Tag: <span>US</span>

Apparently, this site is one of 14.4 million other similar sites. Presumably, and I’m certain someone far smart than me will be able to formulate this better, of those 14.4 million, only a portion of them can be directly compared to this site. Of that portion, there will be other factors that will set my site aside as well, geography, topic coverage, age of the author, average of the readership etc etc.

I understand why it’s good to know how many blogs there are, and I think technorati is doing a good job collating and publishing these kinds of figures, but how do those figures affect me? Do I care that 80,000 new blogs are created each day, especially as only 36,000 or so of them will make it beyond the first few months? What I believe is lacking is the next level of detail, the key one being geography. However as the large majority of new blogs are created using a free tracking service – blogspot, livejournal, msn spaces – which offer no way to track where the author is located then we have a problem, don’t we.

Then again, if it’s one thing the interwebnet is good at it’s finding solutions, so why has this one perpetuated for so long? Is it because those in the US have their “rest of world” goggles on? Is it only non-US blogs that care about these facts? (I use the term care advisedly, I don’t CARE but I am interested) Should we be leading the way… when I say we… I mean the people that actually DO things, not people like me who merely pontificate from below and hope that someone somewhere is listening.

Of course this swings back around to the thoughts of community and niche. how they form whether we like the idea or not, and how categorising blogs and their influence is a hugely vast and completed job because there are no rules or guidelines to follow, no structure to how things are done, with everything both global and local at the same time.

The big numbers are important but it’s the more focussed info that bloggers need if they are to get an idea of what their “competition” is, what the trends are in their neighbourhood. I want to know how many new blogs there have been in the UK, in Europe. How many are personal sites, how many are “for profit” ventures?

No, I’m not overly bothered by these thoughts, nor will I expend much energy pursuing them, but I am curious. I guess that’s common after spending over five years on a hobby.

Blogging

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Art, fashion, design. They are all subjective. But where do we get our sense of style, our own personal tastes? Are they developed over time, moulded by society and our exposure to culture, or is it a genetic inheritance? A bit of both?

Is my love of minimalist – think Scandinavian (no NOT IKEA) and Japanese simplicity – design driven from my slight loathing of mess? Or is it because I grew up with two lovely Geishas looking down on me from the living room wall, tapestries by my Mother which my sister and I have already started fighting over (sorry Mum, I know it’ll be a while yet!).

Everyone knows what they like, and knows what they don’t like. I don’t really need to look twice at something to tell you whether I like the way it looks or not, so can artists please stop telling US what is art. That’s for me to decide and don’t moan if I don’t think that turning up and tipping out a bag of used teabags onto the floor is “art”. By your own definitions, art is experienced differently by different people, so that has to include some people think that you aren’t much of an artist and should stop dumping your crap all over the floor.

Or is it just me? What is “art” to you?

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I see a lot of things online that I would like to purchase. Unfortunately a lot of them (increasingly so) are in the US, and I’ll be honest and say that I’m not going to pay almost the same again for the postage of an item.

So here’s the idea – club together with other people who are getting stuff shipped over and you should all be able to save?

Potentially then, with the agreement of online stores of course, you’d purchase an item and if you wanted cheaper postage – but a longer wait for the item – you’d add it to a bulk shipping cart. When the cart reaches a certain level, the items are shipped out. I’m sure discounts could be arranged, and most of the time the internal postage cost could be factored into the price.

If anyone ever sets up something like this (CBATG) let me know. I’m my silence can be bought…

UPDATE: Can you tell I didn’t really give this much thought? Probably why I’m still the monkey and not the organ grinder.

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With the latest Google tool – Google Maps – now live, I’m left pondering the approach taken by most of the large American software companies.

Why do they always start with the US of A?

Whilst they may have to suffer calls of anti-patriotism would it not make more sense, particularly for the aforementioned Google Maps, to start a bit smaller? To test their latest greatest BETA system on some place a little more ‘manageable’ in terms of raw data? Are they just worried about the ability of their new system to handle the difference in scope and scale that switching to a larger dataset brings?

Or am I just grumpy and fed-up that it’s always the US of A that get this toys before us?

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US apoplexy over Jackson flash.

Yes, THAT Superbowl story which seems to have kicked off an almighty fuss in the US of A.

