Author Archive

iPod Shuffle 4GB Review

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

From a Damien up at an obscene hour in San Francisco:

Paddy’s Day Fluffy Links – Tuesday March 17th 2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Greetings from an overcast and dark San Francisco (it’s around 6am here)

I finally mention new orts and culchore website with loads of faces we already know. Fantastic design, even better content.

Alan and Spoiltchild are doing email marketing workshops both free and paid. Check them out.

Kevin did a quick interview with Joe Rospars from the Obama digital campaign.

Speaking of which, change can be big.

AJ takes to task.

Alexia mentions you can be a DJ for the day on Phantom. Could we just nominate Pearl to take over the station for a day?

Mine. Nobody else allowed. No.

Love love lovvvvvve the packaging.

And on that, is packaging design more important than advertising now?

And now off for Brekky, so here’s Suzanne:

Interview with Adam Douglas, Green Party Candidate for Fermoy

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I recently did an email interview with Adam Douglas from the Green Party. Questions and answers below. I should have more of the younger candidates from a few other parties in the next while here too. Politics needs more younger people contributing by standing for election as well as voting for politicians. People under 30 appear to be invisble in real politics.

Adam Douglas Green Party Fermoy

Why politics? Isn’t it only for the anoraks? Or is that just the Youth and College Wings?

I think Politics has got a naturally bad perception, as reflected in a question like this, and this is understandably the case. But one must realise that Electoral Politics, the winning and not winning entailed in it, can be simplified to a Game. It just so happens that those worst suited to be effective Politicians often seem to be best at playing the Electoral Game of accruing public support to get seats in various Chambers. That’s Why I’m determined to buck that trend for the betterment of Politics, by meeting people and highlighting faults Whenever I can.

How much of a novelty factor has your age been? Do you get the respect you deserve from people in local politics that are double or even triple your age? How in tune with the younger population are these old fogeys? (My term not yours obviously)

I can’t deny it’s had some novelty value, however much I’d like to! The fact is that many of the radio and other appearances I’ve had (including this) would probably not have come About if it wasn’t for the level of attention the age factor’s Grabbed. But despite this I’m determined as ever that it doesn’t either become or overwhelm my campaign.

With regard to the respect issue, I’ve attended a number of local council meetings since my campaign started, and whatever disagreements I may Share with others on policy issues, I must thank them All for the level of seriousness they’ve treated me with.

On the third issue, I would argue that they are completetly out of touch, but I would like to state that this is not a fault of their ages in any way. There is nothing conceivably stopping an 80-year Old being completely in sync with an 18-year Old. Councillors will naturally look out for as many voters as they can, but as long as there isn’t an expectation that the 18-24 age group will even turnout to vote, then there isn’t Gonna be too much attention Paid to their concerns. If Apathy in my age group disappears, then the things I spend a lot of time fighting for, such as a new cinema for the town, will suddenly get more of a look in. That’s why voter registration will be a key issue for me in the weeks before the supplementary list is finalised

How does a youngfella from Fermoy, going to college in Dublin juggle campaigning to be a real world politician too? If you get in, how will you do it?

I’d imagine my traditional ‘I’ll deal with that if comes to it’ response won’t suffice in this instance! More seriously though, as I once told someone Else, it’s All About Good time management. I’m fortunate to have a mixture of facilitating factors. Firstly, a full-time course that is very light on lectures and second of All, the fact that I don’t seem to find long journeys as much of a Chore as others, in fact they give me a great opportunity to get on top of work outstanding. Ultimately, It’s easily Achievable in comparison to Mary Lou McDonald’s situation in running in a European and By-Election at the same time in June!

How much of a difference is there with local council politics and that of the Universities?

I think to even compare the two would be very harsh of upon local councils, as much as they are bereft of lots of the powers of comparable bodies on the continent. Uni Politics is a Powerless popularity contest at the end of the day.

Once Again it comes back to the Point that if Students (Predominantly 18-24 Age group) voted for the meaningful positions then their concerns would be Addressed in Dail Eireann, in City and County councils and Ultimately, through the Pressure that brings, by university management.

