Dumbeldore the Greek

I think I went on holiday fairly recently, didn’t I? One of the many unwritten posts in my head arising from about that involves Harry Potter. Regular readers of Petrona may remember an optimistic posting about Cathy’s and my hopes that Dumbledore is not, in fact, dead. These hopes were fairly soon afterwards snuffed out by J K Rowling herself, via a post on her website.

Well, I have to report that Cathy and I are both now convinced. (Cathy has already posted about it on Oasis.) Professor D is definitely no more. It’s all in the book (6, that is).

Because we had many hours of driving to look forward to on our trip to France, I had prepared by obtaining the CD of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (aka HP6). As predicted, Stephen Fry’s wonderful reading of the book had all four of us utterly absorbed for every moment it was on (and it is a long book, there are a lot of moments). Even though, of course, we had all read the written version previously.

The rest of this post follows on the continuation sheet, partly for length reasons and partly because although it gives away as little as possible, it does reveal some bits of the plot of this and previous HP books.

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Among the new influencers

I seem to be one of the "new influencers". I received an email the other day from a Mr Paul Gillin Communications to thank me for taking part in a bloggers’ survey in June, and to offer me a look at the results, which you can see at this link. Of course I have forgotten ever taking part in the survey, but I suppose I must have done. At least one of the respondents is as old as me (150), so it is certainly possible.

What is not possible, of course, is to say much if anything from the results; 159 completed responses from bloggers were received (that’s low in survey terms) but I don’t know how many invitations were sent out or the response rate.  Nevertheless, a few snippets: 99 per cent of respondents allowed comments on their blogs; 94 per cent always or nearly always respond to comments and none never respond;  60 per cent have met or telephoned someone they encountered by blogging; and 27 per cent read more than 100 blogs a week.

Paul Gillin himself (sans "Communications") has his own blog to promote his book The New Influencers, preliminary chapters are available there — but I’m not reading them online. The book, which will be published in Spring 2007, has chapters on social media and other ways in which the Internet is evolving, as well as what Gillin calls "influencer profiles" of people such as Steve Rubel and Robert Scoble.

Despite its strong marketing orientation, I found Paul Gillin’s blog quite sweet, and am even mildly considering buying the book when it is published. At the top of the blog, Gillin says: "Thanks for looking at these draft chapters of The New Influencers, to be published by Quill Driver Books in the spring of 2007. New chapters will be posted as they come together. Please comment on content, style, direction and anything else you wish. Except typos. There are many, some introduced by my own fingers, other attributable to a semi-functional voice recognition system. Those will be fixed. Be brutal. I have until mid-September to pull everything together and I’d rather learn the error of my ways now :-). Use the comments section or send your comments to me" ]email address provided].

I like the typo "except typos" for "expect typos". And I especially like the part about the typos due to the voice-activation system.