Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

Fluffy Links – Tuesday July 15th 2008

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Did I mention the Irish Times Facebook App? 🙂

Labour asks: Ou est Super Gorm?

where's John Gormley?

Disgruntled Nation. Newish Irish Blog.

G’wan the Bock.

Neil Gaiman gives a little insight into the free online book project he started with his publisher. Big success it appears.

Sigur Ros’s new deluxe box set is coming out and whoever orders it will have their name in the booklet that comes with it. Nice idea, right?

Falling pics and a little documentary on it.

Via Jonathan Hopkins, I adore adore adore video ads for books. Especially when they’re enhancements to the book and not just a bland ad. Like this one for Charles Leadbetter:

Tricky – Council Estate:

National Broadband Scheme costs so far: €586k on outside consultants

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

From here:

Before launch.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information Zoom the position regarding the fees paid to date paid to outside consultants and consultancies for the national broadband scheme; the details of those payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28013/08]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): My Department has paid a total €586,000 in fees in respect of consultancy services for the National Broadband Scheme to date, details as follows:

Legal McCann Fitzgerald 255k
Financial & Technical Analysys Masons/ Norton 225k
Mapping ESRI 46k
ICT Expert 60k
Totals 586k

AllTop.com – Splogging by any other name

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Edit: Guy Kawasaki has stated I am the only person EVER to ask to be removed from AllTop.

So what’s AllTop? It’s one of those messy links directory except for blog posts from bloggers. It’ll display your latest posts under your blog name on a page with a few dozen more blogs. Alltop.com has an Ireland section, Ireland.Alltop.com and for some reason Mulley.net, PoliticsInIreland.com and Awards.ie got added to their listings. You are encouraged to add your blog to Alltop as it will bring you traffic and then you are encouraged to link to Alltop.com. Free traffic for you right?

Except what you’ll find is that Alltop and the way it’s structured will mean that it will have more inbound links and so eventually a higher Google ranking than your blog which results in Alltop being higher on Google for your posts than your own blog. Look at your website stats and you’ll see most of your visits will come via Google on a given day. Not as much now. They’ll start going to Alltop which promises you traffic. So you won’t get Google traffic but they’ll get to you eventually, right? Except now when a person goes to that Alltop page, they’ll be shown a page with 100s of links and dozens of blogs to choose from. There’s going to be a dropoff rate of traffic in the long term. Probably more noticeable for the smaller blogs that have a much poorer Google ranking than AllTop.

Alltop could have switched this off so you’d get the rankings but why do that? There are ads on eachsome of their sections. They want the Google traffic. To me Alltop is on a par with splogs, spam blogs that take your content and redistribute it with ads plastered all over it.

I’m really surprised at the lack of cop-on by those that think adding their site to this site will help them. It’s Web 0.5 thinking.

Heute gabs Spam
Photo owned by sonnenbrand (cc)

Now many might think I’m being hypocritical as I own two aggregators – PoliticsInIreland.com, the Irish Politics aggregator and Gastronom.ie, the Irish Food and Drink aggregator. Except both aggregators don’t attract Google to the summaries that are on these sites, they send you direct to the actual blogs and give them link love. IrishBlogs.ie used to do this at the start too so that your blog post would be a few places below IrishBlogs.ie summary of your post. That was annoying. They fixed it.

I don’t mind being linked to or even being aggregated but I do mind my work being used to step on me to place better in Google for my own content. Even if it’s just the title of my blog post.

Verification
Without any verification my blogs were added to Alltop and when I had to send an email (where’s the online form to ask to be removed? This is 2008) there was again no verification. G’wan, send an email and ask for a blog to be removed. See what happens.

Wanna have fun?
Meanwhile, if you want to have fun with AllTop, why not use this script from Donncha which will redirect the AllTop robots?

Post Measurement Camp – So Ireland is still in the Dark Ages…

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Measurement Camp on Wednesday was inspiring and amazing and other things that end in ing. The great benevolent dictator Will McInnes runs this event and the people that turn up are some very very clued in people. We’re still back in caveman times compared to what’s happening in social media in the UK. When I hear the term social media used in Ireland I cringe as it’s used by so many muppets without any kind of clue, just an urge to empty wallets of dumb companies.

