Sunday, November 14, 2004

Welcome to Heardsaid.

Did you know that if you type weblog into Google now, there are in excess of 40,700,000 pages which feature the word. That's not just actual weblogs, but people talking about weblogs. The top ranking weblog is the Google Weblog, which is actually the independent news site set up by Aaron Swartz to talk about Google, not weblogs. Google's own in-house weblog is currently ranked fourth, just below the community weblog Metafilter at third.

That's actually all true. Now read the following:

I was talking to someone the other day and the subject of dove releases at funerals came up. I wondered about all the doves which would be flying around clogging up the atmosphere and the fact that there would need to be loads of breeders and a supply chain and where would they all come from. What I found out was that it isn't actually doves which are released, but white homing pigeons. When they're released they simply return home ready for the next release. So what is supposed to be a symbolic, spiritual gesture is quite a mechanical process really.

That may be true. What they both have in common is that most people won't have heard them before, and some of those people with have paused for thought. The Oh! Factor.

Another example: I was at the cinema the other day and a boom mike appeared in shot. It was obviously unintentional the film makers were clever enough not to make that kind of mistake. I asked someone about it afterwards and apparently when some films are sent to the cinema the actually frame of the film is square. So when it's projected, the top and the bottom of the picture are cut off to give the image that the film maker intended. What sometimes happens though is that the cinema might get a print in a hurry whatever and will present it with the wrong framing, so that something from the top or bottom of the picture which isn't intended to be seen by the public is in view, like a microphone.

We see and hear all kinds of things in passing from family, friends, work colleagues, even total strangers; watching tv or movies, listening to the radio, reading books, magazines and newspaper; every now and then we'll hear something amazing which we want to pass on.

Which is what this weblog is about. Collecting together these things we hear and presenting them so that the reader too can go 'Oh!' And sometimes 'I never knew that!' And even 'I wish I'd known that before.'

They could literally be about anything or anyone but the really compelling and dangerous aspect is that corroboration isn't necessary. We'll present this stuff just as we heard it and it's up to the reader to decide whether it's true or not. The only basic rule is that we can't just make things up ourselves and that generally there isn't a structure. That's what encyclopedias are for -- its chatty and conversational -- like a personal weblog about answering questions which haven't been asked yet.

It's also about penny drops. Those moments when you realise something you probably should have known already. Which is the confessional bit. So for example up until a year or so ago one of us didn't realise that in the UK soccer leagues, teams played each other twice each year -- home and away. Those times then when you put two and to together yourself, all the did you know know-it-all material tempered with some stupidity.

Some of this will make sense. As far as we know it'll all be true. Enjoy.

Do you know something we don't and have something to contribute? Or even want to become a regular writer? Email and let us know so that we can tell the world.

3 comments:

Cori said...

What a great idea!

pogo said...

Brilliant idea! My 2p worth: did you know that the bundled AppleWorks stuff that comes with every new Mac is fully compatible with MS Office? Why support virus-spreading Windows when a compatible and much safer alternative exists?

Okay, bit partisan that one, I admit it :-)

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