Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

A reboot review – Reboot 9.0 in Denmark

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Reboot is worth going to. Definitely. Totally. Loved the attitude and the atmosphere. Very family orientated with the creche and everything. A massively packed menu of most highly entertaining talks. The organisers should be rewarded with a special nerd medal made out of circuitboard or something.

I did however think it was hard to network with people because there were too many talks on all the time and there were too many people to get to know them or a subset in the two days. More networking please. The heat in the venue was a killer. I was burning up at most talks. Most talks ran to time or ran-over. Seriously, some speakers thought they could get through their 45 slides in their alloted time. Next time have them present for 20mins and have the rest of the time for questions. When people don’t ask questions, the organisers should ask a few themselves and you’ll find the audience then will ask. The lack of Q&A was very disappointing. Even with these issues, it was one of the best events I have been at and I will go again but this time I might not go to any talks but instead try and meet and talk to as many people as we can. There are some amazing brought minds at Reboot and I’d love to make friends with some of them.

In order, I’ll review the talks I was at:

Trusted Space – Nature’s Rules by Robert Patterson.
Now looking over this, I can only remember short clips of the talk. Jesus. I blame the lack of sleep the night before. Slightly academic but a fascinating subject. Slides are here. Go download them.

While We Wait For The Babel Fish by Stephanie Booth.
Brilliant talk and a talk that every web app and website builder should go to if it is touring their local area. Lots of “oh yeah” moments in the talk.

The Politics of Web 2.0 and the contradictions of a sharing economy by Michel Bauwens.
Michel Bauwens’ talk was great. He’s a good speaker and his topic was very engaging. By P2P he does NOT mean file sharing. This is the blurb:

“Peer to peer gives rise to the emergence of peer production (the ability to produce in common outside the state or the corporation), peer governance (the new ways of managing such efforts), and peer property (the new ways of protecting the resulting commons from private appropriation).”

I hope the presentation is available somewhere. It’s one of those kind of talks where you get excited that maybe we can change the world and make it better.

Meanwhile, watch this video:

How does humans predict the future? by Jesper Krogstrup.
This was all about prediction markets and how to basically create a gambling system inside a company to better predict the success or on-time completion of projects. Seems Microsoft used the system to see would they release a game in time and Google are also using it to spot good ideas. Fantastic talk, would love to have heard more about this whole topic. He mentioned HP might be bringing out a tool for this kind of stuff. Again, would love to get hold of the slides.

Happiness by Alexander Kjerulf
This went nowhere. When challenged on the idea, I don’t think the points raised were listened to. Smiling does not answer a question. I agree it is good to be happy but the fundamental argument behind this is that we do things to be happy. Uh, I think there is something more than that to it. There are reasons we want to reach the state of happy that have better reasons that just to be happy. The facts did not add up in the presentation. The happiest countries also happen to be the ones who seem more about consumerism yet the argument was that consumerism is bad and makes us unhappy. Alexander’s blog looks good. He seems like the Guy Kawasaki of Happiness with lots of posts with lists and how-tos. I’ll prob sub to his blog for a while as there does seem to be valid stuff on it but I thought the talk didn’t go anywhere.

Travel and serendipity by Matt Jones
Did anyone else think this was just a glorified sales pitch for Dopplr? I really saw nothing more than a demo of this product. This is a shame as I was looking forward to the talk and thought it soured the talk and my impression of the very good service that is Dopplr. Half of a very large audience also were users so it seemed like a preaching to the converted. Matt Jones is still a legend though. Check out his blog and Dopplr. Slides of the talk here.

Improvement > Change
This was shit. It made no sense. Good soundbites, no substance, no data, no empirical evidence. Presented by the guy that classes himself as an “idea captain”.

