Wrong timing – updated

22/09/2010

Dear Mr Dunne

About a year ago you were on Backbenchers patting yourself on the back over the extension to daylight saving.

I didn’t have a chance to contradict you and to be honest I was beginning to think it was time I admitted defeat on this issue.

However, this week’s weather has renewed my commitment to the campaign to delay the date the clocks go forward.

When daylight saving was first introduced it started at the end of October. That wasn’t too hard to adjust to because by then we’re getting about 14 hours of daylight.

Then someone decided that if some daylight saving time was good more would be better and the change in time moved to early October. That was harder to take but still some people thought that wasn’t enough. You agreed with them and moved the start of daylight saving back to the last weekend of September.

That’s just a few days after the spring equinox so we’re only getting a little more than 12 hours of daylight. Moving sunset from 6ish to 7ish in the evening means sunrise moves from 6ish to 7ish in the morning.

That extra hour at the end of the day coincides with dinner time for most people so isn’t much use and the extra hour of darkness at the start of the day seriously inconveniences people who have to start work early.

Even that mightn’t be so bad if it was summer, but this week has shown us it’s not even spring. It’s still winter. Our temperatures didn’t even make it to double figures yesterday and the forecast for the next few days doesn’t give much hope of an improvement.

Regardless of whether the sun sets at 6ish or 7ish, it’s far too cold to be outside during the evening.

Please, check the Astronomical Society’s table of sunrise and sunset times. You’ll see that taking the start of daylight saving back to the end of October makes a huge difference. If the clocks change this weekend sunrise in Dunedin won’t be until 7.17, that’s not a lot earlier than winter, but if the change is delayed by a month the sun will rise at the much more civilised time of 6.22.

We’ve given the extension to daylight saving a fair go and it hasn’t got any better.

Please Mr Dunne, admit you got the timing wrong. It was an idea which sounded okay in theory but simply doesn’t work in practice.

You lengthened the period of daylight saving, it’s time to shorten it again so that the change to summer time comes in summer, or at least spring, and not winter.

Yours in hope,

UPDATE: Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! agrees September is too early. He’s suggesting we go back to the first weekend in October. I reckon that’s still too early, but it would be better than what we’ve got now.


The better Blog Awards

24/05/2010

When I posted on the reaction to the Qantas Media Awards blog finalists I suggested we come up with better Blog Awards.

I got an email telling me a couple of bloggers were working on it and the result is far, far better.

It’s the  Air New Zealand Best Blog Award  .

  The judges are:

Matthew Hooton – right wing extremist, political commentator and co-owner of PR agency Exceltium;
Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury – left wing extremist, media commentator and radio and TV host, co-author of Tumeke;
Ricardo Simich – director of
One Agency, marketing and events specialists;
Tim Selwyn – creator of the first NZ blog ranking system, co-author of
Tumeke; and
Regan Cunliffe – doesn’t need to pimp himself as a social media guru, but is from Throng and ffunnell.

No representatives or lackeys of “old media” in that lot and we have tried to cover all political spectrums so there is no accusations of bias.

I was giving the New Zealand Bloggers Union which is behind the awards full marks for audacity when I started reading. I awarded bonus points when I came to the fine print at the bottom.


Sometime’s a cigar is only a cigar

14/05/2010

An MP who had been upset by something John Key had done was at a meeting with him.

The Prime Minister, knowing he wasn’t in his MP’s good books, made a self-depreciating joke about it.

It was exactly the sort of joke he made about not being welcome at a Tuhoe dinner.

Part of his charm is his ability to laugh at himself and I’ve heard him make similar, self depreciating jokes several times.

I am certain that was all he was doing in this instance.

Not everyone sees it that way.

Over at Tumeke! Bomber and Tim think he was referring to cannibalism.  Deborah thinks it was ignorant and offensive.

On the other hand Kiwiblog says his own sense of humour is one reason he’d never be an MP;  Keeping Stock thinks people should lighten up and  was inspired to make a contribution to New Zealand Music Month. Something Should Go Here thinks it was a good joke.

Macdoctor thinks it was a clever but that would mean John was being deliberately offensive and I’m sure he wasn’t.

