Archive for November 2006

Arts & Literature Blogs Appeal

November 28, 2006

I’m looking for some help.

As you may have gathered, I’m most definitely on the geek side of the blogopolis. Which is not to say that I don’t appreciate the arts, but I feel that my own resources are somewhat deficient when it comes to researching radio reports on the subject.

The final two weeks of An Lionra Soisialta will include reports on the following themes:
Week 11 – The Arts (also Education) (beginning 2 Dec)
Week 12 – Literature and Publishing (beginning 9 Dec)

If any of you can offer any links to your favourite social network resources (especially blogs) on these subjects, it would be greatly appreciated. You can leave a comment here, or email Fiona Ni Cheirin, An Lionra Soisialta’s Chief Reporter: fiona dot nicheirin at gmail dot com.


The Podcasting Politician

November 21, 2006

Senator Joe O'TooleThere’s been a share of discussion about the desirability of encouraging our public representatives to blog. It seems like an ideal application of the medium, allowing politicians to go “on the record” on a range of issues, have more say in how they are represented in online conversations, and engage in a meaningful way with the electorate.

However, one Oireachtas member in particular has evaluated the options available and decided against blogging – in favour of podcasting.

Independent Senator Joe O’Toole is the special guest today on An Líonra Sóisialta. Speaking in Irish, Senator O’Toole describes how he goes about producing his weekly podcast, My Week This Week, which has been running for almost a year. And it’s all his own work too! The Senator uses his Apple Mac to write the script, record and edit, encode to MP3, and upload to the internet the 5 minute monologue which takes the form of a letter from Leinster House.

“This is the first time in a quarter-century that a technogy has come to us which allows a person’s personality to be put forward”, says Senator O’Toole, explaining that he prefers podcasting to blogging because he feels that the spoken word conveys more authenticity than the written word can.

Senator O’Toole is elected by graduates of the National University of Ireland and he sees the podcast as one way to communicate with his constituency which is spread all over the world. It has also found an audience on a number of radio stations in Ireland who broadcast the weekly bulletins giving an insider’s view of Leinster House.

You can subscribe to My Week This Week at

Irish Podcasting Notes

November 20, 2006

There’s a lot worth noting about Irish podcasting this week.

  • Congratulations to Brian Greene, who received the inaugural Podcasting Award at the IIA’s Netvisionary awards last Thursday.  Brian may well have been Ireland’s first podcaster and he and Doop Design are working hard to promote podcasting as a communications channel for Irish business.  On a personal level, I and other Irish podcasters have benefitted enormously from his support, advice and encouragement over the past year.  Thanks Brian – and well done!
  • It’s a sign of what a small world podcasting still is that I can also say the same of the other two nominees who shared the shortlist with Brian last Thursday.  Bernie Goldbach has been the most extraordinary innovator in his work with the students of Tipperary Institute at podcasting.ieTom Raftery has built an international audience ( without leaving his stronghold in Cork.
  • I don’t know if Brian went to Pod Con UK at the weekend.  He had discussed it some weeks back.  Brendan Bolger went however, and sent me a text message over the weekend to say he had met Adam Curry and given him a CD of Irish podcasts!  Nice one Brendan.
  • Brendan’s an Irish language podcaster, like myself.  His Spudshow showcases Independent Irish female musicians.  We’ve kept up correspondence over the past year and we’ll meet for the first time this evening when I give a guest lecture for the Irish department at the University of Limerick.  The topic: “An Líonra Sóisialta: An Ghaeilge agus an tIdirlíon” (The Irish Language and The Internet).  It’s in the John Holland Theatre in UL at 19:30.
  • Letter to America Chapter 52 – the 1st anniverary was published last week.  I think you’ll agree that’s a bigger achievement than the average podcasting anniversary if you’ve heard the huge personal energy Jett Loe puts into each show.  If you haven’t heard LTA yet, check out
  • Finally, congrats to all involved with the Netvisionary Awards – and a special shout to John Breslin who scooped an award for the second year running!  This is a tiny little country all the same.  John and I were in college together, and last week he kindly gave me an interview for An Líonra Sóisialta about his Wiki Ireland project.  Comhgháirdeachas John!