Or has it?

I’d appreciate any American viewpoints on this but it does seem that the majority of people (the general public) aren’t too outraged, where the minority of people (those in the public eye, politicians, etc) are “apoplectic”.

Let’s be honest, are we surprised that some politicians, high-ranking members of the church, and other “representative groups” are kicking off big time? No of course we’re not. These groups need any excuse they can get to keep the spotlight away from what they stand for and ensure they are seen to be doing the ‘right thing’. Now I’m all for doing the ‘right thing’ but, and this isn’t really a request so ignore the phrasing, can you let me make up my own mind please?

The spiralling standards of society are an easy (and somewhat valid) target, but these things cannot be viewed solely. This ‘incident’ came in the middle of an entire routine featuring scantily clad dancers, moving in a way that can only be assumed to suggest a sexual act is taking place. I’m no prude, but that section of the show would’ve been know during rehearsal – what if we hadn’t seen a breast, would there have been complaints about the dress code of the dancers? – they felt happy enough with that part of the show, and inch for inch Janet was still exposing LESS flesh than most of the dancers (yes, yes, AFTER she got her tit out)

To be honest I find the whole ‘hoo-haa’ over this a bit puzzling. For years, American TV has happily shown low-grade dross, screened ever more titillating music videos and been quite happy to contribute to the ever-lowering of standards in general. Can’t blame them though, it’s all about choice, you don’t HAVE to watch (and anyway, they are getting a nice wad of cash each time they show that “Dirrty” video).

So, let’s get one thing straight. I like sex, I like titillation, I like erotica, I’m not adverse to seeing a woman partially, semi- or even completely naked. I don’t even have to look very hard to find any of this. I am aware that a woman’s body has different bits to a man’s. My lord and master TV/magazine has made it so.

So.. eh.. remind me.. what are we all getting so worked up about?

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1. Just finished reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It’s smart, funny and reminds me that I really should pay more attention to my grammar on this ‘ere site.

2. I have received an email from Ron. He left some comments on yesterday’s post (Ikeaphobia) and has clarified a few things. Thanks for that Ron, I will respond to your email later today.

3. To the BBC; I know I should care about the resignations and worry about who will be appointed next but, frankly, I don’t (did you see that semicolon there, I’m a changed man I tell ya).

4. When trying to login to a well known online book store, check you are logging in to the UK site NOT the US site; Preferably before accusing the aforementioned online book store of being the “son of the whore of satan”.

5. All this punctuation is hard work. Remember you voted that grammar, spelling and punctuation were “Somewhat important. I do notice these things, and prefer them correct.”

6. When posting late at night re-read carefully before you post. Do not fall into the “I’ll just post this quickly” trap. I mean look at that top entry in the miniblog. Appalling. Clarification: This site will not be expanding into the US market, I’ll leave that to 1&1.

7. Write to Lynne Truss concerning the dot dot dot (ellipsis). I think it has a new, and very valid usage. Namely as a draw into a linked article, offering that the description of the linked article isn’t giving the full story – which obviously it isn’t – and adding some intrigue to the reader’s experience.

8. Find out if her novels share the same kind of wit and humour.

9. Fair Trade: I’m all for it, I look for it when I buy goods (and to be fair to Starbucks they are continually expanding their use of Fair Trade beans). Ultimately the reason I don’t drink at Costa is because I enjoy coffee. I do not enjoy Costa coffee. This makes me guilty of pandering to the highest dominator with concern only for myself and my likes. I give no or little thought to the purchases I make. I am one of billions. I’m not defending myself or my position, just stating a fact. I live in a comfortable ‘middle-class’ country with a typical attitude, I recycle a little (could do more), I conserve energy when I can (could try harder), and I am aware of my purchases (but will defer to my desires over the “right thing to do”). I could go on, and I will another time.

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Father of invention: “The iPod is like a cigarette pack for those addicted to music instead of tobacco.”

Very apt.

Of course, if you want to grab one at the last minute you are probably out of luck. John Lewis reported yesterday that they have sold out of them. Understandable as approximately 1.79 iPods were sold every minute in fiscal 2003. Apple said it sold 939,000 iPods for US$345 million in net sales this past year.

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