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Tom Davenport

Tom Davenport is a creative digital marketer who develops content and digital experiences for brands.

  • August 1, 2012 11:30 pm

    BBC Goatse Prank, Again

    There’s a competition to design a logo for The Now Show on Radio 4. I planned to whip up a quick Goatse prank, but someone beat me to it:

    BBC Goatse Prank the now show

    If you don’t know what a Goatse is, it’s basically a rude picture which was the basis of an early internet prank. The prankster would lay linkbait to something enticing (‘New Aphex Twin Album!’), but it would point to an unsightly NSFW picture called a Goatse. I’ll leave it to you to guess what the hands are doing.

    You might remember a similar prank on a BBC Olympic logo competition a few years ago:

    Olympic Goatse Prank

    In other news, Gawker recently published an investigation into the man behind (or is that ‘in front’) of the original Goatse image.

  • March 31, 2011 4:48 pm

    From Letters of Note:

    In June of 1973, spurred on by the recent discovery of a dying bird in his garden, 9-year-old Anthony Hollander wrote the following letter to the presenters of Blue Peter — the BBC’s much-loved children’s television show — and asked for assistance in his quest to “make people or animals alive.” Below is his letter, and the encouraging response written by the programme’s editor,Biddy Baxter.


    In 2008, the very same Anthony Hollander, now a professor of rheumatology and tissue engineering at the University of Bristol, played a key role in a record-breaking feat of surgery: the successful implantation of an artificially-grown windpipe into a 30-year-old Colombian woman named Claudia Castillo. Hollander has since said of the letter and response:

    If [Biddy Baxter’s] letter had shown any hint of ridicule or disbelief I might perhaps never have trained to become a medical scientist or been driven to achieve the impossible dream, and really make a difference to a human being’s life. I remember being thrilled at the time to have been taken seriously. Actually, even nowadays I am thrilled when people take my ideas seriously.

    Full transcripts of both letters follow. Image courtesy of the BBC.


    Image: BBC

    Click ‘read more’ for the transcript.

    Read More

  • March 10, 2011 12:24 pm

    Comedy: Radiohead Fan Speaks Out


    Well observed comedy from the BBC, with Radiohead fans at a confidential meeting admitting the King of Limbs is a bit rubbish.

    And while you’re having fun, let’s enjoy Thom Yorke flapping at a swarm of bees.

  • February 10, 2011 11:17 am

    Nerd saves entire BBC archive - download it here

    Presumably for reasons of frugality, the BBC recently chose to take lots of their websites offline. Not a pressing issue for most of us, but there’s the modern debate that our wide and varied web culture is not permanant, and should there be the equivalent of a ‘Time Team’ in 1000 years, they’ll probably scold our generation for not taking measures to back up everything neatly for posterity.

    One notable example in recent years was when Yahoo closed Geocities, forgetting this was where thousands of people hosted their first ever website - a genuine moment of revelation and creativity for many - and that snapshot of humanity was set to be lost forever. Alright, so the designs were awful back then, but from a historical perspective that kind of archive could prove to be fascinating.

    And so, when Ben Goldacre was casually suggesting on twitter that someone should spider the BBC sites, download copies and bundle them in a torrent to share as a historical document, he probably wasn’t in awe that one of the hoard of nerds that follow him went and did it:

    One ninja had already got cracking, the full download finished this morning, and they have posted it online here for your delight and assistance:

    http://178.63.252.42/

    Interestingly, as you will read when you get there, it cost a massive $3.99 to create this important historical archive, you can download it for free to keep the thing safe, and I strongly recommend you do so now, quickly, before some insightless person at the BBC activates lawyers to shut the thing down.

    Can’t say I’m going out my way to store a copy myself, but this kind of action is what I like about the internet. Some people like to go to a bit of effort at their own expense just in case good will come of it. Nice one.

  • December 16, 2010 11:52 am

    Jody McIntyre, the disabled demonstrator who was pulled from his wheelchair on two occasions during the recent student protests, was interviewed by BBC News recently.

    Besides the frightening experience Jody went through on the day of the demonstrations, I’m offended at the manner in which he is interviewed here. I do expect journalists to ask any interviewee pressing questions, but the repetition and blatent assumption that Josy incited the police violence becomes totally patronising and offensive. It’s clear Jody wasn’t happy with their manner either.

    It bothered me enough that I made a complaint in the small hope that it will shame the journalist in question to being a more professional next time. Be inquisitive, but don’t be a prick about it.

    Update: The BBC linked me to a post by Kevin Bakhurst, the controller for the BBC news channel, in response to the many complaints they have received. One comment sums it up neatly:

    "Ben Brown also asks some questions repeatedly, despite Jody McIntryre giving direct answers at all times. This makes the interviewer appear aggressive. He is not just asking for Jody McIntryre’s account of what happened - he is actively questioning him in a disbelieving manner. This is not the type of impartial interview style I would expect from BBC News."

    BBC Jody McIntyre interview (via latentexistence)

  • November 22, 2010 3:49 pm

    Tom Davenport Interview on BBC Introducing

    Click play to listen to my third interview with the local BBC Wiltshire Introducing show. I love this local show and the presenters have been really supportive of my work the past year, big thanks to them for giving me continued coverage.

    You can hear my previous interviews with them here.