10 at the top.

What it’s all about

Came across this quote which brilliantly sums up how the web works. It’s from Printed Matters.

Anyone in the content business knows that their product is not newspapers, or broadcasts, or magazines, or even news, or even content, or even information. No! It is readership. Your product is readership, which you sell to advertisers. More readers = more ads = more money.

That’s it. Simple.

And, now, for the last time: Stop trying to charge for content!