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Diary of an Unimportant Officer


MelPack
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On the Today programme this morning, the grandson of this WW1 officer was interviewed about the war memoirs of the man. The extracts that were read indicated that the material had a pungent character.

The interviewee was allowed to publicise access to the diary via the internet and certainly conveyed the impression that it was freely available.

Imagine the disappointment to find that you can read a few extracts and then for the privelege of a download, a small charge of £9.95 is required.

http://www.grandfathersgreatwar.com/

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Paul

It was the tenor of the interview that annoyed me. I have no objections to an author being interviewed in circumstances where it is explicit that a sales pitch for their publication is part of the quid pro quo for the interview.

This particular 'colour piece' was conveyed as a 'human interest' story. Any indication that it was a commercial venture was completely omitted.

I will post the link for the interview when it becomes available and you can make your own judgment.

Regards

Mel

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This charging people the price of a book for a download, and saving yourself publishing costs sounds like a good lark. I can see it catching on.

Edwin

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eBooks like this have been around for some time and large numbers of books are available in this kind of format.. When I was away from home a bit more than I an now, I used to download them onto my PDA and read them there.

Tom

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Edwin

A very good lark when the only costs are retyping the material into a word document and a two page website.

There isn't even the agony and ecstasy of researching, drafting etc.

It smacks of an egregious luvvy with media connections being a beneficiary of serendipity akin to the 'Which is nice' sketches of the Far Show.

Regards

Mel

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Edwin

It smacks of an egregious luvvy with media connections being a beneficiary of serendipity akin to the 'Which is nice' sketches of the Far Show.

Regards

Mel

Pardon?

Doug

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I take your point, but I think you are being a little unkind. I suspect it isn't a Word document; it looks like a professionally produced pdf to me. Personally I would happily pay a tenner for a resource like this.

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Can he copyright this material?

If not, do a download and print lots of copies and flog them at the cost of paper and ink.

Mind you, the title puts me off: I am only interested in important officers!

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Here is the link for the interview:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

just click on 08.36

.... and here is the alternative interview:

'I recently stayed with mater and pater in the country during one of my 'resting' periods. One day, when we were having our de rigeur pre-dinner sherry, pater mentioned grandpapa's war diary that had been gathering dust on the bookshelf.

Idle curiosity eventually persuaded me to thumb through the tome. Much to my surpise I found it of some interest and thought it could also be of interest to anoraks immersed in this sort of thing ........ and then the inspiartion hit me! I had not felt so elated since the panto season of '93 when I had a triple encore along with the rest of the caste at the Grimsby Palais [even though I was the back-end of the horse].

The jolly wheeze was simple - bang the old boy's diary on the internet, generate some free publicity and then watch the lucre roll in! I immediately contacted Lucinda at the Telegraph and Tammasin at the Beeb and lo and behold!

I now have enough of the readies to hold me over in comfort until the next panto season - and all this because of chit chat over sherry. Which is nice.'

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I must admit the interview (I heard it this morning) did sound like a free download. They even got the presenter to repeat the web address at the end of the programme. No objection to some one publishing this sort of material (paper or web or whatever) and charging for it - good luck to them but I do object to them conning the BBC and press (The DT carried an almost identical story) into providing a free plug. Thats misrepresentation.

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'Melpack' I must say I found your comments and the spoof interview to be quite unnecessary. The person you attack is not here to defend themselves, and the general tone of what you write is well below what should be expected on this forum. I am beginning to think this thread is something out of Skindles. :wacko:

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'PaulReed' thank you for your observations.

You may find that the pulpit is a more appropriate venue for sermonising.

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If you cannot keep this discussion within the normal bounds of good manners required on this Forum, it will be deleted.

Also, remember the laws of libel.

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Having listened to the interview, and bearing in mind that the BBC should not be used to promote commercial activity, I think that the beeb have been had.

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The forum is at it again. Why are some members attacking the author in this way? Surely we should all be grateful that another soldiers experiences have been made available, whatever the media. There really is no need and in my opinion no place for such a personal criticism of the author on this forum so can we please stick to a discussion of the work and stop having a go at the author.

Norman

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I agree that criticism of the author seems misplaced - if you want to pay to download the information and read a 'new' resource then do it. If not, ignore it. It's no different to authors with new books out who give interviews to the press. Magazines such as BBC history also write about new books out, which I find useful if there is one that looks worth buying. In no way do people suggest that the magazine is being 'had' by highlighting new work out.

I think this thread should instead be highlighting a fascinating new account by someone who was actually there.....

Mark

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Norman

The author was Captain Stewart. There has been no comment upon him nor his work.

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Personally I prefer a book or a CD or a vinyl record something in other words one can hold and own. Also these downloads books or music have no resale value and arte easily lost if your PC dies and you have been amiss in not backing up everything . As for the content of this download Ive no idea but I also was under the impression that the BBC charter forbade it to advertise.

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:rolleyes:

eBooks like this have been around for some time and large numbers of books are available in this kind of format.. When I was away from home a bit more than I an now, I used to download them onto my PDA and read them there.

Tom

Yes, but I would expect to get the download at a bit of a discount. A certain Tom Morgan sells quite substantial and well-produced books for the price these guys are asking. Personally I find it very difficult reading any lengthy work off a screen so I'd be printing the thing out.

Edwin

ps do I get a discount on my last order for the above 'puff'? :rolleyes:

E

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Blimey, the smoke coming out of some people's ears! Welcome to the world of modern publishing. If you don't want to pay to download it, then don't. Is £9.95 really all that much? I can't see what the problem is. It's not something that I would buy, either online or in book form, but if it was a subject I wanted to read about I would definitely pay to download. Given the time and effort involved in persuading publishers to take on books, I'm surprised more people aren't resorting to the Web.

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Dolwash - and others

No one is criticising the author, no one is objecting to a commercial undertaking publishing the work at a price they think that the market can bear. Any angst is over the way it has been publicised which has mislead some people and appears to be making use of a non commercial publc service company.

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Centurion

Thank you for the clarity of your summary.

regards

Mel

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