How do you get a win in local politics? What is classed as a win? Is there enough power or control in local councils to change the lives of people?

Politics in a PR System can’t be a zero-sum Game. A win for me will be taking a seat, even if that’s ninth out of nine. For certain candidates expectations will be a lot higher for historical reasons of Pride.

I certainly think there is considerable leverage to Change people’s lives for the better, whatever I may have said Above. Planning is a big one, and in Ireland there has been a fierce Shortage of it!

What are the important things people want addressed of late as you go door to door and what of them can be addressed on a local level?

Parking Charges in the town, the flood & traffic mgmt Plans for Fermoy, and rising unemployment in the area are the ones Absolutely central to people’s minds at the moment and understandably so. If councillors are smart About these, they can get things done, but they still need Govt help at the end of the day to be Allowed to Proceed fully.

We need Greater independence of funding mechanisms so that more decisions can be taken by Elected Local councillors. A lessened dependence on exchequer funding can be Achieved through motor tax, aswell as a levy on second properties. Water Charges will Also have to be looked at in the near future I’d imagine.

Is there an education process with the electorate to let them know where the local issues end and the national ones are addressed?

To some degree there Should be, but I wouldn’t underestimate people’s knowledge of where decisions are made. People are rightly confused when they vote for a local candidate and see his/her decisions hampered by national decision-makers, and by extension when they vote for national candidates and they see their decisions being usurped by directives from European Union institutions.

Do you think being a Green in more rural locations is tougher than maybe in more urban areas? Many Greens come from affluent urban areas than the rural locations or is that just a myth.

I’m afraid there’s no myth About it, we do have more success in cities. Although recent opinion Polls Show our support evening out more and more in terms of Dublin versus the rest of the country. It’s Also key for me to dispel the notion that the Policies of the party would be detrimental to rural Ireland. In fact, we have the strongest record in terms of any party in advocating sustainable rural development

Should there be more accountability and transparency when it comes to expenses?

Without a doubt. The money Claimed by so many TDs and councillors at a time when the country is near to Going under with debt is simply disgusting. But we need to be talking About more than just vouched receipts. The actual number and value of expenses must be Shrunk rapidly and All loopholes must be Closed. And don’t Get me started on committees & Ministers of State!

Should people 30 years out of synch with people under 25 be the ones to come up with ways of getting this demographic out to vote? How can this demographic be enthused or angered enough to X the spot on a ballot paper?

As I said Above, there’s nothing necessarily stopping them, Although I feel someone more their age would stand a better Chance of displaying the relation between Politics and everyday life that’s so badly missing. It’s a difficult question to answer, I suppose the end of the Celtic Tiger will focus young people’s minds on the question of why the Good times have come to an end and possibly encourage a bigger turnout

Is the Senate value for money, is it democratic since it’s populated with mates of whoever was the Taoiseach at the time?

It’s neither value for money, nor democratic, and Should be scrapped if anyone had any sense. New Zealand functions fine with just one Chamber. There’s only About half a dozen senators I have anytime for at All

The Internet really didn’t impact at the last general election, is it making any inroads at the locals this time around?

With every Election, the Internet Grabs a Greater role in Electioneering. The Problem for the medium, and as a consequence my own website, is that the Proportion continues to Grow at too Slow a pace to have a major impact. I hope I’m wrong though!

Tell us about a local politician not from your party that you admire/respect.

One of my own TDs in fact. Sean Sherlock of the Labour Party (Cork East). He seems to be every bit as hard working as his late father. Always happy to make a representation on any issue, and to work to a positive end on it. Also well on top of his portfolio where Agriculture’s concerned

And offline we go

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

The blog will be slightly quiet for the next week as I fly to San Francisco and back. I’ve got broadband in the hotel so might update the blog now and then. Or maybe not. There are one or two timed posts going out too so enjoy. Comment moderation is in place so your comment might not appear right away.

Looking forward to flying in a jumbo too.

