The personal site of Tom Coates, co-founder of Product Club

Am I unpleasant or not?


I’m thinking about a new and completely unpleasant feature for – based around the ‘meet’ functionality at Basically I signed up for this ages ago and occasionally get an e-mail in saying that someone wants to meet me. It’s all very embarrassing. Anyway – it occurs to me that I could be completely unpleasant and simply link to every single person who expresses an interest in meeting me – thus revealing the true depths of my personal despair…

Ev on Weblogs…


Ev interviewed: “Well, writing a weblog is, in essence, simply writing. So most of the rules of good writing apply — clarity, articulateness, conciseness. That doesn’t mean it can’t be casual, or quirky, or unconventional in style. But those who are either practiced writers or who at least take the time to edit a bit tend to be more readable. Also, not being afraid to add your own personality is important. A big part of what attracts people to blogs is their personal nature, as opposed to corporate media, but some people aren’t confortable enough to let themselves show, so they tend to be lest interesting than they could be.”

Conversations about community…


One of the best conversations on the web at the moment about community development is taking place over at MetaTalk at the moment. It’s about how to handle the burgeoning size of Metafilter and it’s particularly interesting to me, because I had a conversation with Matt Haughey about this a while back (and about our two radically different communities – each of which are facing a similar problem). And it looks like we’ve been moving in parallel with some of the ways in which we might attempt to resolve these problems as well…

On finishing “Lord of the Rings”…


On Saturday I finished ‘Lord of the Rings’ for the first time. I started reading it almost exactly ten years ago and got about one sixth of the way through it before deciding to ‘have a bit of a break’. I’m doing better with it than I am with Ulysses though. The race continueth – after ten years Rachel’s still on page 34 while I have roared ahead to a remarkable page 46. I’m reading Emergence now. It’s quite an entertaining read. I’m not convinced that much of it is really about emergence and self-organisation, and a lot of it seems to be balanced on some fairly precarious conjecture, but it’s certainly good to think with.

Stolen images in the paper…


Well of course the big news of the day is that although I’m not actually one of the people in this advert, at least I know a fair share of them [found here! oops!]. According to the advert they’re exactly the kind of people that are needed for the position of ‘sales executive’ for Teddington, they understand field sales and have a positive attitude and motivation. Whereas I was under the impression that they were a group of idle webloggers, many of whom have actual proper jobs, and who submitted their passport snaps to an impromptu online collection – little expecting that an unscrupulous newspaper advert designer might whip them off to white-passport-photo-slavery in [pron]AZZER-BUY-JAHN[/pron].

Let’s examine the advert from the top – I don’t know who they all are, but I can point you in the right direction for most of them. Firstly is the redoubtable Davo who is leaving us shortly for Noozleland, then comes Graybo who we are reliably informed by a huge thick arrow has a vibrant personality and lots of confidence (despite appearing to be grimly sitting through a particularly implausible and depressing European art-house movie), then there is a clown – which can only be Mo Morgan during one of his summer holiday educational breaks which he spends in clown drag helping misanthropic Irish children to avoid becoming misanthropic old bastards who work for the government. Beneath him is the well-known poet, homosexual and long-dead fop Oscar Wilde, then there’s the beautiful Meg Pickard who seems entirely unthrilled about the whole affair over on her site (‘in with anger, out with love’), a substantially younger-than-he-is-today Nick Jordan and finally an out-of-work actor who I imagine probably pays the bills ocasionally by getting stints as ‘third homicidal maniac’ in Crimewatch reconstructions.

It’s probably quite poor quality


It’s probably quite poor quality behaviour to spend your two-minutes’ of silence frantically typing. But it was the only moment in the morning when I felt I had any time at all to get anything done. Does that make me a bad man? It was a very quiet keyboard!

It’s terrifying really – it’s


It’s terrifying really – it’s terrifying that it could take as little as three weeks of sporadic updates to halve the traffic a site gets. Halve! You lightweights. You quitters. I don’t know why I bother writing all this guff for you sometimes. It’s like your heart’s not really in it.

Grotesque Bat Likes Grotesque Twat!


You can view the absence of posts over today as shocked silence after having some mad bloke‘s statement that the Queen Mum liked Ali G hideously confirmed. Grotesque imagery. Oldest of all old beligerent crones liking the least pleasant, least funny and least tasteful privileged North London comedy slummer. This hideous collision is like imagining Hitler making macrame place mats or seeing Bernard Manning doing Atomic Kitten impersonations.

Perl sings “Monkey Gone to Heaven”…


I’d just like to apologise to Russell of for posting his adaptation of ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ on without attributing it to him. I don’t know whether he’d be delighted or horrified to know that it had been circulated around at least two of the mailing lists I regularly contribute to (without its author being mentioned). Anyway – I hope this link makes up for it a bit. Apologies…

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