Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Damn, Digital Rights Ireland made BoingBoing

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

The ever gregarious Cory Doctorow gave a nod to Digital Rights Ireland on BoingBoing today. BoingBoing is so strong now it has its own mini-Slashdot effect. Hopefully we’ll get some Irish Tech and Activist people who wouldn’t have heard about DRI before now.

More on this Irish Community Supersite

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Irish Bloggers take note. This is an interesting idea. Go to John’s site and comment on this or blog about it. I think this is something as a collective that we can do.

Taking some of the points that John Timmons mentioned on his post about the Irish Community Super Portal and adding my thoughts on each of his bullet points:

A blogroll that contained every Irish blogger
This would need the input of the people of IrishBlogs and Planet of the Blogs

I’d also suggest having this broken into blog categories. Everything, Tech, Politics, Arts and Literature, Humour, Music, Odd

Updated new posts from every forum you are subscribed to.
This would mean the cooperation of the people behind, and other sites like Peoples Republic of Cork

I’d also add the ability to have a feed which you can create a super feed of perhaps the Humour Section of mixed with and PROC or someting like that. A PubSub type hack.

Latest news from Irish news sites
RSS feeds from the sites should sort this out. Perhaps the webmasters behind those without feeds could be persuaded to create them?

Search bar for Irish sites
JMCC should step up for that. A search engine for Irish sites / Irish Content that would display results of sites and blogs together, but would at the same time via a non-intrusive colour scheme highlight which was a site and which was a blog. Each result would also allow you to subscribe to the rss feed of the site and also allow you to have an RSS feed of the search results.

Customizable RSS feeds from Irish sites
Job sites could be included here and sites with specific content. A recommendations section for various channels or topics of Irish interest. Non-blog Feeds (blog feeds are above) such as:

Arts and Literature Feed
Photography Feed
Technology Feed
Tech Jobs Feed
Engineering Jobs Feed
Cork News Feed
Upcoming Cork events Feed

I’d add in a few more ideas to this:

Blog Statistics
Perhaps have Aodhan Cullen from Statcounter help work on a stats engine for the Irish Bloggersphere? Number of posts per day from the ‘sphere. Number of blogs, most prolific poster, number of page views per blog etc. An Irish Technorati

Ability to Group Tag Blogs and Posts
Possibly via a delicious interface, allow those to add tags to posts and to blogs, so that over time the people can vote for the category of the blog. It would be damned handy too if people could tag Irish forum posts.

Gaiman in Dublin Update – Number for tix is (01) 208 2822

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Neil Gaiman posted a new phone number for Rattlebag.

(01) 208 2822

Read the rest of his post where basically he tells someone it is ok to take out an mp3 cd of Anasi Boys from the Library and put it in your Nano. This is being enlightened. This is being cool. This is being someone that can still earn a crust without having to stomp all over a persons freedoms and put a knife to their throat and demand money, though if he did he could do it in such a stylish way.

If you’d checked out the MP3 CD from your library you’d be expected to put it onto your iPod, after all. There’s a weird sort of ethical fogginess, in that I suspect that part of the idea of libraries is that when you’re done with something you return it, and of course once you have your MP3 on your computer and iPod you can keep it forever. But I think this is just one of those places where changes in technology move faster than the rules.

If you’re listening to it, and you’ve got an iPod or suchlike MP3 player, you’re almost definitely going to listen to it on your iPod. That’s how things are, and it’s a good thing (it’s why I got Harper Collins to release American Gods and Anansi Boys on MP3 CD, after all).

Probably wisest not to pull it off your iPod and give it to other people, though. Let them at least take it out of the library themselves.

EDIT: Hello Boing Boing readers!

A Web2.0 portal for all things Irish – an Irish Netvibes

Monday, October 17th, 2005

JWT is thinking about an Irish Online Community Portal over on his new blog.

He suggests:

  • A blogroll that contained every Irish blogger
  • Updated new posts from every forum you are subscribed to
  • Latest news from Irish news sites
  • Search bar for Irish sites
  • Customizable RSS feeds from Irish sites

Could this be built at the next TechCamp gathering? Who’ll accept the challenge? Darren? John?

about this IIA Netvisionary thingy

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

Now that voting on nominees has closed I can say that I’ve been nominated for the IIA Netvisionary Award in the Social Contribution category. I decided not to comment on it or solicit for votes for my own weird reasons. There’s nothing wrong with nominees asking people to vote for them either, I’m sure in the distant future I’ll be massively pimping myself in order for people to vote for me but now I’d like to see how things go without me saying a thing.

I’d like to see John Breslin win this award but I’m not sure will he because his co-owner of won it last year. That award last year should at least have had John as the co-nominee in my opinion. John’s attitude to growing has seen it evolve from a few forums for Quake fans to a 600 strong forum with 40,000 members, conversing in their 1000s every day and every hour. It has brought people together, it has spawned campaigns that forced eircom to introduce broadband, it has formed and sealed friendships and it has had people fall in love. And all from a bit of software and a cool attitude.

That’s a social contribution. I’m delighted to be classed as one of his peers.

Rant about changing the world – I blame Piaras

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

Piaras asked on his blog:

“For all our talk about blogs, RSS, podcasts or whatever the latest buzzword of the day is, imagine what we could achieve if we put the same time and energy into providing running water for everyone around the world.

