Talk back intelligence

Post date: Mar 22, 2016 10:2:47 AM

I have never been a fan of talkback - I think you get the lowest common denominator in this format - and public polling looks to be close cousin.

Which is of course why I am worried about the flag referendum - we should get results next week.

News item tonight that totally taps into all my prejudices about using the public who contribute to the likes of talkback to be involved in serious stuff. The British Natural Environment Research Council has built a new scientific research vessel to study in polar regions. They want public support (and probably funds) so set up a website to have a naming competition - there was little interest until someone put up a suggested name that captured the imagination of a nation - and 30,000 votes. Yes you really do want a research vessel called Boaty McBoatface. This is not the first time that a public poll has brought up a name that sucks - Greenpeace a few years ago ran a naming competition for a humpback whale that was to be tracked as part of the save the whale campaign. Mr Splashypants it is.