New Conservative Party leader follows in Colin Craig’s footsteps

We all know how Colin Craig ‘came a cropper: ?A poem and some silly photographs. ? Last night, the new leader of the Conservative Party published some information on the Internet and invited questions. ? The first eyebrow-raising?thing was the photo:

Clearly going for the Village People vote there. ? Took the time to write?clearly also.

But the truly stunning, double face-palm moment came when he was asked if he did poetry. ? Read more »

Face of the day


Alex Craig

Potato Parcel has got to be the most ridiculous business idea since the Pet Rock.

It?s so silly that when today’s face of the day entrepreneur Alex Craig told his girlfriend about the idea, she laughed right in his face.

But Craig went right ahead with his plan, and now he?s the one laughing all the way to the bank.

The business model is rather simple ? anonymous messages sent via potatoes. Users go online to order a potato, add a custom message and send it to whomever they like, anonymously. 24-year-old Craig said that he came up with the idea for the service while having dinner with his girlfriend earlier this year. ?She said, ?You will not sell a single potato. This is the stupidest idea I?ve ever heard.??

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They let anyone on the Internet these days


Some people are truly in a world of their own:

I am the user most of you know as?/u/GodDefendNZ

I came onto reddit on Christmas Day to bring?/r/newzealand?the blessings of our Lord and one true Saviour, Jesus Christ. I was shocked and saddened when I could not log onto my account. My password is saved, so I knew that it was not a typing error.

My account has been Stolen by a Thief, to whom I say from the Book of Matthew?Theft is one of many acts that come from the heart and defile a man?and from Corinthians?Thieves will not enter the kingdom of God!!!!!! ? Read more »


Why ending anonymity online won’t make blogs a better place


Pete and Travis have performed wonders in cleaning up the discourse here at Whale Oil Beef Hooked. At first we discussed the light use of the ban hammer to rid ourselves of genuine trolls, or people who failed to take the clear warnings. Now I pretty much leave them to it.

I do prefer a light hand and I think they get the balance right.

Some journalists, notably Fran O’Sullivan and other commentators here and world wide think that the answer to increasing civility is removing anonymity of commenters. I disagree…especially when we are discussing sensitive subjects, like mental health issues or cannabis then having anonymity allows people to share personal experiences they otherwise might not have shared if not anonymous.

The Guardian has an article about the move of the Huffington Post to remove anonymity for commenters and they note that it won;t work as they believe it will.

Using real names is often cited as the?magic pill?to prevent this type of unpleasantness. Putting aside the important point that implementing such a system is technically complex and virtually unworkable, anyone who has watched two friends mud-slinging below a Facebook status update knows real identities don’t bring instant politeness.? Read more »

Gareth Hughes Reddit AMA in review

It appears Gareth expected some sort of negative Whaleoil effect, but instead he was actually asked some decent questions. ?I guess we all fear what we don’t know.

The whole AMA is here, but I’m sure he’ll forgive me if I cherry pick some of the more interesting bits from it.

I’ll start the the most popular question, as voted by the people, and Gareth’s answer to that most popular question:

Can you?tax Sanitarium?for us? We lose out on tens of millions in tax revenue because of that loophole. thanks in advance.

I’ll look into it. Cheers

That fell a bit flat, didn’t it?

Is there any truth to the rumor that you orchestrated the Rena grounding, in order to highlight the dangers of oil spills to New Zealand and in turn get the public to rally behind the Greens cause?

LOL, I can confirm it’s all a massive Whale Oil inspired conspiracy.

Speaking of conspiracy theories…

Where do you stand on NZ being a secularist government? (don’t take this the wrong way) how has your degree in religious studies helped your career?

I actually mostly focused on flying saucer cults in my studies because it was interesting and a totally modern manifestation of religion and I’m an atheist. I think it’s helped in the sense of learning about the world and people.

I support a secular Government and for example find Parliament’s Anglican prayer offensive.

I think I can safely leave it at that. ?If you’re interested in the rest, it’s all here for your personal edification.

One last thought: ?how can an atheist be offended by a prayer?

Gareth Hughes, MP, will do a Reddit AMA at 7:30pm today

via ODT

via ODT

Gareth Hughes must think he’s somebody. ?Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) are crowd interviews normally reserved for top statesmen and women, top people from business, or those that constantly dominate the news in some way.

People like Barack Obama, Bill Gates and even Helen Clark have turned themselves over to the Reddit crowds for a no holds barred, unedited, meet the people AMA exchange.

