Posts from March 15, 2004

Even the BBC

iraqpoll.bmpEven the BBC
: Even the BBC is forced to admit that things are better in Iraq. The people of Iraq said so:

An opinion poll carried out in Iraq will make good reading for US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The poll suggests that Iraqis are happier than they were before the invasion, optimistic about the future and opposed to violence.

The poll, of more than 2,500 adults, was commissioned by the BBC in association with other international broadcasters.

It suggests that the reporting of the daily attacks on the occupying forces in Iraq could be obscuring another picture.

This opinion poll gives a glimpse into the real life of Iraqis, who appear to be overwhelmingly pre-occupied with bread and butter issues – whether the lights go on or not, and the restoration of the economy.

Seventy percent said that things were going well or quite well in their lives, while only 29% felt things were bad.

And 56% said that things were better now than they were before the war.

Almost half (49%) believed the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition was right, although 41% felt that the invasion “humiliated Iraq”.

More than three quarters (79%) want Iraq to remain united, and only 20% want it to become an Islamic state.

Divorce

Divorce
: I can’t imagine it’s easy to maintain a group blog. I would be very difficult to live with, what with my blog snoring and all. Al Giordano just left BopNews.

The perfect blogging tools

The perfect blogging tools
: Lots of people gave lots of great suggestions in response to Dave Winer‘s call for blog tool dreams. Lisa Williams did a great job compiling them. Then more folks compiled. And now we need a compilation of the compilations.

Hermit

Hermit
: For years, I played the hermit and never went to conferences. Then I went to a few and enjoyed meeting all the folks I’d been reading in blogs. So I tortured myself wondering whether I should go to more. But the hermit in me won out and I’ve been staying home, watching the conferences online and even joining in from a very distant peanut gallery. Judging from the reviews of the latest conferences, I’m glad I stayed home with my wi-fi and electric plugs and nobody to tell me where I can and can’t take pictures or blog or wander.

Will our election protect us?

Will our election protect us?
: I wonder whether our upcoming election will protect us from al Qaeda attacks.

They obviously wanted to affect Spain’s elections — and succeeded, getting rid of the Conservative government allied with Bush’s war effort.

But if they want to get rid of Bush, the worst thing they could do is attack here. I do not believe that American voters would react to an attack — like the Spanish — and blame the guy the terrorists blame. Quite to the contrary, an attack would make us angry and defiant and would send us toward Bush, especially since he is still the one acting tougher on terrorism.

And the terrorists are not idiots, politically. So if they want to show they can wage influence in world politics, they are more likely, unfortunately, to go after America’s other allies. God forbid.

: But even the anti-war Guardian says that an attack in England would not help the terrorists get rid of Bush-ally Blair:

…ministers are privately calculating the prospects for a “security election” in Britain in which a similar attack may be attempted….

But Labour’s leadership believes that an attack similar to Madrid would have the effect of driving British voters, more evenly divided on the war, behind strong and established leadership.

With the Conservatives (unlike Spain’s socialists) pro-war, the Liberal Democrats may benefit most from anti-Blair voting.

The Tory defence spokesman, Nicholas Soames, backed the Blair analysis. “In times of trouble, you don’t want change, you want the status quo.” conceded another senior opposition MP.

Good-bye and thank you

Good-bye and thank you
: Robert Zangas was working in Iraq as a civilian — after having served there as a Marine reservist — to help teach Iraqis how to be journalists. He was killed while on a road with a fellow CPA employee and interpreter.

Robert Zangas was also a blogger. Here is the last post of a generous, optimistic, hard-working man.

I know it is not my money that I am giving away and I am not interested in receiving thanks. But it points out to the fact that this is a society that is in desperate need of everything. It is like pouring a cup of water out in a dry desert. The water disappears and you are left with the feeling of

Satblog

Satblog
: Steve MacLaughlin has a satellite radio blog and now he has a big story to watch in Howard Stern.

You know it’s business when it’s in the Wall St. Journal

You know it’s business when it’s in the Wall St. Journal
: Advertising on weblogs — and Henry Copeland’s BlogAds — get a well-deserved story in the Wall Street Journal today.

The Chandler campaign is evidence of the latest step in the evolution of the Internet. Blogs, once derided as solipsistic exercises by self-important nobodies, are starting to go commercial as their readership grows.

The trend is in its early stages; big advertisers like Coke and Procter & Gamble aren’t yet hawking their wares on blogs. Indeed, much of the advertising is found on politically oriented blogs, which are experiencing a spike in readership from the presidential election. Many people wonder if the blog ad boomlet will outlast the election.

But other Internet institutions have had similarly modest origins; recall that eBay started out as a place to trade Beanie Babies and Pez dispensers. And it’s no surprise that as blogs grow in popularity, they are beginning to attract advertisers.

I am confident that weblogs and citizens’ media are going to be a tremendous medium for marketing and will make real money for their proprieters. It always takes time for advertisers and agencies to catch up — hell, they’re still catching up to the Internet… and cable — but catch up, they will. I’ve written here frequently that we still need some infrastructure to support marketing (see, for example, yesterday’s note on RSS and measurement) but once it is in place, this will explode.