Citizens of the future by Ewan McIntosh
I want every teacher in the country, every civil servant in the Department of Education and every politician to be at a Ewan McIntosh talk. So many Rebooters have ideas and gave talks on how to make the world better but I liked Ewan’s talk the best because it was practicle, easy to implement and had the data to show how one can change a generation through education. We’re going to have to bring him over here soon and get him recognition. I’ll be sending his presentation out to some journalists I know to see can he get some recognition here. Seaghan Moriarty has been trying to do something along these lines here in Ireland.

Dave Winer’s conversation was so so. I left half-way through as the room was so warm and beer was calling me.

Jesus Christ. All theory. All academic. Useless unless you were a philosophy student. And then there was…

The Ethical Economy: A New Humanism?
20 minutes of rapid fire, no interaction academic talk. Shit. Some guy asked two questions afterwards asking how can one measure ethics and stuff like that. He avoided the questions. Yeah great, making a company and the world more ethical is good but HOW do you do it? Gah.

Thank god the conference ended on two very good talks:

Lessons from a social entrepreneur by John Buckman
This could have been a sales pitch for Magnatune or Bookmooch and yet it was not. Slides of talk here. A good talk on using Free Culture and the Creative Commons can make you money and make content producers money. John was not smoking dope, did not have long hair, was not wearing sandals or wearing a tie-dye t-shirt. See, you don’t need to be a hippy for this stuff. A good wind-down talk and very inspiring. I love this whole para:

Offend people’s pride to motivate them to action: BookMooch’s 1st-pass machine translations of the site from English to 7 other languages produced translations that I knew would be offensive to native speakers, and the wiki-style correction mechanism allowed them to express their offense by correcting it. But, if I hadn’t done the machine translation and mangled their language, very few people would have bothered to translate the site from English to their language.

The last talk of Reboot was well worth waiting for.

Products are people too by Matt Webb.
Another one of those “Oh yeah” type talks. He talked the sense. A lot. Blurb:

“Design can be easier when we acknowledge that products share our homes and malls, and have wants and lives of their own.”

I hope we get to see the slides soon. Mr. Webb I think is a genius and a very effective communicator. Reboot ended on a nice happy high as a result of this talk.

All in all I enjoyed most talks but there were so many I wanted to see but they clashed with the talks I was at. All were videoed so I hope I get to see the ones I missed and revisit the ones I saw. I also have a whole heap more blogs to subscribe to.

SAS Lost my baggage – They don’t seem to care

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Bag with all my clothes and other bits and pieces missing since yesterday. Online tracing thing is useless. When I rang the Sky Handling Partner all they could tell me was that it was on an Aer Lingus flight and did not know where to or when it was arriving. Fanfuckingtastic. Aer Lingus don’t fly to Copenhagen either. Odd.

Update: Finally they answered the phones at Sky Handling Partner. They told me it was in Cork with an attitude like I should know this and it was my fault. I asked were they sure and they said no but yes but no but yes it was there since 1630. I asked when I was not told this and was told they didn’t know. I asked isn’t it their job to tell me this and again I was told they didn’t know. No answer from any of the Cork numbers for Sky Handling Partner. No answer from SAS customer service at all today, either engaged or ringing out.

Still at Reboot

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Still at reboot, tune into my Twitter so get updates. Ewan McIntosh did the best talk so far. 90% of people with laptops are using Macs. How common. Macs are going to turn into the Hilfiger of portables.

After the ball is over… post election web usage

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Now the election is over and the reflecting has started, I wonder what will happen with the blogs and YouTube videos of so many candidates? Will Frank Chambers still talk to us from his kitchen? Dominic, Thomas, Ciaran and Eric have blogged since the election and here’s hoping they’ll keep going but surely more than that can converse with people digitally?

My own personal worry is that most of those that took the time to stick videos on YouTube and to blog will just consider them to be like other election material such as posters and we’ll see them mothballed until a few months before the next election. I found a good deal of what was on offer to be very educational and it added a lot of perspective. It’d be a shame to see it all disappear. Or maybe there’s now 5 years to slowly wear all the politicians down and chip away at their notions that being upfront and direct and being without a press officer is too risky.