It was a joke, directed at himself and while I can see how some people might find offensive meaning in it I have no doubt that wasn’t his intent.

Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar but people will always be able to make something else of it.


ClustrMaps

06/03/2010

It’s a year since I discovered ClustrMaps which records visitor locations and numbers.

An email last night advised me that the record for the past 12 months is being archived and a fresh map started.

If this didn’t happen the map would turn into a giant red blob.

For the record, here’s where visitors have come from in the last year:

UPDATE: on the subject of visitors Something Should Go Here has the February blog stats. His vary quite markedly from the sitemeter rankings at Open Parachute and Tim Selwyn’s blogosphere rankings at Tumeke!


This is how to say sorry

12/09/2009

The Bomber who had been hired by a PR company to film people unhappy with Labtests was the same Bomber who subsequently blogged on the issue without declaring an interest.

Cactus Kate  and Whaleoil called him out.

He reacted with anger, writing that because he’d blogged against Labtests previously it was okay to continue doing so after doing the PR work without declaring that. However, he has now seen the light. He’s accepted what he did was wrong and has not only apologised he’s done it properly.

This needn’t be the end of his PR career – there’s a few MPs who could do with some lessons in saying sorry honestly and fulsomely.


Blogger on blogs on radio

25/08/2009

Denis Welch devoted his weekly media spot on Nine to Noon to blogs and the Tumeke! blogospehre rankings.

He discussed how blogs break stories and influence the media.

His conclusion was that there haven’t yet been many stories breaking out from the blogosphere to the mainstream media but politicians have been breaking-in to the blogosphere.

The discussion is online here.

He didn’t mention his own blog Opposable Thumb.


Naked Stats

15/05/2009

Three bloggers rank blogs. They use different methods and not surprisingly get different results.

Tumeke!,  has the longest running ranking. Halfdone  joined in a few months ago and more recent is Open Parachute who posted today about ranking with Sitemeter data.

There’s a school of thought that the only reliable way to rank blogs is by using actual sitemeter data for visits. Unfortunately, most blogs don’t make this information public. Perhaps if more did bloggers could compare their statistics with those for other sites or have a listed ranking. This would help their interpretation.

It depends on what you’re ranking of course, visits are only one measure, comments are another and some blogs get fewer visitors but more comments. But quantity isn’t necessarily the same as quality anyway.

However, since it’s all just a bit of fun and there’s no reason to keep stats secret, should anyone want to know how many people pop into Homepaddock, what they look at and where they come from, click on the Sitemeter logo above the Clustermap at the bottom of the sidebar and it’s all there for the world to see.

I started blogging last April but didn’t install Sitemeter until part way through July, since then it’s recorded:

homepaddock
This Year’s Visits by Month

This Year's Visits by Month

What intrigues me most is where people come from and I wonder if visitors from far flung corners of the world come by accident or design.

homepaddock
Country Share

Country Share

You can click on Clustermap to see where people come from too. It also counts visitors but is less generous than Sitemeter.


One year old today

22/04/2009

It’s a year today since I launched Homepaddock with a post on Doc Cutting Staff.

Blogging started slowly with just 10 posts from April 22 until the end of the month, climbed to a peak of 390 in October when I was in serious danger of having an unhealthy attachment to my computer. I calmed down after the election and a holiday in Argentina in December when I spent several days at a time without internet access put things back in perspective.

The first comment was made on a post about the farmers’ slice of food  prices on May 15. The first link was made, by The Hive on a post about Phil Goff admitting Labour might lose, five days later. Even though The Hive is no longer live, it’s not unusual to get several visitors a day from there.

Homepaddock entered the Tumeke! rankings  at 115 for May and leapt to 21 in June. It was at 16 the following month and has stayed in the top 20 since then.

Open Parachute’s view isn’t quite so flattering and the Halfdone stats are usually a little more generous.

However, it doesn’t matter which of those you look at, the gap between Kiwiblog  ,which is always number one, and the rest of the New Zealand blogs is huge and one indication of his popularity is the way visitor numbers soar if he links to one of my posts. If blogging was education, he’d be a university professor, those which come next would be close to graduating and I’m still at kindy 🙂

While Kiwiblog links generally result in a surge in visitors, the blog which consistently refers most visitors is No Minister. Most visitors, most days come from there.

