Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday snippets

Three pre-weekend stories.

Firstly, Radio Cambridge called me in to do a comment piece for their Drivetime Programme. Apparently a new text flirting service has just been launched, specifically aimed at people stuck in traffic jams who want to chat each other up! Light and lively little piece, but it turned serious when the presenter, Antonia Brickell, asked whether I approved of all this new technology; surely texting, chat rooms and internet dating sites were dangerous?

Lovely contentious question, Antonia - and great radio. Because I was then able to counter that actually I'm the Internet's biggest fan. It's not just the increased communication that I love. It's not just that research suggests people are *more* honest on the web because they're wary of being found out because they have to put things down in black white. I also love the Internet because folk who have formerly been marginalised in society now have a much bigger chance of getting involved and accepted. Example? My quadraplegic reader who ten years ago had no mates, and now has hundreds of friends who adore his lovely mind and personality as revealed in his emails - and don't care in the least that he can't move.

Secondly, though I try never to stray into the political arena, this week Gordon Brown has delighted me by coming down heavily against the supercasino plans. Yes, I do understand the regeneration argument. But if the casino-supporters were at the receiving end of the agony mailbag that I get from desperate wives and husbands who see their lives trashed by a gambling-addicted spouse, they would think twice about doing anything at all that supported the 'sport'. (Breaking news: Nokia has now banned gambling ads from its mobile ad network... considering how much revenue that will lose them, I think that's an incredibly brave move!)

Finally, on a more personal note, I've spent a good deal of time over the past few days being gobsmacked (as they say oop North where I come from) by the positive response to this website and this blog. Big thanks to all those people who have written to tell me they love it.