The Valentines Day massager

OK, we’re officially in campaign season.

The starting gun won’t be fired until early April, but Labour’s launch of their vacuous pledges and Blair’s helicopter dash make it clear that the race has already begun.

There have been a number of concerns raised about the Backing Blair campaign. Well, three to be exact…

1. Our aims need to be clearer from the main page onwards.

That’s true. A change to the intro text is being made today.

2. Can’t we work instead to improve the system that has let us down so badly?

In the next 8 weeks? Unlikely. Let me put it this way: we’d just love to make some improvements to our home, but we thought we might extinguish the fire in the kitchen first.

3. You want me to vote Tory? F**k off!

Good to see that people are so angry and disturbed by Blair’s leadership that they’re willing to give him a jolly good slap. Well, perhaps not a slap. Maybe a bit of a ticking off. Or perhaps a polite letter. Perhaps we’d best not mention it and carry on as if nothing is happening. Maybe if we give him one more chance…

We’ve added a major post to the blog and incorporated a link to it into the aforementioned intro text. You can read that post here…

Tories and terrorism.








Posted in UK General Election 2005 | 4 Comments

Bloody brilliant cartoons

These will cheer you up no end.

This is the best thing ever.

[edit – site was moved, links have been updated.]








Posted in Inneresting | 2 Comments

Man to marry horse: film at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

Glorious front page on the Independent today. Here’s a round-up. How brave of Tony to appear on the hard-hitting show Richard and Judy. How pleasant that Bush tried to suppress the pre-9/11 report into al-Qaeda. Ooh, look… nukes!

Oh, did you miss that bit about the Bush administration opening a torture franchise? You did? Then you may also have missed the ID cards bill slipping through the Commons yesterday (for the record, Blair knew about the Charles/Camilla announcement at least 5 days in advance).

Y’see, it’s all about Teh War on Terrerer. We take it very seriously. And we don’t mismanage matters, lie about it and then manipulate the threat. That would be a very silly thing to do.

Oh, that chap who’s marrying a horse… I know you’re dying to know what the girl with the tits thinks about it.

Today, Danni (18, from Coventry) has been closely following news of Charles and Camilla’s wedding. She says: “They really seem to be in love and it’s great that they’ve made this decision. Camilla is certainly not a princess like Diana but I’m sure everyone will warm to her.”

Yes. Quite.

I got home last night planning to have my first 8+ hours of sleep in a over a week. It didn’t happen. I have a new song in my head. Chicken Yoghurt gets credit for partially inspiring it. BTW, this is a mighty fine post about vague numbers of very dead people. We wouldn’t claim to be invading Iraq for humanitarian reasons and then fiddle/hide the number of civilian casualties. That wouldn’t be too clever at all.

Send me more money you cheap bastards! The major parties are booking up ad-space like there’s no tomorrow. If you want to see giant Backing Blair billboards then you should be sending me money today and telling other people to do the same.

Lots of linky goodness over at Washinton Monthly today. Go see.

PS – Don’t forget to send me money.








Posted in Page 3 - News in Briefs, The War on Stupid, UK General Election 2005 | 5 Comments

B3ta ad auction ends tonight

Only about 8 hours to go on B3ta’s landmark advertising auction and the bidding has just gone a nudge over 200 squid.

UPDATE – Winning bid 404.90. Pity. I thought they’d crack a grand at least.








Posted in Teh Interwebs | 1 Comment

Ask Tony Blair a Question

I love that they chose today to launch this. And I have a special question or two that you may wish to ask him yourself.

:o)








Posted in Tony 'King Blair | 1 Comment

Backing Blair launches

We’re good to go:

Backing Blair

Take a few moments to enjoy our first campaign ad and then come back here when you’re ready.

(waits)

OK. Initially, I want 3 things from you. It’s up to you how much you give.

1. I want some prime real estate on your website. I want you to use the link tools to drive as much traffic our way as you can.

London Underground: The Song2. I want your money. I want you to donate money via Paypal today if you can (we’ll be accepting cheques from next week if all goes well). The money will be spent on things like these mobile billboards that have built-in PA systems that will allow us to spout wonderfully skewed ‘pro’-Blair propaganda like:

“A vote for Tony Blair protects you from the terrorist threat.”
and
“Eat more sausages. Sausages are an inexpensive source of protein.”

Fun fun fun fun fun.

:o)

3. I want you to get involved. I want you to join or form a group and do stuff. Then I want you to document it, photograph it, video it and publish/blog it.

I want you and your readers excited, I want you and your readers revved up, and I want you and your readers entertained.

And what you see at Backing Blair is just the start, BTW. We have some fanatasic material in reserve.

Regulars of Bloggerheads may enjoy the opening shots on the Backing Blair weblog. We’ve begun with an email to Tony Blair for reasons that I think should be obvious.

