Author Archive

Brian Kinney is in Deadwood

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Just so you know. Although Gale Harold is playing Wyatt Earp in this.

Wyatt Earp

Email issues

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Like Tom I seem to be having email issues. If you’ve sent me email in the pastt week, can you send it again or send it to Damien.Mulley < at > Gmail. Also for whoever reads this, can you send a test mail to Damien < at > mulley < dot > net and if it gets sent back can you post the error message in the comments? Thanks.

Sunday Papers: Some bits

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Business Post on Lieberman’s fight for survival:

The Connecticut contest is also widely regarded as a test of the strength of the so-called ‘blogosphere’. The term refers to the politically orientated web logs – or blogs – that have proliferated in recent years. On the liberal side, the blogs have provided a new forum for activists dissatisfied with the moderate Democratic leadership. Many of the blogs have campaigned vigorously for Lamont – a victory for the challenger would therefore be seen as a feather in their cap.

‘‘There are a lot of elements in this race,� Doug Muzzio, a public affairs professor at the City University of New York told The Sunday Business Post. ‘‘The most obvious is Lieberman’s position on the war and his closeness to Republicans. “But the deeper element is the role of bloggers. The way the opposition is organised and the way it communicates is different to how it was before.� Tuesday’s vote should provide more evidence on the question of how effective the bloggers really are.

Expect a slight increase in journalists interested in Irish political blogs if Lieberman crashes out. Are you listening Cian and Simon?

Both Mark Tighe in the Sunday Times and Kathleen Barrington in the Business Post cover the fact that the new owners of eircom have said in typical Aussie fashion that the network is shit. Something IrelandOffline have been saying for years, because it’s true. When the Oireachtas Committee on Broadband asked Isolde Goggin the head of ComReg about it, she instead decided to answer a different question.

Durkan asked the question: “I draw her attention to line failure in broadband. We were not able to get information on the extent of that line failure because it is supposed to be commercially sensitive. Is ComReg aware of the extent of line failure resulting in an inability to provide broadband services?”

Goggin said to question:
“We get information from Eircom about the rate of line failure and the time to repair, and issues regarding repeat faults and so on. Our experience of the number of lines connected to a broadband-enabled exchange that will fail the test appears to be in line with that in other countries. The experience in Northern Ireland, for example, bears that out.

Let me be quite clear on this. The line failure rate on exchanges in the Republic of Ireland is around 20%. In Northern Ireland it is 0.84%. Our regulator knows this but told an official Oireachtas Committee:

the number of lines connected to a broadband-enabled exchange that will fail the test appears to be in line with that in other countries. The experience in Northern Ireland, for example, bears that out.

Anyone recommend a book from Amazon on how to count?

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Percussion using dishwashers and a cooker

Friday, August 4th, 2006

Watch out for one guys builders cleavage though. Not nice first thing in the morning.

Freefall University – Skydiving in good weather

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

While waiting (and saving) for my Antarctica trip I’ve been looking at other things to do. This Freefall University in Madrid looks like a fun thing to do for a week. Cheap enough too.

Update: I was just chatting to one of the staff from FreeFall University who called me after seeing this blog post. He answered all my questions and gave lots more information as well as some tips about Skydiving in Ireland. Now that’s customer service. He also pointed out that Aer Lingus are starting their Cork to Madrid service very soon. I might just go for my birthday now.

Million Political Questions Website

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Ido Kenan mentions the idea an Israeli political party had:

Israeli right-wing party National Union launched a Million Orange Dots site, where surfers can add an orange dot with their name and political message.

Nice variation of the Million Dollar Pixel idea. I wonder could we do the same over here for questions we want canvassers at the next election to answer. For example Treasa has one this evening on party policies on property crashes. People can log in, and ask a non-party specific question, fill in their contact details, and they’ll be emailed a direct url to their question. All parties can be forwarded a database of questions they can answer if they wish and answers will be put online. Anyone want to build a “Million Political Questions” website?

Studio 60 – New show from the amazing Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Attention West Wing fans. Studio 60 is the new show created by Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme. It airs September 18th in the States and we’ll no doubt get to see it a few week or months after. It’s an inside view of how the TV industry works from the viewpoint of a show like Saturday night live. The West Wing but in Hollywood. It stars Bradley Whitford, Matthew and a very hot Amanda Peet. The pilot has been leaked online and I watched it there. DAMN. It’s like watching a Sorkin episode of West Wing. I’m hooked and sold on this. The leaked pilot is also on YouTube, the first part is below. Bound to get removed unless it was a cool marketing ploy. Watch as a guy loses it live on air. This is going to be great. Matthew Perry is already going to win an Emmy. And Sorkin.

1 girl for every 37 men: Hey single ladies get to BarCamp Ireland Quick!

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Jaysus lads, could it be anymore male centric? Looking at the attendees list shows that Clare Dillon is the only female going to BarCamp Ireland so far. Clare certainly is no token but it could easily appear that way. Is the tech sector that male heavy in Ireland? I said male heavy, not heavy males. Where are all these women in tech? Where are the role models if someone wants to be a techy? Role models are about people you identify with, right?

