Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

Martha Graham

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Via Nancy Duarte

Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

Fluffy Links – Thursday March 19th 2009

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Almost fluffy links anyway. Fl links maybe.

Want to go firewalking? Ciara has details.

Tommy was on TV again. Pfft media whore.

New Blog from Cllr Mary Roche. Politicos are really getting into this now.

Want to attend the following, if so contact cerskine < at >

Fifty people, selected to reflect a cross-section of Irish society, will gather for a weekend in Dublin on the 21st and 22nd March 2009 to answer this question: “What do you think the EU can – and should – do to shape our economic and social future in a globalised world?”

They will be taking part in a Europe-wide consultation of citizens on this most topical of questions. The Irish event, which is being organised by the National Forum On Europe, will be in Dublin Castle with similar consultations happening in each of the 27 EU countries.

The event will be webcast live by RTE.

Horseshit. What kind of dumbass statement is this? Why are we measuring it in time. Is there some kind of threshold?

“If employees misuse email or the internet for only 10 minutes each day, then the cost to Irish small business is approximately €580m a year, in pure productivity terms.”

The future of interactive TV and Radio is here and it doesn’t need a big red button

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

And RTE, TV3 and TodayFM don’t have a choice about it

Twitter again and something called Scribble.

Each time Ireland played in the 6 nations, dozens or perhaps hundreds of people got together to shout and roar but together for them was via Twitter as they watched the match wherever they happened to be. They joined a devoted crowd that were connected via twitter. For the France Ireland game, each time they made a comment on the game they added a tag #merde to it.

Patrick Phelan ran graphs on this later on to see the frequency of words in those tagged messages.

Each time the Dragon’s Den in Ireland is watched, online people use the tag #ddire to record their shouts, their sneers, their sincere belief a Dragon is useless.

Big red button
Photo owned by nicolasnova (cc)

Using an online application called Scribble Simon McGarr and others were live-blogging Questions and Answers and the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis and the Green Party Conference. The Greens even put/linked to the live blog from their main website. The last episode of the L Word was liveblogged by the women from Gaelick.

When I was on Primetime the other night there was a surge of Google searches for my name by people watching the show and when people on Twitter were commenting on it live, people started adding me to Twitter.

See, nowadays we don’t just watch TV, we watch TV and we surf the net. Watcht he TV, laptop on knees. Instead of channel hopping, we’re media hopping from one to the other and back again. This is going back to my other blog post about shared experiences and Twitter and all the rest, We can be in our living rooms and on Twitter at the same time, sharing both experiences.

Do you remember the show Mystery Science Threatre 3000 where they comment on movies and make quips? It’s real and distributed online. It’s the director’s commentary but done by the public.

So Sky is there and the Beeb talking about their big red buttons and putting phonelines into the back of them and having people dial home and all that, yet anyone with a banger of a TV on a dodgy signal or even watching online can fully interact once they have some kind of net connection and it’s infrastructure free. Cheap as chips!

So what can the likes of RTE do about this? Tell people where this commentary is happening. Encourage them to go to these places and leave comments and join with the people already there. You know what will happen? Viewerships will go up. Once again the old-style family gatherings will happen but the family might not be in the same room, or city or country. Planet, yeah.

The Red Button
Photo owned by HolgerVaga (cc)

Some are doing it though. Phantom are doing it. Rick on 2FM is doing it and Ray Foley on TodayFM. Then there’s that Hook lad who even did live video.

You want audience reaction? There you have it. Not enough time for the Last Word and the commentators on it? Direct it online. Keep your show and the debate going. JNLR? Fuckit, this is more real. Real people are giving real opinions. No boxes to be installed in a home. Then the brave media folks will join that conversation and work with their audience on building something even better. Tada.

Interview with Cllr. Laura McGonigle of Fine Gael

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Laura McGonigle, is 26 and was co-opted onto Cork City council to replace Deirdre Clune TD after Clune took a seat in Cork South Central at the last general election. This is Laura’s website/blog, her Facebook and her Twitter. Here are the answers to some questions I asked of her.

Laura McGonigle

Laura McGonigle

Why politics and why Fine Gael?

Why politics – because there’s no point sitting at home complaining and not doing something about it. You can’t improve things by doing nothing.

Why Fine Gael – Because I don’t trust Fianna Fail. I got involved in politics for the 2002 General Election, which was probably Fine Gael’s darkest hour. I think in the weeks after that I knew that Fine Gael had been the right choice for me. Fianna Fail had been re-elected with almost an overall majority, but within weeks they were rowing back on their election promises – the electorate had been codded.

Every year in advance of a General Election, Fianna Fail pull a trick out of the bag to buy the electorate. Their politics isn’t about what’s best for this country; it’s about what is going to keep them in power.

Also because my father told me I’d have to live in the shed if it was anyone other than Fine Gael.

