James Governor's Monkchips

How many comments this week? 100? You Gotta Be Kidding

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The estimable Tim Walker at Hoovers aka @Twalk is trying an interesting experiment this week by aiming to provide 100 substantive comments on blog posts this week. Cool why not join in I thought. After a short while I was pretty sure such a notion was… inconceivable… So I am scaling back to a more manageable ten solid comments a week for the next week. I think this format will also be a lot more digestible for you, my dear reader. So here are the first 4.


1. Via Twitter @adamclyde alerted me to the Greenland Crossing blog, in which an IBMer with extensive experience of the petroleum industry is crossing Greenland to bring attention to polar research and global warming. I read this guest post by Cornelia Lüdecke, President of the International Commission on History of Meteorology and Chair of the History of Antarctic Research Action Group of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and and commented like so:

This is extremely interesting historical information. My big question is whether the attempt to bring academia and business together on issues concerning polar research is a sufficient approach, given the rising strength of the nation state with natural resources, and the current saber rattling. When Canada becomes bellicose you know the world has changed, and in my opinion unlikely for the better. We need more jaw jaw, less war war.


2. Mark Cathcart asked me to comment on a recent blog post about sustainable design. Great subject! Repair, Refurbish or redesign? Mark said:

“I think the point is that we and the companies that we buy from, HAVE to start being much more responsible with our electronic goods from the point of design.

Is it unreasonable to expect the designers of one of the best gadgets in the last few years to think about how they are serviced, refurbished and disposed of, I think not.

We simply can’t go on forever buying stuff and dumping the old, unwanted broken stuff without regard. The designers have their part to play in this, as do the companies that sell us stuff. Why didn’t the designers expect to see a reasonable amount of broken screens? Why isn’t there a reasonably priced refurbishment program that replaces the outer case, scratched glass etc.”

I commented:

Mark this is a really great post, asking the right questions. Sustainable Design should be a given in any business, especially given Apple’s design heritage.

It has been pointed out how much of Jonathan Ives and Apple’s design heritage follows the 1960s philosophies of Dieter Rams of Braun, back in the 1970s. http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960s-Braun-products-hold-the-secrets-to-apples-future

Interestingly enough however Rams core philosophy included green, whereas its not clear Apple’s does.

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

see bullet 9… GreenMonk has written about Apple a couple of times. Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, CEO of Tinker-IT, wrote a great guest post on the subject of hackability and Apple’s failure to get it.


We should not criticise Apple for anything other than a lack of hackability. Components need to be replaceable to extend the life of the devices we use. Throwaway electronics are by definition not sustainable. We also hammered Nokia recently because of its failure to adopt USB for its power cables.

We need to consider the manufacturing and supply chain lifecycle, and the areas in which hackability is useful.


3. Next up comes the Grumpy Old Man, who reports that cow flatulence is being taxed in Estonia. I commented like so:

Hey Grumpy great links. The Estonia story is of course perfect if true. I have to say though that not including URLs is kind of unhelpful. Fix them and your post will be perfectly formed.

For what its worth I could find no trusted independent verification. At this point I am assuming we’ve been victim to a practical joke.


4. Next up comes @hjortur, of Marketing Safari, who claims that Google’s success is entirely down to word of mouth referral: World’s Most Valuable Brand Has Never Advertized.

My comment:

Its a clear argument, clean like Google’s homepage used to be. But the idea Google doesn’t advertise is fatally flawed in my opinion. Google ads pop up all over the place. They just don’t do traditional Madison avenue advertising.

Its a pretty traditional firm in many respects now. Goog had a booth at Interop, which surprised me.


  1. James,
    A fine move. The ‘sphere would be a better place if we all did this.

    Blogging is as much about commenting as it is about writing. The proper blogger in my house is known to spend much more time commenting than posting. This is probably a reason why she gets truckloads back.

    Looking forward to catching up in Berlin. Send me your travel plans please.

  2. Thanks for joining me in this challenge!

    I’ve managed nearly 30 comments in three days, but indeed it’s been much harder than I thought it would be. First, that pesky thing called “work” keeps intruding.

    Beyond that, it’s been a real change in my processes to comment so much. If the surveys about blog participation are right, I’m much likelier than the average blog reader to comment — but that’s a lot different than mustering 100 intelligent comments in a week!

    I’ll let you know how it goes from here. And I’m SURE to copy your idea of listing some of my better comments in blog posts of their own. Cheers!

  3. James, glad I was able to be a part of your challenge. And… you’ve inspired me to do more commenting. I think you (and Tim Walker) are on to an important and often lost point with all of this. We too often lose the conversation of blogging and it becomes an essay exercise rather than a discussion. That’s too bad. And it’s more the part of the blog consumers than the blog publishers. So, here’s to more commenting. Thanks for the motivation.

  4. […] mostly, as my pal James Governor explains, it’s because I’ve been commenting up a storm on other blogs — more than 50 […]

  5. Incredible new world. I never thought I would become interested in blogs,blogging or commenting. Thank you for giving me a new experience.

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