Author Archive

Al Pacino podcasts/videocasts and blogs his play

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Via Digg via the Wall Street Journal comes details that Al Pacino’s version of the Oscar Wilde play “Salome” has a blog and a video cast. Clever clever. The WSJ reports that other productions are also getting into the idea of using new media to promote their plays:

To attract younger audiences, says Laura Matalon, president and co-owner of the Marketing Group, a theatrical promotion agency, “You get them into the theater by targeting them where they live, which is on their cellphones and the Web.”

What I like though about the Pacino site is they are doing the Youtube idea and allowing you to embed the videos on your site, such as this one:

It’s a damned pity Apple and the like don’t allow you to do this yet for all the trailers on their website. It makes sense to have someone that’s enthusiastic promote your play or movie or book and so allowing them to embed content on their blog/website would make sense. Instead of one person going to the trailer and watching it and liking it you can have someone with 100 daily readers show it to them via their own site. Given the stickiness of sites and that the average joe still only visit sa handful of websites per day it is surely good business practice to allow your content to be distributed as much as possible.

Same goes for TV programs. Those “Next on Lost” pieces should be freely distributed too. Go to the Lost website and copy some code so you can have the content on your own site. Now instead of one site promoting Lost you have 2000. How long before we see touring plays in Ireland have blogs and videos introducing you to the cast and the characters?

Money Money Money – Govt thows money at VC funds

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

More money to foster home-grown companies. From the looks of it though it seems you have to be looking for a million before they want to know you. While great that they have the cash, surely there should be money for smaller investments too? What do the entrepreneurs think?

The government is investing €200 million in Irish venture capital firms to fund emerging entrepreneurs and kick-start the development of new companies.

Venture capitalists will be invited to apply for the government investment, which should help them attract backing from banks and pension funds. Ireland’s three main venture capital companies, ACT Venture Capital, Trinity Venture Capital and Delta Partners, are among those expected to raise funds.

The project is a follow-up to Enterprise Ireland’s seed and venture capital programme, which has committed €98 million to 15 funds since 2000.

Cheaper broadband on the way and other sunday tech stories

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

From the Business Post: Cheaper low-end broadband and phone deals on the way. BB and free local calls and a dedicated number and free install for €25 a month. Not bad. Might kill off timed products now.

However, it is the imminent launch of an all-in broadband and phone line package for under €25 per month, with no line rental charge, that looks set to be the tipping point for the rest of the industry over the coming months.

The deal, to be offered over the coming weeks by a significant broadband provider, will be widely available and will include free calls to any Irish landline, as well as a broadband connection.

Again from the Post: Weckler talks WiFi and the quite high prices. All you can eat cheap WiFi is needed in Ireland.

And another one from the post:

Patchy broadband service being ironed out

This bit intrigues me:

Despite the heated debate over broadband availability, the good news is that most businesses across the country can receive broadband.

How in all that is holy is 30% of businesses not being able to upgrade to broadband GOOD news? A third not able to get broadband is BAD news. 50% not able to get broadband and therefore now able to telework is BAD news.

Richard eulogises Mental Meanderings

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

There’s no Stones without the Beatles. There’s no Roadrunner without Wiley E. Coyote. There’s no Margaret Thatcher without the Monster Raving Looney Party. Richard misses his opposite number.

Tom Raftery Interview on Naked Conversations blog

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Tom Raftery KaraokeTom is probably too modest to mention it but he’s interviewed by Shel Israel on the Naked Conversations blog. Who knew his favourite colour was tangerine and his favourite karaoke song to sing was “I will always love you” (Whitney Houston version where at the end he has a bouncer arrive to the stage/platform and lift him away.) Maybe I slightly embellished some facts. Damned factinistas.

Update on May 13th Meetup

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Following up on the idea for meeting on Dublin on May 13th. So, who’s around next week and what time are people around? The previous feeling seemed to be for early evening as Saturday nights are already booked out. Anyone want to suggest a time and a venue?

