Archive for January, 2008

Sex! Sex! Sex!

January 31, 2008

Sex, baby! Serious sex! We can learn a lot from porn. At least that is what Mark S. Luckie writes on his 10,000 Words-website. The header: What the journalism industry can learn from porn.

And according to this Reuters report: Size matters in pornography, except when it comes to tiny mobile phone screens, the next frontier for erotica.

So, everybody, happy surfing on Saturday night.


Getting there, one blog at a time

January 30, 2008

Are we there yet? No.

Are we there yet? No!

Are we there yet? No, damnit. Shut up.

But are we there yet?

Well, we’re on our way. I wrote a while ago about the new beta-blogs for NOS Dutch public broadcasting. We’re still live without having told nary a soul, so hardly anybody knows. That’s okay, because several nagging glitches remain. Gives us time to practice, and I think this particular entry comes close to what it should all be about.

De Prins is Koning van het Geduld

It has text. Audio. Pix. Video. Interaction. Links.

Let me know whether we’re there yet.

A blog is for now, a book is for ever

January 25, 2008

Who will be reading this blog ten years from now? My kids?


So hail to the book. I wrote one in 1997. A biography of Dutch NBA player Rik Smits. Not for sale anymore, but hey: Ten years on people still read it, since it’s in the library.

Dunking Dutchman

This morning I received a financial overview for 2007.

NINETEEN people took it out. So how much did I make?

Book price (12.93 euro) x point value (0.009163) = gross payment (2.25 euro)

Got that? 2.25 euro!!!

But wait. Expenses for administration (5%) are 0.11 euro

Then the V.A.T. (19%) on top of that, which amounts to 0.02 euro

So soon to be cashed, a check for 2.12 euro. Long live literacy!

A true miracle

January 19, 2008

On my desk stands a picture of me and my dad, building a radio in a jam jar. Must have been over thirty years ago.

Bloody miraculous, I thought (something of that kind) at the time, when we heard some unidentifiable station crackling from beyond the glass.

Anything is possible

I’m still in awe, like today, when I realize the simple but limitless possibilities of the internet. Through Facebook I got in touch with a cousin of a cousin. He lives in Canada. We exchanged some messages.

This morning I got up and was alerted by his FB-status that he would be working as a deejay on a local radio station between midnight and 2 a.m.

It was early enough in London to listen to the end of his show.

Bloody miraculous.

Drudging for a decade now

January 17, 2008

I never liked the guy. His stupid hat. That annoying smirk. That pompous title The Drudge Report. And of course, the endless claims that he, Matt Drudge, broke the Monica Lewinsky story.

That hat. That smirk

Truth is, he didn’t. Well, sort of. He merely mentioned on his site that Newsweek (after doing a lot of leg work) had pulled the story. So, he leaked it, and the news came out after all. The rest is history.

It’s been ten years to the day. I remember it because I was enjoying the winter warmth in San Diego, where I was attending the Super Bowl. Dutch radio called about the scoop, and within minutes I had to say yes or no to the question whether this would mean that Bill Clinton had to step down.

Carefully formulating I floated somewhere between yes but no but yes but no but… maybe. Hell, what did I know. Had not even heard about the drudge dude.

This morning BBC Radio Four Today was wondering whether investigative internet journalism has made adult steps since Drudge scored big time. In the studio David Hencke of The Guardian and Guy Fawkes of Order-Order, described as the UK version of the Drude Report.

Listen again (scroll to about 22 minutes into the 8.30-9.00 am part of the show)

Biggest premise of the discussion was that blogs are more likely than mainstream media to break stories, to get stuff going, and it is impossible for mainstream media to keep functioning as a gatekeeper. That’s actually what happened in January 1998, when he fingered the world about that woman, miss Lewinsky.

Patience my son, patience

January 15, 2008

Working hard to understand the iMac. Working hard to understand Final Cut Express. Working hard with the next generation, who is also working hard. Enjoy yourself for now while I am being tutored patiently by a ten year old.

Multimedia on the Mountain

January 12, 2008

So you get to the top of the mountain. What do you do next?

Grab for the mobile, call your friends. Send some pix. Maybe film a bit and upload it to your blog. Big deal. News travels fast.

Sir Edmund Hillary, who died yesterday, got to the top of Mount Everest and also took some pictures. Visuals of the pretty impressive view, and some of his sherpa Tensing. He forgot to have his own picture taken. He forgot.

News traveled not so fast in those days. The Times had the scoop, and in this morning’s paper we relive how reporter Jan Morris ran down from base camp and wired a coded (!) message back home.

The Brits read about it three days later.

A gigantic scoop, however, and read on about this media maniac (by clicking on the pic, if you still hadn’t figured that out). Great multimedia approach by The Times by the way.

The Times had it first

Hearts and minds

January 11, 2008

It’s all about changing hearts and minds.

That’s the motto one continues to hear when trying to figure out how to establish the Internet Newssite as a valid medium. Of course the whole world knows that, but not your colleagues who work for tv, radio or for print.

This link to an excellent article by Steve Outing is meant for my folks back home by way of saying Happy New Year. (Yes, that’s you NOS!)

Click on the pic for the piece, which lays out the Rules of Engagements. Because the battle never ends.

resolutions for 08

Fifty years later…

January 10, 2008

My favourite joke in my politically incorrect Dutch childhood: Where do you go when the worlds comes to an end?

Answer: To Belgium. Why? Because they run fifty years behind.

Ha ha.

Since this week the tables are turned, at least new media-wise. See for yourself how the Belgian public broadcaster (VRT) stepped into the online future. NOS should be ashamed.

VRT online

Click on the pic to enter the site

You don’t need to understand Flemish. The site speaks a universal online language.

I would do several things very differently, but hey, who am I, and besides, that’s a whole other story.

In her New Year’s message, Mieke Berendsen (VRT New Media director), explains the future.

(By the way, in an innocently heated discussion with a Belgian friend, who shut me up when I questioned her about great Belgian historical figures upon which she consequently rattled off a whole list, I learned that the saxophone (yes, the instrument) was invented by Adolphe Sax. Hats off to our southern neighbours.)

Having breakfast with Justin

January 9, 2008

Every time when I hear a morning report from the United States on BBC Radio Four, I quickly do the math.

Justin Webb (BBC) 

Five hours earlier over there on the East Coast, so when it’s live I know how much the radio correspondent is probably struggling. Trying to stay awake, trying to get the adrenaline going. I know, because I did it for six years. (more…)