So if you think that politicians should blog and YouTube more, how would you encourage/nudge/elbow them to keep doing it? How would you sell it?

I really hope this chap keeps blogging too. I think it is most encouraging that a Minister blogs.

Hello 3G, bye bye hotspots . Hello again 3G bye bye WiMax. Hello …

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Still trying out 3G broadband and while the speeds could be better I am hugely impressed with the service. I’ve been traveling up and down from Cork to Dublin via train and while coverage is patchy in a good few rural locations along the train journey, they’re almost the same for the ordinary GSM service. When 3G service drops, you are switched over to a GPRS service. When I got up to Dublin speeds got better again than in Cork. During the day last Friday I tried to log on to a wireless hotspot in Jury’s only to be asked to pay a fortune for 24 hours access to the net. In the Teacher’s Club their wifi was broken so once again the 3G service was used. In count centres without broadband(which was almost every one), people used 3G to keep in contact.

On Saturday, sitting on the boardwalk on the smelly Liffey, I was surfing the net at very nice speeds. My only worry being the smackheads eyeing my laptop. Whip out the laptop, connect to the network and that’s it. No worries about finding a network, looking up a FON map in advance, worrying about honeypot networks or anything like this. And now all this for just €19.99 a month.

Today I’m going to Dublin airport to catch a flight to Copenhagen. eircom have the monopoly for WiFi in Dublin airport but I don’t need to care as I have 3g. I’m wondering how FON can compete with this, I’m wondering how hotspots can compete with this? If o2, 3, Vodafone et all enable cheap roaming around Europe then I can’t see any reason to ever have to think about hotspots again, especially at such a cheap price. What was WiMax again?

Actually, I can see 3g being useful for hotspots and that’s being used as the provider of the broadband that the WiFi access point needs. Bye bye DSL install.

Fluffy Links – May 30th 2007

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Hang on. If the IEDR’s revenue from domains dropped by 2%, how come they had a 15% drop in profits? The crap from Curtin about .ie being a safe domain is a bit of a joke when certain non-Irish companies are squatting on dozens of lucrative generic domain names.

Make steel using microwaves. You need more than one though.

Iain Dale was on “The Panel”. Is Guido next? Or is he waiting for Podge and Rodge?

BP is back in Libya. I love this bullshit about “embargoed” countries. There are so many loopholes that allow oil companies to still trade with Cuba, Libya, Syria, Iran etc. etc. They can’t trade directly so they trade with companies in Dubai who trade with them or they create new companies in the country who hire their services through someone else. PR stunts is all they are. If there’s oil, there is no embargo.

The Indo are looking for SEO people. Looks like they really are taking their online business seriously. Online Search Manager. Online Search & Marketing Coordinator.

He linked to me, I link to him. Anthony’s blog.

Gavin is back.

Lots of videos to prove if those “tricks” for unlocking your car are true. Like the tennis ball one and the unlocking car from miles away by pressing the alarm fob on your keyfob and ringing someone next to the car.

A building has two sides of it covered in grass. Amazing video.

And now video of the waif thin laptop:

Suggest some business gadgets to review

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I’m putting together a list of business gadgets I want to review and if anyone else has suggestions, then let me know.

and also twin with a company from the States…

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

A while ago I suggested that like twinning cities, you could twin co-working facilities. Ireland could be too small for this next idea but with the PaddysValley tour a lot of new Irish companies and entrepreneurs could be mixing with a lot of young American companies and entrepreneurs. Maybe some of these American companies will want to expand into Europe and likewise some Irish will want to have a foot in the door in America. Wouldn’t it be nice to be something like an agent in Europe for American companies while these companies are agents for you over there and also accomodate them with a little office space when they make trips over here and likewise when you go over there? It’s just another student exchange programme really. It’s co-working plus knowledge-sharing.

