Monday, August 24, 2009

Old dog + new trick = Barry Newsdesk

More often than not there's a grain of truth in old wives' tales. I know that even great writers, such as myself, sometimes fall back on cheap cliches and lazy stereotypes. I've used the expression, 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks', more than once on the blog. But it's wrong. Both in its literal and figurative sense.

Last year, for instance, when Mrs Bradley turned her ankle on black ice, I took care of her dog Raffles. You remember Raffles readers? Way back in the early days of Newsdesk I wrote an expose regarding the lack of interest London's finest were giving to the shocking spate of canine thefts that blight the nation's capital. Anyway, I was looking after Raffles (49 (in dog years)) and I taught him a trick that involves me balancing a dog biscuit on the end of his nose until I clap my hands together, after which he suddenly twists his snout in a loop and scoffs the snack.

Now, I know I'm not exactly an old dog, but I'm no spring chicken either and only this morning I learned a new trick and not one that involves the balancing of biscuits on my noce. I was feeling pretty excited about my idea for an Abrahamic God holiday camp, particularly after reading the very encouraging words of encouragement in the comments section of the post.

I was feeling so excited that I actually broke one of the covenants of Newsdesk. I told someone about the posting. Even more foolishly I told Dan. Y'see, the thing is, ever since he moved in as my new lodger, we've been getting along famously, even taking the tube in together. (Although, when we get near the office he always either ducks into a shop or Starbucks or suddenly races ahead of me. If I was a paranoid type I'd think he doesn't want people seeing us together! haha lol.)

So now Dan knows I'm a blogger. I didn't tell him the name of the blog, but I was getting carried away, I was even going to ask him if it would be possible for me to write the occassional thing for the magazine. But when he heard about the Club 40-40 idea, he almost literally pissed himself there and then on the tube. We had to get all the way from Balham to Clapham North before he stopped laughing.

Seems our publisher extraordinaire didn't rate the idea quite as much as Mr Coleman (don't worry Mr C, I know who I would rather have on my side!). I was quite affronted, as you can probably well imagine.

"Got any more bright ideas Newsdesk?" he said, not even bothering to stiffle his mirth.

It was then that I decided to tell him about my other recent idea: premium phone lines for the delivery of management training courses for the busy professional. Well, I tell you what, that stopped him in his tracks. Then he put on his serious Mr Boss face and told me he liked my ingenuity. Jesus effing Christ, the man's more difficult to read than The Satanic Verses.

I was starting to feel a bit pumped, and I have to say, I'm not sure whether it was the train bumping around coupled with the excitement of seeing all the office girls, or whether it was the possibility of receiving some sort of acknowledgement and affirmation from my boss, but I started to get a stiffy. I had to use my copy of the Metro to protect my modesty (soz Kenny!).

Dan then said he was afraid that "audio conferencing" was already pretty big business! He's not joking reading, I just typed the expression into Google and came up with 54 million hits. I've said it before, but I tell you what, whatever you can think of, you can bet someone else has already thought of it, and it'll be on the web....well, I did just that, and I'm about to put one Dan Bantam firmly in his place.

The Holy Land Experience.

Praise (your God). I have to admit, the religious theme park shown above is ever so slightly more slick than the one I was planning for Cleethorpes. Still, there you go Bantam. Read it and weep.

That said, I'll give Dan his dues, after telling me about the existing proliferation of audio conferencing, he said that our magazine is planning to launch a whole host of what he called "webinars". I don't know whether Dan has coined the phrase, if so, you read it here first. Oh, hang on, I just typed it into Goolge and got 6.5 million hits. Anyway, that doesn't make it any less of a great idea.

It might sound totally contrived, but the word webinar is actually a contraction of the words seminar and world wide web. Geddit? They're basically online seminars. So they're like my audio conferences, but with pictures too. Dan reckons they're a quick easy buck in the world of marketing. You need to think outside the box if you're in advertising sales today readers. Marketers want more than adverts in magazines, it's all about personalization these days, tailored delivery of bespoke marketing solutions. Well, that's what Dan says.

Anyway, I've got to go now, Dan's been down the gym all night and I've got to get his tea on.

Yours in business



  1. A copy of the Metro? I'd have thought you'd require the Encyclopedia Britannica to cover that monstrous thing!

    Did I mention I accept bribes?

  2. Monstrous? Well, it's a nice shape.

  3. Baz, just because it's been thought of before, doesn't mean there's no money in it. I mean, porn is porn but there's still plenty of money to be had. Don't let 'em get you down Baz, your fortune is only a bank loan away.