Other visitors get directed here after doing searches and some of the terms they use suggest they’ll be disappointed when they find that anything blue is of the political rather than the pornographic kind.

Every now and then I’m asked why I call the blog Homepaddock. The home paddock is the one closest to the house where the pet lambs live and in the days before motor bikes it was the where the farm horses were usually kept. It’s supposed to show I’m on a farm though don’t claim to be a farmer.

Part of the fun of blogging is the feedback, thank you for popping in and thank you especially to those of you who link and leave comments.


Please tell me it isn’t so – updated & updated again

07/04/2009

Trans Tasman is reporting that Michael Cullen will be appointed to chair NZ Post and KiwiBank when Jim Bolger retires.

A loyal National Party member has just phoned to tell me he and others who spent nine years working to get Cullen’s hands off the reins are furious about this and I share their views.

There must be someone better equipped for these roles than the man who overtaxed and over spent for nine long years, leaving our economy far less able to weather the recession than it would have been had his policies been directed at growth rather than redistribution.

SOEs have been underperforming and need highly skilled leadership and that requires someone with a far greater regard for other people’s money than Cullen.

When the idea of Cullen chairing an SOE was  first mooted, blue tinted bloggers were united in their opposition. If the first to react are any indication they haven’t changed their minds: 

Fairfacts Media asks what is John Key playing at?

Kiwiblog says it’s a crappy move

UPDATE: SOE Minister Simon Power has announced:

“Hon Dr Michael Cullen has been appointed to the board of New Zealand Post, and is expected to become deputy chair in the medium term. 

UPDATE 2:

Fairfacts Media thinks Cullen deputising Bolger is too good to be true

At No Minsiter Psycho Milt  is amused but Lou Taylor isn’t.

Keeping Stock thinks John Key is up to something

UPDATE 3:

Roarprawn reckons it’s a poisoned chalice.

Cactus Kate was forced to seek solace in oysters and Moet

Barnsley Bill’s vote has been lost  and Not PC wonders why  he gave it to National anyway.

Whaleoil is disgusted then has second thoughts  and thinks John Key has snookered Labour.

UPDATE 4:

The red rag was thrown and the blue blogs roared, but what if we’re wrong and it’s really a cunning plot?

Fairfacts Media doesn’t think the job’s as good as it looks.

Anti Dismal  has a better idea – sell the SOEs.

UPDATE 5:

at NZ Conservative Zen Tiger spots a pirate plot  and muses on the relevance of history

Macdcotor advises Cullen not to trip on the way out.

At Tumeke!  Tim Selwyn thinks it’s unbelievable.


The money or the holiday

25/03/2009

Some of our staff take all the holidays owing to them and more; we have to insist others take all they’re entitled to.

Those who take extra time off won’t be affected by the proposal to allow workers to choose the fourth week’s holiday or an extra week’s pay; those who aren’t keen to take what they’re eligible for will happily take the money instead of  packing a bag for a  fourth week off.

Four weeks holiday plus 11 statutory days off adds up to six working weeks plus a day off work in a year. Not everyone wants that much so now they’ll have a choice of taking the money instead.

The existing policy gives workers a vacation which many turn into a staycation, because they can’t afford to go away. National’s policy will enable them to choose a paycation instead.

It’s each worker’s choice, and if blogs are anything to go by this is clearly understood by those on the right but not on the left.

Kiwiblog approves the move and notes the fear and ignorance from opponents. 

Keeping Stock  agrees with the Herald editorial.

Oswald Bastable will be happy to take the cash and use it for his annual holiday.

Whaleoil is please the government will let employees buy back holidays.

The Visible Hand in Economics thinks it’s an excellent policy, thinks the Greens have got it wrong and has a more detailed discussion.

Monkeywithtypewriter may not consider himself politically right but he’s right on this when he says four weeks entitlement, pull the other one.

Meanwhile the sky is falling on the left where:

Bomber at Tumeke! doesn’t understand that the four week’s entitlement doesn’t kick in until a year has been worked so has nothing to do with the 90 day trial period.

No Right Turn takes a very jaundiced view  of employers.

And The Standard is doesn’t believe in good faith.


What’s in a number?

02/03/2009

Monkey with Typewriter is discouraged by a lack of feedback so has written his last post.

I’m sorry because I enjoy his satirical view.

Some of the fun in blogging is the feedback and it’s easy enough to count comments but it’s harder to gauge readership because some people check blogs through RSS readings rather than visits. And while I won’t pretend to understand how Alexa gets its numbers I’ve noticed they don’t seem to have any correlation with the Sitemeter stats.

In spite of a ranking of 12 in Half Done’s February blog ranking,  and a rise of three to 12th in Tumeke’s January ranking ,  Homepaddock is at 23 in Open Parachute’s rating   and I could be upset by the apparent fall or happy to be so high when there’s hundreds of NZ blogs around.

But what stands out for me is not the places but the difference between them. If you look at the gulf between Kiwiblog’s well-deserved grasp on the top spot and compare the numbers of visitors, posts and comments that keep him there with mine I’m just paddling in the shallows.

That doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy the feedback and appreciate comments, I also check visitor stats now and then and like it when they increase but if my blogging depended on numbers of either or both I’d have given up months ago.

UPDATE: MWT fans can relax, the monkey has had second thoughts.


Halfdone blog rankings

02/12/2008

Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later has compiled the Half Done November blog stats the top 20 of which are:

HD Rank Blog Last Tumeke Rank Alexa Alexa NZ Authority HD Score
1 Kiwiblog #1 62615 99 252 2
2 Whale Oil Beef Hooked #7 134113 276 93 40
3 The Standard #2 199522 268 111 48
4 Public Address #3 216349 794 174 99
5 Not PC #6 239877 538 95 136
6 No Minister #4 237322 433 64 161
7 Policy Blog: Chris Trotter & Matthew Hooton #10 202188 717 60 242
8 The Hive #5 241742 602 54 269
9 New Zealand Conservative #23 359340 557 52 385
10 Homepaddock #17 358477 763 68 402
11 Tumeke! #12 436170 807 73 482
12 Dim Post #13 355942 544 39 496
13 Cactus Kate #14 347784 806 46 609
14 New Zeal #16 414241 4467 215 861
15 Poneke’s Weblog #18 527522 1575 86 966
16 Roar Prawn #11 386652 861 32 1040
17 The Inquiring Mind #15 438737 1262 50 1107
18 Frogblog #8 94021 208 118 1326
19 Something should go here, maybe later. #34 811342 1529 66 1880
20 No Right Turn #9 907936 3070 129 2161

The blogosphere had some comings and goings in November – Roarprawn took a holiday, but has returned; Matthew Hooton and Chris Trotter left Policyblog but the latter moved to Bowalley Road, Anti-Dismal and The Hive closed and there have been two newcomers: Dear John and The Bull Pen.

I suspect Homepaddock’s 10th spot on the Half Done rankings is a lot higher than the Tumeke! rankings which Tim Selwyn is compiling now because I’ve noticed a fall in visitors and comments since the election.

Apropos of that in November:

* I wrote 226 posts.

* Received 14,414 visitors, including the most on any one day (1,160 on November 4th because of a post about the Melbourne Cup photo finish which must have shown up  high on Google searches).

* Had 378 comments, the most on a single post was 14 on November 10 about the blue wash being bad for democracy.


Tumeke! rankings for October

22/11/2008

In response to a comment on the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings Tim Selwyn admits he counts the number of posts and comments manually.

That’s a huge task so it’s no wonder it takes two or three weeks for him to do it.

The results of his work show one new entrant in the top 20 – New Zeal moves up 7 to 16 which puts Homepaddock back one to 17.

Kiwiblog retained its first placing and was also first for the average number of comments.

Homepaddock was third for the number of posts – a place I don’t expect to maintain because I’ve been writing fewer posts since the election.

The biggest gain in the top 20 was No Minister which went up 6 places to 4th.