We’ve also identified 92 serving MPs with the title ‘mp’ in their domain name. All of these people will have to move house as soon as the election is called. The list includes Michael Howard, Charles Clarke, and many MPs who have played significant roles in information technology, so really should know better.

I repeat: fun fun fun fun fun.

Let’s go show the professionals how Teh Interwebs works. Let’s make this an election where grass-roots campaigning plays a major role. Let’s get some important issues on the agenda. Let’s get some intelligent debate started.

Let’s. Get. Tony.

UPDATES:
Launch post at The UK Today
Reactions to the launch at B3ta.com
A stand-out post of support at Chicken Yoghurt
A bit of discussion going on here








Posted in UK General Election 2005 | 14 Comments

Backing Blair should launch tomorrow

Here’s a quick link-dump to keep you busy:
http://businesslogs.com/advertising/dont_make_me_create_a_fake_blog_category.php
http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/
http://www.123games.dk/game/carrace/canuckrally/rally_eng.php
http://www.bleacheatingfreaks.com/science/OB/micromine/
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050214fa_fact6
http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/goldberg-v.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6490-2005Feb7.html
http://www.nysun.com/article/8866
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/02/iraq.oil.smuggle/
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/libdems/story/0,9061,1408779,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,1408622,00.html








Posted in UK General Election 2005 | 1 Comment

Break out the Kool-Aid… Karl’s in charge

Washington Post – Rove Is Promoted To Deputy Staff Chief: During President Bush’s first term, outsiders often suspected that Karl Rove was really behind virtually everything. Now it’s official. Rove, the political mastermind behind two presidential elections, yesterday was named White House deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating domestic policy, economic policy, national security and homeland security.








Posted in George W. Bush | 1 Comment

Tick tick tick

Good meeting. Nice peeps. Good ideas. Later today we’ll be giving the campaign site a final going over. Possible launch tonight. That is all.

PS – Ok, so maybe not all
Telegraph – Alastair Campbell is back and this time it’s personal
BBC – Campbell: E-mail row ‘silly fuss’








Posted in UK General Election 2005 | Comments Off

It’s shaping up to be a good week for Boris

First, a bit of good news.

Channel 4 – Political Impact Award: Boris Johnson has won the Channel 4 award for the person who made the biggest impression on the politics of 2004.

Now, a housekeeping report on Boris Johnson’s website.

OK, here’s how it works:

2-7% of web users have their own website or weblog. Due to the influence of link popularity, it is this 2-7% that largely determines what major search engines like Google present as their search results. (That may not sound very democratic, but there’s a level of community-led accountability built in and if you have a problem with the whole thing, perhaps you should start a weblog of your own.)

Not a lot of people know that there is also a historical aspect to Google’s ranking algorithm. Sites that take control of certain top search results for a long period of time are difficult to unseat quickly without some serious inbound link activity and/or a lack of updates on these dominating sites.

So, for the first 6 months of operation, Boris’s weblog climbed no higher than the 3rd search result in Google for ‘boris johnson’ – largely because the Boris Johnson Fan Club and Boris Watch had been in operation longer.

But no longer.

Boris is now the top search result for ‘boris johnson’ in Google and the new MSN database. Yahoo is still pending.

But wait… there’s more.

I have this little example I like to use in business meetings when trying to show clients or potential clients the difference between creating something of interest to the weblog community and integrating fully with it. That example is Tom Watson.

I begin by explaining that when Tom first came online, his site didn’t appear on the front page of any search engine for his name, because there was a golfer by the same name with a 20-year career under his belt. Profile, news and tribute pages for this individual dominated the search results.

So I then show them the weblog and how it works. I pop over to Technorati and show them the ‘buzz’ around his weblog. I show them the difference between static links (such as a blogroll link) and transient links (such as a individual posts) and make it very clear that the former is much harder to earn than the latter. I try to convey the community aspect as best I can.

Then we go to Google and search for ‘tom watson’… this is the point when most people get it. Because of his integration with the weblog community, Tom Watson the MP is seen to be the most relevant ‘tom watson’ there is. He is the Tom Watson that is more accessible and whose website is the most highly regarded.

Then we search for ‘labour mp’… this is the point when most people see the potential. Because of his integration with the weblog community, Tom Watson the MP is seen to be the most relevant ‘labour mp’ there is. He is the Labour MP that is more accessible and whose website is the most highly regarded.

I guess you know what’s coming…

Yes, while it may come and go in the first few days (as many fresh results do), yesterday Boris Johnson achieved the top search result in Google for ‘conservative mp’.

Boris Johnson – the first Tory MP with a weblog – has the more dynamic and most accessible site. His site is more highly regarded than the websites of other Conservative MPs. He is therefore the most relevant ‘conservative mp’ there is. At least, according to Google he is. MSN and Yahoo will take a while to catch up.








Posted in Search Engine Optimisation, The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments