Wrong timing – updated

September 22, 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

May 24, 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

May 14, 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

March 6, 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

September 12, 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

August 25, 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

May 15, 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.


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