Archive for October 2006

A Subtle Rebranding

October 29, 2006

Long time readers might have noticed. Then again they might not!

The blog called Edge Case becomes Edgecast.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being an “edge case”, of course. There’s a lot to be learned from the “early adopter”.  But now it’s time to pull out of the sandbox and put some of these ideas to work.

For this reason, I’ve set up Edgecast Media Ltd.  To put ideas into practice.

An Líonra Sóisialta is our first production and, as it reaches the half way point, it’s turning out to be a success.  I’ll be blogging more about it, and the lessons I’m learning from it, over the coming weeks.

Other projects are already planned, and some are at an advanced stage.

Needless to say, with a permanent staff of 1, I am outsourcing, sub-contracting and collaborating wherever possible.  I’ve really seen the value of blogging in the contacts I’ve made through it and I expect that will continue.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already one of those contacts!  🙂  But perhaps not.  Maybe you’re here because you’re curious about podcasting?  So am I!  Not so much about podcasting itself (to be honest – I think I’ve got that figured out), but about how far we can take it – where we can apply it?

Got any ideas?  I’d love to hear from you!

Formal Complaint To Eircom

October 24, 2006

[UPDATE 22 MARCH 2007:  This case has been resolved.  See here for details.]

Submitted today:

Here is supplemental information in relation to this complaint which I have submitted by phone today. I spoke with ____, who has contacted Operations in relation to it.

I ordered a new phone in August because I needed broadband at this address, which is only 2 miles from a broadband exchange (Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare).

I was told that the lines on that exchange were tested each month, and that I would know by the end of August whether it was fit for broadband.

However, it turns out that the line which was installed is what is known as a “split line” or a “carrier line”. Instead of a direct connection to the exchange, my calls and those from other houses are multiplexed on a single copper pair. This “party-line” is inherently incapable of broadband.

Since then, I have discovered that the house next door has got broadband. This subscriber pays the same as I do – yet they get their own copper and I do not, despite the fact that I ordered the line for the sole purpose of broadband.

When I ordered the line, I was under the impression that the only determining factor governing broadband suitability would be distance from the exchange. I had no idea that it would also hinge on the apparently arbitrary decision as to whether a dedicated or a split line was installed.

I want this split line replaced with a dedicated copper pair to Sixmilebridge exchange.

Comreg tell me that I am entitled to a reply within 10 working days. However, I was astonished to hear them also say that they have no regulatory function in relation to broadband – just voice.

Is there anyone in charge here? Minister?

68% Listen on their Desktops

October 23, 2006

Guido Fawkes assertion that most people listen to podcasts on their desktop computers would appear to be supported by Uncle Seth’s Public Service Announcement song and video. We featured this last week as An Lionra Soisialta focused on podcasting.

I don’t know what is source of the statistic – although the band do mention Nielsen in another part of the song.

68% isn’t 90%, and it’s certainly not “all”. But it’s significant. And I would agree with Guido that if they’re going to be rooted to the spot in front the screen – they may as well have video. However, I think that the move to mobile devices is going to be inevitable – and video will come too!

The only video podcast I watch is the only one I can find which plays on my mobile device. Rocketboom offers a feed with the shows in 3gp format which I can play on my Nokia N91 phone.

In fact, the N91’s podcast client application is so good, and because the device supports wifi, I download many of the podcasts straight from my home broadband to the phone itself.

I don’t think audio podcasting is dead – but I think the PC might be.

And we’re back!

October 17, 2006

Has it been 4 weeks since we started An Líonra Sóisialta? Almost! Eventually it took Guido to get me to come up for air!

Busy – and exciting too! An Líonra Sóisialta is well and truly up and running. There’s been a fantastic response in the Irish language community and I’ve been overwhelmed by all the support and encouragement.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the work as well, but my keel seems to be be righting at last, and it looks like the work is starting to bear fruit.