EDIT: Some of us are going for food around 1830 and then will head to some place for drinks. Suggestions welcome.

To all the nerds in the world: Tell lies. It’s the only way you’re going to get laid

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Scoble won’t link to Microsoft Live sites that don’t support firefox. Scoble also adds to this in the comments on his site:

it’s not that they don’t think it’s important, it’s that they put it on a lower priority and are trying to get things out faster.

Hang. On. A. Second.

Wasn’t this the Vista excuse? Isn’t one of the reasons that Vista was delayed because of MS wanting to release an OS that worked right out of the gates and wasn’t “almost but not quite running but at least was released on schedule”? Tut tut. “Mr. Right hand, I’d like you to meet Mr. Left Hand. You guys should talk about your work. You might be able to work together.”

Anyway, fair play to Robert for coming out and saying he’s pissed off over this.

The title of my blog post comes from this interview. I thought it a fun title but it has nothing to do with the content.

Friday fluffy fast bits

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Cork City Guide for your iPod.

Mp3s of the this month’s performers at this years All Tomorrow’s Parties (weekend no. 2).

Euan Semple points out the BBC blogging policy is now public. Fantastic too how they created the policy.

Clicker Conspiracy recommends the band “Beirut”. And I do too. Good choice there from Eoin and Neil Gleeson. Ordered the Beirut cd a few days ago. Looking forward to it.

Fantastic way to introduce a song. Said the Gramophone introduce “Diamond Day” by Vashti Bunyan. Read the lovely story and then play the song. This is really cool.

There will always be spare seats – please join the conversation

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Coffee and blogging I was talking to a journalist today about blogging and I was trying to express in a simple way what blogging is like. Using my previous analogy of me at a table in a pub sharing my views with you or the world, I changed it slightly to be me at a cafe, having a coffee and I’m talking about whatever I want to talk about and you can come along and sit down and engage with me on the topic. Then someone else can come and sit down and engage too. Then you and others can engage with each other and discuss the topic and agree or disagree with each others views.

Each of those commentors can then go off and sit at another table and join in on another conversation or get a free table and start to discuss something new or something sparked off from a conversation at another table.

In this coffee shop there are loads of tables with loads of conversations happening. The barista or waiter is Google who pops around every so often to every table and takes note of what’s being discussed and then goes back to the counter. Someone comes in and asks are there any tables discussing conservative politics/niche tech/anything and Google brings you on over to that table or points to two or three tables where the conversation on this is happening. There are always spare seats at a table and you can join in or just sit and listen. There are always spare tables too.

And ideally that’s where this analogy thingymajiggy should end. However what seems to be happening with the bigger bloggers (as in traffic not size) is that they’re getting so many people at their table who are chatting and sometimes arguing amongst each other that it is taking away from the blogger actually moving on to another topic that they want to discuss. Unless your blog is your full-time pursuit it’s going to be hard to keep the momentum if you tend to the comments and have to police it, but if you heavily moderate or kill comments totally you’ll be pissing off those people that helped build your current status.

To me it’s quite apparent that there are parallels to blog popularity and celebs who were pals with the media on ascendancy and now find they have too much attention. It’s the too much attention parallel I mean. I don’t mean that all the top bloggers are suck ups like Guy Kawasaki. They’re not.

This “too much attention and having a job and life outside of your blog” issue, I think, is what happened to Robert Scoble and his family room policy. More attention means less civilised people. I’m sure there’s some Attention/Jerk rule out there. That a change was needed I agree with but I was not in agreement as to his new policy. Still, his time, his dime, my whine.

