Jaysus lads, could it be anymore male centric? Looking at the attendees list shows that Clare Dillon is the only female going to BarCamp Ireland so far. Clare certainly is no token but it could easily appear that way. Is the tech sector that male heavy in Ireland? I said male heavy, not heavy males. Where are all these women in tech? Where are the role models if someone wants to be a techy? Role models are about people you identify with, right?
Archive for August, 2006
The tiresome discourse of old/current media telling bloggers they are not going to replace them is back again and again it’s been excellently taken to task by Jeff Jarvis. Steven Johnson also made some more succint points. It’s a bit like “certain people in Ireland are saying blah blah and I’m here to say this is not true.” Certain people where? These sky is falling media types keep saying that all us bloggers want to storm their castle and take their thrones. Keep em. We’re not interested in Kingdoms, or rather most of us aren’t.
I’m going to quote a good chunk of what Steven Johnson said:
1. Mainstream, top-down, professional journalism will continue to play a vital role in covering news events, and in shaping our interpretation of those events, as it should.
2. Bloggers will grow increasingly adept at covering certain kinds of news events, but not all. They will play an increasingly important role in the interpretation of all kinds of news.
3. The majority of bloggers won’t be concerned with traditional news at all.
4. Professional, edited journalism will have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than blogging; examples of sloppy, offensive, factually incorrect, or tedious writing will be abundant in the blogosphere. But diamonds in that rough will be abundant as well.
5. Blogs — like all modes of contemporary media — are not historically unique; they draw upon and resemble a number of past traditions and forms, depending on their focus.
So here’s my proposal: if you’re writing an article or a blog post about this issue, and your argument revolves around one or more of these points — and doesn’t add anything else of substance — STOP WRITING. Pick a new topic. Move on. There’s nothing to see here.
He’s right. Stop obsessing on something we are not saying.
Also Jay Rosen added in the comments of Steven’s piece:
The “replace” discussion is conducted by journalists for journalists who have read other articles about bloggers by journalists who were themselves writing for other journalists.
I really hope that history doesn’t repeat itself here. I’d hate to see this crapola happening here in two years time. Only now is blogging being talked about in the press and I think the press can actually shape the future of blogging maybe even more so than us bloggers.
Us blogger types talk about Digg and Slashdot and Technorati but a Hitwise study shows that while the usage of Digg is exploding, the NY Times leaves it for dead. The NY Times, although forcing you to register (for free) to use their site also allows bloggers to link directly to stories. You can do this via the NY Times Link Generator.
Given that if you look at IrishBlogs.ie or planet.journals.ie you’ll see many of the stories have been kicked off by articles in the Examiner, Irish Times or Irish Independent, it isn’t a surprise that the old media is in effect dictating what a large proportion of bloggers are discussing. It is this behaviour that they should exploit. Cynically or otherwise.
Make it easy to link to their pages for bloggers. Provide RSS feeds for everything. Make it easy for Joe Public to get to those pages without registering. Welcome the search engine traffic. Realise there’s money to be made in not being a final destination but the initial one. Be the morning springboard. This is what BoingBoing is and they’re doing ok for themselves.
Imagine going to Ireland.com and getting all the content for free and when you log in you have access to a free bloglines like feedreader? I’m sure it would be good to suggest feeds but also see what the reading habits of your readers are (through their feed subscriptions) so you can give them more of what they want.
I’d also love to see those registered to the sites being allowed to leave comments and also interact with journalists on a scratch pad – A section where a story can be drafted and researched. Where journalists can ask questions they way they ask us in private “Know anything about diamond mining in x?” “Any clue who can comment on telecoms issues?”. Some questions need to be asked in private but I’m sure many more can be asked in public and the loyal audience there can be your 7 thousand dwarves hi-hoing around the net to find you information. Done right, that army of commentors can find you new information and tip you off if they interact with your journalists on the website.