An L�onra in iTunes

Tom Raftery reports on An Líonra Sóisialta‘s entry to the iTunes Ireland Podcast Top 100, as well as my nomination in the “Best Podcaster” category for the forthcoming Irish Internet Association Net Visionary awards. With typical modesty, he neglects to mention that he too is a nominee in the same category, as well as in the “Best Blogger” and “Social Contribution” categories.

Voting to determine the finalists in each category is currently underway at netvisionary.ie. Voting is open to anyone, and will close on the 23rd October. I’m thrilled to be nominated in the company of Tom, Bernie, Joe, Jonathan and Brian and I’m looking forward to seeing them at the awards in November.

All support is gratefully appreciated, and if you’d like to subscribe to An Líonra Sóisialta in iTunes, just search for the word LIONRA, or you can use this link! 🙂

Guido Fawkes Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About

October 15, 2006

Don’t get me wrong – he knows his political blogging alright!  I thoroughly enjoyed his speech to the “Blogging the Election” Irish Bloggers Conference in Dublin last weekend.  Guido‘s at the top of his game, with the British political establishment, the media – and now advertisers – eating out of his hand.

Opening the conference, Sunday Tribune Business Editor, Richard Delevan suggested that one possible metric for a blogger’s “impact” might be whether they attract the notice of the mainstream press.  Guido has done more than attract their notice: he frequently sets the agenda, as in the case of the cash for peerages investigation where his reporting of the story has earned him the trust of sources closest to the case.

Like Richard and others, Guido brings old-media craft to bear on the new medium of blogging.  By doing do he leaves both bloggers and “dead-tree” journalists in the starting blocks.

I’m trying to do something similar with podcasting.  (Have you noticed? 😉 )  So Guido certainly had my attention when he declared: “Podcasting is dead!”

It’s a great soundbite of course!  (Remember, Guido’s a media pro.)  And it was delivered so well that I might even have given it serious consideration – if it wasn’t for where I was sitting when I heard it.

As I listened to Guido, I was in my car, skimming down the Dock Road in Limerick on my way to work.  (It was very early in the morning!)   Due to work constraints I was unable to physically attend the conference in Dublin, but I’ve been glad of the opportunity to hear the presentations on podcasting.ie and see the photographs tagged irishblogcon.

Guido made these comments in the context of telling us that he would shortly start a video blog.  By “podcasting”, he means “audio podcasting”, and he declared emphatically that “nobody listens to them on iPods … they all click on the screen and listen to it in front of their computer, so you might as well listen and see the video.”

Ironically, earlier in his speech, Guido had rather patronisingly given his Irish audience the benefit of his abortive experiences as an audio podcaster.  This can be summed up as: “Don’t bother trying it … I have, and it’s disastrous … It’s a lot harder than you think and that’s the reason that radio people get paid so much …”.

Oh … OK.  Thanks for the advice Guido.  Obviously video production is a lot easier then?  (And by the way, how much do radio people get paid?  Must look into that …)

To be fair, I think what Guido is trying to say is that video provides more value to the consumer – and that that in turn leads to a better Return On Investment for the producer.  But if that is true, where does it leave radio?

I don’t know how elections campaigns are debated in Britain, but talk radio shows are a crucial arena in Ireland.

As an audio producer, I would be inclined to dispute Guido’s assumption of video’s superior Return On Investment.  I suspect that that it is wrong, both on the Cost side and the Benefit side.  However, I wouldn’t get up on a podium and declare this to be a Fact.

We’re all blinkered by our own experience, and it appears that Guido simply doesn’t “get” the key advantages of “anytime, anywhere, audio-on-demand”.  I must confess that, until recently, I didn’t “get” video blogging either.  At least not until I started researching YouTube for a forthcoming feature on An Líonra Sóisialta.  (Del.icio.us: donlionra+week05)

So is cheap, user-friendly technology putting video production into the hands of the laity?  Of course – just like blogging and audio podcasting are doing for those kinds of media.  Is video blogging a better ROI than audio podcasting?  Ask me after Christmas, when I give it a go!  Do people only listen to podcasts on their computer?  Hardly – but what do I know?  You tell me!