Author Archive

“most of them are black as well, would you put a little colour on your face?”

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Partridge Kenny gets 90% of €850k a year for this:

Is this racist? I very much doubt it’s hate speech but it is rather dense. Now, if Gerry Ryan said the same thing, would we think it was someone out of touch or more? What if Tommy Tiernan said it?

Thank you

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

And not that tripe from Dido a few years back.

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Despite my holiday in San Francisco just becoming a working week from a different location, I had a little time to reflect on the blog from a content, design and interaction perspective. I didn’t have time to read any of the two books I brought with me (Twenty Major’s latest and campaign speeches of Adlai Stevenson) I’m actually quite poor when it comes to the interactions. Other bloggers really thrive on the comments and spend a lot of time with those that comment. I rarely do spend time responding but I do read every single comment. Rest assured. This little shed on the web gets a decent amount of visitors on a regular basis and I should show my appreciation more to those that visit and those that take the time to leave a comment, whether it adds another perspective, disagrees or agrees with what I say.

You see commercial websites and blogs thank their sponsors now and then but hell, thanks for just coming along and helping to build this space. I appreciate that of all the places you can waste time on, you chose here.

Fluffy Links – Monday March 23rd 2009

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Private jet to a Man United match? All for charity!

New site: Diaspora.ie

People talking about Alan’s hair. Twitter, really expanding minds…

Facebook remove the Gerry Ryan Group.

Blue Screen of Death and the Spiders of Mayhem

Chun Gaelcholáiste Nua a cur ar bun i nDeisceart Átha Cliath.

There are two “Taster session” in Cork on March 23/24 where business people will be discussing Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Times:
March 23rd: Cork International Airport Hotel, 6-7.30pm
March 24th: Imperial Hotel, Cork, 12.30-2pm

What do I have to do to join the conversation?
1. Reserve your complimentary place at one of these special taster events by
contacting Aodan Enright at 086 608 9498 or aodan@smarteregg.com
2. Get your hands on a copy of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and read Chapter 7 –
‘The Ethnicity of Plane Crashes’ (available in all bookstores)

A resignation cake. Now that rocks.

Via Manuel – In the Loop.

Via Spherical Notions: Jay Brennan – Body is a temple

Self Portrait

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Taken in Alcatraz

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Martha Graham

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Via Nancy Duarte

Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

Fluffy Links – Thursday March 19th 2009

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Almost fluffy links anyway. Fl links maybe.

Want to go firewalking? Ciara has details.

Tommy was on TV again. Pfft media whore.

New Blog from Cllr Mary Roche. Politicos are really getting into this now.

Want to attend the following, if so contact cerskine < at > forumoneurope.ie

Fifty people, selected to reflect a cross-section of Irish society, will gather for a weekend in Dublin on the 21st and 22nd March 2009 to answer this question: “What do you think the EU can – and should – do to shape our economic and social future in a globalised world?”

They will be taking part in a Europe-wide consultation of citizens on this most topical of questions. The Irish event, which is being organised by the National Forum On Europe, will be in Dublin Castle with similar consultations happening in each of the 27 EU countries.

The event will be webcast live by RTE.

Horseshit. What kind of dumbass statement is this? Why are we measuring it in time. Is there some kind of threshold?

“If employees misuse email or the internet for only 10 minutes each day, then the cost to Irish small business is approximately €580m a year, in pure productivity terms.”

The future of interactive TV and Radio is here and it doesn’t need a big red button

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

And RTE, TV3 and TodayFM don’t have a choice about it

Twitter again and something called Scribble.

Each time Ireland played in the 6 nations, dozens or perhaps hundreds of people got together to shout and roar but together for them was via Twitter as they watched the match wherever they happened to be. They joined a devoted crowd that were connected via twitter. For the France Ireland game, each time they made a comment on the game they added a tag #merde to it.

Patrick Phelan ran graphs on this later on to see the frequency of words in those tagged messages.

Each time the Dragon’s Den in Ireland is watched, online people use the tag #ddire to record their shouts, their sneers, their sincere belief a Dragon is useless.

Big red button
Photo owned by nicolasnova (cc)

Using an online application called Scribble Simon McGarr and others were live-blogging Questions and Answers and the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis and the Green Party Conference. The Greens even put/linked to the live blog from their main website. The last episode of the L Word was liveblogged by the women from Gaelick.