Blogging chairs

So now the tables are being taken away, and rows of seating are being put in place, the main blog guy/gal who you previously had coffee with is now standing at a podium and the audience is either allowed to submit comments/questions with no guarantee they’ll be read out or they’re told they can’t say a word here but can get some tables outside and converse there. This goes back to the bad old days of talking at and not conversing with people. So now the one big conversation hasbeen smashed into smaller conversations at different tables and the barrista isn’t fast enough to take down which table is saying what, so you yourself will have to switch from table to table to see what 6 of the tables are discussing about the one topic or else use services like TailRank or Memeorandom which do help but it still means more moving about to hear all that’s being said.

While I don’t forsee many of us getting to be** super blogger top ten status**(you have to do this in a midAtlanic accent), it does in a way impinge on us as conversers with these bloggers. When I look at the likes of BoingBoing who removed comments and Slashdot who have a moderation system more complicated than a phoenticaly written George Bush speech I do wonder how bloggers can handle the increases in attention. Bring back Everything in Moderation. It’s probably not going to be a direct problem for us Irish bloggers but I bet as more and more people read blogs and write blogs, it will become a greater issue. How many of the top ten bloggers allow comments now compared to when they started out? And the top 50?

It seems that just like celebs, blogs will need some kind of communications manager once they hit a certain attention threshold.

Images courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavo/133487039/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilw/133615498/

Take responsibility for your telecoms child – What the Examiner didn’t print

Friday, May 5th, 2006

On what appears to be a weekly basis, a report is released showing how poorly Ireland is doing in the roll out of broadband. Soon after, ComReg – the Irish telecoms regulator and the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources deny that the situation is as bad the report says, tell us we’re improving greatly and come up with excuses for our poor placing.

After four years of these reports and surveys both ComReg and the Department of Communications are acting like the parents of a badly performing school child and are in complete denial as to the extent of the delinquency of little Tommy Telecoms.

Every year the European Union releases a report card on telecommunications performance of the EU25 countries. Every quarter ComReg release a similar report from an Irish perspective. In the EU report it shows Ireland has the highest line rental in the EU, it shows Ireland has the highest mobile bills, it shows that Ireland has the 2nd highest household landline bills and it shows Ireland doing very poorly in broadband adoption.

In the ComReg quarterly report line rental comparisons are completely removed, household landline bill comparisons are not included but replaced with a report on national call charges for which Ireland is actually cheaper than many European countries. For mobile prices Switzerland is added into the comparison charts. Switzerland is a non-EU country but just happens to be about the only country on the European continent with higher mobile prices. For broadband statistics ComReg declares that we are growing more than many EU countries.

The other parent, the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources is equally in denial. When regularly confronted with Ireland being near the bottom of every broadband league table the Minister and the Department of Communications have blamed the bursting of the telecoms bubble, the fact that Ireland was a “late starter�, the fact that there was no cable competition, the lack of computers in the country and even population density for not being near the EU average. All of these excuses can be quickly nullified on closer inspection.

What has been done though to rectify the situation? Simple professional advice from the Information Society Commission, Forfas and the Oireachtas Committee on broadband has been given and the Department has so far failed to act on any of the recommendations that were provided.

A good first step to better parenting is to be honest with the child and with yourself. Admit to the severity of the problems and then take the professional advice given and move forward from there. Not facing the truth is only going to prolong the problem and might lead to a stage where it can no longer be fixed. The broadband problems in Ireland have yet to be critically assessed by the Department.

The harsh reality is that Ireland is one of the poorest performing developed nations for broadband adoption. Last week the OECD showed that 22 countries were doing better for broadband than Ireland and 18 of them had faster broadband growth rates resulting in us falling even further behind the majority of the table. ComReg and the Department of Communications need to stop living in their shared delusion and start living in the harsh reality that consumers and businesses are facing when it comes to getting broadband. The broadband market in Ireland needs better parenting and once this happens everyone can work together and make Ireland top of its class.

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The above was a piece the Examiner asked me to write for them which was meant to be in their “Broadbanned” special report this week. Obviously it got bumped. Shame. I’ll go add in relevant links later.