Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making an Arse of Myself in Wellington (Stephen Fry)

A few days ago the multi-faceted Stephen Fry caused a storm on the Twitter-verse and beyond by criticising New Zealand's poor broadband, which living in New Zealand I, naturally, commented on. Fry is in NZ filming for The Hobbit movie and obviously has some time on his hands since he has just posted a very long blog post commenting on the fracas and defending his use of Twitter. In it he starts from an incident he tweeted about involving Qantas in Dubai and proceeds to discuss, why, how, when, where and what he will tweet and under what circumstances he'll retweet. We should all remember that he has almost 4 million followers, so his twitter stream must look like Niagra Falls. Remember this is one man tweeting not a corporate communications department's social media team.
    Fry concludes the piece by saying some very nice things about New Zealand:

"NZ rocks…

My 23 year old godson sent me this, just today, direct quote. Unaltered by one syllable.

'I imagine you might be in New Zealand right now, is that right? Hobbiting? I hope that that’s all going well and that it’s nice being out there. From the three weeks I spent in New Zealand on my gap year I do remember thinking that I had never, and would never be again, be in a more stunning place in my life. So I hope that’s the case for you too.'

Those are the words of a privileged, intelligent, talented, charming and well-travelled Englishman. There is so much to love here, so much for Kiwis to be proud of.

This is the country that produced Ernest Rutherford, the man who split the atom and Edmund Hillary the man who first stood on the peak of Mount Everest. This is the first democracy to give women the vote.  Despite the sheep jokes this is as sophisticated, progressive and forward looking a nation-state as exists in the world, its population of a mere four million or so punching hugely above their weight in almost every field of endeavour."

    Nice words, which I'm sure he means, NZ is a very easy place to love, which is why I'm here. He still thinks our broadband sucks though and contrasts NZs Internet plans to Sweden's digital roadmap that aims for Sweden to lead this revolution, not be following the pack.


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