Pet Hate

12 12 2012

I’ve always had a great love of the media, indeed I was a radio announcer for a while. When used well, the media, can be a powerful force for good.

But alas, these days, I’ve seen it used in the worst of ways.

I suppose there are a lot of reasons to hate old medias ways of reporting news, but here’s one of mine which really rubs me the wrong way, and it’s one of the things which you’ll hear often.

There’s some sort of terrible disease which we all know about, we may know someone who has it, or we might have it ourselves.

For the last twenty years or so, scientists all around the world have been looking at cells, watching what they do, treating them with particular chemicals, staying up late, giving up their time and energy in the hope that one day there may be a cure.

Then there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, after years of exhaustive research, maybe, just maybe there’s a cure within reach.

The media is informed, and how is the story reported?


I absolutely hate this.

What this says is, let’s forget the students who spent years learning how to become doctors, surgeons, researchers, physicists, biologists etc, let’s forget that after they became any of those things, that they spent all those days and nights doing very difficult, and often tedious work… let’s just forget all that, and claim that God did it.

Let’s just suggest to the public that this potential cure just popped out of the sky, like “manna from heaven” because someone prayed a lot, and jesus waved his magic pinky, and that was that.

Have you ever watched credits at the end of a movie?

Imagine if in some strange land, they wiped all those names and all you’d see at the end of a film was “God did it”.

For all you know, thousands of people whose names you’ll never know, were involved in getting this possible cure to the point it’s at, and thousands more will improve and refine it for years to come.

That’s long hard hours of blood, sweat and tears.

Media needs to stop attributing hard work and dedication of so many truely wonderful people, to religion, it’s not in the least bit right, or fair.



Wolfies guide to talking to the media

11 07 2012

I’ve been thinking about Furries and the party line which is “Don’t talk to the media”.

I have always felt this isn’t the best way to be, because not talking to anyone creates the illusion of being some sort of dark cult and before long, nutters start spreading tales about Toad Licking and doing odd things in your garden shed at 2am.

You should speak, but do it carefully!

Several years ago, I was invited to be in a documentary about Furries and Second Life, A Virtual World/Social Network sort of thing, and I said I’d do it… but I already knew a few things.

Shelley Matulick, The Director, Had already made a short film about Second Life which had been on television. This new doco would be much like that one, but run for a full hour.

The Network it was to be shown on, SBS has always treated minority groups with a great deal of respect.

Shelly and I had several long talks about how the documentary would be structured, and during this time, we got to know each other really well, I also got to know our Camera Man – Peter Zakharov, and Sound Recordist – Bart Bee, as we spent quite a lot of time together.

Marko T Rat also had a lot of questions to ask, and decided that he might like to be in the doco, despite a few other furries advising him not to.

We had a lot of fun making the doco although sadly, a lot of the good stuff never made it into the end product, plus it aired very late at night and not many people saw it.

And none of the Second Lifers could remember what a Television set looked like. 😉

What I’m saying is that nothing was rushed into, We had all done our homework and everyone was fine with it.

Always research who you’ll be speaking to, Google and Youtube can usually assist you.

Are they people who produce interesting and factual work?, or are they shock jocks?. Is the station, newspaper or network in the habit of publishing reliable material? or are they in the habit of calling people with interesting new ideas, crazy?

If they check out, do the interview, If not, walk away and save face.

If you decide to do the interview, Here are a few things to consider.

No elephants in the room, say what you want to, be honest, but don’t be defensive (Shelley told me this).

“What’s a Furry?” “A person who portrays themselves as an animal”

Some Furries have written entire novels on what a furry is, painstakingly making sure that no stone is left unturned, save it for your blog or wikipedia… it will not work for a thirty second news story and isn’t suitable for a documentary either as your audience will quite literally tune out and learn nothing.

You are explaining The Furry Fandom, not The Higgs Boson.

“Do furries have sex?” “Yep, Just like everyone else”

Furries are usually hot blooded young people, of course they have sex, it’s a silly question.

“Do Furries have sex in their costumes?”  “Yes, but only a small group of furries do, it’s not for everyone”

A lot of “normal” people prepare food, naked… It’s a strange world. If you could float like a ghost through walls, I can tell you that you’d see a lot of very strange things. If people are having sex in their costumes, in private, they’re not hurting anyone.