Boeing 747-151 N601US
Photo owned by cliff1066 (cc)

If a yank can do it – Get your Irish out for Lá na Gaeilge

Friday, March 13th, 2009

The man, the legend that sang to us at the Blog Awards, Concubhar Ó Liatháin from iGaelige has written the below guest blog post. Lá na Gaeilge is coming up and whether you’re fluent or have a few words, why not try a bit of our native language on March 17th? Over to Concubhar:


Ná bí buartha. Tá tú san áit cheart. Is é seo blag Damien Mulley ach, ar mhaithe le h-achainí speisialta, tá cuireadh tugtha aige dom Concubhar Ó Liatháin, údar iGaeilge, cuireadh a thabhairt do bhlagadóirí i ngach áit páirt a ghlacadh i Lá na Gaeilge a bheidh ag titim amach ar Lá Fhéile Phádraig.

Gaeilgeoirí Twitter eagraithe cheana féin – maith iad! Níl aon náire orm a admháil go bhfuilim ag déanamh aithrise ar a n-iarracht ceannródach nó creidim go bhfuil blagadóirí na hÉireann chomh Gaelach céanna le lucht Twitter. Tuigim gur fíor le rá go bhfuil go leor blagadóirí a bhionn ag twitteráil(!) agus go bhfuil a mhalairt fíor freisin.

Normally I blog entirely in Irish. However, this is a special appeal to those of you with a ‘cúpla focal’ to get involved in Lá na Gaeilge which is being celebrated on St Patrick’s Day, so permit me this ‘cúpla focal’ in the English language.

The twitterers are already getting involved – and fair play to them. I make no bones about that I am merely imitating their pioneering effort in an attempt to show that Ireland’s blogging community is at least as Gaelach as the twitterers or the ‘giolchairithe’ as they go by in Irish. Of course I realise that twitterers and bloggers are not mutually exclusive communities.

Is é mo mholadh go mbainfeadh gach blagadóir atá cúpla focal Ghaeilge aige nó aici nó atá chomh líofa leis an gcainteoir dhúchais úsáid as an teanga ar Lá na Gaeilge. Is féidir leo teachtaireacht a fhoilsiú ar a mblaganna nó freagra a thabhairt ar theachtaireacht ar bhlag eile. Ní gá go mbeadh an teachtaireacht nó an freagra go h-iomlán as Gaeilge – díreach bain úsáid as an méid Ghaeilge atá agat.

Ní ghlacfaidh sé ach cúpla noiméad ach tabharfar faoi ndeara é – agus cá bhfios ach go dtabharfaidh na meáin traidisiúnta súntas do. Níl aon chostas ar a leitheid de bheart ach d’fhéadfadh sé an oiread – nó níos mó – a bhaint amach is atá deontais is maorláthas thar na glúintí.

I’m proposing that every blogger who has Irish, be it the cúpla focal or a native speaker’s fluency, use that on Lá na Gaeilge by posting a blog or a comment as Gaeilge, or as much Gaeilge as they have, on that day.

It’ll only take a few minutes but it could have an impact on the blogosphere and with any luck will get some media attention. It’ll cost nothing and yet it might achieve more than has ever been achieved by grants and language stifling bureaucracy over several decades.

Má eiríonn linn an méid sin a dhéanamh, beidh beart den scoth déanta againn ar son ár dteanga ársa – agus má leanaimid – nó cuid againn – leis ina dhiaidh sin, beidh sin níos fearr arís.

Tá fáilte romhaibh cuairt a thabhairt ar mo bhlag féin nó ar An Druma Mór. Ait maith ceachtar den dhá bhlag sin chun tús a chur le do chamchuairt ar an mblagasféar Ghaelach, blagasféar neamhspleach atá beag ach bríomhar, forásach gan a bheith ‘forasach’.

And if a number of the bloggers, posters carry on afterwards, all the better…..

Feel free to visit my own blog or An Druma Mór where you will have an opportunity to practice your Gaeilge. For the hippest magazine as Gaeilge, try nós* for size. You can also listen to the latest hits with an Irish speaking DJ on RíRá or the Belfast based Raidió Fáilte, which has a lively mix of chat, ceol agus craic. If you’re stuck for a word – visit the award winning online dictionary, focal. And if you’re worried about your grammar not being up to the standards you learned while you were in the CBS, try Ceart, a new software package to help you get your spelling and your grammar right. You could of course use any of those sites to launch yourself into the Irish language’s virtual Gaeltacht.

