The President Has Been Kidnapped

A News blog about news and other such activities. I also talk about news and things.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blogs to Riches

Can I get rich writing a blog?

According to Clive Thompson , yes. In a lengthy feature for New York Magazine, he sets out three business strategies for getting rich.

The first business strategy he suggests is called the accidental tourist.
This strategy relies on you just setting up a blog and writing in it for fun. In essence, this is not even a strategy. It depends on your ability to write well about interesting things. Which explains why my blog doesn't get many visitors.
Once you have a lot of visitors, start putting advertising on your blog and charge loads of money for the privilege.

A good example of this is Boing Boing. Run by former wired editors, it built up a very large audience of 1.7 million visitors and then promptly began to run advertising. Space is known to have been sold for £8,000 a week. Nice.

The next money making scheme for budding capitalists is known as the record-label approach.
The idea behind this is to crank out loads and loads of different blogs and then throw yourself behind the ones that become hits.
Jason Calacanis is the brain-child of this idea. His biggest success came from engadget which was bought by AOL for $25 million. Very nice.

The final way to make dough from the blogging scene is called the Boutique approach.
This is, in many ways, the opposite of the previous method. It relies on the targeting of a very specific niche and then the careful creation of the blog of their dreams.
The man behind this idea is Nick Denton. An example of his work is Gawker, a classy gossip blog type thing.

I think all of these ideas are definitely ways to make money but im not sure how effective they are.
The first way, for example, relies on people being interested in the same things as you. In a way I think this is probably the best way to approach blogs because that way, if your blog takes off, you will be comfortable updating it with new material.

The second way is a sure fire way to get a popular blog but is probably very tedious and may take a very long time to find something that works.

The final way, although more focused, is a bit risky and requires very extensive market research to ensure you get a hit. If you burrow into a market with no interest you will have worked in vain, and nobody like veins, they are icky.

Manual Drunkin Linkin

This is yet another test link to The Guardian

Internet Population and usage

What is the population of the internet? According to the information on Internet World Stats, the majority of people now have the internet at home. Alas, the net is no longer a haven for socially inept Star Trek fans. The old stereotypes are melting away faster than the ice caps.

In the UK, 63% of people have the internet at home. As of 2004, four million of these people were using broadband. It is certain that this number will have grown considerably with the wider availability of service and falling subscription prices.
It is thought that this figure will hover in this area for a while until the current generation of grannies and grandaddies die off and pave the way for a generation of computer fogies.

To make a comparison, 68% of Americans have the internet at home. Despite the similarity in the two figures, the larger American population accounts for almost a quarter of the worlds internet population.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ID cards and Arnie

Greetings baffled reader. I tried to think of an interesting and amusing introduction to my most recent of posts. As you can see, I have failed to think of anything witty and have chosen, instead, to write in this introduction about the fact that I am writing an introduction. Its a bit like holding a mirror to a mirror.

If you are still there, I wanted to talk about a topic that is of great concern to me at the moment. That thing is ID cards and how/why it is being allowed to happen.

According to yesterdays Guardian, ID cards are beginning their phased introduction into the lives of British people. You can read the article here.
The general idea is that, from 2013, anyone who applies to renew their passport will also receive a national identity card. This card will contain the usual bits of information and much much more. The much much more part includes things such as finger prints and even the biometric data carried in your eyes.
All of this information is then stored on a huge computer somewhere and sat on.

The government says that the cards are necessary to protect the country against its two most fearsome enemies. These are terrorism and identity fraud.
No longer are terrorists of the stupid variety that we see in films:

Stereotypical in every fashion, they hate us with a special passion.
The sort you'd see in Arnie flicks in which he bags the sexy chicks.
Clad in khakis and grenades, they take a hostage, make a stage.
Up comes Arnie, packing heat and sends them to their makers meet.

...Enough poetry. Today's terrorist is just like you or me and can strike at any time or place, according to the government. This means that it is essential for our survival to surrender all our personal information. Perhaps we should waive our rights to vote too? Not that it would make much difference because nobody bloody votes anyway.

So what is my personal opinion on ID cards? I think its the biggest load of bullshit since Iraq.
How are they going to stop terrorists carrying out attacks in this country? They will have a 0% impact on a determined extremist who wishes to rid us from the world.
I know this because, according to the Guardian, people will not be obligated to carry their cards around with them!
So if the police stop a suspicious man in the street and ask him for his ID card, he does not have to produce it. A person would only have to produce the card to "obtain some public services." What this means is unclear. It could mean something like collecting dole money or, on the flip side, getting a job. Why a passport isn't good enough is a mystery.
So, to sum up: We are being forced, by a government that does not have the majority of the country's support, to surrender some of our liberties in return for something that will have a negligible effect on the 'fight against terror'. Why has there not been a revolution?

Benjamin Franklin once said:
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

You said it Ben.

P.S. Say NO to identity cards

Friday, February 10, 2006

Drunken Linkin

I am testing a link for the unit website