Young and a woman, surrounded by old (poltical) fogeys, what’s the reaction been by those old fogeys?

They keep their distance!

Seriously, most Councillors in City Hall just do their own thing. If you get too caught up in what everyone else is doing, you become paranoid and the job will pass you by.

But some of them like to call me “dear” and try to antagonise me that I’m still wet behind the ears!

What do you class as a win for you in local politics?

Getting a job done. People may disagree on this, but local politics are local. We’re not legislators and we’re not going to change the world. But I get phone calls everyday of the week from people who believe that their concern is monumental and to solve their problems or to right a wrong is what we are here for. It’s not to attend every funeral and letter opening.

Got any stories of how local politics has helped a local?

Local politicians aren’t going to be able to change your life dramatically, but as many people know it’s the every day things that count and that’s what we’re here for.

Local politics is about helping people access their entitlements. I have assisted people with everything from filling in forms to apply for their pension, helped people get information on their entitlement to public housing and I’ve helped young couples get a foot on the home owning ladder by explaining how the social and affordable housing schemes work and helping them to decide which scheme makes most sense for them to apply for.

What’s the most pressing thing on the doorsteps recently?

There is palpable anger out there. I’m meeting people who’ve lost their jobs, whose houses have dropped in value and most of all who really feel like all their hard work over the last few years in just going down the drain because the Government won’t stand up and take charge of the situation. The Government and its Ministers are paid to make tough decisions and they’re shirking their responsibilities.

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

Of course there should! It’s your money!

Why do you think less people seem to care about politics then they did 10 and 20 years ago? How do we change that?

Politics under FF and Ahern in particular has sidelined the interaction between politicians and their constituents. Social partnership took what were political and market forces and gave unelected unions and employers (social partners) the opportunity to dictate. With politics being much more important now, with the nationalisation of banks and the decision by Government to take an active role in the economy to alleviate people’s suffering, we are likely to see people much more interactive with government and their politicians as a consequence.

As people have less, they will look more at their politicians and grade them more honestly as opposed to looking for the spin or the “nice guy” quality

We need to examine ways to make politics more accessible to my generation, show how it is very relevant to them in their lives. This means looking at ways of taking politics away from branch meetings and so on and moving towards a more campaigning type of politics where you can engage with people on issues as they arise rather than forcing people into the strictures of a branch when the reality is that their time is limited and they will allocate it to what matters to them.

Should the Senate be removed since the public can’t choose or vote for those in it?

The Senate was never meant to be popularly elected but corporately. Each section of society from trade unions and labour, to agriculture, to local authorities were all meant to give the Houses of Parliament a more agenda based outlook rather than representing people based on geography.

Much call in recent time to remove the County and City Council voting block, as this is seen as castrating the radical and vocal qualities that the Senate might actually have.

No to abolition, yes to reform and to widening the franchise. Allow more people to vote in each constituency, be that labour, agriculture, colleges, etc etc

Should the office of the President be given more powers?

Sure why not. Allow her to make the Taoiseach’s nominations in the Senate.

Also, allow her to say what she thinks is appropriate to say with out having the Government vetting all her speeches.

Mary Robinson and Mary MacAleese have both shown that the Presidency can play a very valuable role in stimulating debate in society and representing Ireland overseas.

Enda or Chips?

Chips – curry chips from KC’s in Douglas! (Sorry Enda! I like him, I just wouldn’t eat him!)

Is the Garret Fine Gael a totally different to the Enda Fine Gael?

Completely different. Enda and Garret are two entirely different leaders. Garret always lead from the front and Enda is seen very much as a Chairman of a party. Fine Gael under Enda Kenny is a progressive party that believes in the same principles that have guided us for quite a long time. A fair society, promoting enterprise and reward, recognising that while we have rights we as citizens also have responsibilities. The times in which both men led the party were challenging in their own ways. Garret had enormous social issues to deal with in addition to the economic challenges of the time. Enda leads the party at a time of economic challenge but with a very different societal landscape in terms of the challenges that we face.

What can be done on a local level when it comes to business support?

There is lots of support for local enterprise – whether it’s the chamber of commerce, local enterprise boards or Enterprise Ireland. I work for an Enterprise Ireland sponsored company and their advice and assistance has been second to none.

I had a question down to the City Manager at last week’s City Council meeting, asking if small businesses in the City would be allowed to defer payments on their commercial rates if they find that they are in serious financial difficulties.

Ultimately no business in Cork should be forced to close its doors, because of rate arrears. In the same vain – businesses shouldn’t be forced to reduce employee hours or let staff go because of their liability to City Hall.

And this has been agreed to.

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

Máirín Quill – a member of Fianna Fail, the Progressive Democrats and now a non party Councillor. From dealing with Mairin in Cork City Council, she has always been objective in what she tries to achieve and always has Cork as her priority.

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!