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What counts as a life? September 10, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Questioning.
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If a bomb goes off and a pregnant women is killed, is the body count one or two?

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7 Continents Challenge – Update 2 September 9, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Geek, General, Internet, Personal.
4 comments

Well, here is the second update from the original post in this series of posts. It seems someone has hit my blog from Kenya! Wohoo!! Thanks whoever you are! So, this just leaves 2 remaining continents.

1. North America
2. South America
3. Europe
4. Africa
5. Asia
6. Oceania
7. Antarctica

Blogvertising – Blog off or blog on? September 3, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Blogging, Blogvertising, Geek, General, Internet, Questioning.
2 comments

I watched the latest epsiode of the BBC News 24 show >Click and they discussed, all be it briefly, the issue of online advertising. However, in amongst the debate of pop-ups, overlays and paying search engines, they looked at the issue of blogvertising.

Blogvertising is basically when advertisers pay ‘respectable’ bloggers to endorse products. The question the programme raised was ‘Is this in the spirit of what a blog is?’ Tim Phillips, technology journalist was quoted on the show as saying

“The whole thing defeats itself. Either they don’t say that they’ve been paid, in which case it becomes a time bomb and it immediately self-destructs if it comes out that they’ve been paid to do it. Or they do say they’ve been paid, in which case they lose the respect of the community they’ve built up.”

The definition provided by the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang for the word ‘blog’ is –

An Internet website containing an eclectic and frequently updated assortment of items of interest to its author.

I have some reservations about this term for a blog. Whilst it would perhaps surfice as a very generic term to cover the majority of blogs, it does not go anywhere near to really defining the nature of blogs in their entirety. Some blogs are not just an eclectic mix of ramblings, but rather more focussed with their content.

If a blogger creates and develops a blog that is about something specific and then gains a significant readership as a result, does that not give some value to the opinions being expressed by the blogger. If it does, then wouldn’t it be of benefit to the readership if the blogger promoted products thet s/he felt were worth promoting? Well, no.

This is where blogvertising falls done as it does with all advertising when being endorsed. Why should you trust the opinion of someone that is getting paid to say something is great? Of course they’re going to say ‘yeah, this new mobile phone is the best’ because they’re getting paid a wedge to do so!

So, should bloggers be allowed to advertise and promote products via their blog? In my opinion, yes, what they do with their blog is up to them. If they do and readership falls, well, it was their call. If readers purchase products solely on the basis of an endorsement and it turns out the product sucks, well, they’ve learnt the hard way. Don’t by into products purely on the basis of advertising and I don’t me just endorsements, but any advertising.

Let advertising spark an interest, but then research the product, try it out if you can, ask other consumers what they thought of it. If you do this then you will save yourself a considerable amount of grief and money.

My advice is to become a discerning consumer, not a foolish one.

Checkout my bite! September 3, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Pain, Personal.
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Bite!

I became the host of some blood sucking insect for a short period over a week ago, but the damn thing is still giving me hell! So, I thought I should document this damage for future posterity and to remember that it really BLOODY itches!!!

7 Continents Challenge – Update August 31, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Geek, General, Internet, Personal.
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Well, here is the first update from the original post in this series of posts. Overnight I have had a couple of hits from Oceania! So, this just leaves 3 remaining continents.

1. North America
2. South America
3. Europe
4. Africa
5. Asia
6. Oceania
7. Antarctica

UK Terror Alert Status August 30, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Government, Internet, Questioning, Terrorism, Websites.
2 comments

I came across this website (www.terror-alert.co.uk) via BritBlog and it struck me as completely at odds with my views on terrorism.

The website is a simple enough affair in that it essentially offers you a way of placing a badge on your own site that displays the current ‘threat level’ of a potential terrorist attack in the UK. This seems harmless enough, and it probably is, but it is the signal that this sends out which I find difficult to support.

I spent several months researching and writing about terrorism for my university dissertation. In my opinion I believe that whilst ‘one man’s terrorist can be another man’s freedom fighter’ there is no place for terrorist activities today.

Terrorism works on initiating and spreading fear, without fear the terrorists really are left powerless. It is for this reason that I found the website and its badge somewhat gauling. It is suggesting that we should always be informed of potential terrorist activity in order that we let it effect our lives in some way. I don’t care what the current ‘threat level’ is because I am still going to carry on with my life irrespective.

If anyone is interested why not just go to the Home Office website and see for yourself, there’s no need to have a live feed straight to your webpage, surely?

Is blogging success all in the title? August 26, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Questioning.
15 comments

I was just wondering, being a relatively new blogger, how much of getting a successful blog is down to the titles one selects for each post.

The reason I ask is that I’m not really sure how people come across my blog! Are they just browsing a list of blog names, or post titles and they click on one that looks interesting? Or when people are searching blogs do they get a snippet of the post as well? Thereofore, perhaps it is the first few lines that need to strike a chord with the potential audience.

I recognise that once a blog becomes established then it is about good content that maintains and builds readership. My question is from the persepctive of a new blog.

I mean how do people come across my blog? How can I find other peoples blogs? At the moment I just link from the WP forums or from my dashboard. What is there some secret portal to a blog directory that I am yet to discover?

Banking should be like computing August 25, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in Geek, General, Personal, Questioning, Whinging Stuff.
4 comments

I have a loathing for banks and most financial institutions for many reasons, but mainly because they have too much control over peoples lives. Anyway, if I could live my life without having to be associated with banks I would be a much happier person.

I know that I am next to useless at budgeting for future financial commitments. I can happily manage my rent payments for example as that is regular i.e. every month. However, things like utility bills, car repairs, house repairs etc…I am rubbish at budgeting for. Anyway, I was just thinking of ways in which banks could be improved that might help me overcome my inadequacies in this area.

It struck me that my problem is that if money is in my account I will tend to spend it, of this I am sure others can relate. So I thought why can’t you have a folder system for your finances, much like you do on a computer.

You could access your current account and then have a number of sub-accounts where you could set-up a standing order for a specific amount of money to go into each sub-account every month. So for example, you could have a sub-account named as ‘Car Repairs’ and each month (on pay day) £50 is automatically transferred. Come service time you would have a nice stash to cover any unexpected expenses. If that £50 had remained in my current account it would gradually get spent, leaving me in a familiar predicament of thinking, bugger, where’s the cash going to come from for this?

Now this should be possible, but banks (certainly in the UK) don’t like you having lots of accounts. Why?

Well, it’s more paperwork for the bank so you would be a more expensive customer. Secondly, banks like you screwing up because they make money of people who screw up.

Does anyone else suffer the same frustrations?
What do you think of this idea?

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Do you want at least 2GB of free online storage? August 22, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Internet, Links.
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Of course you do!

Well, just take a look at this by clicking here.

I have been using it and it is absolutely great. 2GB of free storage to back-up whatever you want, music, photos, documents.

It’s really easy to use, I can’t recommend it enough.

Have a go now!

Note: if you use the link above then we will both get an extra 250MB of storage space!

Old school mates August 21, 2006

Posted by britishbullblog in General, Personal.
4 comments

This is one of my old school mates. How awesome.