Archive for May, 2006


Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Via Euan Semple is an Amnesty International initiative to mess with censorship. A quick piece of code on your page linking to them allows fragments of censored material to be displayed on your own site. Not sure how it’ll defeat censorship in the likes of China that’ll happily ban the whole net if needs be but it might work in other countries at making them climb down.

The emotional clashes with the empirical

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Adam Maguire jumps into the discussion about blogging and mainstream media and how blogging will replace traditional media. He makes a few statements that I thought I’d address.

It can’t help but concern me that the only thing bloggers really get going over is blogs; of course a multitude of issues are discussed across the community every day but none of them see the scale of interest that an issue of blogging does. The ‘conversational’ aspect of our media seems to be saved for incestuous discussions on ourselves.

He mustn’t be reading any of the Irish blogs that I read because like web 2.0, most bloggers don’t get going over blogs and the medium we use to converse. UI gets going over various issues that have nothing to do with blogs, Slugger is the same. The Limerick blogger cares and gets going about Limerick and Rugby. Red Mum gets going about her young wan’s bedroom and has written some good pieces on Bebo, though I’d have a different view on the site. Auds gets going about conservative issues and quality music. Suzy Byrne gets going about personal/political issues. The biggest “get going” in the past 12 months surely had to be the feminism debate. Some other big stories of late were Bertie and his makeup kit, Munster Rugby, Lordi and the Eurovision. There was a huge amount of discussion over the Danish Cartoons all over the Irish blogs. I don’t recall many “incestuous discussions on ourselves”. Still though, how is this “get going” measured? We all react differently to something and care or not care in different ways. What are the units of emotional reaction and discussion?

Adam, maybe you mean that it is easy to unite and piss off a great deal of bloggers by making general statements about what they do, such as saying they only got upset when a tech issue came up such as Tom Raftery’s or saying that they only talk in unity about blogging and not about anything else. I’m sure if someone made a sweeping generalisation that all polticians are illiterate, they’d all unite to address the issue and measuring their reaction would show that in total this issue was talked about more than other issue because as smaller groups and individuals they would generally be more passionate about different areas.

Adam went on:

Perhaps it’s not that blogging is being discussed too much in blogs but that other topics are instead ignored or contained.

The terrible price of freedom of speech and freedom of choice! Bloggers talk about what they want to talk about not about what they “should” or what others expect. As for ignoring topics, am I ignoring hurling because I blog about broadband? Ignoring something is not the same as having no interest in it. Bloggers don’t owe the world anything, they’re not the national broadcaster with some obligation to appeal to every area in society. There is no blog licence fee. We don’t have editors commissioning us to write about areas we might not be passionate about. Is there a bloggers civic duty to society?

I’ll also add a quote from Simon McGarr:

the proof of blogging’s relevance to its audience is that we talk about the things that engage us personally- not the things we’re told ought to.

Adam also stated:

but I do feel an opportunity is constantly being missed when people decide not to point out another blog or post or interest, decline to comment even when they have something to say or refuse to engage in a discussion for whatever reason.

To me, that sounds way more like print media than bloggers. God bless generalisations.

There’s lots of talk that bloggers are saying they’ll replace traditional media. I don’t actually see many bloggers saying that at all. I do read Jeff Jarvis who says old media is going to dwindle and wither unless they change their structures. The odd thing is that the people that talk most about bloggers taking over from paid media are those who say it won’t happen. It’s them that are talking up a non-issue. It’s like writing that the end isn’t nigh because some whacko on the street is saying it is. I don’t think the majority of bloggers think or care if they replace traditional media, they just get on with doing what they do. The same people who declare that the established media’s sky isn’t falling are generally the ones that seem to want parity between blogging and old media and almost demand we toe some invisible editorial line.

Thanks to my friend Matthew for the post title which he used in a recent convo.

That Bohanna chap is stirring it – Brilliant!

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Keith is auctioning off All money goes to the IT@Cork folks.

Cork Bloggers profiled in the Sunday Business Post

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Dave, Branedy, Tom and Donncha were mentioned in a piece about Cork bloggers in the Sunday Business Post pull-out section on Cork. I got a mention too. Good quotes from Branedy I must say. Peter Flynn was mentioned for his pioneering work in putting Ireland on the world wide web. Is Cork the real Capital of Irish blogging?

Also in the same section was a a bit on IT@Cork with a great pic of Donagh, Catherine and Donal looking very confident. They should send that to Tim O’Reilly with a caption “Bring it on!”.

Kill Bill 1&2 in 120 seconds

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Podcasting baby

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

I did a talk today in Cork on Podcasting and the majority of my powerpoint presentation was words-free , I just used pictures and spoke on whatever area the pic was covering. I started off with the below picture because everyone loves cute baby photos and it also showed an audience for a podcast can be of any age and making a podcast is easy for everyone.

