I've just got back from doing my 'bit' on Scottish radio, and although I'll probably be commenting more when I can hear it from the radio archives I thought you might like my initial feelings as to how it went.
Dramatis personae

Bob – Vehemently anti-blogging businessman

Ian – Pro-blogging journalist

Nick – Lawyer who has helped write 'blogging policy' documents

Yours Truly – Befuddled newcomer to radio

First impressions of the BBC are good – a nice clean entry hall and public spaces leading to what can only be described as radio-geek heaven, plenty of blinking lights, boxes on shelves and wiring. I almost feel at home.

I'm led into a little box studio, told to put on the headphones and talk into the red microphone – I try to get comfortable, but am having minor attacks of nerves. Over the headphones various producers as me if I am alright.

I'm on! A little introduction by the host, and then his first question “Tell us about your job?”.

Erm…what do I do again? I have a vision of me dressed in a green uniform doing something to a sick person. I answer the question badly.

“Tell us about why you blog?” – Aha! Something I prepared for. A wander through a little bit of history which probably doesn't make much sense.

Then Bob enters – described as very anti-blogging he goes right on the offensive and calls me…Racist!

Because, it is apparently racist to ask my readers which language I should learn in order to better understand patients who don't speak English. So in trying to better serve the people of Newham (and Bob doesn't know where Newham is, let alone our population demographics) and learn a language that is understandable to our 'client group', I'm labelled as racist.

I give what I think is a fairly good response (did I laugh at him on air?), and I didn't need to swear.

If I was racist, I wouldn't work in Newham, and if I wrote anything racist, I'm be disciplined by work so quickly it'd make my head spin.

(“Hot Asians” was about how half my work that night seemed to be Asians with high temperatures, and I was trying to be witty, comparing it to a top shelf magazine. Disliking drunks I'll admit to – and you wouldn't like them much if you died of a heart attack with no ambulance to send because we were all busy dealing with 'people who drink to get drunk').

There then follows a bit of a chat about how Blogging is publishing without boundaries that Ian is happy about, Bob is dismayed over, and Nick is cautious over. Ian then goes on to steal a number of points that I wanted to make, which is good as he is a much better radio performer than I.

Sensing the end of the piece, I try to fit in as many of the points that I wanted to talk about as possible – so it probably came out as a rambling stream of consciousness gabble. I Get cut short before I can start name-checking people, I then feel disappointed that the piece wasn't longer as I think I was starting to get into the flow of things.

Interview over, I am thanked and slink off back home – not entirely happy with how it turned out, but I'm not suicidal about it either. I'll see how I feel about it when I hear it played back.

If you want a look “behind the curtain” then you can look at what my notes consisted of (.doc document)

If any of the people who were involved in the show want to talk further – my email is on this page, feel free to get in touch. I'd especially like Bob to get in touch to see if he really believes what he was saying, or if he was just taking a very 'anti' position for the purposes of the piece.

And thanks to everyone who offered me some advice, it was all good and I think had the piece been a bit longer I would have had more chance to shine.

Hmmm, perhaps a podcast?

27 thoughts on “Post-Radio”

  1. Just managed to listen (thanks, Adrian) and Tom, you did a really great job. You came across as clear, thoughtful, with a good personal/professional balance, and someone who knows what they're talking about – unlike Bob! I hope this comes across to you when you listen again. Next time will be easier. Very well done indeed!

  2. Whoever writes a blog and at whatever level of content it has, it is the chance for ordinary people to be heard in a world where there is so much wrong and destruction to societies and people by the likes of Bob, who thinks he and his type are the only ones with a right to speech, and then as a way to bully others into their ill-informed methods of ruining the world's resources, be it people or materiel's.Tom however blogs with great humanity, understanding, kindness, and in the process does a wonderful job in educating us all. He is also a great ambassador to all in his service. Peace in our time, said Bob and Dowding scrambled Bloggin Hill. The Battle of the Words will always be won by the free people of this land.

  3. Your intention for learning another language was to help the ethnic minorities. They are more likely to be re-assured by someone who speaks their own language than someone who speaks in a foreign tongue which they may not understand. From my view Bob's attitude would prevent you from assisting the ethnic minorities which surely would make him a racsist.

  4. Hey there Tom. I just followed your links and I have now listened to today's Gary Robertson show about five times but I can't find your bit. Am I being a complete thickie? Have you tried to listen to it yourself?

  5. I've just started listening to the Gary Robertson show, and here's a quote from the beginning (talking about what's coming up)”The people taking to the web to tell the true story of their workplace and the bosses who want to put a stop to it….”

    Once I get to the pertinent section of the show (an hour and a half of show to listen to, and an hour and a half left at work today… A coincidence? I think not!), I'll let you know how far into the show the section is.

    Hugh Macdonald

  6. The bit with my contribution is just over an hour into the show (at about 1:05) – and because it is a Realplayer stream *ergh* you can't skip to the bit you are interested in.I've sent off an email asking if I can put up a rip of that segment (which I've just saved to my laptop) – if they let me – I'll link to it from the main blog page.

    And see if you can count the number of Erms and Errs I get through…

  7. Okay, so I kinda skipped through – it starts at 1:03:37I'm a little surprised that you can't skil through using RealPlayer for Windows (a piece of software that I swore a long time ago would never disgrace my computer again), as RealPlayer for Linux does give you this option……

    Ah well – I'm going to have a listen now…. (and I'll do you the kindness of not counting the erms and errs….)

    Hugh Macdonald

  8. Found it. That guy who claimed blogs were dangerous was just ridiculous. He'd clearly spent about 30 seconds reading your blog before he came on and decided he could make a few cheap swipes at you. You handled it really well. He came off as a loser and you came off as being a normal, reasonable person.