“What does Yiffing mean?” “It’s furry slang for sex”

If a Furry saw two people having sex on the beach, The Furry would say they were Yiffing.

Keep answers brief, Imagine that answers have to fit into a tweet, Sound-bites are great in a news story, but if you’re doing a documentary or long radio interview, feel free to elaborate.

I would like more ideas on this, what are your thoughts?

And before I finish, I would like to say that I was heading for my own career in Media, until my health failed me.

I went to Radio School, and then ran my own radio program on Community Radio for about three years.

I also wrote Community Service Announcements and produced recorded work.

Many of my Twitter followers are media people, mostly from Radio and Television, Especially the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation…. Who are not at all related to the US Version).

I also assisted with ABC Island in Second Life.

If anyone is not afraid of the media, it’s me.


8750931 Click to see a short from Alter Ego

The tubes and how to use them.

3 06 2010

I’m in the mood to offer a bit of a lecture on what I’ve learnt in my twenty plus years of using the internet, I am not a guru, just someone with, what I hope is, a bit of common sense.

There are things that I have learnt from being involved in forums back in the 90’s which apply equally to users of social networks like Facebook, Secondlife and Twitter today.

I’m not sure if this has ever been raised before so I’d like to talk about the structure of forums which I’ve used.

I’ve noticed on almost every forum that there tends to be a core group of speakers, a regular set of people who reply and leave comments, and a very large section of members who never say anything whatsoever.

Now alas, and wrongly, these people who make up the bulk of your members, the ones who never speak up are tagged with the awful name of “lurker” which brings to mind strange, shifty-eyed people who hang around lanes in the night, getting up to no good.

In fact, I feel that referring to people as lurkers is unfair and wrong.

The Lurkers are your Audience, Do not treat them like weirdos who are spying on you, treat them with dignity because they may in fact be your fans… is that such a bad thing?

So there you are, You are Parkinson, Wil Anderson, Daryl Somers, Andrew Denton, Ellen or Oprah… You have your Regular guests, Semi-regular guests, Special guests, Performers, Audience members who contribute to your show via Q&A sessions or competitions, some are fans who came to have a good time, and others don’t really know you but are curious… does that make sense?

How many people would appear on David Letterman’s show each night? About eight maybe? but millions of people around the World watch his show… So how does this apply to Twitter.

In the same way that programs have a large fanbase, so might you have a lot of *genuine* followers, simply having a lot of followers via some computer generated method and then boasting about it is a complete wank… Build the ball park and they will come, that’s all you need to know…. Now I’d guess that up to 80% of your Audience are never going to say boo to you, and this is for a variety of reasons… A lot of people are really shy or feel that if they say something, they’ll be laughed at, or perhaps they feel their opinion wouldn’t be valid, many are just readers who are happy to read, and that’s perfectly fine.

Let’s say you are an old or new media celebrity who has a large twitter following, I’m sure that you’ve noticed regular users who do send you messages, some are funny and some are useful, some people are right on your wavelength… Please, don’t ignore these people, always try to tweet back, even if you are flooded by tweets, please try to spend at least ten minutes a day replying to the ones that matter the most to you, even just sending a hello and a smile back is sometimes more than enough.

People who never reply to their fanbase are snobs, that’s all, Treat your fans with love and dignity… I have news for you, regardless of what current affairs programs tell you, most people out there are not dirty and creepy.

Yes, you can’t reply to everyone, that’s a fair statement, Just do what you can, it’s better than not responding at all.

Look, there’s no need to shut the door on everyone, sure there’s a few nasties out there, regardless of what people think, the internet IS real life, and real life has it’s hazards… However, if you lock the door on everyone, you’ll be locking out your white knights too, and that is not practical.

If I had not gathered up a group of genuine friends (and yes, online friends DO translate to people you enjoy going out with in meat space, that online friends remain a spooky lot of rabid inter dimensional alien beings is just the biggest load of bollocks ever) Then I most likely would not have been online at all, because I have been given all kinds of assistance such as how to use particular software, through to offers of actual hardware.

I have also made very special friends and a few who I consider to be soul-mates.

Open yourself up and talk, it’s worth it.

If you had an account on a forum, were you…