Saturday, 20 April 2013

100,000 page views!

BFTF is hugely chuffed to find that the hit counter on the Building For The Future Blog has hit 100,000 page views!


And Thank You!

Thought it might be nice to celebrate this event with something a little upbeat and heartwarming- and what could be more heartwarming than a few YouTube clips of the very, very best of British Comedy.

So get your laughing tackle around these five gems, all of which reveal BFTF to be very much a child of the 1980s....

First up is this politically incorrect but comically perfect scene from Fawlty Towers, where Basil is having trouble dealing with some Germans...

Followed by this genius, and perfectly executed, piece of slapstick from Only Fools and Horses...

Fawlty Towers gets a second entry in this top five comedy moments with this example of Basil losing it completely when his car fails plays up. BFTF has used these very lines on more than one occasion...

And this set-piece sketch from Monty Python is also something that BFTF can very easily lapse into copying...

Lastly, this rather bittersweet sketch from Spitting Image really takes BFTF back to his schooldays, as this show was THE essential viewing of the week. The characters were so brilliantly played, and the wit so rapier-like, that BFTF is not sure we will ever see its like again.

This is perhaps a good time to take stock and review whether the BFTF blog has achieved any of the aims that were present when BFTF set out on this endeavour. To this end, let us look at the different aims one by one...

i) Provide background when making a point.
If, say, someone were to suggest that the BBC news service was fair and unbiased, and BFTF had a view on this, it would be useful to have some evidence to back up that view.
VERDICT : The Blog has provided an easily linkable home to evidence and background information that can be used when arguing a case

ii) Cover topics that Muslim leaders say Muslims should care about, but in practice actually ignore.
There are a number of issues (e.g. care for the environment, worker rights, engagement with seats of learning, support for the local poor and needy) where Muslim leaders often say (rightly) that Islam has a strong role to play, but in practice those same leaders do not do anything, at all, to work in these areas or to give their congregations specific examples of what constitutes good practice. BFTF wanted to show that a Muslim can care about these issues and to highlight those few organisations that DO care about these issues.
VERDICT : The Blog has provided many examples of good practical action in these areas, but it is not clear what impact, if any, these posts have had.

iii) Give Praise and well as Criticism
BFTF is conscious that it must be dispiriting for people who deal with feedback from the public to get so many negative comments, and believes that crediting good practice is a great way of encouraging more of the same. So BFTF would like, ideally, to be praising organisations as often as BFTF is challenging them.
VERDICT : While there have certainly been a number of examples of giving praise where it is due, the ratio of Praise to Criticism is far from being 1:1, so more work required here.

iv) Be a lever to challenge organisations
If an ordinary person emails an organisation with a question (especially if that question is fair and does not involve any expense in answering) and does not get a reply, there is not a lot that the person can do. All the levers are in the hand of the organisation. If they want to ignore you, they will. But a blog does at least give the person some kind of public forum to say "look, this organisation ignores questions on [issue], even when you email them several times" and also provides an easy way of summarising the "story so far" when taking the challenge to the next level.
VERDICT: The blog certainly provides a public forum to challenge organisations that ignore people, but BFTF is not sure of the effectiveness of this.

v) Encourage DOING rather than WHINGING
It is easy to provide page after page of links to stories about what it wrong with the world - but that does not, of itself do anything to change the situation. To make change, one has to engage with those who have the power to make the change. BFTF has been shocked by the lack of engagement by Muslim organisation to challenge local or national governement on issues that are outside of their narrow self-interest. Elsehere, Muslim groups campaigning against the actions of a particular county's government will spare no expence and no effort in organising awareness and fundraising events - but will refuse point blank to send any kind of communicaiton to the embassy of the country in question, saying that it would be "pointless" to do so. BFTF's response to this is to say that the Suffragettes, the Blacks of Apartheid South Africa and the citizens of Mubaraks Egypt did not have this attitude, or their situations would never have changed.
VERDICT : The blog has managed, largely, to restrict itself to issues where it can make a difference, even if that difference is only sending an email (and chasing up a response)

Lastly, but most importantly
The views above are those of BFTF, the least important person involved here - the real question is what YOU, the readers think - it would be great if you could leave a commment saying what you think of the blog so far, and what could be improved going forward.

Thanks again for taking the readership to 100,000 views!

Monthly pageviews since the start of the blog (with linear Y-axis):

Monthly pageviews since the start of the blog (with log Y-axis), note how data at start can now be resolved:

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