When I was on Primetime the other night there was a surge of Google searches for my name by people watching the show and when people on Twitter were commenting on it live, people started adding me to Twitter.

See, nowadays we don’t just watch TV, we watch TV and we surf the net. Watcht he TV, laptop on knees. Instead of channel hopping, we’re media hopping from one to the other and back again. This is going back to my other blog post about shared experiences and Twitter and all the rest, We can be in our living rooms and on Twitter at the same time, sharing both experiences.

Do you remember the show Mystery Science Threatre 3000 where they comment on movies and make quips? It’s real and distributed online. It’s the director’s commentary but done by the public.

So Sky is there and the Beeb talking about their big red buttons and putting phonelines into the back of them and having people dial home and all that, yet anyone with a banger of a TV on a dodgy signal or even watching online can fully interact once they have some kind of net connection and it’s infrastructure free. Cheap as chips!

So what can the likes of RTE do about this? Tell people where this commentary is happening. Encourage them to go to these places and leave comments and join with the people already there. You know what will happen? Viewerships will go up. Once again the old-style family gatherings will happen but the family might not be in the same room, or city or country. Planet, yeah.

The Red Button
Photo owned by HolgerVaga (cc)

Some are doing it though. Phantom are doing it. Rick on 2FM is doing it and Ray Foley on TodayFM. Then there’s that Hook lad who even did live video.

You want audience reaction? There you have it. Not enough time for the Last Word and the commentators on it? Direct it online. Keep your show and the debate going. JNLR? Fuckit, this is more real. Real people are giving real opinions. No boxes to be installed in a home. Then the brave media folks will join that conversation and work with their audience on building something even better. Tada.

Interview with Cllr. Laura McGonigle of Fine Gael

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Laura McGonigle, is 26 and was co-opted onto Cork City council to replace Deirdre Clune TD after Clune took a seat in Cork South Central at the last general election. This is Laura’s website/blog, her Facebook and her Twitter. Here are the answers to some questions I asked of her.

Laura McGonigle

Laura McGonigle

Why politics and why Fine Gael?

Why politics – because there’s no point sitting at home complaining and not doing something about it. You can’t improve things by doing nothing.

Why Fine Gael – Because I don’t trust Fianna Fail. I got involved in politics for the 2002 General Election, which was probably Fine Gael’s darkest hour. I think in the weeks after that I knew that Fine Gael had been the right choice for me. Fianna Fail had been re-elected with almost an overall majority, but within weeks they were rowing back on their election promises – the electorate had been codded.

Every year in advance of a General Election, Fianna Fail pull a trick out of the bag to buy the electorate. Their politics isn’t about what’s best for this country; it’s about what is going to keep them in power.

Also because my father told me I’d have to live in the shed if it was anyone other than Fine Gael.

Young and a woman, surrounded by old (poltical) fogeys, what’s the reaction been by those old fogeys?

They keep their distance!

Seriously, most Councillors in City Hall just do their own thing. If you get too caught up in what everyone else is doing, you become paranoid and the job will pass you by.

But some of them like to call me “dear” and try to antagonise me that I’m still wet behind the ears!

What do you class as a win for you in local politics?

Getting a job done. People may disagree on this, but local politics are local. We’re not legislators and we’re not going to change the world. But I get phone calls everyday of the week from people who believe that their concern is monumental and to solve their problems or to right a wrong is what we are here for. It’s not to attend every funeral and letter opening.

Got any stories of how local politics has helped a local?

Local politicians aren’t going to be able to change your life dramatically, but as many people know it’s the every day things that count and that’s what we’re here for.

Local politics is about helping people access their entitlements. I have assisted people with everything from filling in forms to apply for their pension, helped people get information on their entitlement to public housing and I’ve helped young couples get a foot on the home owning ladder by explaining how the social and affordable housing schemes work and helping them to decide which scheme makes most sense for them to apply for.

What’s the most pressing thing on the doorsteps recently?

There is palpable anger out there. I’m meeting people who’ve lost their jobs, whose houses have dropped in value and most of all who really feel like all their hard work over the last few years in just going down the drain because the Government won’t stand up and take charge of the situation. The Government and its Ministers are paid to make tough decisions and they’re shirking their responsibilities.

Should there be more accountability and transparency when it comes to expenses?

