Duncan Bannatyne’s Twitter Feud – and old media sanctimony

Old media loves to attack and dismiss new media. Like a parent who admonishes their children and acts as if they were never a curious inquiring child themselves – repeating ever the parent sins.

And just as the printing press used to get blamed for the content of paperbacks and newspapers so now the World Wide Web gets blamed for the content of websites and social media platforms.

Scottish business entrepreneur and a panel-member of of the BBC program Dragons’ Den, Duncan Bannatyne, a few days back received a black-mail threat upon his daughter on Twitter. He in effect tweets back a bounty-offer to his followers offering cash for information leading to an arrest – and a bonus for anyone who finds and breaks their arms! – I follow him and only caught the latter part of this twitter-stream and was not sure whether it was serious or some running ruse – it turns out to be for real. One can understand his anger and that his emotions ran ahead of him – taking justice into his own hands and perhaps being in breach of a law or two in the process.

But on the online news sites and forums most of the comments were more keen to condemn Twitter and its users than condemn either the original blackmail threat or Duncan Bannatyne’s response to it. It being okay to make facile and troll like remarks on the Comments sections of News Sites just not within 140 characters on Twitter. Facebook got it in the neck too.

Twitter and Facebook may or may not be banal – that really depends on you and your friends, who you follow and in turn who follows you – the technology is not responsible for the foibles and imbecilities of any of its users. You can be foolish across all technologies, or you can forsake all technology and it won’t make you any more wiser or pleasant. No, that lies within you.

Also notable in such dismissals of social media sites are a number of pious posters incredulous that people use Twitter to communicate when they can use Email! I can but imagine that when Email started becoming wide-spread in the 1990’s these self-same people castigated Email users as idiots or other derogatory terms almost certainly mis-spelled – thundering abusively that why don’t they write a letter instead.

And so it goes – letter writers using keyboards chastised by letter writers using pen and ink – pen and ink scribes reviled by the users of the quill. They in turn ostracised for written communication by those who cannot and will not write because speaking was good enough for them and their parents before them without need for witchy hieroglyphics. So it goes back to the Neanderthal cave and those happy enough to grunt without any need for fancy progressive civilised wordy language.

Because for sure one day Facebook and Twitter will fade away ever more redundant and used only by the old of spirit ever oblivious to new developments – communication now literally a matter of thought with another bunch of Twitter Luddites decrying those that communicate telepathically – from companies with catchphrases like “Just Think of It’! – what’s the need when you can use Twitter they will rage, tweeting away their spleen thereafter.

Dragon’s Den Online

One evolution of television due to the web is not just a website supporting its content or airing of that content again online but the airing of additional content not able to be shown on-air due to scheduling constraints.

Dragon’s Den Online is the web offshoot of the Sony originated and BBC Broadcast Dragon’s Den.

It is a similar format if just two dragons than the usual five. Currently these are charismatic and telegenic Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital and Shaf Rasul of E-Net Computers. And Dominic Byrne in the Evan Davies commentator role.

Another slight difference is that £50,000 is the ceiling for the capital investment.

Being online means that unlike the TV series you are able to choose the pitches you want to watch and I watched pitches by Gill Goodchild for Costume Workshop Direct and Ian Gallagher for Classic Sinatra.  We are also able to rate the pitches ourselves and see how others have rated them. We can also comment on them.

Summaries are available for each of the pitches including the dragon’s thoughts on them.

There is no dating of the particular pitches which I think is an oversight and the site itself does not have a very engaging or interactive feel beyond the online pitches themselves.

For the Online Den to be really invested in it needs to remain current and overseen by an active online production team. Nevertheless it is an interesting insight into new business ideas and the creative and financial planning requirements involved.