Among my other regular reads Roarprawn gained 2 to 11; Dimpost  dropped 1 to 13; Inquiring Mind  was steady on 15; Poneke  went down 1 to 18 but was 5th for the highest average number of comments (and second in that category for blogs done by individuals rather than a number of contributers.) If I was judging the quality of comments, Ponke would rate highly – he manages to attract mainly intelligent and often witty comments with few which confuse personal invective and debate.

Keeping Stock dropped just 1 to 19 in spite of a decline in the number of posts while cruising for a couple of weeks; and the Visibile Hand in Economics also dropped 1 to 20.

 The Hand Mirror was steady on 22, NZ Conservative was up 1 to 23 and also did well with the average number of comments, due in part to their popular Friday night free for all; Big News leapt 16 to 26;  Anti Dismal gained 8 places to 29 and Something Should Go here gained a couple to 34.

In a Strange Land was down 3 to 52; Monkeywith typewriter gained 1 to 56; exexpat dropped 6 to  59;  goNZo Freakpower  gained 9 places to 87, Cicero made a first appearance at 65 and Macdoctor debuted at 71.

I couldn’t find John Ansell on the list, I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t look properly or his blog is too new to register.


Tumeke! rankings

23/10/2008

Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! has updated the New Zealand blogosphere’s rankings with the top 20 for September.

Kiwiblog retains its well deserved first place.

Policy Blog (up 7 to 7th), Dim Post  (up 4 to 12th) Roarprawn  up an impressive 21 to 13th and Cactus Kate (up 1 to 14th) have overtaken Inquiring Mind  (down 4 at 13th) and Homepaddock which has dropped 4 to 16th.

Among my other regular reads, The Hive  is up 4 to 4th, Not PC  has gone up 2 to 7, No Minister  has dropped 4 to 10th,  Poneke  is down a couple to 17th, Keeping Stock has dropped a place to 18th and the Visible Hand in Economics is up 3 to 19th.


Fairfax not in contempt

10/10/2008

High Court judge Tony Randerson and senior Judge Warwick Gendell have dismissed charges  of contempt of court laid against Fairfax Media over publishing transcripts of secret police recordings in relation to last year’s terror raids in the Ureweras.

Bomber comments on this at Tumeke!


Views on the poll

10/10/2008

Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! says no-one has told Centrebet about the latest Roy Morgan poll because the odds on Helen Clark winning have gone out to $4.50.

The Hive  notes The Greens & Act have earned their improved ratings.

No Minister   says this poll shows the Maori Party holds the balance of power.

Inquiring Mind  hopes it’s a rogue result.

Jafapete  says it’s game on.

Roarprawn also notes the Maori Party are king or queen makers.

Matthew Hooton has a poll of polls which is a little more comforting.

Cicero  is sceptical.

Frogblog thinks Roy Morgan is a sweet talker but wonders if the poll’s a rogue.

Tim Watkin says it’s out of step with other recent polls but John Key may have put an unlosable election at risk by trying not to rock the boat.

Bomber sees a seachange


More light but less heat

27/09/2008

The clocks don’t go forward until 2am tomorrow but already the weather is proving it’s too early.

Yesterday we had a nor-west spring day with temperatures around 20 degrees, but today it’s less than 10 and it’s raining.

No Peter Dunne  I will not appreciate another hour of darkness a week earlier than it used to be. I’m grumpy already and that’s before I lose an hour’s sleep tonight and have to get up in the pre-dawn chill. Mutter mumble.

Tumeke! suggests two time zones with the North Island clocks going forwards a few weeks before those in the South.

But I’ve got a better idea, why don’t the people in the north be like the birds and fly south for the summer – it’ll be light until around 10pm here in late December.

Update: One of our men just called in to say he’d stopped working a paddock on a hill block at Waianakaru because it’s snowing!


Tumeke! rankings

21/09/2008

Kiwiblog deservedly retains first place in the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings for August.

Tim Selwyn  gets an electronic toast of gratitutde for the work he puts into calculating the rankings each month based on Alexa ranking, traffic, number of posts, links and comments.

Yesterday Kim Hill asked her guest Alastair Thompson, co-founder, co-editor and general manager of Scoop, what was the point of blogs.

