Sunday, January 25, 2009

Andy's Porsche and blogging

The Redundancy Porsche Man, Andrew Blair, was on Dubai Eye radio this morning, interviewed by Jess and our blogger pal Alexander.

He started by saying that his media exposure around the world began with a Dubai blogger posting a photograph of his Porsche with its message.

That of course was this very blog and you can see the photo I posted a week ago today.

The big exposure was when the UK Daily Telegraph subsequently printed the story and Andy said he'd been swamped with calls, including one from a South Korean tv station.

The discussion on Dubai Today ranged across not only Andy's story but the international nature of the internet, the new medium of blogging, laws relating to it all and so on. That led me to think about what's ended up as this post.

For those of us who blog, whether it's news and opinion or just personal diary stuff, it's something we need to constantly keep in mind and my post about Andy's Porsche is a good example.

I saw the car with its message and thought it was a great image on several levels.

I thought it was a sign of the times in Dubai, which is the caption I put on the post. I thought the fact the graffiti was on a Porsche added to its value. I thought it demonstrated either a spur-of-the-moment rage at being fired or creative job wanted advertising - or perhaps both. I thought it made an interesting photograph.

So I took the shot and within fifteen minutes I'd published it on 'Life in Dubai'.

We do these things automatically these days, but just think about that. Almost instantly the photograph could be seen by anyone anywhere in the world with access to the internet. Millions and millions of people in probably every country on the planet.

We know that the mainstream media monitors blogs, we know that other bloggers and surfers pass around things they find too.

What we post on our blogs, the social networking sites too, really has no borders. Once we publish it it's there for the world to see.

If they find it interesting the exposure can be surprising. For example I had no idea my Porsche photo and the story behind it would arouse so much interest.

The photo's been picked up and posted by various Yahoo and Facebook groups from, for example, the USA, the UK, Malaysia. It's been put on the BritishExpats website forum, the Dubai4X4 website forum, on several other English and Arabic blogs. They've shown good netiquette by doing the right thing and crediting the photo, so their readers click on the link and visit 'Life in Dubai'.

The interest in the story is amazing. For example Dubizzle has a live feed from this blog and I've never had as many visitors from Dubizzle as I'm getting for this. Hundreds a day. Almost as many visitors are coming in on my two Andy Porsche posts as as to the 'Life in Dubai' main page.

Now people are hitting the search engines to find the story. Some of the search phrases they're putting in which have led them here:

andy porsche redundant dubaithoughts
andrew blair porsche uae
andrew blair dubai 2009
porsche redundant dubai Andrew Blair
andrew blair 28, porsche dubai,
Porche redundancy dubai
redundant project manager dubai porsche
...and so on.

By the way, 'porsche redundant dubai Andrew Blair' came from someone in Skopje, Macedonia.

Then there's one who perhaps misunderstood:

dubai porsche made redundant

And an ominous one Andy? The Northcliffe Newspaper Group in Leicester is looking for:

Dubai police Andrew Blair

Stand by for some more coverage in the UK press!

My point really is that we should keep in mind the borderless international nature of the internet, the wide readership our ramblings can have. Not just locally, although that's where the majority of my visitors live, but from anywhere. Although because of the Andy Porsche posts I'm getting many more visitors than usual, so far this has been a normal day for spread with visitors from 27 countries across the world from the US to New Zealand.

That's not big-noting myself by the way, it's perfectly normal and applies to blogs in general.

It's not something I think about when I'm banging away at the keyboard and I guess most bloggers will probably be the same.

But maybe we should just keep it in mind when we do the final read before hitting the 'Publish Post' button.


alexander... said...


Well, I was just posting up my 'case study' post, but you've saved me the trouble!

Andrew's currently getting 388 hits on 'Andrew Blair Dubai', not bad for a Seabee, no?

Great fun, today - was a most interesting and amusing end to my morning! :)

Do let me know (you got the email, right?) what sort of traffic you're getting - seriously, will be using it as a case study on how far and fast stuff moves on da web!

alexander... said...

PS: I decided that this new game shall be 'Porsche Scrawling'.

I'm waiting to see if it takes off, becomes a meme and we have Porsche scrawlers all around the world... ;)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story... and very well coverage

keep blogging mate :)

Mars said...

wow...this is amazing :)

great to have you in the blog-verse.

Dave said...

This is what I love about the internet, its ability to spread far and wide across the planet instantly.

It also helps those countries and people more oppressed than us to get their messages out to the world....

Seabee said...

Dave I agree totally.

Alex & Jess touched on it on the radio yesterday, and it's a subject that could do with a lot more discussion I think.

I'm not sure that many of us, probably governments included, have really got our heads around it completely. Like so much else we just accept it and use it without thinking much about it.

The sheer speed and coverage is mind boggling.There are apparently more than a billion PCs in the world already - so we post something on our blog and it's possible for at least a billion people to see it instantly.

Amazing stuff.

Seabee said...

Alex, no I can't see an e-mail - maybe I deleted it by mistake - so maybe you'd like to re-send.

hemlock said...

so is he going or staying?

Anonymous said...

he'll need to have a chat with the police first. try typing the registration into the police website and checking for traffic fines. He drives as his fashion sense and demeanour suggest he might..........

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


m! blogger said...

Hi Andy,

Came across your blog and I must say it's a good read.

I invite you to visit and if you like, you may subscribe to the community.

It's still very new, but hopefully we could collect the good people living in the UAE.


x Sheryl