So it’s only natural that Gary thought “Obama? ?Clark? ?This is for me!”

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What is in the NZ mystery safe?

Walter Hickey at Business Insider reports:

frghdA mysterious vault found in the basement of a New Zealand home has Reddit users salivating over what could possibly be inside.

On Friday Reddit user dont_stop_me_smee?posted an album?on the Pics subreddit, explaining that a friend of his moved into a former drug house and found a huge safe and that they wanted to get it opened.

Surrounding the massive vault are ten inches of solid reinforced concrete on all sides, and curiosity about the contents have reached a fever pitch on the massive news and entertainment site.

Immediately, several Reddit users with advanced knowledge of safes chimed in with tips and suggestions.?Redditor Tof1911 quickly identified?the vault as a Sargent and Greenleaf dial 6630 and recommended opening it with either a stethoscope or a bore-a-scope.

Soon, the original poster announced that he?had set up a special subreddit?to discuss the safe and provide updates,?/r/WhatsInThisThing, which rocketed to over 60,000 subscribers in two days.

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Helen Clark does her Reddit AMA


As mentioned a few days ago, Helen Clark was scheduled for a Reddit AMA at 5 am today. ?It’s all done and dusted, and can be found here.

Every AMA has an introduction explaining what the AMA is roughly about, and some proof that it really is the person you’re talking to:

Dear Redditors,

In two days I will attend the conference “Making the MDGs Work: From Advocacy through Implementation to Acceleration and beyond” in Bogot?, Colombia (event page:? There, I will speak on the development agenda post-2015 and on what comes after the Millennium Development Goals which will expire in two years.

I’m looking forward to your questions on this topic and on anything else you may want to know! I will begin answering them at 11AM EST for approximately an hour.

EDIT 12:13PM?Thanks everyone – must fly. Tonnes of questions! Very stimulating. Let’s do it again some time. Thanks for your interest in development (and New Zealand!). Spread the word about the MDGs and the importance of speeding up progress over the next 1,000 days! Follow our big MDG conference in Bogota – on Twitter #MDGs2013 and?! Over and out!

Proof it’s me:?

“Making the MDGs Work: From Advocacy through Implementation to Acceleration and beyond”.


A few of the more popular questions/answers (as voted by the readers) are: ? Read more »


Helen Clark to do a Reddit “AMA” early Tuesday

via: Reddit

via: Reddit

A celebrity “AMA” is an Ask Me Anything session run on the Reddit Web site. ?The idea is that people of note, celebrities if you will, come along and the people can ask that person any question directly. ?There is no filtering, there is no PR person doing the answering on behalf of him/her, and so on.

It started out when people on Reddit (Redditors) would ask each other anything, and this still happens every day: “IAMA a prison guard in a maximum security prison, AMA”. ?(IAMA = I am a). ?Or “IAMA 15 year old male with Aspergers Syndrome AMA”. And so on.

After some time, the odd celebrity would pop in, and this proved a lot of fun. ?These days, it’s part of the PR circuit to publicise a book, movie, or cause du jour. ?Having lost its purity, the AMA is still attractive because many times the ‘celeb’ really does sit there and answer the questions of ?anyone.

The attraction of a crowd having direct access to the person being interviewed is what continues to make the Reddit AMA a very popular event to participate in. ?Recent high profile AMAs included Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

Which brings us to Helen Clark. ? Read more »

WhaleTech: Bill Gates does an AMA


What is an AMA, you may ask?

Social networking site Reddit has a ‘thing’ where those aloft and aloof drop by and get interviewed by people like you an me. ?AMA stands for, Ask Me Anything. ?And the public genuinely get access to the actual person, and are able to pose questions.

This used to be a relatively pure experience, but over the last year or so, PR people and publicists add a “Do an AMA” to the list of to-do’s to promote a new movie, book, or whatever.

Some people don’t understand the concept behind the AMA and fail badly, but most are are aware before they arrive that the last A in AMA does really mean Anything, so they tend to make it an equal exchange, much to the delight of those posing the questions.

And so, Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, has been on his?philanthropic?kick for a number of years now, and together with his wife Melinda, they run the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. ?This foundation is doing a lot of good all round the world.

Isn’t it nice to know that all that yelling you’ve done at your PC over the years is paying off in vaccines and better education? ?Well, at least it is something.

Over the break, some of the most popular questions, and Bill’s answers.

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