Your Name Escapes Me – But I Never Forget an Avatar

November 6, 2006

An tÉan Corr
The Irish noun “aithne” means “acquaintance” or “recognition”.  It is sometimes prefixed with the qualifier “súil” (meaning “eye”).  “Súil-aithne” is “eye-acquaintance”, meaning that “I know the face – but we haven’t been introduced.”

The online community of Irish speakers has developed new qualifiers to succintly describe the new kinds of relationships which are found in electronic networks.  “Ríomh-aithne” is a general term which translates literally as “compute-acquaintance”, and is probably more specifically used to mean “email-acquaintance”.  “Blag-aithne” means you read the other persons blog, or he/she reads you, and you’ve probably commented and tracked back.

I’ve used “Skype-aithne” – and you can probably have “IM-aithne”, “IRC-aithne”, “Boards-aithne” etc. as well!

I have physically met with Eirepreneur author James Corbett as neither of us live very far from Limerick.  Then last week, chuir mé SecondLife-aithne air – the two of us met up for the inaugural “Blarney Camp” in the Blarney Stone Virtual Irish Pub in the “Dublin” sim in Second Life.

As it happened – we experienced some unusual technical problems, which we initially put down to bad timing on our part – the fact that the simulation appeared to have a lot of users at the time.

Slua Second Life
However, I experienced no such issues during a brief visit on Sunday morning.  I ran into SLDublin’s mayor, Ham Rambler who explained that the Second Life system itself was experiencing technical problems (Linden Labs Blog says they are external network issues.)

This morning, Second Life appears to severely curtailed.  I’ve tried to log in several times and I generally find that I cannot even move my avatar.

Notwithstanding these little glitches, Second Life is a featured topic this week on An Líonra Sóisialta – and we’ll also be talking about internet maps, especially Google Earth.   Today’s show is titled Úirlisí na Samhlaíochta (Tools for the Imagination!)

Follow the secondlife tag in my Flickr stream for more images and commentary from my Second Life adventures over the past few days.  I was particularly pleased to run into Ham Rambler on Sunday.  He was glad to hear about the interest from Irish bloggers and he’s even offered us a meeting room in “Trinity College” for our next Second Life get-together!
Sráid an Dáma?

Come to Blarney Camp!

November 1, 2006

I miss all the good meetups. Blogging the Election, BarCamp Ireland, IT@Cork. And it’s not just the tech ones either. Oireachtas na Gaeilge starts today in Derry. Cén mhaith dom é? Ní bheidh mé ann! 😦 I had planned to attend, but it’s just not possible.

I’m going to Blarney Camp though! 🙂 James Corbett is organising a virtual meetup in The Blarney Stone Bar, inside the “Dublin” simulation in the virtual world “Second Life”, tomorrow at 3pm GMT.

I’m curious about Second Life – and I’m curious to know what James and Donncha and others think about it.

Maybe it’s no more than a toy – but score one for Second Life when it comes to giving me a chance to “attend” a meeting. We’re just going to “sit” around the “bar” and have an IRC conversation – but that’s only a part of what’s possible.

The most interesting SL moment I’ve had so far was when I “walked” in to the Blarney Stone one night to find a disco in full swing and several avatars “dancing”. The avatars are just cartoon characters – but the people controlling them are real. So was the DJ and the music streaming to my PC. I had a short IM chat with the DJ and the next thing I heard was her voice on the live stream – as she welcomed me to the place!

Tomorrow, we’ll just “sit around the bar” and type messages to each other. But on another occasion we could all look at a “TV” in the corner and watch the real-life James give a presentation on OPML? Or we could hire a conference room from the owner of The Blarney Stone and watch slides presented by Simon McGarr‘s avatar (McGavatarr?) while listening to his voice discuss the legal issues for bloggers and podcasters. Physically, Simon would be in his office in Dublin, I would be in my home in West Clare – anybody, anywhere in the world, could participate.

I’d love to attend more real-world events, but I’ve got two jobs and two kids. Of course Second Life can’t replace the real thing – but let’s give credit for what it can do.

All are welcome! James has the details! (Second Life is free to download if you don’t already have it. Over 18’s only.) Say hi to Conn Edgeworth when you get there! 😉