Naturally I replied and it turned into quite a long-winded rant:


I don’t think the cause itself is as important in the short to medium term compared to making people actively do something about any cause. Anti-apathy Activism will impact the world more and at a faster pace. Running water is a noble cause and one that can have a dramatic effect on the lives of a few 100 to a few thousand people. I’m not saying people shouldn’t volunteer to do this, but there are various routes one can take to change the world and save lives. Going out to Africa and getting hands on is one way, but there are many others.

Imagine if the likes of Bill Gates went off to Africa before he started Microsoft and helped bring clean water to the people there. He’d never have made his billions, he’d be a humble intelligent man impacting the lives of thousands of Africans. He’d have saved lives. But his charitable foundation would have never happened. The foundation which is investing a lot of money into preventing malaria, one of the biggest killers in the world. Research that could save the lives of millions.

Imagine the person that made podcasts so accessible and univsersal that everyone in the world listened to them. And that a podcast on the plight of people in Africa managed to be delivered to half the desktops in the world. That one podcast could do more than 100 people building wells in Africa. I think people should see what they are best at, work on that but at the same time see how they can, via what they do, change the world for the better.

If you can encourage the people of the world to recognise that the world needs to be better and that they can actually make it better then no matter what they do, the world will get better. You first need to build this foundation though. Technologists can do it in various ways. They can build some famous application that makes billions which then allows them to create a trust fund like Bill Gates did and that Google are doing, or you can research a better form of wireless communications that can be used cheaply by people in Africa to talk to each other.

People like Robert Scoble and Jeff Jarvis are so good at what they do that they have the attention of a lot of very clever and influential people. Jeff is organising the Recovery 2.0 idea for better coordinating disaster relief initiatives via the Web. Scoble has the ear of an astounding number of the best tech minds around. If Scoble in the morning made a post suggesting some tech solution that could cut world hunger in half and asked his readership to create the application he had in mind, I would bet within a week the app would be rolled out.

Even people with selfish motivations can make things better. All those self-evangelising rockstar idiots on the TV have saved lives and changed the world ever so slightly and of course stroked their ego. I don’t mind such a trade-off. We just need a world to become more altruistic. Let people that say charity begins at home ignore African charities if they instead improve the lives of people here by being xenophobically charitable.

So, how can the Tech Camp people encourage the people of the world to get off their asses and do something? To realise that even something as boring as letter writing can make a difference? Humans in my possibly naive opinion are creatures who are inclined to help the group out and to go out of the way to make the group a better place. In the sound and fury of the modern world people probably feel seperated from the group. We need to make people realise that a drop in the ocean is more like the butterfly that can cause the typhoon.

Techcamp Sucked

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

and now that Ed and Piaras* each had a mini heart-attack as well as having the attention of the PoTB and IrishBlogs feeders I have to say the above headline should be the only time you will see the word sucks associated with TechCamp. TechCamp was fantastic. Finally a conference where some guy wasn’t pimping the shit out of a really really bad product while the audience played Bullshit bingo.

A pity I couldn’t stay for the whole event but I had to be back in Cork early for a prior engagement. I had hoped to chat with people about the Irish Blog Awards with the bloggers in attendance. Another time I guess. (more on the event should be posted next week.)

The Digital Rights Ireland talk was well received from the feedback with got from people. Not bad for our first public presentation. As time goes on and we do more of these I am certain it will become pokished and rock solid.

This was almost like an unconference that Dave Winer has spoken about. It was great that the chatting in the tea room, in the corridors and at lunch was so open and constructive. I really liked the picke and cheese sambos too. Must make some myself now that I’m home.

But yes. I’m very glad that I can say in a Vietnam Vet style way, while shaking someone “You don’t understand man, you weren’t there!”. I was at the first TechCamp and I’ll be at the next few too. Well done again to Ed and Piaras.

*Note Piaras is first on Google for the phrase Piaras.

Comment surfer

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Can anyone out there tell me is there a tool where you can search blogs for comments by people? An interesting hack/plugin would be a “Find other comments by Damien Mulley.” contained in the comments section of a blog I commented on.

Who’s the Irish Blog Link Slut?

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Tabloid headlines always get more clicks I find. But being serious for a minute. Or more. It might be a good social experiment and a blogporn thing to see who out of the list of Irish Boggerspheres gets the most linklove from others in the ‘sphere.

This is not the same as inbound links that services such as technorati provide. What would be needed is a search engine to go to every blog listed on IrishBlogs, see what is in the blogroll and/or linked from the frontpage and compare it to the list of bloggers from IB/PoTB.

It would also be interesting to see what the subgroups are within this. The cliques and factions if you will. Additionally it would be good to see what percentage of the blogrolls/links are to fellow Irish Bloggers. All this research could be presented at the Irish Blog Awards

I seem to recall some kind of Java navigator that John Breslin may have introduced to navigate FOAF files on It was a nice map thing where you clicked a username and it showed all other users who had this person as a friend and when you clicked on any of their friends it showed you who was their friend etc.

To me anyway it would be nice to see how the boggersphere is linked together.

Plonk Kerr

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Kerr Plunked
Kerr Fuffle
Kerr Ful now
FAI don’t Kerr a lot

Where were the good tabloid headings today? Ah come on now!