Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

Interviews and Conversations

Monday, December 19th, 2005

The latest interview on is with Fergal O’Byrne from the IIA. I’m hoping to have interviews from Ina O’Murchu and Alex French online soon too. I’m also lining up a few more people who I’ll send e-mail interviews to over Christmas. I’m hoping to get a few of the local Cork companies that Donagh Kiernan mentioned in his interview. If anyone wants to suggest either Irish tech companies to interview then let me know.

I think it’s great that there are more interviews occuring, whether it be blogger interviews via the Disillusioned Lefties, international tech wizards interviews on PodLeaders or my own humble interviews with those involved in helping along Irish Business. I would think there’s a lot more space in the interviewing and conversations arena for another dozen or so niches.

To me, Irish people have a talent for talking and getting people talking and with the Internet linking us all up, we should as a people capitalise on this natural talent. Hell, for a few hundred years in the middle ages we were the light in the darkness and educated the rest of the world. Isn’t every interview and every conversation just one form of education?

Speaking of interviews, Robert Scoble has his own thoughts on them:

David Newberger is onto something. His blog has gotten much more interesting since he’s started doing interviews. has Mike Rundle CDO of the 9Rules Network; Doc Searls; me; VC Jeff Clavier; and recently had Jennifer DeGraffenreid on Native American Media. He doesn’t do podcasts or vlogs or anything like that. Just emails 10 questions and asks for answers.

Elections and blogging

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

Progressive Ireland suggests an election super blog which is a pretty nifty idea. I’m sure there’ll be many people that would like to contribute to it. If you plan it right you may even get quite a lot of traffic for unique content.

Myself and Mr. Rants have had many an IM conversation about blogs and the election. From a blog post about it:

myself and Dave were discussing the upcoming Irish General Election and that an unbiased and neutral fact-checking site is needed. Monitor all the hot-air that comes from politicos and see does it match what they said and what they did. This might be a way of reeling in those that may not have had an interest until now to get involved in political debate. Certainly would help make politics more transparent.

I think something like this would be a nice companion piece to the Super Blog idea.

Podcast Transcription Services

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

Michael Arrington points out a podcast transcription service which priced at $10 for a half hour of audio is really really cheap, too cheap I think if someone wanted to make money from doing this. 30mins audio to me would mean around an hours work. $10 an hour is minimum wage in Ireland. How can someone hire a person to do this and make any money?

In the comments of the TechCrunch post people suggest that voice to text software be used and then someone goes over it to check for errors. That doesn’t make the work any faster as you still need a human to check the words and listen to the podcast.

I left the following in the comments of the TechCrunch post:

Perhaps if the transcriber had the right to sell on the transcriptions then she/he could recoup costs that way. Or another way of recouping costs and maybe using a free model would be to offer free transcriptions in return for a share of ad revenue on the page that hosts the transcription.

If I were a transcription company I’d be contacting the main podcasters and offering my services for free to them for 6 months in return for a link back to my service.

Tom, as a podcaster who is getting serious heavweights in the tech world to do interviews with you, would you be open to such an idea?

United Irelander – tut tut

Friday, December 16th, 2005

I wanted United Irelander to email me for a chat but he wouldn’t for whatever reason and wanted me to state on his comments why I was looking for a chat. But the fact that I didn’t want the judges of the Irish Blog Awards to be disclosed for another while meant I had to ask a person to be a judge in private. Oh well UI. I’m sure your replacement will do just as well.


Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Yup. I’m on it now. James Corbett convinced me. If you want to add me please do. I’m damien AT this domain.

Clare Dillon at

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Over on I’ve interviewed Clare Dillon from Microsoft. Have a looksee. (I should have permalinks for the interviews fixed by end of day.)

Update: Permalinks are working.

Sunday 11th of Dec 2005 Links

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

You’ll need ID to use Net cafes now in Italy. Add Data Retention into this and everything you do online is going to be watched.

Internet cafes also must make and keep a photocopy of the ID and be registered with their local police station, dictates the law, part of an anti-terror package approved after the July terrorist bombings in London.

Ireland and it’s 3 year data retention is cited for a reason to bring in longer and harser data retention laws in Europe. To harmonize things they say. Next they’ll harmonize with Italy for Netcafes and with another country for prepayed mobiles. Like the way the EU and the US “harmonized” their copyright laws but instead of matching the lenghts they increased them more, back and forth like a tennis match. Why do the governments have so much disdain for their electorate?

