A friend on IM:bugger i like yahoo
Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category
SoggyJazzBiscuit has another fun idea, blogging about John Gormley and John Gormley facts:
John Gormley doesnâ€™t blog: he looks in the direction of the internet and it writes for him
In the main photo at the top of his blag, John Gormley is shown standing beside a river. Whatâ€™s not obvious to the layman is that the river is diverting itself around Gormley out of respect.
Chuck Norris, Paul O’Connell, now John Gormley?
Maybe that’s why John wears sandals? *bigvoice* Sandals of steel. *bigvoice*(Environmentally friendly, carbon neutral, recycled, not tested on animals, organic steel) No shoes can take the punishment from SuperGorm, y’see. Thus the sandals.
Another fact: John, er SuperGorm has his SuperRothar because no ministerial car is needed as the road moves backward out of fear.
Anyone else able to summon up Gormley facts? I’m useless at this.
I do like the new Department of Environment logo though. Are they leeches used in homeopathic healing techniques or are they lentils?
Fluffy badges are now all gone. eBay might see these rare gems show up I suppose. Other badges might be on the way though but not fluffy ones.
Shane Torturegarden goes to UCC. I already like his work but nice to see a fellow UCC student blog.
All the comments quoted were found on the BBC “Have Your Say” site. Yes, people really have written them. On purpose as far as I can tell.
An airplane on a conveyor belt DOES take off.
I might head over to the Personal Democracy Forum conference. If I’m not campaigning for Hilama.
Via Shane is this gem. Samantha Fox but but on the Jim’ll Fix it show. For those under 25, I won’t explain. 🙂
Worst kept secret in broadband but speed increases are always welcome.
Customers currently availing of a 3Mb, 4Mb or a 6Mb product will see significant increases in downloads speeds which will at least double. They will be upgraded to 7.6Mb, 10Mb and 12Mb product respectively. Customers currently using a 2Mb product will be upgraded to a 3Mb product.
More than 240,000 wholesale and retail customers will now see their broadband download speeds increase
How many do they have on DSL, inc the resellers? That’s a lot of people that are on 1Mb broadband so.
New Speed : : : Old Speed : : : When increases will happen
12Mb/1Mb : : : 6Mb/512k : : : March – May 2008
10Mb/832k : : : 4Mb/484k : : : March – May 2008
7.6Mb/672k : : : 3Mb/384k : : : June 2008
3Mb/384k : : : 2Mb/256k : : : June 2008
1Mb/128k : : : 1Mb/128k : : : N/A
I know some people that got the “upgrade” and their speeds were far from doubled. All depends on your line. But even when you are near an exchange, this might not be a guarantee.
Edit: Yes, the upgrades are free. I doubt contention ratios will change.
Blog Award winning, book deal getting, amazing ice cream making Kieran Murphy runs Ice Cream Ireland the most torturous website in Ireland for those on diets. The blog has one acclaim all over for the quality of writing and the insights on ice cream. Kieran also answered some questions about blogging and books.
You’re the ice cream king in Ireland, certainly online. Why did you start the blog? Was it a business reason or did it just work out as being a great but accidental business decision?
It wasn’t accidental, although I never dreamed it would be so successful. I started the blog because I saw that blogging was in the news and was already aware of the potential because of successful bloggers out there, both in terms of web traffic and profile. One of our goals as a company was to become known experts in our field (ice cream), which certainly helps with the press. In addition, I wanted to create a forum for Murphys Ice Cream customers and potential customers for feedback and new ideas. Both of those goals have been largely successful. Finally, I love what I do and wanted to share it both with customers/potential customers and other interested parties.
Your blog is constantly referenced in articles as being a great example of a business blog. Do you feel under pressure to perform if you will and to work harder on what you write on the blog?
I don’t think so. I enjoy writing the blog, and although I’m pleased by the mentions, it doesn’t really change what I do. I’m quite certain I’d continue as long as my readers are interested – with or without any acclaim.
Have other businesses approached you asking for advice on how it’s done?
No. It’s a bit surprising to me, since I see it as such a good thing, but I haven’t been approached by anyone. In fact, I’ve tried to convince some friends who are business people to start a blog with no success.
