Recently in Blogging Category
Some of you will recall that I was due to leave Flight in sub-optimal circumstances at the end of October, and that duly happened. As things turned out I was rapidly offered work by Airbus among others, and the result is that, as a few of you may be aware, I'm now living in Seville/Sevilla, Spain until the end of January 2010 as part of the newly formed communications team for the A400M. (If you're remotely interested in what life there is like then feel free to have a chuckle at my Facebook page.)
It's almost exactly 21 years since, in an astounding stroke of luck, I was in the right place at the right time to land a job on Flight International. And the experience since has lived up to, and then wildly surpassed, whatever expectations I had. I've been incredibly fortunate to live the life of a Flight journalist and I'm acutely aware of the fact.
The people here are the most splendidly intelligent, amusing and affable bunch anywhere in aviation publishing. I've had marvellous times with them and I'll miss them.
It didn't really occur to me in 1988 that I would announce the news of my departure on a laptop computer, via something called the internet, in the form of another thing called a blog to which readers could instantly respond. I think I would have been terrified.
I''ll be continuing the blog. In its two years as Unusual Attitude it's been viewed nearly 650,000 times and I hugely appreciate your interest. Receiving your comments from all over the world in realtime has been a salutary, educational and frequently encouraging experience and I'd like to thank you for that. I hope it's improved my journalism.
I don't in fact know what I'll be doing next in my professional life. All reasonable offers considered!
Thanks for reading. Kieran
Take a quick look - my most recent post could actually just as well have turned up here. I'm wondering who the new Boeing 767 winglet customer is? And if in fact it's.....well, as I say, take a look. You don't have to go back if you don't like it.
Two obvious possibilities I suppose: you let them take their blog brands with them and carry on, or you don't let them use the brand, keep the material they've already written and let the blog slowly die.
Taking the second course is sad, but perhaps inevitable if the writer moves to a rival. That's what our company did when Graham Warwick moved to our arch-rivals. I mean you wouldn't expect the writer to have all his more conventional output moved to his new employers. Are blogs different? Not sure, but probably not.
But here's a third course - what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is doing with the blog written by James Wallace, who didn't defect you will recall, but was laid off - permanently!
That blog was called James Wallace On Aerospace - and very good it was. Now at the same url, and providing the same RSS feed of course, you get a continuation of the blog renamed, with spectacular lack of imagination, "Aerospace News". And written by someone called Andrea James.
So you kick the guy out, get someone else to do his job off the side of a desk, give the blog he invented a stupid name, and carry on as before. Charming!
When the world discovered blogging all us journalists were suddenly leaned on by our employers to take to the blogosphere, come up with snappily written material, and above all be different, personal and interesting. I say again - personal.
Fair enough. Quite right too in fact. I was both a lean-er and a lean-ee at the time.
But when we go, well, we go. You can't have it both ways.
This is going to happen to quite a few newspapers, starting in the US but also in the UK and Europe. There are some intensely irritating media-folk, whose vanity I won't indulge by naming, stuffing their conceited opinions about this down everyone's throat. I loathe them, and I'm sick of hearing their poisonous views, whether they're right or wrong. They know who they are.
If you're in publishing these days you know the score, and most of us are labouring to re-invent our world accordingly. The P-I didn't quite get the print/electronic mixture right, and you could see that. But we don't need these assholes dancing on newspapers' graves.
Anyway, back to Jim Wallace. I barely know him - but I like his stuff. He is in that magic space where he knows as much as most of us in the pure aviation publishing world, but is sufficiently removed to be able to make sense of it for a newspaper audience. That's a good bit harder than writing for a professional aviation audience.
Jim's planning to blog at http://wallaceonaerospace.com/ - which doesn't provide a feed yet, but at least bookmark it to remind yourself to keep in touch when it's up and running. And he's looking for work: email@example.com
Best of luck Jim.
(When I say UA is not for sale, I mean, you know, everything's got a price...)
Fans of aviation's hottest soap opera - Sully and Lisa - will recall we left our hero finely balanced between the prospect of outrageous success and miserable failure. In part two Sully plays the pilot's trump card - an actual aeroplane (something like this but probably not as nice) - but Lisa lives round aeroplanes, will she be impressed?
I wondered aloud after part one if Lisa would prove a pushover. Unfortunately a pushover proves to be at the heart of Sully's difficulties. But then there's a plot twist...
I joined colleague David Field of Airline Business magazine again for another podcast hosted by Addison Schonland of IAG. We talked about Aloha, Alitalia, T5, and US groundings among other things. Take a listen - and try some of the other pods that Addison has done.
For the last couple of years there has been an ill-conceived movement among some members of the Pprune community to close all or part of it to anyone other than professional air transport pilots. (Or something like that.) The former proprietors and, I believe, all or most of the moderators are against the idea - but the idea keeps bubbling up again. You really do have to have a deep misunderstanding of Pprune and the web to think it would be a good idea - but there you are. So today the mods are having a bit of fun with a spoof - and it worked beyond their wildest dreams.