Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forJuly, 2011 | back to home

12 July 2011
Filed under:Uncategorized at5:23 pm

I didn’t realise how much I have come to rely on and expect that moving around Europe would be an easy, smooth, and familiar process until I touched down in Istanbul for the IAMCR conference starting tomorrow. The first sign of impending  disturbance? I didn’t receive one or more welcoming SMSes from different telephone companies telling me what their mobile phone rates were and how much it would cost to call, text, or send and receive data. Moreover, this reminded me that since it is not part of the EU, the rates charged by these companies would not be regulated by EU law. Things got more disconcerting when I got to the end of the queue with my passport and I was told that I needed a visa in my British passport. So that’s why the line for visas was so long! And of course it was no good my raiding my cookie jar full of euros for travelling–I’ve got a pocket full of lira.

Of course this is hardly chaos, and were I going a bit further east or south none of this would have caught me by surprise, but I seem to be a little bit ahead of the authorities in welcoming Turkey into the European Union–at least in my head. Time to recalibrate and look for somewhere to get a decent meal.

6 July 2011

It’ll be interesting to see whether the great British public falls in love with this in the same way that Americans seem to have done with the HuffPo on its home turf. I suspect that since we already have a vibrant “opinion sphere” in our National press and (perhaps as a result?) the blogosphere here is rather less influential, it may struggle. I would have hoped that they could produce and highlight a few exciting exclusives for their first day but the page I saw this morning was reliant on the Press Association for several of the top stories, and aesthetically I found the layout much too garish and busy. That said, Tom Zeller’s feature piece on air quality in London was admirably thorough, the article about how you can print your own newspaper was interesting, and the story about the council who paid £100,000 to help schoolchildren get to McDonald’s was entertainingly quirky.

It’s early days–I look forward to seeing what the site comes up with and how its competitors react.