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Sludge Report #95 – Thankyou

In This Edition: The Thankyou Speech That Wasn’t

NOTE: Authors of this report will be anonymous and wide ranging, and occasionally finely balanced. Indeed you are invited to contribute: The format is as a reporters notebook. It will be published as and when material is available. C.D. Sludge can be contacted at The Sludge Report is available as a free email service..Click HERE - to subscribe...

Sludge Report #95

The Thankyou Speech That Wasn’t

The following is a draft speech C.D.Sludge wrote for Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson for him to consider using for the Computerworld Excellence Awards, should Scoop win. As you should by now be aware, Scoop didn’t. Nevertheless most, if not quite all its content, remains equally valid.


Ladies and gentlemen, IT company executives, Politicians…

Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! And thank God too! It’s been a long hard road, but here we are. Being honoured by your peers is the greatest honour of all.

To be honest, as this evening of awards has progressed, we have all been wondering a little about why we are here. Most of the previous finalists, not to mention the winners, have – to put it mildly – got rather more impressive credentials from a commerciality perspective than Scoop. So I guess it must be because the judges like Scoop. Proof positive that these judges are people with the highest possible standards of taste and discernment.

I planned to begin this speech with a thankyou to Scoop’s sponsors, only we haven’t got any at the moment. Any offers will be greatly appreciated after we have finished, just find your way to table 30, at the back. Over there. (point to table 30.)

Instead let me begin by thanking the ISP of the Year Paradise Net for being our host. Without Paradise there would be no Scoop. So thankyou Paradise, and your owners TelstraSaturn. While I am at it I should like to thank our former sponsors and advertisers, most significant among them have been, Lion Breweries and Clear Communications. Thankyou.

Secondly let me thank the Scoop Team. I appreciate this is supposed to only take a minute - but please bare with me – lots of people have contributed their time to make Scoop what it is, and most of them have not been paid.

Scoop’s back end was built by our technical director and resident computer genius Andrew McNaughton. A stickler for efficient programming it is testament to Andrews’ computing prowess that Scoop is delivered on a four year old 233 MHz Pentium II clone server, called Aurora. Presently Aurora serves around 600,000 pages a month and her processor capacity isn’t even close to being strained. For a period last year Aurora ran for 270 days non-stop, and then only had to be re-booted for a hardware upgrade. I doubt there would be anyone here with a Microsoft based installation who can boast similar performance? So Thankyou Andrew, and thankyou Aurora, you have served Scoop well.

Andrew has asked me to acknowledge the assistance of the open source programming community. In particular the people behind the FreeBSD Linux operating system, Apache and the Mod Perl Project. Thankyou.

Second on the list of people deserving Scoops heartfelt thanks is my partner Wendy McLellan.

Scoop was set up on a shoe-string in difficult circumstances. It has survived ever since on a very much hand-to-mouth basis. Without Wendy’s commitment and support I am sure I would have long-ago given the project away. Thankyou Wendy.

Thirdly I would like to thank my parents Margaret and Stephen Thompson, who unfortunately were not able to attend tonight. It was they who provided the seed capital to launch Scoop in June 1999, and it is they who provide the occasional ongoing support necessary to ensure the phones are not cut off. My father Stephen Thompson has recently taken over the role of Scoop’s accountant, and his invaluable assistance is hugely appreciated. Thankyou Margaret and Stephen.

Guy MacGibbon and I are the editorial team that presently produce Scoop on a full time basis. Guy’s good humour, hard work and literary mastery are an inspiration, and largely responsible for the look and feel that Scoop readers surf through and enjoy on a daily basis. So thankyou Guy.

Selwyn Manning, Scoop’s eyes and ears in Auckland, is another vital cog in the Scoop machinery. Selwyn and photographer Jason Dorday, who are both here tonight, provided exemplary coverage of the APEC meeting in Auckland in September 1999 shortly after Scoop was launched. The success of this coverage gave Scoop the foundation of credibility, and the ideal boost in traffic, that kick started our collective enterprise. After a spell in the Beehive last year Selwyn has now returned to the Scoop fold. Thankyou Selwyn, and welcome back.

Web graphic designer Janet Gudman is the deft touch behind much of Scoop’s onscreen branding and advertising. Thankyou Janet.

I now come to those who cannot, for some reason, be here tonight.

John and Maree Howard, the writers of the popular Howard’s End column, and presently at home, no doubt warming themselves in front of a fire on the outskirts of Hokitika, are without a doubt Scoop’s most faithful and inspirational supporters. Not only have they encouraged and inspired, but they write, and write and write….Thankyou John and Maree.

Michael Tucker and Mark Cubey formerly of Loop Magazine, and now moving on to better and greater things, have been key supporters and advisers over the past two years. Thankyou.

Long time readers of Scoop will recall that last year Scoop had a major facelift. Apart from those people already mentioned, the key contributors to that project were project coordinator Miles Thompson, who is now in New York, and designer Douglas Bagnall. Thanks.

And then there are the columnists, photographers and reporters who make Scoop the lively place it is. Keith Rankin, Russell Brown, Rosalea Barker, David Miller, David Crampton, Lindsay Perigo, Anne Else, Julie Symons, Greg Meylan, Kevin Loughlin, Mathew Loh, Mark Graham, Pete Nickolaison, Sister Sadista and of course C.D. Sludge. Thankyou.

My penultimate round of thanks is due to the legions of New Zealand professional public relations writers, and their lobby group counterparts who provide the great bulk of Scoop’s raw news content. It was you that Scoop was built for, and it is you that have made it the dynamic news solution tool that it has become. This award that we receive today is as much due to your contributions as it is to our efforts. Thankyou.

Finally thanks are due to Scoop’s readers and subscribers .

Many of you have sent us supportive emails that have raised our spirits during low moments. Thankyou. Others have provided occasional helpful, and very occasionally, not so helpful, criticism. Thankyou for keeping us on our toes.

Ultimately it has been because you the readers have kept coming back for more and more of the Scoop formula that has driven us to keep going. Thankyou.

Anti©opyright Sludge 2001

© Scoop Media

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