In terms of importance to the business and priorities, where does the blog come?
It’s not a big priority in terms of the business, but rather something I do mostly in my spare time. We don’t have meetings about the blog or plan content or anything like that. It really is an on-line journal of the issues I find important at the moment or recipes with which I or my production team have been playing. It’s a big time commitment, but I don’t mind since I enjoy it so much.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a business that wants to start a blog?
A business blog should contain information that is useful to the readers. There must be a pay-off for them visiting your site. In my case it’s the recipes as well as tips and tricks and information about Kerry and a personal point of view. Company propaganda is unlikely to interest many people…
Congrats on the book deal. How did that come about?
The book came directly from the blog. An editor at our publisher was a fan both of the blog and our ice cream, saw the potential for an ice cream cookbook, and contacted me. Needless to say, my brother and I were delighted. We then put together a book proposal, which their board approved.
When is the book coming out? How is it going to be marketed?
The Book of Sweet Things will come out in April and should be available in Irish bookshops nationwide and on Amazon. In terms of marketing, we will market it in conjunction with the publishers. They have a wealth of experience in terms of marketing books. From our side, we will mount a PR campaign both in traditional media and on-line. Of course, we also expect to sell a good few copies through our own Murphys Ice Cream shops in Dingle and Killarney.
What’s the work regime for putting the book together? Is there a certain amount of time set aside each day?
That would probably be the best way to do it, but since our business is so seasonal, I didn’t really get anything done until the summer season was past, and I then put the book together in a few months of intense work. My brother covered all the other parts of the business to give me the space to do so and helped with the editing.
Putting a book together is new to you, I assume? Did you get advice from a few people on how to do it?
It is new to me, but I didn’t get advice except from my brother and parents, who were very helpful. I figured the publishers like what they saw on the blog, so I simply continued in that vein. Of course, a cookbook is very different from other books, since so much of it is simply recipes. It requires less writing and more testing than other types of books! I also did the photography myself, and that was very time-consuming.
You’ve done pieces for the Irish Times, you’ve done the book, have you been approached by a TV company about doing a series on icecream?
Not yet, but that would be great fun!
What’s next after the book?
I’ll get back to the ice cream. There’s always so much to do and much to improve, and there is a new season coming up. It’s really my first love. In the longer term, I do like writing, and I would like to do more of it. Whether that means another book or media writing depends on what comes my way.
Niall has the most inappropriate video tribute to Jeremy Beadle ever.
Trinity shows off her Fluffy badge. So in case you didn’t know, the rule is if you want a Fluffy badge you have to have been linked from a Fluffy link. Only 13 of the limited edition badges are left. Want one?
Klara talks Cowboy Bebop. Great ending to the show.
Piaras explains why people trust John Waters more than bloggers. Well known fact. Can’t prove it. Crying as he blogged it.
mySpace is opening. I believe it’ll be a creaking sound.
ComReg wishes to announce that it has awarded four contracts to three sets of consultants, for consultancy services advising on eircom’s proposed structural separation. The total value of all four contracts awarded is €712,846
Consultancies who will write a report, that will end up with ComReg coming to a decision about eircom, which will lead to a public consultation, which will lead to a further decision which will lead to what exactly…
I don’t think they have the moxy or the power to split them. eircom have said they’re splitting, not like they can be stopped.
I sent a good few questions to Grandad about blogs and books and life and er porn. Below are the jumble of questions and below that are some very insightful answers.
So, tell us about the blog to start with. What’s it for? Who is it for?
You seem to have a massive community around your blog which gets bigger and bigger. What’s it like to have a daily audience and to have people there every day waiting for your words? Do you feel more pressured to perform nowadays?
I remember the day well when Michele told us all to check out the blog. It wasn’t soon before you were on TV talking about it too. And now a book. You hit the ground running and life is getting more and more interesting for you. When you first considered blogging, did you think it was going to be anything like this?
It has to be asked. OAP porn. You seem to get the most fucked up searches coming to you. You got a book deal, had any other type of “offers” from Adult entertainment or “niche” content producers?
So the book deal. Wow. Congrats. How did that come about?
