Archive for October, 2005

Richard Develan on IrishBlogs and Politics

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

I missed this great piece by Richard last week. (My own fault for relying on PoTB and IrishBlogs too much, remedied now by adding him to my blogroll.) It starts off talking about Barak Obama and the way poltics is discussed in the States and the way that the blogging community is quite healthy with political discourse.

I’m going to quote some chunks of text as I think they need highlighting. (Note: I use a lot of my blogposts as post-it notes to myself)

Other than Dermot Lacey and Indymedia, I don’t know of another blog(or disco board)/pol dialogue worth talking about in Ireland … it seems very unlikely indeed that there’s an analogy for the ‘dKos sphere’ here and its potential to influence a major decision – e.g. who should succeed De Bert.

Very true actually. But is this because Irish people are so unenthusiastic about politics and the way politics is played here? We really couldn’t be bothered.

I said to Disillusioned Lefty that the nature of Irish political thought and communication argues against blogs having a prominent role here (rather than being late adopters and/or issues of scale), but I’m willing to be proved spectacularly wrong.

Presently Richard is correct I would think. In the future maybe not, what can be done to prove Richard wrong in the future?

Look at Kos and then look at or or some of the fragmentary blogs with tiny audiences in this State and you see there are deep issues of quality, scale and influence. Ranting undergrads aren’t taken seriously anywhere in the world, nor should they be.

Nice bitchslap. True though. Even with and the Politics Board on and a few other boards, there is not a lot of super heavy quality. OR maybe there is and we don’t notice it yet? PLUG: Nominate your fav political blog and post. While Richard goes on about Undergrads, would it not be good to introduce every politics student into the world of blogging. Have it as an assignment to maintain a blog?

There might be one way in which the Irish blogosphere might have a similar role, as a space in which narrative is teased out and unpacked. That is arguably happening in a sophisticated way in a couple of places here, though about foreign subjects. … But as of yet anyway it’s not happening in a meaningful way regarding Irish party politics itself.

So, again, how do we encourage the people and the ‘sphere to do it locally?

Irony of ironies, I wanted to reply to Richard but he appears not to have comments enabled on his blog. Just like me. Oooh, a fitting punishment for someone that does not enable comments on their blog is for them to be denied access to comments on others blogs. It would make me get off my lazy ass and fix comments here.

On a slightly similar note, myself and Dave were discussing the upcoming Irish General Election and that an unbiased and neutral fact-checking site is needed. Monitor all the hot-air that comes from politicos and see does it match what they said and what they did. This might be a way of reeling in those that may not have had an interest until now to get involved in political debate. Certainly would help make politics more transparent.

Am I a Google Gunieapig?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

After doing a search for “The Inside”, I got back the following results: MoreGoogleWeirdness1.jpg

Notice that it fences off results in the middle of list? These are all to do with fox and it suggests a new search? I’ve never seen new suggestions in the middle of a results list. Compare this to the Chris Pirillo results I got yesterday.

Irish Blog and Podcast Awards – Update

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

After a major endorsement from 20, more and more people are supporting the idea of the Irish Blog and Podcast Awards.

So it will go ahead, but as yet undecided are:

  • Categories
  • Location
  • Date of event
  • M.C.
  • How the costs will be covered
  • Judges
  • Security for Twenty Major
  • Security for everyone else in case Twenty does a Twenty

So yeah, only a small few things to decide. Add your thoughts here or if you don’t have a account talk to me via email: damien (at) Mulley ( dot ) net

Yahoo IM and MSN to interoprate – The IM war begins.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Via InsideMicrosoft comes talk about MSN and Yahoo IM working together to allow their networks to access each other.

This was predicted a while ago in a DrunkenBlog article called 1,2,3,4 — I Declare IM War.

InsideMicrosoft has screenshots of YahooIM with MSN contacts added in.

Next prediction from DrunkenBlog is GTalk becomes (and prob is already) amulti-protocol chat client for Windows. This means you can add in Yahoo and MSN and AOL.

Too stop this it looks like Yahoo, MSN and AOL will try and lock out GTalk by making people upgrade to new clients which will allow the services to talk to each other but not with GTalk.

Specifically, sometime in the near future, all three services are going to be releasing new versions of their software and “Sunsetting” all older versions of their Windows clients.

Nothing like a new war in the tech world to entertain the nerds!

This is customer service

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Tour operator will pay for soccer fans’ flights home.

I heard Tony Burney on Morning Ireland this morning where he stated

“Customers are hard to get, but extremely hard to keep. ”

Burney provided hotel accommodation, meals and pocket money for soccer fans who hadn’t budgeted for a few extra days on the Mediterranean island.

