Author Archive

Fluffy links – January 29th 2007

Monday, January 29th, 2007

35 acre subterranean Cold War City in the UK!

Another getting things done diagram.

Now that’s a gun and a half.

Do not look at this if you just ate. Thanks Andrew.

Some fucked up driving from a schoolbus driver. No kids were on board at the time. Otto was driving yeah?

Caffeine infused donuts. But what if you want to sleep after eating them?

C.H.O.P.S. Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary People.

Let me be the second to welcome our robot overlords

Final Episode of Lost preview:

IDAFYfA 2 – – Amazon store

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

With being a zeitgeist for what’s happening in the Irish blogging world it might be good for them to have a little box on the right hand side of their pages with links to the Amazon store. If someone is talking Damien Rice in a blog post, then the aggregator could use the magical Amazon APIs and tie in a link to the Amazon store.

It could monitor each blog post and then present a chart of the most talked about book, cd, dvd etc. If it was transparent I don’t think anyone would mind the small kickback that IrishBlogs would get as a result of this.

Scoble has started and continued on a new fight – Yay

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

About time. Things were getting so so boring. I truly love it when people say they are unsubscribing in the comments after Scoble says something. The blogging version of “you were cool but now you’ve sold out to the man”. Still, I totally disagree that you can even measure a cancer patient story against an Intel story, let alone say your Intel videos are more important than a cancer patient having his XBox stolen.

Best thing about Scoble is that when he acts like an ass he’ll more than likely apologise later and admit to being an ass and in the comments he certainly is acting like one. Meantime keep reading the comments. Maryam best put on a larger Sunday dinner, Robert is going to be hungry from all this fighting. Though I think Maryam being a modern woman, she’ll be making Robert make the dinner. 🙂

“Techwreck” – What was I thinking!

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Hello Tribune readers. What will I call you? Tributantes? Photo courtesy of Bernie Goldbach.

Killeen now lobbies on behalf of an IRA bomber

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Just listening to Cian on the radio now. This time the letter came from the Minister’s office. What’s next for him?

Ricky Meets David – YouTube videos

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Via Metafilter. Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David.

Last year Ricky Gervais hosted a short series of informal interviews with three of his comedy heroes for the UK’s Channel 4. His 5-part meeting with Larry David is an amazingly candid and entertaining look at geniuses discussing comedy.

Watch these before they get taken down.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Bebo Cards – Bebo Moo Cards

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Arggghhh. Talking about timing. This post has been in draft for a while as it was one of those “ideas” one has. A while back I was looking for printers who did Moo style cards. The reason being that I was thinking of doing Moo style cards for Beboers. Well Bebo and Moo beat me to it.

Bebo Cards

Bebo now has Moo cards. Get ten free now.

My variation of this idea though is that they supply 100 cards for free and in return Bebo sells the space on the back to advertisers. But, the advertisers have to offer some kind of discount voucher. So a girl gives a boy she likes her card that only contains her Bebo information, he takes it, goes to Bebo and adds her and then goes off and uses the card to get a discount in HMV. Still, were I to run with my idea, I’m sure I could get sponsors and it isn’t just Bebo this can work on. 🙂

You gotta love the email receipt you get from Moo:

Hello Damien

I’m Little MOO – the bit of software that will be managing your order
with us. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will
print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done
and on its way to you.

In the meantime you can track and manage your order at:

Remember, I’m just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions
regarding your order please contact customer services (who are real
people) at:

Christian Sue Gays over use of Rainbow

Friday, January 26th, 2007

It was bound to happen really. We all know Noah wouldn’t allow the two unicorns on cos they were gay. We’d still have unicorns today if it was for homophobe O’Noah. Although I can understand the Christians when I see T-shirts like this and this.

You scare me Sharon

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Seriously. 🙂 Thanks for the hello!

An Irish Customer Care Portal?

Friday, January 26th, 2007

So there’s a little chatter about the idea of some kind of site or blog that gathers customer complaints. It isn’t a bad idea at all. But in my own experiences what the people want and what they’ll do about it are quite different. So what is needed? Well Annette mentions the following:

I for one would like to see a dedicated portal for customer service in Ireland where bloggers could post their experiences (good and bad) of customer service and try and impact on this whole area. I’d be really interested in stories of excellence as well as the horror ones because until customers raise their expectations of what is acceptable then our benchmarks will hover around the bottom of the scale

Definitely I agree and like the idea of the negative and the positive being highlighted. McDonald’s seems to be getting great press recently via Piaras and Conor and even are getting some positive remarks from an initial negative me. I’ve also since heard two more positive stories about addressing issues people had with them after people read my post.

Some things to think about:

  • Would such a site just be about customer care and not actually about resolving your specific issue?
  • (as in “NTL’s support is bad because x, y z “compared to “Please fix my broadband speeds”)

  • Moderated or unmoderated comments?
  • Anonymous, semi-anonymous, real name only?

There does seem to be sites out there for that purpose such as the Consumer Issues forum on, the Ask About Money website and the seemingly defunct website but I think we need a lot lot more of them. Plenty of niche areas could do with groups and websites to do something about service.

As Will mentions, my experiences when I ring to complain to a telco or to the regulator now are that my call gets escalated, even when I have a genuine complaint. Without question I can route around the tech support line barriers and have someone appear on my doorstep within 3 hours if I wanted to abuse my position in IrelandOffline. I don’t and I even refuse to intervene when family members have hassle. However, imagine if everyone were the in a lobby group, all our calls would be treated with priority in that small market segment. That can actually benefit the service providers too.

It is easy to set up a group to collate and magnify issues. Easier than ever thanks to forums and email and skype and Wikis. This consumer portal could be like a central site with dozens or hundreds of subsites are all present. One single-sign on gives you access to all of them. In fact, could always add some kind of consumer group module for allowing people to create tools for an activist community to use.

Years back I had planned to build a portal called where it would allow someone to create a subdomain for any activist group and it would supply them with email lists, public and private forums, wikis and lots of other tools. I still might set that up but there is also a need for a consumer portal too.

I’ve seen a community built up around the IrelandOffline forum on and around other lobby groups and know of businesses that actually got formed from these communities. The IrelandOffline community has been good to eircom, BT , UTV and many other companies because this community shares their knowledge and they help people with tech support issues too. Less staff needed by the companies if their users act as supporters. I think that is a key issue with companies. Their users are not their supporters. There is an “us” on the consumer side and their is an “us” on the business side and these do not intersect . The broadband forum over there on Boards is another example of a voluntary community solving a lot of the tech support issues which ISPs could be getting.

To rehash the words of Brian Caulfield at BarCamp, it is the market and the team that are important, not the tech. You don’t need techies to build your portal. You don’t need to know web programming. A blog could be your portal to start with. Find your niche area and find the people to campaign around it. Who’ll do it though?