  9. That was really interesting to listen to – thanks for agreeing to do it, Tom….I think that, while I agree with venetia that that it really didn't sound like Bob had spent a huge amount of time reading your blog, he may well come across as the 'reasonable' view to many people who don't read or understand blogs. As far as I can see, he was just scare-mongoring (sp?)

    You and Ian (obviously) came across as very pro-blog, and Bob was definately anti, Nick was a good mid-point who, I suspect, would feel like the 'happy medium' to the average listener. The fact that he did tend towards the pro-blogging camp will, I hope, have made the average listener more pro than anti….

    Anyway, apologies for the long, drawn-out ramble (maybe I should write my own blog…?) It was a good interview, and, although it did nothing to change my view on blogs (not a bad thing), let's hope that some people were swayed by it!

    Hugh Macdonald

  10. I agree with Venetia and Hugh – it sounded like Bob had quickly skimmed through your most recent posts a few minutes before the show. I think he sounded a bit paranoid – all that talk about 'need for control'…*If you click on the 'non-streaming' box underneath the RealPlayer that pops us, you can open a different version of RP and skip through to the parts you wanted to hear.

    Good job, Tom – it sounds like you got in some good points, really liked the way you responded to Bob's uneducated assertions of you expounding 'racist' statements.

  11. I got the program from the archive. At the bottom of the screen there is a square that says non-embedded real player. I hit that and got the whole file which I am able to fast forward through. I have a Mac, so maybe it doesn't work on a Windows computer.The program is great. Bob is scary. Bit of a control freak. I can't understand how anyone who had read your blog could possibly think that you are a racist. Doesn't understand sarcasm as well.

    What ever happened to free speech?

    You did a great job.


  12. Whilst it's still in the BBC archive (presumably until next Monday), this link will take you straight to your appearance.(and if anyone wants to know how I made the link, there are instructions on Jon Udell's blog. Sadly it's not as trivial as it should be, but only took me a minute or so)

  13. Glad you survived: great points in notes: once upon a time the message from “The Man' be relayed by sword or preacher; Then came the printing press allowing more random thoughts. It created a great many upheavels and upset many of the powers to be, then many schemes were put in place, to limit written thought to be only from the master mind, unfortunately radio then film ruined that. Now more of the minds of the world have access to a greater variety of combination of words and ideas. Simply put Rabbie Burns said it nicely for the leaders to contimplate.”oh! to have the gift to see ourselves as others see us ” a rough translation.

    now the Blog replaces the suggestion box that in most cases failed to be read.

    It will be interesting to see where that leads. Dungbeetle

  14. Bleedin' brilliant! You clever, clever man (I read the instructions and barely made sense of it). I owe you a drink or three…

  15. Congratulations, I think you did a great job of getting your points across. Bob was a tad ill-informed and reactionary (not to mention wrong about the whole racism thing) then again I guess that's why he was invited along, otherwise it might've turned into a pro-blogging love in.Keep on the good work, both at LAS & of course here online.


  16. Far from contempt for your patients as the opposing speaker Paul so respectfully (sarcasim intended) contended, I commend you for the real, and realistic, care you show here. I would advise the argumentative and controlling Paul to read more of your Blog, and then to take the exam which you should swiftly establish to prove he has read more than 3 of your most recent posts….

    not bad at all… d b

  17. What did Bob mean by 'dangerous nonsense'? A little inflammatory and he didn't know how to pronounce Newham properly. What possessed him to pronounce it New Ham? The whole racist thing was just ill-informed rubbish – he made himself appear rather prejudiced by getting it so wrong. Gripes aside – it was a really interesting discussion and you came across very well. I think your blog is a fine example of great discretion and loyalty to your colleagues as well as the patients that you help.

  18. Just heard the radio piece (from the RealPlayer extract given out above… thanks).You did very well. Bob took things a bit too far – people are right to say that he sounds paranoid!

  19. I thought you came over pretty well, Tom.Gary Robertson probably limited your exposure to Paul and let hin and Ian fight it out.

    Both these characters have appeared on numerous occassions on the prog.

    God knows what its like to work for Paul tho', doesn't bear thinking about. He seems to be living in the 19th Century.

    I did like your comments about Scoble and that chap at General Motors and Ian's comparison with the printing press!

    Now that's your intro into speech broadcasting over, whats next, Question Time, behind a screen maybe?

  20. I think you dealt with the chap a lot better than I'd have. (My reply to the racism thing would have been on the lines of: 'Have you got a good lawyer?' Which perhaps wouldn't have advanced the argument in the right direction).

  21. I think Big Bad Bob should be sent a copy of all the comments – mind you, judging from his replies I doubt if his office actually has access to the internet!

  22. Anyone who starts “Not because I'm against free speach” deserves to be ignored.My normal rule of thumb is that if someone says “Its not because I'm against….” or “I'm not having a go at you but….” then 99% of the time they are.

  23. Not sure about the “clever, clever man” bit, the most oft used term is “geek”, and for some reason people don't always mean it as a compliment 😉 Glad I could help.

  24. gosh, you've got a really strong london accent! I mean, of course you do, but I found it really odd to listen to- you sounded like my flatmate!that aside…I don't think you had anything to be ashamed of from your first radio appearance. Sure, your introduction to yourself was a little wobbly, but you got into the flow and at no point came across as the nasty naughty sneak and liability that Bob/Paul seemed to be making you out to be.

    Jolly good, and nice to see radio scotland getting some national coverage too…it's a great station.

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