Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is John Cleese the latest blogging sensation?

John Cleese

The Atlantic, on the occasion of the departure of the British Ambassador from Washington, held a forum and reception hosted by David Bradley, Chairman, Atlantic Media Company and moderator, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons.

British Ambassador to the United States
Prior to a more serious discussion on the role of Ambassadors, Steve enjoyed ribbing Amb. Sheinwald on his blogging skills. 
“I wanna share the fact that many of you know that I got into a lot of this by blogging;  blogging was a way for those of us who had ideas in thinking and didn’t want editors to make decisions yay or nay ........ whether the New York Time’s op ed page or The Washington Post’s op ed page.  I looked at you as cartels, so blogging became a cartel breaking exercise,” said Clemons on the art of blogging.

 "There was a hilarious email questionnaire I got from the British Embassy on one occasion," he continued. "It was a questionnaire sent to bloggers in the field and this is true."

"It said: Dear sir or Madam.  We are in the a process of setting up a British Embassy blog.  We plan to provide thoughtful analysis of foreign affairs from a British prospective in a concise and plain spoken manner.  I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind responding to the following questions to make this venture more worthwhile." 

"Now, how a many of you know John Cleese?"  Steve asked the audience.  "It's at this point that the voice of John Cleese begins."  Think heavy British accent.  Think A Fish Called Wanda.

The questionnaire went like this:

" Are you a blogger?

Do you read blogs? 

If so, which ones?

Do you ever comment on a blog?

Do you prefer a group blog on a main subject or an individual blog on one subject?

Are you interested in reading a British embassy blog?

If so, what topics would you like to see covered?  Would you participate by posting comments and thank you so much for your help?

I think they tried very hard to get John Cleese do the opening but it didn’t quite work."

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