It could be as simple as handing out business cards for them at events, to sending out press releases on their behalf or going to events where you pitch your idea and theirs. Of course if there’s a conflict you might not be doing that. 🙂 Or it could be as detailed as acting like a band manager, arranging meetings with investors, organising conferences to attend and press to meet with the understanding they do the same for you. I’m not sure is Ireland the place to twin with Silicon Valley just yet since we don’t seem to have a great relationship with entrepreneurs in the rest of Europe. This is however changing with Open Coffee and Europe-side events like Le Web. Perhaps this idea might suit London more. Or maybe Ireland could twin with London? Then Europe, then the States. If a certain Government was clever they’d make Ireland the investment gateway to the rest of Europe for China, the States, Australia and Japan.

Fluffy Links – May 29th 2007

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Sufjan Stevens sings “Lakes of Canada” on a roof.

An Australian gay bar bans heterosexuals. Mainly hen nights. While straight girls telling you “ah aren’t ya great” just cos you’re gay is annoying, if you play god awful Abba music and other woeful “pop classics” then this is your penance.

ComReg getting some balls?

The Google guy.

Bloggers more connected than journos?

First Chapter of Everything is Miscellaneous.

Via Markham. Via CurryChips




Did blogging influence the election? Not directly but …

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Huge influence? No. A small bit? Yes.

Where did blogs have most influence though? The media.

Blogging influenced those covering the election and I think that has impact but it might not have been as direct. Amazing to see the amount of content attributed and unattributed in the media running up to this election. I think that’s where the blogging breakthough was in this election. It was nice reading my opinion in a Sunday paper, even if someone else signed their name to it. It was nice to read the opinions of so many in the blogging world put into the mainstream. It certainly had more impact than letters to the editor. While a YouTube video taking the piss out of Mary Harney might only get 5000 views, it also got mentioned on RTE TV news, and as a result a few 100k people saw some of the video. While 1000 people might have read my blog post on something, 100k might have read my quote taking a dig at Enda Kenny and Fine Gael in the Irish Independent. (Kudos to the Indo though in this aspect as their guy covering political blogs always attributed.)

While the photoshopped photos and the satirical videos made up most of the media coverage, some of the insightful commentary also made it in there as well as some news that was at first overlooked by the media. Those that report are now reading blogs. We are now another associated press in a way but more than that, the media are coming into our insular, incestuous world and influencing us too and pushing our boundaries by joining in and leaving comments and starting their own blogs.

I think blogs can be quite complimentary to existing media and existing media joining the blogging world can also be of immense benefit. I think Kevin Rafter, Harry Magee and Mark Hennessy are making the political blogging community better and forcing the existing blogging superstars to improve their game. (BTW, I’m still in shock at the arrogance of a blogger telling Mark how to write his blog the way “we” write blogs.) When Tiger Woods became a pro he forced the golfing world to improve its game even more. As was pointed out recently, Tiger is playing the best golf of his career right now but most don’t realise it because everyone else has improved so much too. Kevin, Harry and Mark are the Tigers of political blogs. It’s not just political blogging that’s being improved but blogging in general when those trained in communicating with large audiences show us how they do things. Jim, Shane, John, Kathy and many more are good for us. [After re-reading that whole section, it sounds awfully lickarse 🙂 ]

So here’s hoping more political commentators blog and join the party and as a result listen to what we are saying and take it on board. As they do that, I’m sure it’ll also expand the reading lists of other political hacks and handlers though I must say, some politicians are already reading our blogs on a daily basis. Lads and ladies, you should leave comments too.

On a slight tangent, the blogging politicians didn’t fare too well in this election. Dominic Hannigan and the wonderfully genuine Eric Byrne just missed out and probably have some of the best politician blogs about. Thank God Ciaran Cuffe got back in. Congrats to Thomas Byrne too who did very well. Minister Dempsey of course romped home and it’d be great that the first Irish Minister to start a blog, keeps it going. This will lead me on to my next blog post on how we can encourage politicians to keep blogging and YouTubing, this includes sitting TDs and the unsuccessful candidates too. It might need communicating that puppies are not just for Christmas and blogs are not just for upcoming elections.