Author Archive

That’s me in the Examiner looking pissed off, apparently.

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

So I just saw a pic of myself on page 10 of the Examiner. I look pissed off, apparently. Yes, I’m talking about broadband as usual. Broken record!

Oh and tune into RTE News at 6pm and 9pm. One of the IrelandOffline supporters is going to be on talking about broadband.

Irish Blogging Consultants

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

James brings up the question about whether there are Irish blogging consultants and it got me thinking like many of the posts that James makes .

My take on blogs and business is that they are going to become inevitable and with them come marketing scum and every two-bit cowboy consultant who will declare themselves experts at blogs.

Aside Alert: [This reminds me of the time I was working with a friend to build a website for a client. They hired in a marketing company who excelled at websites. They told the client that he needed a database backed website for his hotel because the pages would load faster and they also told him that if he wanted a .ie domain he had to buy the domain name and also buy every url from it from the domain registry. They also told him every page had to be submitted to the search engines and not just the main site url. That company got close to six grand for that consultancy work. I think they went bust eventualy. Hopefully anyway.]

Anyway, I would hate for business blogging consultants to be like them, but like splogs I think we can guarantee that we will have scum muscle in on this area and screw over innocent companies. Right now this isn’t happening but I know blogs will become more of a buzzword in 2006. So let’s try and prevent this.

Why not create a vendor neutral site about business blogging in Ireland? Have all of us in the blogging world in Ireland work on an FAQ via a Wiki and produce something that helps a business understand blogs and how they can be useful. We can also work on a code of practice that people can sign up to. A quality mark one could say. It will also help us share tips with each other so that we ourselves can improve our skills from the technical, to how to sell it to business people e.g. finding the simplest way to have a non-technical manager see why it is a good thing.

I don’t think there is any giving away of secrets by working as a community and creating this online resource (and keeping it up to date). There’ll be enough work to go around I should think and it is good PR for anyone that is seen to be genuinely helping out people. “Don’t want to pay me to help you? No problem, have a look at this site for advice on how to do it yourself.”

The money is going to be made by those consultants employed by companies too lazy/busy/non-technical enough to do it themselves, which I bet will be the majority. Hell, I was too busy/lazy to update my blogging software and Michele was kind enough to do all the donkey work but at the same time I would have happily payed him or anyone else a few quid (not a fortune) to do it for me.

So, who wants to sign up for this? 🙂

EDIT: To clarify, marketers are not scum, just a few, like in every other profession. Unfortunately I trust marketers less.

Bubble Brothers , Stormhoek and telling stories

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

I regularly visit Bubble Brothers in the English Market(why does it not have its own website?) in Cork. The main reason I go there is that I’m clueless about wine but I know what I like and ask for variations on my taste or ask to try something different. The staff in there are passionate about wine and love talking about it. Seriously, the enthusiasm is addictive and you come away from the place energized. (And often with a few more bottles than you thought you’d purchase.)

If I were to go to an offy or Dunne’s or Tesco’s I wouldn’t hear the story of the wine, I wouldn’t get recommendations. I wouldn’t get the enthusiasm. I think it was Hugh Macleod who talked about Stormhoek and it having a story. I like this idea and I’m happy to pay extra for this kind of service. I just wish that there was a blog on the Bubble Brothers website where the rest of the world could feed off this enthusiasm. Yeah, they do give reviews to an extent in the product descriptions but I think they could do so much more than that and gain a lot more custom as a result too.

Dec 27th 2005 bits

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Google will be releasing a feed reader API. Nicely investigated by Niall Kennedy. Scoble seems a little pissed off and a little impatient as a result. But honest to a fault at the same time.

Jeff Jarvis has an enthusiastic rant about Amazon’s author blogs initiative. Jarvis and ranting? Yes, the the name of the day ends in a “y”. 🙂 Still, a very valid rant as usual with Jeff. It’s good they’ve got blogs, shit they don’t allow comments and links to external blogs. But that may change in time. If I were Amazon I’d approach people like Bookslut and ask their permission to link to them from some main book section on Amazon and offer to host them if there is a dramatic traffic increase. They should be doing the same with other maven type sites too. For Ireland they should be linking to the likes of Sigla or Bibliofemme. I still stand by my statement about bookshop.ie

I’ve read Fred Wilson’s blog before and enjoy it for his VC musings and his excellent taste in music. I’ve just added him to my bloglines. In a recent post he quoted Alan Kay who said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it. “ Very true. Hopefully Newsroom.ie can meet some of these future predictors.

Edit: Clarified Jeff’s enthusiasm about Amazon!

New logo/brand wanted for IrelandOffline

Monday, December 26th, 2005

IrelandOffline wants to update their logo and “brand.” More details here. Apply within etc. Forward this to any friends that you think may be interested as well. Monetary reward is low but helping out IrelandOffline will make you feel good!

