Talking internet scams on Sydney radio 2UE

Well, this is a roundabout thing. On Saturday afternoons Trevor Long does a regular radio spot on 2UE 954 with presenter Tim Webster. This week Paul Wallbank was going to fill in but then it turned out that he couldn’t. So I ended up doing it.

The topics we discussed included the online extortion attempt against Sydney businessmen Sulieman Ravell and his firm Funds Focus; scams relating to London 2012 Olympics tickets, and other scams that Paul Wallbank had identified, as well as his tips for avoiding scams.

We also mentioned the new top-level internet domains.

Trevor Long, meanwhile, talked about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and what caught his eye there.

Here’s the audio, including the far-too-many mobile phone dropouts — which Tim Webster handled with aplomb — and a little bleep every time I skip over other segments like the sport and traffic reports. In fact I’ve left in Mr Webster’s handling of these glitches precisely because it shows his professionalism.

The audio is ©2012 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd, of course, but as usual I’m posting it here in case they don’t post it at their own website. The little beep sound is by junggle via, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Alex Balfour wins points for London 2012

Photograph of Alex Balfour London 2012’s head of new media, Alex Balfour (pictured right) has just won points for his organisation! OK, they didn’t publish my comments on the London 2012 blog — for the story so far see parts 1, 2 and 3. But it’s around midnight Saturday night London time, and Alex is emailing me personally.

Thanks for your comment. We’ll have to agree to disagree. For info, we didn’t publish your comment because it used inappropriate language — rather than inappropriate sentiments.

I thanked him for taking the time to reply, and told him he wins points. He replied:

I’ve been fortunate to see where the brand is going which is why I am incredibly confident in it. You may be pleasantly surprised…

I’ll admit I’ll probably take a lot of convincing, but hey… we’ll see!

London 2012 fails to understand

I’ve just come back from Webjam 3, so this may explain my direct language. But I’ve just posted the following at London 2012, which won’t be published either:

You spineless turds! If you’re going to have a blog and ask for comments and pretend to be “with it with the hip young folk on the Internet”, at least have the intestinal fortitude to face the reality of those comments. Particularly when we go to the bother of giving you our names and email addresses and are prepared to stand behind our words. Or even just send a boilerplate email to acknowledge us.

London 2012 didn’t publish either of my comments, and probably won’t publish this one either. Here’s what they said instead:

We have received many comments that reflect the tenor of negative comments found elsewhere on the web. Rather than act as an echo chamber we have published a selection here that say something a little different.

“A little different” as in “Off in some fantasy land where people actually think your branding is good.”

Guys, at this point you really only have two options:

  • Change the brand. “Oh, we didn’t predict that reaction. Sorry, we’ll have another go.” You’re now the Olympics which listened to the public, and you come out of it looking good.
  • Stay with the brand. “Oh, well, we can’t change it now because [insert credible reason].” You’ll still look lame, but at least we’ll understand.

I reckon “credible reasons” could include “We don’t have the budget to re-do it” or “There isn’t time”. Hey, we understand. Time marches on, this is what we’ve got to work with, it’s not ideal, but hey, shit happens… We’ve all been there, and we sympathise. It’s a cop-out and your branding is still shite but, yeah, we know, snafu.

But if you expect us to give you any respect at all, at least be honest. Have someone put their name to this and fix it. One way or the other.

Is London 2012 skewing their blog commentary?

Yesterday I posted a comment about the dodgy logo at the London 2012 blog, but it wasn’t published. So this morning I’ve posted the following comment which may or may not appear.

I don’t understand why the balance of commentary on this blog is so out of kilter with the balance of commentary elsewhere. It’s clear that most media outlets are reflecting an overwhelmingly negative response to the new branding — yet that’s not reflected here.

I posted a comment on this issue on Monday’s posting but it wasn’t published — yet I don’t see how it broke the commenting guidelines.

Are comments being selectively published as a PR “spin”?

I wonder if they’ll even respond… there’s so much at stake with the Olympics, and so many reputations to protect.

London 2012’s crappy logo

There really isn’t a polite way of putting it, is there? This new branding for London 2012 (formerly known as the Olympic Games) is a shocker. How did they manage to get it so wrong?

Logo for the London 2012 Olympics

The Sydney Morning Herald headlined their story Olympic logo gets the thumbs down and referred to comparisons with “a disfigured swastika”.

But the Wikipedia entry has the best material so far. A reader of free newspaper London Lite pointed out a resemblance to Lisa Simpson performing oral sex.

A segment of animated footage released at the same time as the logo triggered seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. London 2012 removed the offending footage from its website.