That’s the attitude one should have for your customers. Go out on a limb for them. It should pay off for Tony too with all the free advertising he’s getting. The man should start a blog and keep the public updated.

Hello BBC readers (again)

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

The BBC talks about blogs and marketing scum in a story on their site. Specifically it talks about some utter fucktard (isn’t that a great word?) who commented on a post that the venerable Tom Coates wrote on the immensely personal subject of his estranged father. The fucktard in question was fictional, a character used to market a cleaning product that sounded like something one would be charged to perform on a girl in a brothel.

People call these new guerilla marketing stunts “viral” marketing. A wart is a virus isn’t it? So is herpes? It is vile marketing more than viral marketing.

Anyways… there’s a link to a post on my site with the link text public-spiritedness. Cheers BBC!

Yahoo! Blog search kind of almost is better than Google Blog Search

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Yesterday Yahoo! brought out their podcast section and gave iTunes serious competition. Today Yahoo brings out their Blog search which is integrated with Yahoo! News Search. Yahoo! says the results include blogs, Flickr photos and My Web links. But Tom Raftery pointed out some flaws, big ones really:

the blog search results are hidden away in a sidebar of the main results on the right hand side of the page. This is the part of many web pages which contains ads and consequently is ignored subconsciously by most users.

Yup, they do look like ads. Shame really. Surely they could integrate them into the main results in some way?

Speaking of Yahoo, via Jeremy Zawodny comes information that kids really don’t use Yahoo at all. Google is it for them along with MySpace and FaceBook. Murdoch’s purchase may have been worth it after all.

Nathan Weinberg points out that Google has brought in tagging of a sort:

Google has silently added a Bookmarks feature to My Search History, enabling you to quickly tag and comment any web page you’ve visited.

There is also an auto-complete ability for tags. Trés handy.

Blog posts in Google Results

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

I was doing a search for Chris Pirillo so I could link to his blog post on when Google returned the results displayed below: ChrisPirilloGoogle1.jpg

Quite interesting. Never saw this before, well at least not in this format. Blog Post Titles displayed as links. Is this new or am I just not with the times? Doesn’t seem to work when I do searches for other big bloggers.

Anyways doth rock.

Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote

Monday, October 10th, 2005

Thank God we’re not as bad as the states yet: Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote.

Though we still have high levels of poverty like America.

Research has found that up to 120,000 Irish children are living in consistent poverty.

Also, Via Freestater: Carole Coleman talks more about her famous Bush interview.

Ads in RSS – Thoughts

Monday, October 10th, 2005

I notice more and more of the sites I’m reading via Bloglines are injecting ads into their RSS feeds. Some I’m fine with, others I do not like at all and am getting to the stage where I will hit the unsubscribe button. There are plenty of other sites out there now with good content. Gone are the days when content rich sites about niche topics were rare. The new world web is improving on depth and quality. It will be harder for sites to keep me there, one way to PFO me is to harass me with very disruptive ads.

[Apologies for the shit image quality, only noticed it after I uploaded.]

BoingBoing has ads which aren’t that bad, but I think this is because the average amount of text per post on the site allows a better view. If there were less text per post it would be awful as the same ad is repeated nonstop. I was getting peeved with the ads for A History of Violence of late. Guys, if you only have one ad, do you need to repeat it 20 times in one RSS river? Surely the one ad would suffice?


Engadget have ads too but they are text ads. They’re unobtrusive too. A nice “sponsored by” at the end of every post. Again though after reading it 20 times in one RSS river it becomes annoying but is less annoying than every other ad form I’ve seen out there, so far.


Coolhunting is another offender. It can quite piss off my eyes and brain when I see the same ad in the feed view every few centimeters. Added to that is the adbundance of photos that they use in every post, which when you ad image ads to the RSS river, you get a very busy, cluttered and confusing view. Text ads would work so much better in this case.


The worst offender right now is Slate Magazine. In fariness the posts are only summaries of the stories, not the stories themselves. The ads are bigger than the text most of the time! Awful.


So, what should be done with ads in RSS? Personally I don’t want to see them but that will never happen for a site owner that wants to make money. So, if they were to do them. I think there should be a few rules.

  • If you have only one image ad, then space it out to every 4 or 5 posts.
  • I’d prefer to see posts which have categories to have category “sponsored by” text ads.
  • If you insist on image ads then have some script that does a word count and if a post has less than x words, an ad does not get tacked on. If you have 3 short posts then you’d be allowed to tack on an ad then.
  • You could also do what Kevin Kelly does, reviews good meaningful products and link to them via an Amazon Associates link, one book review a day would work, or whatever frequency you do reviews. Just make sure they are genuine reviews of things you like.