Author Archive

To those who try to pimp me their wares…

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Since I started writing for the Sunday Tribune a few weeks ago I’ve been getting almost daily solicitations from PR and Marketing companies wanting me to try out their client’s new doodahs or inviting me along to the AGMs of chemical companies and stuff totally not related to what I write about. One crowd even decided without permission to pencil me in for a conference call to chat about their product.

So, just a few things to consider before contacting me to let me know of your product/client and hey I appreciate you contacting me at the address supplied on the Tribune articles, if they don’t interest me, I can delete them, so this isn’t me saying get lost:

  • 1) If I do write about PinkWidgets one week, emailing me and telling me I never wrote about your PinkWidgets is fair enough. Expecting me to then write about them the next week won’t happen. Pitch me something new.
  • 2) My name is spelled DamiEn not DamiAn. I don’t mind people getting it wrong, happens all the time but writing insincere best buddy friendly emails trying to pimp your client and calling me DamiAn when the top of my column has DamiEn will make me think a little less of your ability to research your market. I never said I wasn’t precious.
  • 3) I am very easily influenced. I will write about stuff if you bring it to my attention. That’s why I wrote about BarCamp, SEO Marketing, Pat Phelan’s AllFreeCalls, Twitter and that’s why I have quoted Eoin O’Dell, TJ McIntyre, Richard Hearne, Ed Byrne, Joe Drumgoole and lots more. But are you seeing a pattern? I’m influenced by them because I subscribe to them or I subscribe to people who mention them. They are not an inner-circle but they are some kind of circle and some kind of community I am involved in. Familiar strangers is a term I use a lot and that’s what they are.

    I’m lucky with the brief I have and can write about stuff I want to write about and that interests me and I find I write more naturally (not necessarily better) when I write about familiar things and familiar people. So yeah, make it on to my bloglines, or get picked up on and you’ll have a greater chance of getting my attention.

  • 4) I’m based in Cork. I work by day as a technical writer. Yes, let’s get a coffee, what time does your train arrive at?
  • 5) I write my articles for my mum. She’s being all proud and mother-like by saving everything I write. She’ll tell me if she can understand what I was writing or not. If she can’t, I try and make it simpler and make her go “Ahh yeah”. The one on crowd-sourcing is her favourite so far. Please understand this fact if you want to give out that I didn’t go in depth about the technology. I welcome your criticism but now you can see where I am coming from.
  • 6) Press releases don’t work on me. Send me a link to a YouTube video of what you do.
  • 7) I have to end lists with odd numbers. They just look better to me. You don’t have to do the same.

Revisited Google Reader to use as Twitter watcher

Friday, March 9th, 2007

These are my Twitter feeds via Google Reader. Just imported James’ Twitter OPML file and added some new Twitter links of other Irish people I know. Viewing them via that Grazr Widget is painful. I prefer this method, til I come up with something a little better.

I expected Google Reader to be better with all the hype. The scroll, refresh, scroll, refresh, scroll refresh is beyond annoying. It’s nasty UI design. Is there a way of fixing it? The tagging/labeling is also still shit. Really surpised people like this over bloglines.

New Twits on the block

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Holy crapola but the number of Irish folks joining Twitter is really taking off. I have a piece in the Tribune this weekend talking about it too. Anyways, hello to some of the New Twits on the block:

Award winning Gavin Mullan
Mr. – Brian White
Paul M. Watson

and more:
Joseph Johnson
Justin Mason

EDIT, and more again:
David Cochrane
Stephen Spillane

Uncle Noel has sold us down the river – LLU is dead

Friday, March 9th, 2007

eircom are launching their next generation network. Fibre to the estate is what it really entails. They are probably looking at how KPN in the Netherlands did theirs.

With NGN you don’t need exchanges. If eircom sold all their exchanges they’d make billions. With exchanges gone, LLU players would be quite screwed unless they have a large presence in every exchange. They don’t in Ireland. If they did, what could happen is what happened in Holland where the telco was not allowed to sell off the exchanges because of the high level of LLU. If a tiny percentage are on LLU though, well then the regulator and the EU might allow a telco to go right ahead and sell off the exchanges.