You talk about the regime for getting the book started? Has your day become very regimented now? What’s your work ethic? Have you done any projects like this before?
When is the book out? What kind of marketing will be involved, do you think?
What’s next? Going to try and get O’Shea’s slot and spend time on the couch with Seoige?
Like it or not, you are now a role model to other bloggers. What advice would you give to them about blogging or getting a book deal?
** ** **
Answers from Grandad
OK. The blog…. You can blame Michele for that. I can’t remember where it happened [I think it was on the phone?], but in mid October 2006 we were talking about blogging. I knew absolutely nothing about it. I had read one or two blog posts, but that was it. I threatened to start a blog, and Michele told be that under no circumstances was I to do so, and that if I did, that no one would be safe! I took that as a challenge, and set up a blog the next day. Again, I didn’t even realise there were free blogging platforms at that time, so I set it up on its own server.
As I didn’t know what blogging was about, I just wrote whatever came into my head. I have more or less continued that to this day. Sometimes I have an idea, and sometimes I don’t but just write. Strangely, the spontaneous ones often get a better reaction. The concept of Grandad railing at tourists and Americans just evolved. In fact, since the blog started, I have gained quite a respect for Americans. It’s now the Irish I blame for embracing the American culture to the detriment of our own!
I don’t know how my community grew, or why the blog is popular. I write for my own amusement. If possible I try to make it amusing. I think it was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. Sheer luck. I don’t consider myself a writer, and had never written anything before, let alone published anything. My first break came when Sinead Gleeson was approached by the Irish Times to write about blogging. She was asked to suggest other bloggers, and for some reason, she chose me. I don’t know why. That was my first ever published article! Then I was approached to do the CapitalD thing. Again, I was amazed. It was great fun filming though. Strangely, neither the Times or RTE increased public awareness that much.
I think the first time I realised I might be on to something was when I was nearly shortlisted last year in the Irish Blog Awards as Best Newcomer. The next big break was when I was invited by Dario Sanchez [now no longer blogging] to join in a podcast with some people in America. That podcast has been running ever since. We lost Dario, but have since gained Baino from Australia. The podcast was a toehold into the States, and they now account for the majority of my readers.
I was recording the podcast yesterday, when one of the contributors pointed out that I hadn’t blogged yet. This was at 1.30pm here [7.30am, his time]. He said the first thing he always did at 6am was read my latest post, and he was pining. Others have commented too if I am late in writing, so I do seem to have created a pool of conditioned readers. Yes. That does cause a certain pressure. In fact, I am going away this week, so for the first time in fifteen months, I won’t be blogging. I will have to put up a warning to this effect!!
As for the way the site has developed – I am at a total loss. I hit a Feedburner figure yesterday of 285 which amazes me. A lot of it was to do with an article I wrote in October last about “How to drink a pint of Guinness”. Donncha Stumbled that, and the reaction was unbelievable. I had 26,000 visits from that one Stumble, and a lot of them stayed. Then I was shortlisted for the Net Visionary Awards. That amazed me, but the biggest shock was the Golden Spider. There was no way on earth that I expected that one!! Now I have the Digital Media Awards coming up. I’m shortlisted but I don’t think I’ll win. Leastwise, it’s very unlikely I’ll be going.
The book came about from an email. It was as simple as that. I got an email one day from Mercier Press, saying that they had been reading my blog, and would I like to write a book? We had discussions about it, and as you will have seen from today’s posting [Sunday], a novel sort of evolved from the discussion. I actually signed the contract on the day of the Spiders.
It is very hard going for a first timer. Usually what I do is spend the morning catching up with work. I than have a nap, and try to spend a few hours at the book. Some days I miss altogether, but generally it has become a routine. Some days it goes very well. Other days I panic. I will doubtless be meeting with the publishers when the first draft is done, and we’ll probably discuss marketing then.
