Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This year’s final cut

April 21, 2008

Here’s the final score. Heena Tailor continued her rise to win the traffic part of the project, although she was nearly pipped at the last gasp by Pia Walter, who made a strong surge towards the end. Stefan remained steady in third, which is well deserved as he had plugged away solidly throughout, as had Natasha who remained in fourth. We should also mention Mandy who blazed a trail for all of you.

It has been fascinating to watch the projects to develop and in many cases blossom. I hope you have – at the very least – gained useful knowledge about your chosen subjects and gathered a few new technical skills along the way. I’d like to praise Rebecca Williams for the quality of her writing, but also mention Rory for the courage he had at writing about The Mail, to Dinara for getting the attention – and anger – of powerful people and having the bottle to stick it out and to Jemelyn for the seriousness of her work. I’d also like to mention – once more – the help of Alice and Rema on this very blog. I think both of them would have scored better on their individual projects if they had not been so selfless, and their extra effort here is fully noted.

Finally, I hope for some of you this is not the very end. I hope that some of you will feel the urge to continue researching your chosen subjects and building an audience. For those that do, there are valuable lessons yet to come. Maybe those who choose to continue, can let us know by occasionally posting a reminder of themselves here on this blog. I for one will keep looking.

1. Heena Tailor with Radio Northwick Park: 1,288
2. Pia Walter with Put your fags out: 1213
3. Stefan Marseglia with Shops ’til they drop: 1082
4. Natasha Culzac with Fair Trade London: 876
5. Shiba Babamiri Recycling … Is it our Duty: 875
6. Sumit Wadhia with It is happening: 852
7. Jay Bains with Facial Discrimination: 784
8. Mandy Cohen with Too Rude You Tube: 764
9. Alice Wagstaffe with The future of the music industry: 662
10. Dinara Saruar with The Unofficial Emily Thornberry blog: 628

11. Bjørn-Ruben Thomassen with Paparazzi Craze: 598
12. Sofia Sosunov with La Vie en Green: 533
13. Meliha Hayat with Zero to Hero: 488
14. Rebecca Williams with Cardboard City: 433
15. Heena Valji with Harrow Bus Mania: 423
16. Alisha with Food shortage crisis: 379
=: Jayne Og with T5 Launch: 379
18. Jemelyn Yadao with Death Behind the Headlines: 361
19. Alisha Haridasani with Can corporations buy you happiness: 361
20. Anaam Raza with British Bags of Knowledge: 336

21: Maryam Aghili with Hounslow crime: 32922. Suzette Annan with Black hair politics: 321
22: Andreas Batatota with The Battle to save Chase Farm: 272
23. Tony McNulty unveiled: 265
24: Rema with Cub critic: 236
25. Monira Begum with Is Islam fair?: 233
26. Seher Mahmood with Islamic schools in Britain: 214
27: Traffic Jam: 147
28: Andreas with Great Ormond Street Hospital: 114
29. Gette with Headphones on the Bus: N/A (unclassified)
=. Omar with Jacquilait’s Weblog: N/A
=. Rory Porter with Junk Mail
=. Mahta Hassanzadeh with Musical violence: N/A
=. James Randall with View from the Armchair: N/A
=. Dilan with Traffic Jam: N/A

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State of play, no change at the top

April 3, 2008

Here’s the current state of play, taken at 5pm on wednesday April 02. Congratulations to Mandy and Too Rude You Tube for not just reaching the top, but staying there. The most surprising thing is the sudden rise of Heena Tailor and her Radio Northwick Park blog. After a late start Heena is now challenging for top place. Dinara Saruar and her UNOFFICIAL blog covering local MP Emily Thornberry is another rising star and one that has already come under the scrutiny of parliament and survived.

What’s frustrating is some of the blogs that started so well, Suzette Annan and Sumit Wadhia to single out but two, are falling behind. I think you will see if you click through to their respective traffic score pages, that sudden bursts of inspiration and energy are succeeded by long periods of inaction (although they are both doing well overall and i have every confidence that they have the ability to turn it around). The really good blogs, those at the top of the list, have managed to find the trick of sustaining that energy and concentration across a period of time. That, I think, is the key to any successful project – Sean

1. Mandy Cohen with Too Rude You Tube: 610
2. Heena Tailor with Radio Northwick Park: 544
3. Stefan Marseglia with Shops ’til they drop: 541
4. Natasha Culzac with Fair Trade London: 525
5. Pia Walter with Put your fags out: 521
6. Dinara Saruar with The Unofficial Emily Thornberry blog: 458
7. Shiba Babamiri Recycling … Is it our Duty: 437
8. Jay Bains with Facial Discrimination: 431
9. Meliha Hayat with Zero to Hero: 387
10. Sumit Wadhia with It is happening: 352

11. Rebecca Williams with Cardboard City:352
12. Alice Wagstaffe with The future of the music industry: 348
13. Jemelyn Yadao with Death Behind the Headlines: 321
14. Bjørn-Ruben Thomassen with Paparazzi Craze: 293
15.  Alisha Haridasani  with Can corporations buy you happiness: 287
16. Heena Valji with Harrow Bus Mania: 265
17. Suzette Annan with Black hair politics: 228
18. Monira Begum with Is Islam fair?: 212
19. Tony McNulty unveiled: 159
20: Rema with Cub critic: 159

21: Maryam Aghili with Hounslow crime: 142
22. Alisha with Food shortage crisis: 157
24. La Vie en Green: 156
23. Seher Mahmood with Islamic schools in Britain: 137
25: Andreas Batatota with The Battle to save Chase Farm: 108
26: Andreas with Great Ormond Street Hospital: 94
27: Jayne Og with T5 Launch: 74

28. Gette with Headphones on the Bus: N/A (unclassified)
=. Omar with Jacquilait’s Weblog: N/A
=. Rory Porter with Junk Mail
=. Mahta Hassanzadeh with Musical violence: N/A
=. James Randall with View from the Armchair: N/A
=. Dilan with Traffic Jam: N/A

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
here
)

del.ici.ous [recommended]
FURL
Yahoo! Bookmarks
Simpy
Google Bookmarks
Blogmarks

2. Open new sites
Newsvine
Oh My News!
Indymedia

3. Web communities
Digg
Mixx

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

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

6. Other
Backflip
Tailrank

* 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