In the past three months Noel Dempsey has done nothing but talk about looking to the future and about NGN. NGN NGN NGN. LLU has not worked and may not work. Noel wants it brushed under the carpet as soon as possible. Now ComReg is starting with the NGN twaddle when they haven’t even fixed LLU.

Expect Noel and ComReg to let eircom do their NGNs on their own terms and expect exchanges to be sold off and LLU to have it’s throat slit to put it out of its misery. You can thank eircom, Dempsey, ComReg, ALTO and BT for this. At last ALTO has started to speak up but I think they left it too late and the same with BT. The future will see broadband via ducting controled by eircom with the only true competition being wireless services. This sunshine moment was brought to you by…

ComReg Broadband Strategy Manager

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

ComReg did have a Broadband Strategy Manager job advertised on their site here. While today is the last day of applications, the job is no longer on their site. Hope it had nothing to do with me talking about it on Newstalk on Saturday afternoon. You can still find a cached version of it on Google though.

Good Afternoon,
I wish to apply for the position of Manager Broadband Strategy (Ref:
W2/07) in ComReg. Attached is my CV. I am currently Chairman of
Consumer Lobby Group, IrelandOffline.

In the past three years IrelandOffline have been the main driver of
broadband awareness in Ireland and have successfully lobbied to
increase broadband availability. Through my work as Chairman I have an
in-depth knowledge of all aspects of broadband in Ireland, have
working relationships with ComReg, DCMNR, eircom, ALTO, BT Ireland and
every other ISP.

Through my meetings and regular communications with ComReg I feel I
have an understanding on the operations of the Communications
Regulator. I would therefore like to be considered for this job.


That banned Trocaire Ad – Can’t we get it online?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Please? It isn’t that difficult these days is it?

Edit: Thanks Squid!

Fluffy Links – March 7th 2007

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

More of this.

Ahhh hah, Frank has a tash. His beard for the other play was better. Ticket to the tash are still on sale.

I’m noticing a lot of ads in my various Gmail accounts for the LinkedIn profile of Facebook VP Matt Cohler. He used to work in LinkedIn too. I wonder what that costs on a daily basis.

I see Bebo staff are using Google Apps for their mail now.

Tom Murphy makes mention of the “Technology Journalists’ Association of Ireland”. A Google brings back nothing for them but I have heard some chatter about a Tech Journo Association being formed/reborn. I have found references to the “Irish Science & Technology Journalists Association” but their webpage on IOL is dead.

Jason Kottke points out what a farce the Red campaign was.

Also Via Kottke The David Fincher 6-6-6 Tribute. His 6 Best Music Videos, 6 Best Commericals, and 6 Best Movies.

This has been doing the rounds the past few days: Help the Police by Adam Buxton. A cleaned up version of “Fuck the Police”. Classic.

eircom signs up for automatic LLU switchover

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Up to now if you were with UTV or BT or Digiweb broadband and wanted to move to Smart or Magnet, you first had to cancel your service, move back to eircom and only then could Smart or Magnet place an order for LLU on your line. Well in a few minutes eircom will announce they have enabled a “seamless” transition process so people no longer need to do this.

We should have had this years ago and it is a statement that the new eircom are playing ball more than ComReg having any ability to force eircom to do this. This should have been around in 2001 and now we’re here six years later and it is only starting. Expect Smart and Magnet to start upping their game and trying to grab eircom, BT and UTV customers.

Still, there is a massive gap in LLU and that is mass-migration. This is why LLU works so well in the UK and this is why Carphone warehouse tore up the market last year. BT Ireland expecially are waiting on mass-migration so they can move all their customers who use the resold eircom product over to an LLU product. This process is not seamless and takes a bit of time still. eircom will probably never allow this to happen unless they get some kind of leaving tax from BT for every customer moved.

eircom’s point is that they enable an exchange, take the monetary risk in putting all the equipment in while BT and UTV just come along and resell without any risk, then if BT builds up say 400 customers in an exchange, they can put their equipment in and move their customers over, again with less risk. eircom are hardly going to make this easy for them and I very much doubt ComReg will. I’m sure today’s news will piss off BT as well since they’ll probably lose customers to Smart and Magnet.