WordPress Structured Blogging plugin with added microformat attributes. The new wave starts here. This is Content 2.o

Pic of the fuel depot explosion in the UK. More here and here.

Unconferencing in Ireland – More of this sort of thing

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

Tara Hunt blogged a bit about backchannels at conferences and it got me thinking to a degree about conferences such as IT@Cork and TechCamp and the idea of an unconference. But for a moment we’ll go back to what Tara mentioned about conferences and IRC/backchannels:

#1. We come to conferences to learn stuff, sure, but first and foremost for many of us, we come to connect. Speakers and panels kill networking time. Kill it. And really, since the advent of the internet, many of us would sit in our seats with our laptops pointing towards our email or Skype or the like, where we would be socializing with people back home rather than the very people we came here to connect with.

#2. Okay, so we do want to learn, but hell, the material isn’t always groundbreaking or earth shattering, is it? Well, the same goes here. But who cares? We have the back channel being projected behind the speakers, giving us an extra layer of knowledge to ingest. We often laugh, but there is a great deal of truth in those irreverent statements.

Dave Winer pushed the idea of an unconference and I think it is a fantastic idea. The best conversations happen in the hallways at standard conferences, the best conversations happened at the Digital Rights Ireland press conference at the tea and coffee table. How many people enjoyed school? The teacher up the front, you at your desk, bored to death. Conferences. Unless the speaker and presentation is as high a calibre as Dick Hardt’s OSCon2005 presentation people are bored with being lectured.

So Winer’s ideas make things a lot more fun and turn everyone into a presenter with just a facilitator to get things going. Or as Dave said:

At BloggerCon, there is no audience, there are no speakers.

There is a discussion leader, a person responsible for the flow of the discussion.

To get things started the DL talks for a few minutes, listing some ideas from the pre-conference discussion.

David Gammel posted a fantastic Conference v Unconference comparison list which is a good guide on how to run an unconference.

So what I’d like for say something for a discussion at somewhere like is the following:

A room without a podium, just a guy who starts off a conversation and then gets the crowd talking. The second room in TechCamp was perfect for this kind of talk. The table layout was O shaped so we could all pretty much see each other and comment while looking at each other which is good for interacting and expressing ourselves fully. Each talk should either have a discussion thread on a webforum or else a wiki page where everyone can add in links and comments or perhaps both.

I don’t think a backchannel would be needed for an unconference. The whole discussion would be the backchannel. Isn’t having a backchannel admitting that the lecture is boring and allows people to escape from it?

Of course unconferences aren’t for everyone. An unconference about blogging would be wasted on the businessman who wants to find out why blogs could be useful to him. You’d have people then talking about stuff way over his head. There are uses for the standard type of conference and the unconference where everyone is on the same wavelenght and there is no filling in of backgrounds.

A wasted opportunity – Politician’s Blogs

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

After glancing at Liz McManus’ blog I’m quite disappointed that it reads like a newsletter or something sent through PR filters. Her blog would have been a good platform to explain herself more and to go away from the scipt. Less soundbites and more discursive posts. She is not writing for her audience or conversing with them, she is lecturing. While comments are allowed, there doesn’t seem to be any way of motivating people to comment. Shame really.

“You can take the spoons but we’re keeping the knives and forks”

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

No, not a really bitchy divorce or couple splitting thing but something I heard and witnessed going through Dublin Airport this evening on the way back from a fantastic Digital Rights Ireland launch. In fairness the dumbass woman thought she could bring a 20pc cutlery set on to the plane.

Airport security in Dublin is to be blunt FUCKING STUPID. They make you take off belts, shoes, jackets, watches and dump everything from your pockets and fuck them all into one tray. Yes, stinking shoes put next to your suit jacket and in their somewhere is your rolex and mobile. Then you walk through and wait 5 mins for your shoes to arrive at the other side. Then the little hitlers bitch at you for not moving away. “Move along please you’re causing congestion”. Sorry, can I get my fucking shoes and tie my laces, grab my watch from the tray in the middle of the scrum and pour my loose change back into my hand? Dickheads.

Bruce Schneier defines this as “security theater”, it is ineffectual and designed to make us feel safer without being safer. I don’t feel safer that some pignoramus (woot, my new word) gets his thrills from smelling reeking feet and fantasising about putting people into cattle trains.