The 9pm Vision for Australia

Screenshot of PM Tony Abbott paying tribute to the late Gough Whitlam

Australia’s former Prime Minsister Gough Whitlam is dead. Politicians across the political spectrum praise Whitlam as a man of vision, but how does the current mob stand up? And yesterday was International Fisting Day. What did you do to celebrate?

Elephant stamps of approval go to an Australians this time: Bronwyn Bishop, Speaker of the House of Representatives, for her rumour-based security process; and Senator Jacqui Lambie, for confusing outrageous movie-plot ideas with reality.

We received two listener comments! In my response, I referred to some things I’ve discussed previously in Berners-Lee, Silicon Valley, and Australia’s cultural cringe and And the digital Antoinettes cried ‘Unemployed? Let them cut code’ and iPhone, therefore I am …a selfish disruptor and Enjoy your Ubergasm, but don’t expect respect in the morning.

And we refer to videos including the 1972 campaign song It’s Time, tributes to Gough Whitlam by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, and Will.I.Am’s launch video for i.am/PULS.

Continue reading “The 9pm Vision for Australia”

Clive Palmer, “Fisting the Future”

Photo of Clive Palmer and colleagues, fists raised: click for original story at The AustralianDo billionaire arsehat and political candidate Clive Palmer and his colleagues really think that this is the best hand gesture to make in 2013? “Fisting the Future!” Jesus wept.

As soon as editor Chris Duckett pointed to this photo, which was used to illustrate a story at The Australian, and as soon as Jonathan Green coined the slogan “Fisting the Future”, I knew what had to be done. And here it is.

Nick Hodge has also created an approved-by-Taiga version of this image.

I recommend the hashtag #fistingthefuture in any future mocking of Clive Palmer’s whacky ideas.

And for some not-so-private-joke historical background, please read Fisting Twitter and the birth of “trend fisting”.

[Original photo caption: Clive Palmer, with Scott Higgins, left, and Glenn Lazarus, right, says he will announce more candidates for his party. Picture: Glenn Barnes. Source: The Courier-Mail.]

A Twitter-related Sydney Morning Herald debut

Today I returned to the print media with an opinion piece, Trends on Twitter brief but telling, just like in the real world, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

It’s an overview of Twitter’s “Trending Topics”, including the observation that marketers who try to game the trends are probably wasting their time. Research by Hewlett-Packard’s social computing lab [PDF] shows that there’s probably no point in focusing on the “influencers”.

Topics will trend or not based on whether people found it interesting to retweet at that moment. Just like Yahoo! Research’s Duncan Watts said a few years back.

Somehow I managed to refer to the fisting incident without using the word “fisting” itself.

I wouldn’t have thought about writing this piece myself, being too immersed in Twitter to realise that it needed explanations. Blame Joel Gibson, the SMH Opinion Editor. He commissioned it and did a decent job of improving my Sunday-written words.

I think it’s quite sweet that Fairfax decided to explain my name.

Most popular posts of 2009

As the first of my end-of-year posts, here’s a list of the most-read posts from (most of) 2009.

  1. Fisting Twitter and the birth of “trend fisting” (1 March) I daresay that for many visitors this piece wasn’t what they were really looking for. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting Twitter case study. For some value of “interesting”.
  2. So what is Stilgherrian, exactly? (12 April) Almost as popular as the official About Stilgherrian, which isn’t listed here because technically it’s not a “post”.
  3. Virgin Blue’s mistake reveals countless selfish whingers (15 November) A combination of a good headline and being listed at mUmBRELLA helps boost traffic.
  4. Live Blog: Politics & Technology Forum 2009 (22 February) Again, proof that a slow, steady audience over time can be of great value.
  5. Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions (26 January) Wallace speaks for the Australian Christian Lobby about Internet censorship, using the “extreme libertarian” straw man and other fallacious debating tricks.
  6. Special Melon Pepperoni Edition now online! (28 March) It’s probably less that this post is about an edition of Stilgherrian Live, more that it includes Andrew Bolt’s astoundingly tasteless slur on those who oppose Internet censorship.
  7. What now for Senator Conroy and the Magic Filter? (30 March) Again, not what I’d have picked from my many writings about Internet censorship, but there you go.
  8. Conversations are not markets, people! (26 July) A long ranty piece that seems to have struck a chord.
  9. Project TOTO: the #secretmission has begun! (19 May) Interesting that the post announcing this project was the most popular, and then interest declined. Why? My guess is that visits to this post were inflated by so many people commenting on The Gnome Incident rather than the substance of the project. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
  10. Live Blog: ALIA Information Online 2009, Day 1 (20 January) This is a big surprise. However we’ve now moved well out of the long head of very popular content and all sorts of factors could come into play. I suspect that traffic to this page was a short, sharp spike around the time of the conference and then virtually nothing since.

Many older posts also continued to be popular.

Indeed, 5 of the top 10 posts of all time are not from this year, and it took longer to work down the list to find a Top 10 for 2009 than it did to find the Top 10 of all time — yet more proof that the more material you have on your website the more visits you’ll get. Don’t delete your old material, people!

This could also explain why the Top 10 above is mostly from the first half of the year.

OK, the Top 10 posts of 2009 that weren’t written in 2009.

  1. So this is human sexuality? July (2008) Little more that a collection of the popular words from sex-related spam, it continues to attract 2000-odd visits a month.
  2. Julie, I want to make you a star (in a Samantha Fox kind of way) (September 2007) My ode to Julie Bishop, popular because of its photograph of Samantha Fox.
  3. Live Blog: Internet censorship forum (November 2008) Can anyone tell me why this post is the most popular of the many I wrote about Internet censorship prior to this year?
  4. Hello Kitty, you’re dead, and other surprise products (October 2007) People link to the (fake) photo of the Hello Kitty AK-47. Few seem to realise it’s a joke.
  5. Film Review: “Joy Division” (February 2008) I think most people link here for the classic photo of Joy Division by Kevin Cummins.
  6. Heath Ledger dead: jokes here please (January 2008) My tasteless experiment in Googlebaiting continues to attract visitors.
  7. More Steve Irwin jokes (September 2006) Another lesson: Providing a forum for the lowest common denominator of society generates hits — but are they of lasting value?
  8. The Madness of Corey Worthington Delaney (January 2008) And speaking of lowest common denominator… 😉
  9. What’s wrong with used knickers? (December 2007) Well, it’s a fair question, isn’t it?
  10. Used knickers, revisited (January 2008) I detect a theme developing here. Thank goodness we’ve reached #10.

You might also like to check out my own selection for what I think was best, plus the lists for previous years:

Links for 03 March 2009 through 07 March 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 03 March 2009 through 07 March 2009, containing traces of nuts: