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Day: October 21, 2011

Charlotte Berry aka @talktoteens and the case of the pathetic loser of a journalist

Many of you will have read the story of the 42 year-old teacher Charlotte Berry who used twitter. On twitter she would have conversations with people. Y’know like many of us do. In these conversations she was known to (om my god) use swear words and talk about being a slut and blow jobs. Why will somebody not think of the children?

Well somebody did. No wait. Somebody saw a story that would make headlines and give himself a boner. That man was journalist Sam Smith of the local rag. He describes himself as a journalist who has worked in different guises since leaving university three years ago, ‘I am currently employed on the Brentwood Gazette – an award winning weekly publication in Essex – and have previously worked at BBC Sussex and Surrey and have had stints at The Sunday Times and Guardian.’ He is billy big balls but yet none of those top publications or broadcast outlets were actually keen on hiring him. Sop what in effect he’s done is had work experience at these places. Ahh. That’s nice for him.

Anyway I digress. It was this man who spied the story and knew it was a ticket to fame and fortune. Well a ticket to having the story picked up in the nationals anyway and sure enough bang the story was all over the place including the Daily Mail which gave it the well rounded, well thought out, reasonable approach. Oh wait. No it didn’t. It basically made out the teacher to be a monster who doesn’t deserve to be within 100 miles of any children.

Look I have no idea whether Miss (or Mrs) Berry is a good teacher or not. However talking to people on twitter and using foul language is not going to sway my mind on the matter. All posting with foul language or talking about sex were messages sent to others so wouldn’t show up in her public timeline unless you were following both people and/or looked on her actual twitter site and not her twitter feed. At worse it was naive of the teacher but the hounds are out.

I read a fantastic piece by ‘scruffymatt’ entitled How To Ruin Someone’s Life For No Good Reason and it really is a great read. I implore you all to have a read of it. It shows actually that the local rag had been running stories about her for a while – but all positive – about how great a teacher she was and all the things she did outside of the classroom for her students. Sounds like the type of teacher I’d want my (hypothetical) kids to have. Someone who cared.

I couldn’t give two hoots about what a teacher says on twitter or Facebook but sadly there are many who do. They think a teacher should not have sex and think about the kids all day long, every day and are not allowed a normal life.

Having lived with teachers in the past I know how much they worry about these types of things. I recall once going to the supermarket with two of my house mates (one of whom was a teacher) and a group of her kids saw her on the way back and it turned into quite a big deal. These kids asked about who I was (and the other house mate) to her the next time they saw her in school. Teachers actually have a very difficult time separating their work life and their private lives.

However above all what I truly hated about this story was the following screenshot of the author tweeting the teacher asking her if she’d read the story. It is like saying ‘Hey I fucked you up big time and possibly ruined your career on a whim that I had. Aren’t I big and powerful and aren’t you small and insignificant?’

@{samsmith68 on twitter
@{samsmith68 on twitter

No Mr Journalist. It just makes you out to be a (the bad word – the four letter one). Nice way to make a mountain out of a molehill and pillory a teacher for y’know – having a life outside of work. You could make it big in the world of the low-brow press with that attitude. When an editor yells ‘Who can make a story out of nothing?’ the newsroom with all look at you – Sam Smith – for guidance about how you can be the man who’ll write crap as long as it makes good copy and whips up a storm.

I still can’t get over that tweet taunting the teacher. What a c word.

Lastly he’s a Saints fan as well. I suppose it all adds up now.

Note: It has been pointed out to me by a proper journalist and not a layabout bum of a hack like me that the tweet to which saw my rage and oitching keyboard bashing finger was dated 12th October and was in fact in relation to another news story written by the said newspaper to which they were praising Miss Berry (or is it Mrs? – I’m so lazy I haven’t checked). So on this part of the blog post my apologies. I still think the piece was garbage but the gloating allegation fails the Factcheck when people actually look into it and don’t fly off the handle.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

An SEO linkbuilding masterclass – well nearly…

On Wednesday I received the following e-mail. My comments are in italics.

from Joan Richardson
date 19 October 2011 10:55
subject Re: I Can Help Get higher!

Good Morning,


My name is Joan Richardson, and I hope you do not mind me contacting you. I have recently visited your website, , as I was hoping to be able to help you secure more traffic to your website via the Google, Bing and Yahoo natural listings.