The Senior Porn? Hah! That started out when I wrote a post about spam I was receiving. I inadvertently used all the wrong keywords, and of course that ranked me even higher. So, to an extent, I have encouraged it. Of my top 10 search term in the last month, only two are non-porn related!!! The Paris Hilton Naked Pussy went down very well. I rank very highly for her now. I am now an expert at search engine rankings! I even out-rank Cully and Sully and get a lot of searches for them. So far, no offers from that sector of my market 🙁
As for what’s next? I haven’t a clue? I play things by ear. If the book does well, then maybe write another? And if it doesn’t, then I still have my other business [which refuses to die]. I never have high expectations and have already got a bet on that my book sales won’t exceed 500. So I’m not buying a suit to appear on The Plank’s show. I wouldn’t mind an appearance on Podge and Rodge though? Seoige? Forget it! Ni Bheolain? Bring her on!
You ask my advice? I don’t know. I don’t really know what I’m doing that is right. One thing I have toyed with is a blog on how to blog. But that is a bit like a writers course. If you can’t write, then you can’t be taught. But the kind of advice I would give in the blog, apart from the technical side of plug-ins and design, would be to have a rapport with the readers. I try to respond to as many comments as I can. They have taken the trouble to comment on my blog, so not only do I feel I should respond, but that it’s only fair that I comment on their blogs too. As for getting a book deal? They came to me. I think that more and more publishers are going to turn to the blogging world for fresh meat. They can see whether there is potential. If they think a blog is good enough, they will make the approach.
You say I’m a role model???????? I did notice a few times in the past that I wrote something, and not long after, a few other bloggers copied my style. I think I was one of the first to start writing about my search terms? That seems to have caught on. There are a few other quirks of mine that have suddenly become familiar elsewhere too!
Noel Rock is a very good friend of mine who I know for years now. For the past few summers he’s worked as an intern for Hillary Clinton and was one of the folks that recently campaigned for her in Iowa, in between studying and doing exams back in Ireland. As you do. I’ve been pestering him for months now, perhaps even years at this stage to do a guest blog post here to explain his thoughts on Hillary and he finally sent them on. He’s also just started his own blog so head over and subscribe. I expect great things from Noel in a few years (and told him so now theres loads of pressure) and he’s already done extremely well for himself for someone barely in his twenties. I’m really proud of him. (Further pressure). Noel no Hillary:
Hillary â€“ our nominee?
A tantalising question mark looms over the once inevitable candidacy of Ms. Clinton right now though, for many both here and in America, an even more tantalising question mark looms over Ms. Clinton herself: just who is she?
Iâ€™ve travelled across fourteen states in the last year â€“ spent a night in a Ron Paul youth camp, sat beside an elderly man smuggling drugs across the border for him and his wife and met a cacophony of people representing the length and breadth of American opinions. Iâ€™ve really tried to get in touch with what people were thinking and why and, at this stage, Iâ€™d imagine Iâ€™ve talked to well over a thousand people representing a real spread of American interests, values, thoughts and beliefs. Some Republicans, some Democrats; yet all are united in their discontent with where America is and where it seems to be going.
In such situations, the topic invariably shuffles as to why Iâ€™m in that particular state since Iâ€™m Irish, far from home and completely inappropriately dressed for whatever climate I happen to be in and â€“ without effort â€“ Hillary comes into it eventually. Without fail, upon the mention of her name, people tend to volunteer an opinion and, indeed, Iâ€™ll bet that you may also have had an opinion from the outset of this piece: Iâ€™m not out to change your opinion, thereâ€™s no hard sell here or heart-jerking stories, just my own experiences during the last two years on and off the Clinton bandwagon.
Having grown up with only a vague interest in American politics, Iâ€™m now indelibly linked with Hillary as you have probably guessed, yet it wasnâ€™t always this way. In the never-repeated (and with good reason) words of Jackson Browne, people need some reason to believe and â€“ for me â€“ it was my first experience interning in her Senate office in 2006 that made me commit to her.
The first thing that really struck me, upon spending a few days in the office, is the incredible amount of constituency work that takes place. As a Senator for New York, she is responsible for the welfare of nineteen million Constituents: no mean feat and, perhaps tellingly, she has a huge staff to correspond with them.
