Archive for March, 2008

Be Your Own Pet: “CDs are becoming irreverent”

March 23, 2008

A bit more self-promotion I think…

I caught up with Tennessee punk-rockers Be Your Own Pet last week, and asked them about their take on the future of the music industry. Then a food fight ensued but that’s another story. Also, I updated some stuff about the ever-updateable Billy Bragg.


Ugly Betty’s Facial Discrimination

March 23, 2008

Facial Discrimination” is Jay Bains’s blog. Her latest article poses questions about the TV show Ugly Betty. Jay asks: “Betty is good-hearted, brave and the centre of the hit show. So what is it about her that makes her so… ugly?!”

Personally, I think Jay is confusing fact with fiction, and discrimination with irony. Betty Suarez is not the star of the show; America Ferrera is. The producers of the show obviously intended for the title to be an ironic comment. Jay’s blog seems to have lots of people up in arms, take a look at her comments.

Death Behind the Headlines: Daniel Pearl

March 23, 2008

Jemelyn’s blog is on the deaths of journalists – there were allegedly 172 unlawful killings last year alone. Her latest post is on Daniel Pearl, an American journalist who was kidnapped and murdered. According to wikipdia: “At the time of his kidnapping, Pearl served as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, stationed in Mumbai, India, and had been investigating the case of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and alleged links between Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for which he went to Pakistan, and was subsequently beheaded there.”

(photo nicked straight from Jemelyn’s blog)

March 23, 2008

“According to a survey carried out by ThamesReach 80 per cent of homeless people are feeding a drug habit and their average life expectancy is 31 years of age.”

This shocking statistic is the focus of Rebecca Williams’s latest post, which looks at the problem of homeless people spending what little money they have on drugs. It’s a  thought-provoking and opinionated blog.

How to help the search engines find you

March 21, 2008

One of the simplest things you can do to attract people to your blog is to officially register with the major search engines. I really don’t want to berate the obvious, but the majority of traffic on the internet goes through search engines (think of how you find most things on the web) and so helping the search engines find you is an obvious thing to do.

Registration, moreover, is fairly easy. Below is a list of links that will take you to the official registration pages. Registration takes only a few minutes. For a more detailed explanation of how search engine registration works click here.

Google registration
Yahoo! registration
MSN Live Search

Now, its one thing to be listed on these major engines, it’s another thing entirely to be able to climb their page rankings. Hints and tips on how to do that to follow soon …

Who do we blame for the bad treament of women in Saudi Arabia: Religion, Culture or Law?

March 20, 2008

Muslim women
Originally uploaded by Shailendra Pandey

I’ve done a recent post on a hotel that has recently opened in Saudi Arabia. Luthan Hotel is owned by women, run by women and just for women. Check out my post on it and let me know how you feel about the gender apartheid that remains a strong characteristic of the Saudi Arabian lifestyle.

Do you believe there’s a way to change it, and should others interfere? – Rema

click here to view the post

How to attract people to your site

March 19, 2008

There is no simple answer to this. No one thing you can do that is guaranteed to work. Each of you is different, each of you blog on a different subject; each of you has different needs.

But if you think hard about it and are willing to experiment a little you will find a way to attract people to your work. The first lesson is be prepared. You must have something to offer people before you reach out. Keep your content fresh and relevant and people will come back to you time and time again.

But how do you let people know that the content is there? Here are a few starters.

1. Social bookmarks (definition

del.ici.ous [recommended]
Yahoo! Bookmarks
Google Bookmarks

2. Open new sites
Oh My News!

3. Web communities

4. Directories
The open directory [highly recommended]
Link Directory

5. Aggregate sites/meta-blogs
Metafilter Projects [highly recommended, but charges £5 subscription, perhaps you could club together?]

6. Other

* I cannot vouch for all of these sites, I honestly haven’t tried all of them. Could you try a few and see which ones work for you. Both Google and Wikipedia are excellent at explaining what each does, just type in the name if you want to know more.

* Could you also all use the comment field (below) to share your experiences too? And add any other suggestions not already on this list? – Sean

State of play

March 16, 2008

First of all thanks to Alice and Rema for helping maintain this blog. Now that most of our projects are up and running, I thought it might be useful to look at how well we are doing. Here’s a snapshot of visits to our respective blogs taken on Sunday March 16. I’ve just listed the top 12 (or those with 100 visits or more). Congratulations to those that have made it to the list. During next week I will send you guidelines on how all of you can try to drive more “traffic” to your blogs – Sean

1. Mandy Cohen with Too Rude You Tube: 428

2. Sumit Wadhia with It is happening: 283

3. Stefan Marseglia with Shops ’til they drop: 248

4. Meliha Hayat with Zero to Hero: 232

5. Pia Walter with Put your fags out: 228

6. Jemelyn Yadao with Death Behind the Headlines: 199

7. Natasha Culzac with Fair Trade London: 175

8. Suzette Annan with Black Hair Politics: 140

9. Alice Wagstaffe with The future of the music industry: 139

=. Alisha Haridasani with Can corporations buy your happiness?: 139

11. Monira begum with Is Islam fair: 110

= Not Tony McNulty with Tony McNulty: 110

* Of the blogs that have made it on here, there is still no official web counter for Cub Critic, Facial Discrimination Harrow Bus, Headphones on the Bus, Hounslow Crime, Islamic Schools, Junk Mail, Radio Northwick, T5 Launch or The View from the Armchair

How can London improve its buses?

March 13, 2008

Heena’s blog is on the buses in Harrow. She’s already got a bit of a debate going about kids jumping on the bus through the back doors and not paying, including some input from a bus driver who’s sick of it. Now the blog is hosting a poll at the bottom, asking how we think London’s buses can be improved, so have a look and cast your vote…

Sweatshop Blog

March 13, 2008


Stefan Marseglia’s blog highlights the issue of sweatshops and child labour. His latest post concentrates on The Ethical Trading Initiative, with a handy Q+A for people like me who’ve never heard of the project.

The blog is an interesting, thought provoking read, especailly for those who shop in places like Primark without giving a second thought to how their prices can be so low.