I have no issue whatsoever with you contacting me. However you say you recently visited my website for the reason that you were hoping to secure me more traffic? You went to my website just for that one reason. Really?

I work for an established optimisation and Internet Solutions Agency based in the North West of England. We have been involved in optimising websites for over 10 years and are confident we can help you in achieving your goals for the forthcoming year. Furthermore, we are so certain we can deliver first page rankings for your chosen search phrases, that we will also offer your money back against the fee paid for each keyphrase that we fail to push up to the first page rankings.

My goals for the forthcoming year involve moving up the political ladder (maybe – I still really don’t know if I want to do that or not), lose a bit of weight, become a better writer and blogger as well as maybe find some new interests. Can you really help with that? As for first page rankings – I rank on the first page for quite a lot I’ll have you know…

Rather than simply sending you a general e-mail about our services, I thought I would point out a few simple facts about your website that are impacting on your current search engine rankings.


Firstly, I checked the number of back links Bing are reporting as this gives us an accurate reading compared to Google. Bing are currently reporting 148, which you can check for yourself by typing in, into Bing. Backlinks play a significant role within ranking of your website. Without relevant and quality backlinks, even the best of websites will not be found! Just compare some of your high ranking competitor sites to your own to see the difference!

My competitor sites? I think you’ve made a gross error there as I have no competitors. This is a personal blog. I’m not competing with any alter egos here.

Secondly, I checked the number of pages being indexed by Bing. The reported number of pages Indexed is 1180. The more pages indexed, the more information the search engines can return to their users about your website. If the content is unique and plentiful then you have a good chance of getting higher up the ladder! Your current page count suggests it can be improved upon significantly.

I think 1180 pages is rather high for a personal blog don’t you?

My final check was the Google Pagerank score. Currently your home page has a Pagerank of 4. which, when compared to other high ranking competitor websites, is definitely restricting your rankings.

High ranking competitor sites? Not too sure about that as again I don’t have any competitors. Can you tell me who my competitors really are? I’d love to know.

There can be many reasons for these low scores which we can help to identify and then resolve.

PageRank is such an old fashioned way of looking at SEO – and even then a PR of 4 is solid enough. These ‘low scores’ aren’t really low scores in reality for a personal blog now are they?

So, here’s a recap of my findings on

– Your Google Pagerank is 4 – You have 148 back-links – Your website has 1180 pages indexed

My apologies if I am stating the obvious here, but the higher your website is ranking for your most important keyphrases that outline what your business offers, the more traffic will visit your website, therefore securing more revenue.

Dang really? The higher in google the more hits I get? Well I never. It’s not as though I’m earning a living in the SEO industry myself now is it? Oh wait… – Also my business (with regards to this blog) offers nothing except my take on things happening in my world and in a broader sense depending on what is occupying my mind at this current juncture.

This is where we can help. We operate successful optimisation campaigns for many different types of businesses and have secured many top rankings such as: Maternity Clothes, Dubai Properties, Gravel, Health Store, Van Hire, Fire Extinguishers, Coffee Machines, Swimwear, Limo Hire and more.

Good for you.

If you would like to hear more on exactly what we can do for you to take your website to the next level or about our unique money back offer, then please feel free to contact me on 0844 740 4951 and press Option 1 or simply reply to this mail with a convenient time to call you so that I can produce a full and detailed proposal outlining exactly how we can help you dominate your chosen field of business. Alternatively please feel free to visit our service website at

You know what? I think I’ll give it a miss but I will blog about it as it’s awesome. This was clearly a template e-mail (due to the fact I work in this industry I can see them a mile off) and also the erroneous spaces in places where you have copied&pasted results in. A word of advice in future – make every opening paragraph of any e-mail personal – to show that you have actually been on a website and understand what it is about. Otherwise you look like a fool.

PS: I fucking hate the subject line, ‘Re: I Can Help Get higher!’ – I just fucking hate it.

Kind regards,

Joan Richardson

Senior Search Consultant

The SEO Co

0844 7404951

Providing SEO for clients since 1999

Note: This email is not spam, it was manually sent by us, our sole purpose being to introduce ourselves to you with no obligation on your part. Your email address was found to be publicly available and it has not been added to any list. We consider this to be a polite way to contact you and apologize sincerely if you have been inconvenienced in any way. We are obliged to offer you an ‘OPT-OUT’ from future mailings from us; should you wish to exercise this right, please reply with “OPT-OUT” in the subject field.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.