Robert Pattinson = no effect! Not here anyway.

Twilight - Edward
Image by songbirdsings via Flickr

A little while ago, I wrote a post about how our school library blog has seen an influx of traffic directly related to a post written about Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame. My theory at the time was that the title of the post must have drawn traffic and I was wondering how writing a post with his name in the title would effect my blog stats.

The day of posting saw a rise in stats, but that was because the post was picked up by stumbleupon. After that, no significant rise in stats could be directly related to that post. In the meantime, the Robert Pattinson effect has continued to generate consistantly high numbers to 2rak info 4 u.  I’m assuming that somehow the Library post has been picked up by search engines and consistant traffic is finding its way there.

Meanwhile, I wrote another post recently about Zac Efron and Leonard Whiting and the uncanny resemblance between the two. The numbers aren’t huge, but it’s interesting seeing in the stats the search terms people are using that lead them to this blog. It seems that there are a fair few people out there who have made the same connection. 

All very interesting really. Blogging is its own science, and I really don’t want to get to a stage whereby I’m dependent on the latest and greatest next big thing to generate traffic. It takes away somewhat from the intentions of this space really. I’d prefer that it gets read because people find the content interesting and useful. In saying that, I don’t relish the thought of the numbers drying up! Too much effort really to have that happen.

While I’m here, can I share with you a totally unrelated but nonetheless interesting thing that happened today. I love Prada perfume. It’s hugely expensive, but memorable. Nearly every time I wear it someone makes a comment about how nice it is. 

A staff member came into the library late last year and said ‘Patchouli oil!’ He could smell it and said it took him back to when he was 17 when all of the girls wore it. I told him I was wearing Prada perfume. He sniffed my wrist and said ‘That’s it- Patchouli oil!”.

Recently I was in my local bakery when the lady behind the counter said, “I can smell Patchouli oil.” I exclaimed, “That’s me- it’s Prada perfume.” 

I recounted this story to the staff member who’d made the connection in the first place today. He was wondering if the basis of Prada perfume was Patchouli oil. Of course, it got me searching. Within a minute we’d located sites that revealed that the basis of Prada perfume was, you guessed it, Patchouli oil.  His theory was that Prada was using the oil because women of my age and older( ! ) would be wanting to relive their youth. Interestingly, here’s the spin from Prada in their sales pitch in an ad;

Prada Perfume For Women is inspired by the past, that embodies the future. Prada Perfume For Women is a fragrance that intertwines memory, reality, and possibility. 

Pretty spot on with my colleague’s theory really.


What’s really interesting is just how fast you can access information now. A conversation leads to a search, that reveals within minutes the data we were speculating about. Think back to 10 years ago; just how long would it have taken me to source this information? Another thought to ponder. How unhappy must Prada be knowing that consumers can find this out so easily?

Now, to source me some of that Patchouli oil. Gotta be cheaper than $120.00 per 80ml.  

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Is Zac Efron Leonard Whiting’s love child?

Cover of "Romeo & Juliet"
Cover of Romeo & Juliet

Honestly, I’ve no idea, but the girls at my school are wondering.

This term we’re studying Romeo and Juliet in Yr 9 English. We’ve been sharing our thoughts about the play on our shared Ning and have watched the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version of the play in class to help with our understanding. There’s no doubt tackling Shakespeare’s language is difficult when you first confront it; we have to be mindful that it is a play meant to be performed, not read.   

An observation we’ve made (and I have to admit I was the first to raise it with my class!) is the uncanny resemblance Zac Efron has to Leonard Whiting who plays Romeo in the 1968 film.  

I’ve been out to dinner tonight and took a look at the Ning when I got home to see if there was any activity I needed to follow up. What I discovered was a forum post that’s been added by the students, Leonard Whiting (Romeo) vs Zac Efron.  They’ve posed this question for consideration;

Were these two separated at birth? (Or father and son?)

and added attachments with pictures of Leonard and Zac.  So far seven students have replied. My favourite is this;

Totally, Leonard could be Zac’s Father…

and do you think that Romeo and Juliet and High School musical are related?

Now, some might say this isn’t the kind of discussion topic noteworthy of inclusion. I couldn’t disagree more. For a start, it was a discussion initiated by the students around something that has sprung from what we are doing at school. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The students are adding their own forum topics quite regularly.  What it is, is a demonstration of the community that has formed around this Ning. The students are using it as a focus point for discussion; they are relaxed in the space and feel at ease sharing their opinions.    

I love it. It’s confirmed for me once again why a participatory learning culture is important; we are human beings who need to interact, we don’t need to work in isolation and many of us don’t want to. Why should our classrooms operate as islands when we can form archipelagoes?   

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