Fluffy Links – March 6th 2007

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Congrats Maryam. The kid will live-blogging her own birth I bet. I love how geeky Robert’s announcement of their news was.

Sarah gives a good summary on what blogging is and what it means. Nice counter to the Turbidy trolling.

Finding Nemo sushi. If only.

I’m from Barcelona videos at the Village from Friday night.

Saw this on an Irish Blog yesterday but worth spreading. The vile Ann Coulter called John Edwards a “faggot” at some Republican conference during the weekend. Henry Rollins writes her an open letter. If you’ve never read his work before, do. Rollins is a brilliant writer and spoken word performer. His metal music ain’t bad either.

This guy supported Arcade Fire on their tour I’ve been told
Thomas Truax – Inside the Internet

Thomas Truax – Prove It To My Daughter

So it was a busy few days

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Flew into Dublin on Friday morning and the phone was hopping from 8am til midnight. RTE filmed me in the Alexander at 1130am and it went well. Philip that interviewed me was fantastic to chat to. Someone who knows his subject matter and gets blogs. We had a good discussion after the interview where we talked about media and technology and he educated me a little on what he does. Chatted to a few journalists by phone all day and then rushed to Trinity for 1830 so I could give a talk about IrelandOffline and lobby groups. Thanks to the 6-7 people that turned up on a Friday night. 🙂 Glad I could answer everyone’s questions.

After Trinity I headed over to the Village to see “I’m from Barcelona” play. They eventually took to the stage at 2130 and I was so physically wrecked that I lasted for 4.5 songs. Still, widly entertaining pop music with the main singer deciding to go crowd surfing 30 seconds into the first song, it seemed. The tiny stage at the crappy Village venue was filled with about 20 of the band members singing and dancing and throwing balloons into the crowd. Worth seeing again. After that met up with an old friend for a chat for a while and then decided to get some lunch in Burger King around 2330. Eventually got back to the hotel for midnight.

On Saturday lunchtime I had to scoot off to Newstalk where I went head to head with a ComReg guy. This was the first time ComReg actually agreed to take part in an interview and interact with IrelandOffline. Previous to that they refused to come on-air or came on-air but refused to acknowledge and interact with us. The ComReg guy that was sent is a genuinely nice guy and I don’t envy his job. From the feedback I got from numerous people it seems I rang rings around him. As I said, I don’t envy people in ComReg because there are some genuinely cool people in there but it’s like they’re working for the Bush regime because as an entity they are doing tremendous damage. On a side-note I see we have once again NOT been invited to a ComReg event. I am rather busy these days but lads, I can still create a fuss over this. On the Newstalk interview it was mentined that ComReg have a Broadband Manager job advertised and I was asked would I apply and ComReg were asked would they think I was good for the job. The physical reaction from the ComReg staff member was entertaining.

After that it was back to the hotel to get the room ready. Went downstairs and met Elana, saw the room and shouted “oh fuck”. The room was massive. That’s what 400 seats looks like so.

The night itself was good but I wanted it to be a little better. I wanted a few surprise things for it such as the free bar for the nominees and judges, the goody bags, the champagne bottles and a web link to Dave from who was on a Greenpeace boat near the Anarctic. The goody bags were practically empty and might have been fuller if I had blogged about it but that would have ruined the surprise. Still, it was something additional. The linkup with Dave was a disaster due to issues on our side but since it wasn’t announced the only people to be disappointed were me and Dave. The mafiosi people Bock the Robber sent were brilliant. When I have the energy I’ll go more in-depth about the night itself but thanks to everyone who came along and apologies to the majority of people I didn’t get to chat to. I was a lil busy as you all saw. 🙂

Finally got home a little later than usual on Sunday night after yet another Ryanair flight where the pilot aborted the landing. After 20mins circling, we finally landed. Yes, I Twittered from the air. It is not an air-danger as air industry people say, it is more to do with keeping the mobile companies happy as a mobile signal on a plane uses up more processing time on the masts as they try to track your fast moving signal. Ok I’m rambling. Still feel hungover from Sat night even though I wasn’t drinking. Glad to see the positive coverage in the papers today too. It’s not over for us yet with more interviews this evening.

*breathe out*

A proper post over on will follow.