Meaty Christmas

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Today was the first time since the end of August/start of September that I had meat. I decided to challenge myself as I do when I get bored, so the challenge back then was to be a veggie for an extended period. No meat or fish. As I progressed with this new diet I decided that December 25th would be the day I end the madness, I had hoped to do it for a year. And madness it was as I found my health deteriorating, I lost a good bit of muscle mass and I gained a lot more body fat. See, I’m not a good cook or a cook of any type and I think to have a proper veggie diet one needs to know how to make more than pasta. Too much carbs and not enough good proteins has damaged me.

So I started off breakfast this morning with an amazing piece of very rare steak. Mmm, dripping with blood which mixed nicely with my scrambled eggs. I’ll have to hit the gym soon now and help recover all that lost chest, arm and shoulder muscle. I think I’ll see an end to the lingering heartburn which I was experiencing too. Happy Meatmass!

Just Meebo, myself and I – Meebo wishlist

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Bow down and worship Meebo. It’s a great AJAXian application. Nice secure access to your various Instant Messaging applications, all via a browser. Very very handy if you have firewalls in work or school or college. All your IM clients open in one browser window.

But I want more from Meebo now. It isn’t enough anymore. I’d like to see the ability to browse some sites inside Meebo. Like that mini-browser extension for firefox (I couldn’t find the link to it, can someone send it to me?) which allows you to have a mini-browser inside a webpage, I think it would be sweet to click a link in an IM window in Meebo and have the option for it to be loaded in another IM window. If I recall all communications between my browser and Meebo are encrypted? The idea is Meebo serves me the webpages that it downloads for me, so if I have a nannystate firewall I circumvent it with Meebo.

This however could mean that the nannywalls would then block the Meebo site but perhaps there might be ways to come to an agreement with some companies. If the content does not pass through the company servers unencrypted then they might be more relaxed.

Essentially I’d like for meebo to be a VPN via the browser, imagine as well as IM, meebo connected to my home pc and allowed me to access my harddrive. “Feck” says he “I left that word doc at home.” “Why not Meebo it” says his work colleague. “Ah yeah”.

If we can have Linux in a screensaver, why not have VNC and VPN using Meebo?

Tis the season for domain renewals – GoDaddy just made a packet from me

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Just renewed a good few domains and realised I have some domains I should really use or just kill off.

buyanorgan.net – Evolved from an old college project where we had to build a jerk simple e-commerce site using javascript and other mundane web 0.9 technology. The lecturer seemed a right humourless git who I felt might take offense easily so I created an e-commerce site for selling human organs. It was witty enough. Later on I moved the content on to this domain. The site is dead now and will remain like that until I decide what to do with it.

civilpartnership.org – Registered around the time of David Norris brought out his failed Civil Partnership “Bill”. Perhaps with the latest McDowell belches about Civil Partnerships, a discussion forum could be put together to talk about this.

digihive.com – Registered when I believed the hype and thought I could make money fulltime from building websites. Mainly used now just to accept mail from domain registrars. Will probably kill it off soon.

incork.com – Registered for Fixer when he wanted to build a Cork listings style directory. Expires some time in 2006. Still a few possibilities for this domain.

nicecock.net – A piss-take domain again. After seeing the Nice-Tits.org site which was apparently owned by the Royal Tit-Watching (Ornithological) Society of Britain, I regged Nicecock.net and stuck a picture of a rooster on the front page. I guess if I had any design abilities I could have sold some t-shirts off it. Maybe the BitSniff people could help out and we can split profits? 🙂

peoplesrepublicofcock.com – More a dig at the PeoplesRepublicOfCork forum. Again I wanted T-Shirts that were to the casual observer the same as the PROC T-shirts, apart from one letter in one word. Dunno what to do with this.

homosexual-agenda.org – Well I finally did something with this.

smart-survey.com – As a result of working on surveys for IrelandOffline I thought there was a definite need for something out there targeted to the Irish market. Mainly there were tonnes of surveys I wanted to do without having to pay a fortune for them. Since I’m quite thick when it comes to the technology aspect of these things I’m just waiting on someone to come along and do this for me. I’ll happily share the revenue for anything made off this!

The Homosexual Agenda

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Rob helped me get Homosexual Agenda up and running and doing something. I regged the domain ages ago as I loved the way the right wing Christian nuts, mostly in the States, were always on about the homosexual agenda or the gay agenda. So I thought I’d put up a piss-take website. Version 0.2 was a group blog. That didn’t last as we all had our own blogs anyway, so this is version 0.3 and is just a simple aggregator. It’s not about segregating the homosexualists from the straights in the bloggersphere, but merely a way to see what a subsection of the larger community are discussing.

Send a copy of 1984 to all our TDs?

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Via BoingBoing – Newspaper sending all elected reps a copy of 1984. A nice publicity stunt to get attention to the US Govt spying on their people. It’s a cheap enough method of getting the press and the public tuned into issues of Governments abusing the civil and human rights of their constituents.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to do the same here. Have people send in their secondhand copies of 1984 to the likes of Digital Rights Ireland who will then send a book to each of the 166 TDs and 60 Senators in Ireland as a reminder about the Irish and EU Data Retention laws. As well as highlighting the scary data retention law it would encourage people to read a classic piece of literature. No, I don’t think we should send the TDs the cliff notes version of the book itself. Unless we wanted to be exceedingly cheeky.