Of course there should! It’s your money!

Why do you think less people seem to care about politics then they did 10 and 20 years ago? How do we change that?

Politics under FF and Ahern in particular has sidelined the interaction between politicians and their constituents. Social partnership took what were political and market forces and gave unelected unions and employers (social partners) the opportunity to dictate. With politics being much more important now, with the nationalisation of banks and the decision by Government to take an active role in the economy to alleviate people’s suffering, we are likely to see people much more interactive with government and their politicians as a consequence.

As people have less, they will look more at their politicians and grade them more honestly as opposed to looking for the spin or the “nice guy” quality

We need to examine ways to make politics more accessible to my generation, show how it is very relevant to them in their lives. This means looking at ways of taking politics away from branch meetings and so on and moving towards a more campaigning type of politics where you can engage with people on issues as they arise rather than forcing people into the strictures of a branch when the reality is that their time is limited and they will allocate it to what matters to them.

Should the Senate be removed since the public can’t choose or vote for those in it?

The Senate was never meant to be popularly elected but corporately. Each section of society from trade unions and labour, to agriculture, to local authorities were all meant to give the Houses of Parliament a more agenda based outlook rather than representing people based on geography.

Much call in recent time to remove the County and City Council voting block, as this is seen as castrating the radical and vocal qualities that the Senate might actually have.

No to abolition, yes to reform and to widening the franchise. Allow more people to vote in each constituency, be that labour, agriculture, colleges, etc etc

Should the office of the President be given more powers?

Sure why not. Allow her to make the Taoiseach’s nominations in the Senate.

Also, allow her to say what she thinks is appropriate to say with out having the Government vetting all her speeches.

Mary Robinson and Mary MacAleese have both shown that the Presidency can play a very valuable role in stimulating debate in society and representing Ireland overseas.

Enda or Chips?

Chips – curry chips from KC’s in Douglas! (Sorry Enda! I like him, I just wouldn’t eat him!)

Is the Garret Fine Gael a totally different to the Enda Fine Gael?

Completely different. Enda and Garret are two entirely different leaders. Garret always lead from the front and Enda is seen very much as a Chairman of a party. Fine Gael under Enda Kenny is a progressive party that believes in the same principles that have guided us for quite a long time. A fair society, promoting enterprise and reward, recognising that while we have rights we as citizens also have responsibilities. The times in which both men led the party were challenging in their own ways. Garret had enormous social issues to deal with in addition to the economic challenges of the time. Enda leads the party at a time of economic challenge but with a very different societal landscape in terms of the challenges that we face.

What can be done on a local level when it comes to business support?

There is lots of support for local enterprise – whether it’s the chamber of commerce, local enterprise boards or Enterprise Ireland. I work for an Enterprise Ireland sponsored company and their advice and assistance has been second to none.

I had a question down to the City Manager at last week’s City Council meeting, asking if small businesses in the City would be allowed to defer payments on their commercial rates if they find that they are in serious financial difficulties.

Ultimately no business in Cork should be forced to close its doors, because of rate arrears. In the same vain – businesses shouldn’t be forced to reduce employee hours or let staff go because of their liability to City Hall.

And this has been agreed to.

Tell us about a local politician not from your party that you admire/respect.

Máirín Quill – a member of Fianna Fail, the Progressive Democrats and now a non party Councillor. From dealing with Mairin in Cork City Council, she has always been objective in what she tries to achieve and always has Cork as her priority.

iPod Shuffle 4GB Review

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

From a Damien up at an obscene hour in San Francisco:

Paddy’s Day Fluffy Links – Tuesday March 17th 2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Greetings from an overcast and dark San Francisco (it’s around 6am here)

I finally mention new orts and culchore website Culch.ie with loads of faces we already know. Fantastic design, even better content.

Alan and Spoiltchild are doing email marketing workshops both free and paid. Check them out.

Kevin did a quick interview with Joe Rospars from the Obama digital campaign.

Speaking of which, change can be big.

AJ takes HeadSearch.ie to task.

Alexia mentions you can be a DJ for the day on Phantom. Could we just nominate Pearl to take over the station for a day?

Mine. Nobody else allowed. No.

Love love lovvvvvve the packaging.

And on that, is packaging design more important than advertising now?

And now off for Brekky, so here’s Suzanne: