Author Archive

Fluffy Links – December 13th 2006

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

NYC bans transfatty acids. How nanny state!

Monster Christmas stockings. Cute.

I dunno what it is, or whether it is real but this is cool.

This is for the Kurt Cobain streeturchin fans. You know the ones who weren’t even born when he was alive.

A civil liberties mug.

Northern Soul documentary.Scary Mary – Mary Poppins reimagined as a horror:

Fluffy Links – December 12th 2006

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

(Blog is on autopilot)

Handy tools for downloading and storing Google Videos offline.

IP address assignment per country/capita. Purdy colourdy map.

Gerry has a nice visual blogroll.

AllPopArt – expensive but fairly cool poster printing. Turn your family photo into a Warhol painting or a Roy Lichtenstein piece.

You were lucky…

Yer man from Midnight Oil is now a shadow Minister in Australia.

Aine will not be impressed..

Revolution – a video response to that Dove ad:

Flaming Lips give concert goers laser pointers and make use of them in a show:

Fluffy Links – December 11th 2006

Monday, December 11th, 2006

(Blog is on auto-pilot)

Japanese rock gardens. Feel the calm.

Prime Minister of Finland dumps his girlfriend by text message. The girlfriend he met online. Is this our future too?

WTF like?

The Top 10 broken bones in sports. Gruesome since to be in the list the bone has to break out through the skin.

They don’t need a bigger boat.

Speaking of boats, Titanic told as if people were on IM:

Beatles documentary about their tours:

Govt Websites lack basic accessibility standards – Red Cardinal

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

From a press release from Red Cardinal and report on their blog, it seems that the Irish Government websites aren’t really that good for accessibility. The exceptions being Dept. of Arts, Sports and Tourism, Dept. Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Dept. of Finance, Dept. of Social and Family Affairs.

Some key findings:

Government Department sites
25% Failed the minimum standard for accessibility
75% Failed both minimum accessibility and basic coding standards

Public body sites
33% Failed the minimum standard for accessibility
100% Failed both minimum accessibility and basic coding standards

Political Party sites
57% Failed the minimum standard for accessibility
100% Failed both minimum accessibility and basic coding standards

Interesting RSS stats:
25% of Government Department websites use RSS
11% of Public Body Websites use RSS
43% of Political Party Websites use RSS

I hear Richard might be on some radio news bulletins in the morning. 🙂

ComReg now resorting to press releasing on a lazy Sunday

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

The IrelandOffline spies are always watching however. I quickly threw together a counter-release to the latest telecoms poodle spin below.

ComReg generally send out press releases last thing in the evening. You can picture them with their finger hovering over the send button and then legging it out of the darkened building which is now empty and all the lights are off. This is the best time to release something if you want it buried and can’t be questioned on it. Nobody home to answer questions. Too late by the next news cycle to then ask questions about it as the world has moved on. Which means you will see quick pieces in the press the next morning but nothing in-depth or investigative.

Releasing on a Sunday is however a new one for ComReg. I’m surprised this wasn’t just released the evening before the budget. My colleague in IrelandOffline refers to a quote from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available [and on display] in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.'”

ComReg are adhering to their obligations to inform the public. Nobody can argue otherwise but gotta love the way they release their reports.

Press release here.

Irish Blog Awards 2007 – Categories finalised/ Sponsorship update

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Irish Blog Awards 21 categories. Maybe it can be expanded further next time but going from 13 to 21 is good enough for this one. I’ve also taken on-board the comments about sponsorship and so will try and be more frugal with the event expenses and so ask for less from sponsors. There will not be a main sponsor.

I’ll be looking for a standard fee for 20 of the categories. I think it will be €200-300 but price will be finalised once I get all costings and it might get down past the 200 euros mark if I get super-mean 🙂 I hope to have an auction for the Best Blog category sponsorship since so many were offering lots of money for that and I want to give a good prize along with the trophy for it. The auction will be slightly different in that the highest bid price will not be the accepted one. The highest bidder (if we have bidders) will pay the second highest bid price. Bids have to be 500 euros or more.

EDIT: The auction for Best Blog sponsorship will be private for obvious reasons. (second highest price goes to top biffer etc) Another post will follow on this auction process.

I want to cover all costs with sponsorship but there will be an entrance fee like last year. All money from the entrance fee will go to charity. Rick O’Shea is a patron of the Brainwave epilepsy charity so I think it should to go them this time. A different charity will be chosen at the next Awards. If we want one.

Best of luck to all going to Le Web 3 – I might see you in a Parisian bar

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

I’m off to Paris myself on Monday for a few days and so might try and escape away to an evening Le Web 3 event if I can. Meanwhile best of luck to those from Ireland presenting there.

EDIT: Congrats on the Electric News coverage and the Sunday Tribune coverage:

A TRIO of Irish online entrepreneurs will demonstrate their internet businesses to over 1,000 delegates at the International Web Expo in Paris this week.

Walter Higgins from Sxoop Technologies, Joe Drumgoole from Putplace. com and Conor O’Neill of Loudervoice. com are all due to present at the event, which is expected to draw an attendance of over 1,000 web entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

The three Irish companies specialise in technology that makes it easier for people to locate, store and publish their own content on the internet…

Fluffy Links – December 8th 2006

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Time on your hands and lots of old monitors gives you this.

Another free to download movie from on bittorrent. The book that this is based on is great.

Make money with your laptop. Have logos etched into it. Might work with macs but not a dull IBM or Dell laptop.

Very Short List. A quick daily email that recommends cool stuff you can buy. Boing Boing for those with an open wallet. I like this idea and I can see an Irish version of this being a success.

Death Star Politics

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (live) again

He remembers forgotten beaut.ie – Interview with the sisters of Beaut.ie

Friday, December 8th, 2006

The Beaut.ie blog seems to be the rising star of the irish blogging community in the past few months. I asked Aisling would she be interested in doing an email interview and she was happy to do so.

Who are the mystical ladies behind beaut.ie? (For those that don’t read the About me page)


(Image above is hotlinked until I get home and host it myself)

Well, we have three contributors: Kirstie, Aphrodite (Kirstie and Aisling McDermott) and Makeup Meg. Kirstie and Aphrodite are just two sisters who love makeup, skincare and cosmetics and we’re sorry but we can’t possibly mess up Makeup Meg’s karma by revealing her real identity.

What’s the story with Beaut.ie? Why did you set it up? Where did you come from to get started in this area? What are your backgrounds?

We don’t have any background at all in the beauty industry – and that’s what we think makes us trustworthy. We’re not affiliated to any brand or company – when we recommend something it’s because we really love it – and we’re not afraid to say when we don’t! We are just normal lasses who have a bit of the compulsive shopper (particularly online) in them and a love of a bargain. We were fed up with reading about products and treatments that sounded great, but were unavailable in Ireland and websites that promised the earth in terms of cheap products, but failed to deliver to Ireland, or else did so at a prohibitively expensive price. We just set up a blog we’d love to read ourselves.

Kirstie is a web designer and a fanatical reader of blogs. We love the blog format because it’s interactive and more informal. Plus it’s instant and you get instant reaction to posts.

How much work are you putting into this daily? It seems like quite a lot of work. Do you expect a return in investment? Do you fear burnout? What’s the secret to staying focused and pumping out the blog
posts?

Good questions. It is lots of work but we really love what we’re writing about and we’re not that worried about burnout for a few reasons. Firstly the reaction we’re getting is a great buzz and it seems as though people really want to read our stuff. Secondly, the readers themselves are coming up with more and more ideas for things they’d like to see us cover – things we wouldn’t have really considered ourselves. Finally, we have a really broad topic area – we can write about anything related to beaut.ie that takes our fancy – books, films, celebrities, products…

Are Irish people more into beauty these days and spending more time and money on personal appearance? Is this a good thing?

Definitely! People like to look good, it makes them feel better about themselves. Not to get too heavy here, but it’s one of the most positive things you can do for yourself. And it can cost a fortune if you want it to, but it most certainly doesn’t have to. We’ve had a great response to our DIY and Cheaper Cosmetics posts for that reason.

We all know women have been looking after themselves for centuries but nowadays men seem to be getting more into the act as well and in the last ten years men are admitting to actually using moisturiser! It seemed to start with gay men and 1then metrosexuals, do you think even the tough as nailsover-macho man will start massaging in the Clinique m-lotion?

Those tough as nails men ARE doing it – they’re just not admitting it! Gay men are just much more open about it and so they do lead the way. But call it what you will, men are definitely realising it’s not a sissy thing to slap a bit of moisturiser/aftershave balm/lotion on your face after shaving. And you hit the spot there with the Clinique M-Lotion – it’s one of the best. We get quite a lot of questions from those so called hard men who ask us not to reveal their names, in case their rugby team/football mates ever get to hear that they wrote to us. We’re delighted to help and of course everything remains anonymous!

If you could give just give two bits of advice to men when it comes to looking after themselves, what would they be?

  1. Learn how to shave properly, it’s the best thing you can do for your skin. So many men don’t do it properly and butcher their faces. Razor bumps, ingrown hairs, dry skin… Read the tips on our site and you’ll be delighted!
  2. Moisturise. Unless you LIKE to look like a weathered turnip!

Now that wasn’t hard was it?!

John Ryan recently sold his VIP Glamour blog, what’s your price?

We’ve never even thought of it to be honest!

What’s your first port of call when you log on in the morning/afternoon?

Comments and email definitely. We love to see what people have been saying. And then we start posting!

How goes the media exposure? November was an impressive month for you guys. You’ve been getting a lot of recent attention. Well done. Are there any publications/media that you’ve love to see Beaut.ie mentioned in?

Apart from Damien Mulley of course, we’d love more radio – it’s great fun! And it gets an instant reaction. But any publicity is good, that’s our motto! We’re going to be featured in Prudence next month so watch out for that!

What’s the traffic like these days? You getting a lot of visitors and return visitors? How big can you grow the site, do you think? Room for expansion? What are the plans for 2007 for Beaut.ie? Will this be merely the first step in a blogging empire?

Yeah we’ve been really impressed by the reaction, our visitor numbers are growing daily. Right now I’d say we’re averaging over 7,000 unique visitors a week (tens of thousands of page impressions) – which is pretty good for just over two months out I think? The numbers are growing in leaps and bounds though so it’s increasing all the time. Loads of repeat visitors yes, which is brilliant, they add so much to the site with their comments and observations (usually hilarious).

Plans for an empire hmmmm? God knows what will happen! We’d love to do something for men all right though. For 2007 we just want to have more of everything, more advice more tips, more bargains and expand the areas we haven’t developed fully (e.g. male grooming, organic and natural cosmetics, Irish products and producers). Visitor reaction and comments have given us a good idea of where to go. We have a hair expert on board already, we’re bringing in a beautician and a male grooming expert next year and we want to bring our visitors more promotions, freebies and competitions.

If there is anything else you want to add or let your public know, pass it on!

Yes! Keep reading – tell your friends. Post your comments on the blog – we love to get them. In 2007 Beaut.ie will be getting better and better!

this little piggy went Wii Wii Wii all the way home

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Baz has a Nintendo fanboy site. He covers the Wii and the DS and other stuff too I suppose. I don’t get a free Wii for pimping his site. (Mean git!) So check it out here: http://www.wiffy.ie/blog/