This month’s Measurement Camp was hosted in the lovely offices of Hotwire PR and it was nice to meet some of the people in there including Drew Benvie. Another blog subscribed to!

I was sitting next to Simon Collister who’s blog I had started reading a few days ago and didn’t realise he was the same guy til after. D’oh. This blog post on 10 immutable laws for measuring conversation is great and highlights what can be measured.

Also there was David Jennings of Net, Blogs and Rock and Roll book fame. Yup, that blog subbed to as well.

Chris Applegate from Outside Line and who does the LG Blog was there too. Subbed.

And loads more too. Talent, lots of it.

Running Round [cropped]
Photo owned by Editor B (cc)

Lots and lots of terms and phrases from the 2 hours:
Sizemore, Seesmic, whoofie, goodwill, emotional reactions, spray and pray, net promoter score, The One Number You Need to Grow, Ken Thompson, brand recall, fail fast fail cheap, retrospective metrics, sentiment, prompting, advertising value equivalent, “robots are stupid and people are slow”, territories, buzz monitoring

So yeah Measurement Camp, very educational, very eye-opening, very much worth the trip to London. But I have a lot of study to do.

Eircom web innovation fund winners – HeyStaks, Locle, Playza, TouristR

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Congratulations to HeyStaks, Locle, Playza, TouristR who were this morning announced the winners of the eircom web innovation fund.

From the press release:

The four chosen companies are:

1. HeyStaks – HeyStaks is a new approach to Web search that helps searchers to share their search experiences with friends, colleagues, and other searchers. HeyStaks is a browser plugin that works with Google and provides users with the ability to create so-called “search staks” as a way to organise and share their Google searches. For example, a group of friends planning a holiday abroad might create a “Holiday 2008” search stak. As they individually search for travel, accommodation and entertainment options, their selections will be shared with each other during future searches as specially highlighted search results. In this way all of the friends can see what results have been found to be useful during earlier searches, which may help them during their own searches for that perfect holiday package.

Research shows that HeyStaks can help searchers find information more quickly and in turn allow users to create and share many different types of search staks to reflect different topics of interest. In this way search staks can provide users with access to a form of Web search that is powered by their favourite search engine but customised for a particular topic of interest, based on their own search experiences or the search experiences of others.

The HeyStaks technology has been developed by Prof. Barry Smyth’s research group in University College Dublin and is the first spin-out of the new CLARITY research centre, a €16m Science Foundation Ireland research centre combining researchers from University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the Tyndal National Institute.
2. Locle – Locle is a social mapping application for mobile phones that combines information from your mobile handset address book with social networks such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace to create mapping services that show users where their friends are. Locle is an enhanced mobile web experience that facilitates “here’s where I am, and here’s where my friends are” for social networks and groups.

Locle is a combination of a web service and downloadable mobile phone software. When the Locle mobile client is activated, it identifies the user’s location and presents the location of “friends” who also use the application. Friends can be both contacts from your mobile phone address book or contacts from your social networks. As well as letting you know where your “friends” are, Locle can also keep you up to date on relevant information to your location such as local events, news, weather and provide details on local restaurants, cinemas and ATM machines etc.
Locle is a Business Expansion Scheme qualified investment.
3. Playza – With most popular online games focused squarely at the adult gaming market, Playza is a new social gaming proposition for “Digital Natives” – our 12 to 24 year olds who have grown up in a digital media environment where mobile phones, social networking, multiplayer online gaming, and music downloading have always been the norm.

Playza is made up of a series of connected mini games in which players complete tasks and earn points. Online game players are encouraged to bring their gaming colleagues to Playza and social networkers can invite their online friends to join. The main objective of the game is to form and control player groups. By getting new members into their group, players will increase their standing and capabilities within the games. Playza users can also create their own page to host their game account and mini games. Within their page, users can create their own game groups, receive feedback and messages and post the game to their other sites or blogs such as MySpace or Facebook.

Playza combines the addictive nature of online gaming with the community features of a social networking portal.
4. TouristR – TouristR is an integrated full-service trip-planning advisor, which cuts out the online information overload and minimises planning problems. It not only helps the traveller to plan a more complex travel itinerary – such as a trip with multiple destinations on a fixed budget and timeline – but it also draws on content submitted by a community of users which will help the traveller to decide on a destination by getting a sense of the type of experience available at their chosen destination.