Stop, now, what’s that sound

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Sometimes, starting a blog post with some music gets people into into the frame of mind you want. So if you could, play the vid, it’s the music not the images that matter, and then scroll to the rest of the text:

In recent chats with everyone on Twitter, blogs and in person, we’ve been talking about massive growths of online activity. Blogging, well, the Blog Awards show that blogging is mainstream, it ain’t just the nerds now. Facebook, 545k people on it now in Ireland. At a recent Bord Bia event, Jane from Thinkhouse was also saying that there’s been something like a silent Tipping Point, people now get the whole idea that online is a place, it’s a function. The constant hard work convincing companies that they need to engage with people online is a little less graft now. I know with my own work I’ve been getting people and companies contacting me pretty much every day asking me to do work for them and they know they need to do so. They don’t want convincing to blog or to market on Facebook, they just want to know how to do it and what way to do it. Businesses are getting it.

And then there’s Twitter. Never have I heard a tech hyped as much except for maybe the iPhone. Every bloody media organisation is talking about it and for those on it for ages we’re going “so?” but again, if we stop and step back, it’s an amazing place. An iPhone can improve your life, so can Twitter. Watch the snarky people guffaw at that!

Heather‘s two twitter messages confirm that the community feeling some get with blogging is on steroids for Twitter:

Something in Ireland

Something in Ireland

There is a very interesting feeling of togetherness on Twitter and on other places online. Shared experiences you might call them. I’m almost reminded of the English and the Blitz except it’s not people together because of being bombed. People tell you they failed their driving test and the group gives them a hug, people celebrate a new job and they get cheered, they say something stupid and get corrected or challenged, they ask for information and they get it in abundance. With the right followers and it seems in Ireland most people are in that demographic, Twitter is a very nurturing place to be. This is one reason as to why it’s taking off faster than blogs, faster than Facebook.

You hear all this waffle on radio shows “but I don’t want to know what someone had for breakfast”, well it’s not being informed about what you had, it’s a textual description of what is happening, you are there in their space but also on Twitter. It’s like a game of Sims but via text bursts and it’s real life. Some people are getting it though. 12,000 Irish people are getting it since they’re on Twitter though that’s a convservative number, it’s surging way faster than the 23% growth from Facebook last month too.

You also get the knockers saying that this stuff is antisocial and keeping people away from people. Bollox. Ask Anthony. More kids have more friends because of tech than any time before. The more friends and takes on life a kid and an adult has, the more world experienced they’ll be.

I despise the term social media due to all the snakeoilers talking it up and abusing the idea of it but we seem to be at some turning point where humanity is getting to shine through more in business and life because of these social-minded tools. And they’re not forcing us to be kind or nice or helpful, we’re doing that, the tools are just letting us send these sentiments to wider groups not based on geography. So you know world, despite the polar icecaps disappearing, employment declining, murderers back on the job in Northern Ireland and a rougher world, we’re doing pretty damned well and some tech is helping us along.

I’m playing the song again. Happy Friday the 13th!

Show and Tell Event: Bloggers play with tech

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Summary: Tech Meet and Greets for bloggers.

I’ve been getting a heck of a lot of invites from PR companies of late to attend various events but when I suggest to them that they ask/invite other bloggers, some freeze or shut down. That’s a step too far. So I’ve started to decline invites to all events unless they were catering to other bloggers at these events too. Yes, that might mean providing wifi too. *shock*

Collision Course, the Fianna Fáil and Green Party conferences, the Bord Gais launch and other events are starting to show that bloggers will come along if you provide them with something interesting, be it giving them the scoop before others, giving them access to people they might not have been able to reach by themselves or good data.

Via Mulley Communications I’m going to start running some events run for bloggers where tech companies or tech distributors can show off their wares in an environment designed for bloggers. Traditional tech press briefing events are mind numbingly boring. We bloggers don’t give a care about your third quarter projections. Don’t speak from a lectern and from a script. Converse with us. Let us fiddle with your stuff. Oooer.