Yet, whether itâ€™s a new bridge being constructed in Buffalo, farming issues in upstate New York or crime in a local community on Long Island, she seems to be aware of it all. Sheâ€™s keen to keep an eye on New York even while sheâ€™s campaigning and â€“ consequently â€“ has still shown up to a raft of Senate votes while on the trail. This consistent attention to detail during her Senate termwas rewarded aptly with a 68% re-election rating, something which is not as inevitable as many would believe as â€“ in the last three decades – there has generally been at least one Republican holding a Senate seat in New York. It isnâ€™t thrilling, it isnâ€™t flashy; itâ€™s just good, solid policy work â€“ and she gets it done. Thatâ€™s the first thing I think America needs: an industrious President who knows what needs to be pushed through in order to create lasting reform.
Obama has talked about â€˜changeâ€™: itâ€™s the bedrock of his campaign and, Iâ€™d like to talk about that for a moment because â€“ for me â€“ change isnâ€™t some spontaneous act. Much like patriotism, I donâ€™t believe it can be expressed in a sudden way if it is to be in any way effective: rather change, when it is real, lasting and meaningful, marches to a slow beat and â€“ in that sense â€“ I think the change that Hillary provides is one that is more useful for the situation that America currently finds itself in.
Moreover, an absolute expert in international relations, diplomacy and someone who is at the top of her game in every field: she had nuance and expertise on a wide, wide variety of topics and always seemed to be eager to learn more and add to her depth and range of knowledge. This was particularly illustrated to me one day when â€“ during one of our short but pleasantly insightful conversations â€“ I mentioned to her the issue of nuclear power in America and, after a little back-and-forth, she broke in â€œwell, itâ€™s an issue at home for you too? You donâ€™t want to build any plants yet you import most of your own power – and then thereâ€™s Sellafieldâ€¦â€. I found this to be stunning and, the notable thing was that I introduced the topic of nuclear power, not her. There was no conceivable way she could have prepared for the conversation, yet she had insight and nuance. There are so many more examples of such knowledge that I could share.
Indeed, it was perhaps telling that, when Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley visited Ireland, they requested to see Senator Clinton after all she had done for the peace process. I was sitting in a conference with Mr. McGuinness once and she came up and, it was quite insightful what he had to say, as he stopped to note what an instrumental role she had played in that process by â€œknocking their heads togetherâ€ and â€œmaking them realise they had to wise upâ€. And that was without a mandate as First Lady. Goodness knows how well sheâ€™d apply those skills to a Presidency.
Getting back to the office itself though, it was a fierce environment and an intimidating prospect: being joined by over thirty fellow interns from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Columbia among others, I was working with some of the most academically gifted young people that America had to offer and, in order to get meaningful work, you had to â€“ in Hillary speak â€“ â€˜dare to competeâ€™. And, thankfully, I did: I got to collaborate on two speeches: one on farm policy (â€œYouâ€™re Irish, you can do this!) and one on foreign policy (â€œYouâ€™re foreign, you can do this!â€) but â€“ to be honest â€“ the most enjoyable job for most interns was the most mundane-sounding one: giving tours of the Capitol. Maybe it was because I just liked walking and talking too much. I donâ€™t know.
One thing is for certain, whatever bit me during the first three-month stint in her office has kept me coming back and, some twenty thousand miles later, after working through the humid urban swamps of D.C. and the freezing plains of Iowa, I am most definitely hooked on Hillary.
I’m apparently talking at UCC’s Journo Soc conference, as is Rick. The topic of the conference is “Death of a newspaper: is the traditional newspaper at risk of being replaced by the various strands of new media?” I’m getting two grand for a 20 minute talk so I’ll say whatever they want me to say.*
Lovely lashes Niall shows where his fluffy badge is at.
Why Rob blogs.
Check out this event. The OpenIsland Free Software for business event.
Christ. On a bike. No. Really.
And even more Christ on a bikeness, a new episode of The Simpsons that was funny.
Are these really the top tech influencers. Napster founder above Bill Gates?
How do you like your Google search results, sunny side up?
Leveraging a very annoying Facebook App is good for business. I’m telling you, the money is in an app that blocks all these other apps. Charge a weekly subscription fee.
Cheeseburger in a can. Yes world, you can end now.
300 vs. The Army of Darkness
*Might, nay is, a total fucking lie.