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Web Monitor

17:20 UK time, Thursday, 20 August 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

Find out what the online poll disrupters are up to now and ask yourself: will there be no such thing as a free newspaper? Share your favourite bits of the web by sending the links via the letters box on the right of this page.

London Paper distributor
• Web Monitor will be intrigued to see the headlines on the giveaway newspapers this afternoon as the free debate takes another twist. WM has been tracking the mental volleyball between future predictions pundits about whether we may be entering an economy in which time and recommendations are traded instead of notes and coins. But it seems the industries that are already offering free stuff are becoming reluctant to give their goods for nothing. The latest in the list is the London Paper. It's a newspaper given out on street corners and outside train stations free-of-charge to commuters on their way home. It's widely reported (in the Guardian's Media section and the BBC, among others) that the paper is folding. So soon, there will be no such thing as a free London Paper.

Its part of Rupert Murdoch's press family, which is going to start charging a subscription for news websites such as and
Watch this space to see what the pop-thinkers will have to say on what this means for the free future.

Daily Mail poll• Web Monitor has detected some internet poll disruption going on this morning.

James Graham tweeted:

"It's taken all morning but this transgender Daily Mail poll is now 56% 'yes'"

The question in said poll is "Should the public fund a trans-gender police support group?" It is sitting on Richard Littlejohn's Mail article on "real cops neutered by transgender lobby".

Web Monitor remembers the furore over Time Magazine's online poll on the world's most influential person, won by an unheard-of online entrepreneur, Christopher Poole, also known as moot. Accusations across the web of Poole or his fans manipulating the online poll were rife.

• Here's one general knowledge question for the pub quiz for free:
What have the "first lady of football" Karren Brady and the "king of TV adaptations" Andrew Davies got in common? The answer: both Brady and Davies selected Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart as one of their tracks on Desert Island Discs. If you've ever wondered what the song is about, you may enjoy the blog Koufoukouron where Jeannie has carefully written an accurate flow chart of the song. If you liked that, you may like the Venn diagram of the song that featured in the Daily Mail in 2008.

Total Eclipse of the Heart YouTube literal videoIf you wondered what the video was about, that's a whole different issue. But help is still at hand from dascottjr who posted on YouTube the literal video of the song. A pop video that actually represents its song is rare. But some pop guerrillas rectify this by changing the lyrics to explain what's happening in the video. So for Total Eclipse of the Heart, you get sublime lyrics such as:

"Locker room.
Staring at the swim team gets you killed by a gang
Of dancing ninja men who know how to twirl
Spin around. Ninjas! Then a bunch of preppies make a toast"

There are plenty more literal videos out there. Web Monitor suggests Dustfilms as a first stop on your discovery of the genre. Send your favourites from around the web via the letters form on the right of this page.

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