Podcast Baby

Displayed thanks to a Creative Commons licence from: Teds Blog.

It was family we got riled up for, not the web 2.0 name

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Piaras suggests on his blog:

It isn’t hard to think why some people hold blogs in such disdain given the fact that there’s all this chatter about the phrase ‘Web 2.0′, but in terms of some of the biggest stories which have been in the news recently such as the Afghan hunger strikers in St. Patricks Cathedral, Irish bloggers have been relatively silent.

My view on why Irish bloggers got in to this is because Tom is family. He’s part of the community. If Suzy was threatened, or Piaras, or Richard or EWI we’d do the same. Don’t mess with family. I should think that most of the Irish bloggers couldn’t give a toss about web 2.0 but they would give a toss if one of us was sued for some stupid reason. There’s a reason we get together at blog awards and other events and have a laugh and a natter. It is the same way many of us gave out shit when El Paso acted the bollox.

If we are constricted to talking about what newspapers and the radio covers then we’d be a very very boring community and dictated by business interests and the interests of demographics. The “big” stories are what “they” tell us they are. This sounds all hippie and conspiratorial about “the man” but hopefully you get me. The conference Suzy was at today got some coverage but mostly about McDowell getting harassed. It was Suzy that covered the more important aspects of the event. It was Auds that spoke up for those against gay marriage who think the protestors today were just troublemakers. If she was threatened over what she said I’d create as much as a fuss as I did over Tom’s issue.

It was the Irish Blogging Community giving out that Mystery Train was canceled and sharing memories and fondness for it. The “mainstream” told us it was ‘gone, nothing more to see here, move on please’. I’m sure it could be them that start a campaign to find it a new home.

It was Digital Rights Ireland who covered the fact that Gardai might be leaking mobile phone data of the Afghanis in the Cathedral. Where’s that in the “mainstream” media?

The blogosphere is what we want to talk about and not what is dictated by editors under influence from their owners and the bottom line. We are all our editors and we choose what we want to read and what we want to discuss. If people have disdain for bloggers because we are free then I feel sorry for them. We won’t be homogenized. Screw the disdain.

Going back to Tom, it’s not about Web 2.0, it’s about a guy we know organising a conference and some over-zealous lawyers trying to suck the fun out of it and us saying. “Oi, lawyery types Noooooo.”

Web Sue.0 – O’Reilly’s rep protectors wreck his rep

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Some of the very heavy hitters of the blog world have now given their two cents. I like Mike Arrington’s quote:

Tim O’Reilly needs to muzzle his lawyers immediately and respond publicly, personally and immediately to the situation, because I sense that a lynching is about to occur in the blogosphere.

4 hours after Tom’s post and the tech blogs are really starting to bubble.

I’ll be selling “Web Sue.0” T-Shirts at this conference and on the back will be the whole text of the cease and desist. Anyone interested in buying one?

EDIT: And a fantastic quote from Rick Segal:

Rarely do you get to watch somebody build up an amazingly positive reputation only to watch it explode, live, on the Internet.

No. 2 spot on Techmeme now!

Further Update: Mary Gilmartin points to O’Reilly’s reply where they state they approved of the legal letter.

Rick O’Shea’s fee for the 2007 Blog Awards just went way up

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Hearty congratulations to Rick O’Shea for his new 6pm to 9pm radio show on 2fm. Dave Fanning on Radio1 on weeknights now! Jebus. Mystery Train and John Kenny have left the station! Christ bike etc. Wow, Rick is going head to head with Tom Dunne AND Dave Fanning. No pressure fella!

Schadenfreude as performed by a company in Cork

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

If you ever want to work for a company that spends time deriving pleasure from the misfortunes of others, look no further than an American company based in Cork. Today it emerged that O’Reilly sent a cease and desist to the IT@Cork conference for daring to use the term Web 2.0 in the title. Instead of saying “we’re behind you” the company’s blog is delighting with the news. They’ve been snapping at the heels of Tom Raftery and the rest of the IT@Cork folks for weeks now for running the conference and even trying to encourage speakers to give out about the use of the web 2.0 term. What a bunch of fucking assholes.

You’d think a company would try and be part of the local IT community but they’re like a bunch of juveniles with chips on their shoulders. Any time I think of that company I’ll just think of them as that. I certainly won’t recommend them to anyone if I ever had the opportunity to do so. Business blogging can show that you work in a great company and equally it can show that a company can be populated by assholes. I’d link to these gobshites but being the attention economy a link only builds their pagerank and they don’t deserve my link. They’d probably threaten legal action too despite their glee with IT@Cork getting a legal letter. In fact they still could.