A new breed of unique Web 2.0 travel service, TouristR will feature stories, adventures and photographs of destinations submitted by users as well as aid the traveller who needs to factor in multiple elements to their trip such as budgetary, geographical, temporal and other personal preferences and restrictions.

Fluffy Links – Monday July 14th 2008

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Don’t forget the Facebook competition I’m running.

Via Riemann’s Cut – JazzClub er Cork Jazz Festival blog.

An Authors@Google video: Farhad Manjoo wrote “True Enough” a book where he presents findings from psychology, sociology, political science, and economics to show how new technologies are prompting the cultural ascendancy of belief over fact. 9/11 for a start.

The Irish Travel Agents Association now have a blog and discuss various current travel topics.

Typography badges. Mmmmm. Nice.

What a clever green marketing idea. Or almost green.

The “Low-Car Diet.” Beginning 21 July 2008, Zipcar are challenging North Americans to go car-free for a full 30 days. They will replace participants’ car keys with a complimentary transit pass, a free one-year Zipcar membership, drive time credit and a number of other perks from local partners. In the New York City area, Zoo York will aid the car-less participants by donating skateboards.

A twitter timeline if there was a zombie attack.

Fast art.

Looks like the guy that did that calendar of hot Mormon guys is in trouble with his church.

Dexteriffic.

Max Payne Official Movie Trailer

Neon Neon: I Lust U featuring Cate Le Bon

Read the Irish Times inside Facebook

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Thanks to Online Journalism Blog, I learned that Dapper now allows you to build Facebook apps with ease. So I took the main news feed from IrishTimes.com, added it to Dapper and told Dapper to create an application that displayed the main news headlines from the Irish Times.

So we have the unofficial Irish Times news inside in Facebook app now. Bebo is next. If they won’t go to the kids, we’ll just take em there anyway.

Update: Running targetted ads on FB for the Irish Times app. Targetting Oireachtas and Taoiseach’s Office employees and TCD students into politics. Thanks to the 100 dollars worth of free ads.

Not in the Sunday Papers – 13th July 2008

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Via JazzBiscuit: A video showing stupidly placed advertising signage in Dublin or an excuse to mow down a pedestrian:

This is very old but well worth looking at again. EllyBabes talks about what happens to our digital bits afer we die or simply get divorced.

My friend Rob finally got his blog going. Ranty McRantathon. It’s not called that though it will be known as that from now on.

Talk to Daniel if you want someone to build you Bebo apps.

Earl
Photo owned by foxypar4 (cc)

Ahhhh London

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Gee Street

Govt Report: Halt building new Metropolitan Area Networks, many should not have happened

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Quick Summary of the Summary:
1. 5 Metropolitan Area Networks built and still unused.
2. Halt new MANs being built.
3. The planning for MANs was dodgy.
4. Some of the MANs should be shut down but we can’t or we’ll be sued

All in here 93 page PDF doc.

2. This review recommends that the rollout of MANs in those towns for which Phase 2 MANs are planned but which have not yet started work (or have not yet entered legally binding contracts), should be halted pending a formal case by case evaluation.

3.

The review also found that the planning and selection process behind the MANs were less than fully comprehensive. While there was a substantial amount of analysis
behind the concept (analysis that was borne out by the effectiveness of the MANs in certain circumstances), the selection process used in deciding which town would receive a Phase 1 MAN was not sufficiently thorough.

The lack of appropriate baseline data, and the nature of the selection procedure for the Phase 1, and particularly for the Phase 1A, MANs, meant that a number of inappropriate locations were selected.

4. Any future programme should have an open and transparent mechanism by which it can be closed with a minimum of legal and financial implications for the State, even if that involves a mid life termination clause in contracts.

Well Eamon Ryan when he was in opposition called the MANs into question, this report commissioned before he started his Ministerial job seems to back up what he was saying. Handy bit of money saved here. (Though they were already on hold).

Many of the phase 1 and 1a MANs were built for nothing but political gain with the promise it would bring broadband to voters.