Photo owned by Shi Yali (cc)

What’s in it for bloggers?
We get to see new products and play with them on the evening and use trial gear for a few weeks. We get more content that we can write about and inform our readers with new information and it also means we are a bit more educated on what’s available in the market. It also means meeting as a group in person when we generally just converse over blogs and twitter these days.

What’s in it for the tech companies?
Coverage. Right now coverage is limited to the Business Post, PC Live and Gadget Republic when it comes to tech reviews. However, online coverage is all well and good but a possibly more important point is these bloggers and Twitterers are the communications hub of their networks both online and off. We are the ones that get asked for mobile phone recommendations building up to birthdays and Christmas, we are the ones asked about laptops and what are the best ones to get, we’re the ones who are asked for recommendations.

Very importantly, you get honest, non-pressured feedback from people who will call a spade a spade and who are telling all their friends this anyway about products that they like and don’t like. Ignore this feedback at your peril.

Think about the average person that Googles for information, they’ll still ask those in their peer group and those in their peer grop are the ones who’ll influence them more. A more educated bunch these are, the better they can inform. The only risk is that your stuff isn’t godawful.

I know for a fact that some companies will weigh up the cost of giving loaner gear to blogger and will think it’s not worth it despite the fact that having an informed group of influencers will seriously impact sales. However for every tech company that declines, an edgier one will take your place and they’ll reap the rewards. There actually is the case in Ireland where billion euro companies give out a single piece of kit that’s the village bicycle of tech: every journalist gets to have a bash for two weeks before it’s passed to someone else. Yeah, no. This is not the event you are looking for.

Reboot 2
Photo owned by gfscott (cc)

What’s in it for me?
Mulley Communications will have more case studies that this lark actually works and experience doing it. Unfortunately in Ireland we lack a hell of a lot of case studies on blogging, online marketing and social networking engagements.

How do you sign up?
If you’re a blogger leave a comment, link to a blog post where you’ve talked tech (if you have), say where you are as these are not just going to be in Dublin and tell us what your favourite piece of tech is. Bonus points if you go really retro!

If you’re a PR firm, tech company/manufacturer/distributor then email damien < at > for what the requirements are to take part

Fluffy Links – Thursday March 12th 2009

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Peninsula Ireland, come on down.

New blog, Adrian Russell.

Daragh Lally has a new site, how’d I miss that?

Treasa is making a map of shipwrecks to photo.

The Golez Guide to Snakeoiling.

The Lives of Others c’est ar ais.

Calvin is doing Photographic Wedding Invitations.

Good post from Adrian asking should Irish Tech Startups get grants.

Pay per performance advertising is here.

Google ups their online stalking of us.

Bebo get all mobiley.

Via Cian, Clinton Docu – The War Room:

Enigma – Return to Innocence (Naruto vid version)

Fluffy Links – Tuesday March 10th 2009

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

€10,000 web App business plan. No equity wanted.

Blogger beers in Cork on Friday. Twitter beers too.

Dear U2, a message from Dublin, mainly to you Bono.

CheapEats talks about MummyMaps. Maps.

Thomas the Tank Engine hiphop mashups

Text pieces, an exhibit., a blog on things Bill Clinton smoked and poked.

Robert Holmes. BBC NI session.

Via Lauren: National napping day? Yes please.

Using crowdsourcing to fight censorship.

No Doubt: Buy a concert ticket, download our tunes for free.

Thanks to the wonder of all things Internet, you too can be on the bus going to the Fianna Fáil Ard Fhéis, right from your desk. Wait, I can get this:

Via Crooked Timber: Timber by Coldcut and Hexstatic

San Francisco here I come

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Off to San Francisco this weekend for a few days, a mixture of work stuff and holiday. I know the work stuff will happen anyway. I’m also attending a workshop by Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte and going to be at the Y Combinator Demo Day.

where the rainbow rules
Photo owned by pimpexposure (cc)

Course I’ll try and get to the MOMA too. And some island or other that Nic Cage made famous. Any other suggestions?

Places that do good or weird food too please!