We can agenda it for you wholesale

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

The tiresome discourse of old/current media telling bloggers they are not going to replace them is back again and again it’s been excellently taken to task by Jeff Jarvis. Steven Johnson also made some more succint points. It’s a bit like “certain people in Ireland are saying blah blah and I’m here to say this is not true.” Certain people where? These sky is falling media types keep saying that all us bloggers want to storm their castle and take their thrones. Keep em. We’re not interested in Kingdoms, or rather most of us aren’t.

I’m going to quote a good chunk of what Steven Johnson said:

1. Mainstream, top-down, professional journalism will continue to play a vital role in covering news events, and in shaping our interpretation of those events, as it should.

2. Bloggers will grow increasingly adept at covering certain kinds of news events, but not all. They will play an increasingly important role in the interpretation of all kinds of news.

3. The majority of bloggers won’t be concerned with traditional news at all.

4. Professional, edited journalism will have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than blogging; examples of sloppy, offensive, factually incorrect, or tedious writing will be abundant in the blogosphere. But diamonds in that rough will be abundant as well.

5. Blogs — like all modes of contemporary media — are not historically unique; they draw upon and resemble a number of past traditions and forms, depending on their focus.

So here’s my proposal: if you’re writing an article or a blog post about this issue, and your argument revolves around one or more of these points — and doesn’t add anything else of substance — STOP WRITING. Pick a new topic. Move on. There’s nothing to see here.

He’s right. Stop obsessing on something we are not saying.

Also Jay Rosen added in the comments of Steven’s piece:

The “replace” discussion is conducted by journalists for journalists who have read other articles about bloggers by journalists who were themselves writing for other journalists.

I really hope that history doesn’t repeat itself here. I’d hate to see this crapola happening here in two years time. Only now is blogging being talked about in the press and I think the press can actually shape the future of blogging maybe even more so than us bloggers.

Us blogger types talk about Digg and Slashdot and Technorati but a Hitwise study shows that while the usage of Digg is exploding, the NY Times leaves it for dead. The NY Times, although forcing you to register (for free) to use their site also allows bloggers to link directly to stories. You can do this via the NY Times Link Generator.

Given that if you look at or you’ll see many of the stories have been kicked off by articles in the Examiner, Irish Times or Irish Independent, it isn’t a surprise that the old media is in effect dictating what a large proportion of bloggers are discussing. It is this behaviour that they should exploit. Cynically or otherwise.

Make it easy to link to their pages for bloggers. Provide RSS feeds for everything. Make it easy for Joe Public to get to those pages without registering. Welcome the search engine traffic. Realise there’s money to be made in not being a final destination but the initial one. Be the morning springboard. This is what BoingBoing is and they’re doing ok for themselves.

Imagine going to and getting all the content for free and when you log in you have access to a free bloglines like feedreader? I’m sure it would be good to suggest feeds but also see what the reading habits of your readers are (through their feed subscriptions) so you can give them more of what they want.

I’d also love to see those registered to the sites being allowed to leave comments and also interact with journalists on a scratch pad – A section where a story can be drafted and researched. Where journalists can ask questions they way they ask us in private “Know anything about diamond mining in x?” “Any clue who can comment on telecoms issues?”. Some questions need to be asked in private but I’m sure many more can be asked in public and the loyal audience there can be your 7 thousand dwarves hi-hoing around the net to find you information. Done right, that army of commentors can find you new information and tip you off if they interact with your journalists on the website.

I wouldn’t just stop there. (Though but I’m sure what I’ve already discussed is too big a leap for papers.) The papers should actively take part in things like the Blogger Academy and come along to specific workshops on how to write journalistic style stories, how to research, how to ensure balance and share editing tips. More than likely the next generation of reporters and journalists are going to come from blogs and it might bring more variety than the very incestuous bedhopping between the main daily papers that happens every year. We need a football academy for journalists AND bloggers.

Now, getting back to my main point. There’s an opportunity right now to set the agenda of bloggers to go with what you feed them or if not they will start to move away and find alternate news sources which will grow bigger and stronger with the constant linking and attention from them. We’re already starting to see that out of this small community, a few of us are in papers or on the radio a few times a week, it’s not a rarity anymore. How short a time ago was it when we all marveled that X was in the Indo? How long before it’s daily? It’ll be a long while before the majority of those in the media are bloggers but I do forsee the numbers growing more and more and it would be of immense benefit to see this trend and use it. Newspapers are here to stay, but so are bloggers.

(With a nod to Philip K. Dick for bastardising a story title of his for the title of this.)

Regina Spektor – That Time – Lyrics

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Hey remember the time when I found a human tooth down on Delancey
Hey remember that time we decided to kiss anywhere except the mouth
Hey remember that time when my favorite colors were pink and green
Hey remember that month when I only ate boxes of tangerines
So cheap and juicy, tangerines

Hey remember that time when I would only read Shakespeare
Hey remember that other time when I would only read the backs of cereal boxes
Hey remember that time I tried to save a pigeon with a broken wing
A street cat got him by morning and I had to bury pieces of his body in my building’s playground
I thought I was going to be sick, I thought I was going to be sick

Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Parliaments
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Marlboros
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Camels
Hey remember that time when I was broke
I didn’t care I just bummed from my friends
Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum…

Hey remember that time when you od’ed
Hey remember that other time when you od’ed for the second time
Well in the waiting room while waiting for news of you I hallucinated I could read your mind
And I was on a lot of shit too but what I saw, man, I tell you it was freaky, freaky