One of my aunts suggested it’s the modern equivalent of pen friends and I guess having a willing writer is point enough. If what’s written attracts readers that’s better and if they leave comments that’s a bonus. 

Homepaddock moved up four places to 12th spot. I’m a willing writer, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without readers, comments and links, so thanks for your contribution.


Passing on the brillante baton

18/09/2008

How exciting and heart warming it was to check in to Homepaddock yesterday morning and discover I’d been blessed with a Brillante Blog award.

It was bestowed by Deborah who’s In A Strange Land  where she writes intelligently and thoughtfully on feminism, motherhood, parenting, work,  politics, life . . . and occasionally posts on food with photos that cause weight gain if you look at them too long.

Once you get a Brillante you’re invited to spread the happiness by passing it on to blogs you enjoy.

The rules are simple:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominator on her/his blog.

So after a day of contemplation my nominees in alphabetical order are:

Annie Fox the nom de blog of Anna Wolf whose posts are warm, witty, passionate, frank, down to earth and full of life which is all the more remarkable because she’s writing about dying.

Phillipa Stephenson at Dig-N -Stir . There is on-going discussion about the difference between journalism and blogging. Pip does both supberbly, writing concise, well researched posts which reflect her knowldege and interest in the subject matter, her ability as a wordsmith and, where appropriate, her wit.

Dim Post for showing you can take a dig without getting dirty; and because every day is improved by humour.

Ex-expat who makes me think with posts that are educational, enlightening and/or entertaining.

Will de Cleene at goNZofreakpower whose posts aren’t frequent but point me to places I wouldn’t find by myself.

Adam Smith at Inquiring Mind  earns the award for the quotes and cartoons of the day by themselves. But there’s more: well reasoned posts on a variety of topics with special mention for not confining himself to New Zealand.

Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock for the quanity, quality, consistency and variety of his posts with extra points for his enthusiasm and sense of humour.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog because I can’t go past the godfather of the NZ blogosphere. It helps that I share many of his views, but even when I don’t, I admire his well written, researched and reasoned posts. He’s open about his bias but never bigoted.

Dave Gee at Life from Right Field because we southerners must stick together and with special mention for originality and pictures.

Macdoctor if he employs the same wit, intelligence, reason and compassion in medicine which he displays in blogging I’d be very happy to be his patient.

Monkeywithtypewriter , not just a token primate, he’s also got perception and a sense of humour.

The team at No Minister because they often amuse, sometimes shock and enable me to feel moderate. They get a special mention for visuals too.

Not PC for the art and architecture.

NZBC goes for quality rather than quantity and gets bonus points for humour and orginality.

Poneke for the quality of posts in which he uses the skills that made him an award winning journalist. Besides, you’ve got to admire a bloke who’s besotted with buses.

Busted Blonde at Roarprawn because she’s upfront, sassy, witty, in the know and shares it with style.

Bernard Hickey at Show Me The Money because he takes numbers and adds words that make sense of them.

Queen Bee at The Hive : she’s got contacts, she gets the facts and she’s the miistress of succinct posts with sting.

The team at Tumeke! for variety and originality. Tim Selwyn deserves an honourable mention by himself for doing the monthly blogosphere rankings.

Well the rules did say at least seven.

P.S. I have an aversion to chain letters or anything resembling them and I can do the maths: if seven people send something to at least seven people who send it …. it won’t be long to run out of blogs which haven’t got it. So should any of you on whom I’ve bestowed a Brillante want to change the rules or ignore them altogether, I won’t be offended, you won’t be courting calamity, your family and pets will be safe and the sky won’t fall in.


Cannon to the left

29/08/2008

Keeping Stock  notes that criticism of Helen Clark’s handling of WInston Peters spans the political divide:

When even left-wing commentators like Jafapete are critical of the PM after yesterday’s revelations, questions must be asked of her, and the issue must be kept in the public consciousness.

It’s not just Jafapete.  Bomber over at Tumeke! says:

I think John Key might have just won the election. . . If she doesn’t pull something really good out, I think Winston’s demise could well infect Helen.

The cannons are now aimed from left, right and centre with both Clark and Peters in thier sights and if they remember the Charge of the Light Brigade they’ll get no comfort from this:

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,


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