I wouldn’t just stop there. (Though but I’m sure what I’ve already discussed is too big a leap for papers.) The papers should actively take part in things like the Blogger Academy and come along to specific workshops on how to write journalistic style stories, how to research, how to ensure balance and share editing tips. More than likely the next generation of reporters and journalists are going to come from blogs and it might bring more variety than the very incestuous bedhopping between the main daily papers that happens every year. We need a football academy for journalists AND bloggers.
Now, getting back to my main point. There’s an opportunity right now to set the agenda of bloggers to go with what you feed them or if not they will start to move away and find alternate news sources which will grow bigger and stronger with the constant linking and attention from them. We’re already starting to see that out of this small community, a few of us are in papers or on the radio a few times a week, it’s not a rarity anymore. How short a time ago was it when we all marveled that X was in the Indo? How long before it’s daily? It’ll be a long while before the majority of those in the media are bloggers but I do forsee the numbers growing more and more and it would be of immense benefit to see this trend and use it. Newspapers are here to stay, but so are bloggers.
(With a nod to Philip K. Dick for bastardising a story title of his for the title of this.)
Hey remember the time when I found a human tooth down on Delancey
Hey remember that time we decided to kiss anywhere except the mouth
Hey remember that time when my favorite colors were pink and green
Hey remember that month when I only ate boxes of tangerines
So cheap and juicy, tangerines
Hey remember that time when I would only read Shakespeare
Hey remember that other time when I would only read the backs of cereal boxes
Hey remember that time I tried to save a pigeon with a broken wing
A street cat got him by morning and I had to bury pieces of his body in my building’s playground
I thought I was going to be sick, I thought I was going to be sick
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Parliaments
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Marlboros
Hey remember that time when I would only smoke Camels
Hey remember that time when I was broke
I didn’t care I just bummed from my friends
Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum…
Hey remember that time when you od’ed
Hey remember that other time when you od’ed for the second time
Well in the waiting room while waiting for news of you I hallucinated I could read your mind
And I was on a lot of shit too but what I saw, man, I tell you it was freaky, freaky
Meebo has released a widget for your website. It allows website visitors to message you via the Meebo system. Meebo in case you don’t know it is a website that allows you to sign into most IM clients and use them all on just one webpage. It’s very handy when traveling or when behind corporate firewalls. 3 simple steps can you can have the widget on your site. There’s tonnes of these apps around but Meebo has a very large userbase already which is a definite selling point and it also as I stated allows you to sign into all your other IM clients. This chat window is now on the right-hand side of the blog. Not sure will I leave it there forever.
Edit 2: I’m now on JWT’s site messaging him via the Meebo widget and I’m in Meebo messaging him on MSN. Is there an option for Meebo account holders to be able to message each other too since we both have accounts anyway?
Edit 3: Oooh. It remembers your screen name as you move from site to site. This is interesting.
Edit 4: Signing in from home means I have to now sign in to my account which auto signs me into all IMs, then I have to sign back out of each one individually so that I can get Meebo messages from my site while using my home IM clients. Maybe add a “Just sign into my Meebo (non-IM accounts)” or something like that.
Crooked Timber mentions the Irish Times coverage of Declan Costello. Not being big into politics since the current generation are uninspiring and having not done Irish history in school, I never read about this very interesting man. It seems he was a great inspiration and who actually managed to change society and engage with the younger generations. Some contract to the lot we have today. It must have been great to live in those times when politics was exciting. When was the last time politics was actually exciting, the birth of the PDs? Mark Waters also points to the CT piece.
There’s been a huge amount of new blogs in the Blog O’Sphere the past while and I would like to use the dusty Blog Awards website to do some profiles on them and maybe ask them a few questions and get them noticed by the wider community. I think the same goes for existing blogs who have bloggers with small voices but fantastic opinions which you think deserve to be heard a bit more.
If you know of any blogs that fit these criteria then leave links to them in the comments.
Update: Suzy has it up a while. D’OH. Still worth sharing.