Archive for the ‘language’ category

An tImeall Ar Ais

July 18, 2007

Tá An tImeall Ar Ais

Edgecast Media originated from a single podcast, An tImeall, which grew into a powerful idea: that specialised interests such as the Irish Language could be served in a uniquely effective manner using the subscription web model and online social media.

The idea became a company, and over the last few months, some of the practical issues of starting a business took priority over other activities, including An tImeall.

I’m delighted to announce that yesterday An tImeall resumed (MP3) a weekly podcast schedule. As before, it incorporates a weekly column on blogs and social media which is also syndicated in the Irish language daily newspaper Lá Nua.

An BuathóirBoth An tImeall and An Líonra Sóisialta, have achieved major recognition for Edgecast Media, winning five awards in the past two years. But that’s not the only reason why they are of core importance to the company. Every business needs a vision – a Big Idea. An tImeall is the embodiment of our Big Idea: that the edge can be the centre; that anyone can be a publisher (or a broadcaster); and that the most effective way to find an audience – or a market – is to look for a community.

An tImeall is a labour of love, with the goal of promoting the Irish language and encouraging its use online. The blog and podcast are syndicated under a Creative Commons Licence (Attribution Noncommercial 3.0). If you run a non-profit radio station, website or printed publication, you are free to republish any of hundreds of podcast episodes or blog posts as long as you attribute them to (If you decide to do so, please let me know so that I can link back to you.)

Commercial terms are, of course, available on request. 🙂


Edgecast Media sponsor The Irish Blog Awards

January 25, 2007

Last year’s inaugural Irish Blog Awards was a warm and wonderful occasion.  Not only were past achievements acknowledged and recognised, but I firmly believe the occasion provided an important impetus and contributed to the growth and development of Irish blogs in the 12 months that have followed.

My wife Margaret and I had a very enjoyable time, and it was great to be among the winners on the day.  An tImeall won the award for the Best Use of The Irish Language in a Blog.

This year I’m delighted to announce that Edgecast Media is sponsoring that same category.  I’m happy to support the award which recognised my efforts in 2006.  In fact it was one of the things which encouraged me and set me on the path to the success which followed later in the year.

Blogging is a social activity which has the power to draw hundreds of people together on a Saturday in Dublin.  But each and every blog starts with a personal passion.  In my case it was the Irish language, and the desire for more opportunities to use it on a daily basis.

The Irish language is gaining in strength and status in recent years and, in the online world, a growing gaelic community is gaining in the confidence to contribute to the production of their own media.

Nominations close tomorrow.  Later, public balloting will decide shortlists for each category.

In my acceptance speech last year, I expressed the hope that Irish language blogs would feature in the other categories as well.  So, do keep that in mind as you nominate this year.  For example, HilaryNY could be nominated for Best Personal Blog or An Spailpín Fánach for Best Sports Blog.  And while, as sponsor, I am ineligible for the Irish category this year, I’d be delighted to be nominated as Best Podcaster – although I expect stiff competition for this category!

If you need help finding Irish language blogs, visit  I plan to get an OPML list up shortly as well.

Nascanna breise:

  • Annette‘s another former winner who’s giving it back this year!

From An tImeall:

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 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! 🙂

Can you learn Irish by listening to my podcasts?

September 24, 2006

Proabably not!  But I’d love to know if it helps.

The subject has come up over at An Líonra Sóisialta:

This is very important to me.  One of the reasons I strive to promote blogging and podcasting in Irish is that I personally use these media to practice and improve my own Irish.  I am not a native speaker.

On the other hand, I am not a teacher either, and this is not a language course.  It is a grown-up podcast (or radio show – call it what you like!) about a particular subject which happens to be in Irish.

if you want to learn Irish, you might want to consider Oideas Gael, or perhaps an online course such as

However, I do believe that An Líonra Sóisialta may be of some value as an authentic source of material to learners, for the following reasons.

  • We’re going to keep it simple – and short.  Each episode of An Líonra Sóisialta will last no more than 12 minutes – and that includes 5 minutes of music.  That leaves just 7 minutes of speech, and that 7 minutes will be broken down further into segments ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
  • We’re going to repeat ourselves ad nauseam.  While we are not trying to teach Irish, we are trying to teach people about online social networking.  That’s a big area – and a new idea for many people.  We’ll be taking it nice and slowly.
  • There’s more than one way to find out what’s going on.  Listen to the podcast.  Read the shownotes.  (On Fridays you’ll find a transcript for 5 minutes worth of the show – otherwise: bullet points.)  Follow the links to the web sources we reference – most of them will be in English.  Listen to the podcast again.
  • Feedback!  Let us know what you find easiest to understand or otherwise.  We don’t want to make this hard if we can help it.  Help us!  (I’ll be posting contact details in the right hand margin later today.)

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

September 16, 2006

I’ve been too busy to blog.  And that was probably my biggest mistake!

When I first had the idea of An Líonra Sóisialta I wanted it to be a blogged project.  Do it all in the open.  Get the support and feedback of others.  I’ve seen how a blog thrives on this feedback, recycles it, re-uses it, feeds on it.  An Líonra Sóisialta is about the community – I want to produce it with the scrutiny and help of that community.

So what’s happened?  The good news is that An Líonra Sóisialta is still on track.  In fact there’s lots of good news – which I’ll get to in a moment!  But first: what went wrong?

I underestimated the work involved.  On the other hand, it’s probably fair to say that if I had been realistic about it I would never have taken the project on in the first place!  It’s not the production work (most of the first week’s material is recorded) but the administration work that has caught me out.  There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

I had originally planned to start the project on Monday 18th of September.  I could still do that, but I won’t.  I’ve put the show back by one week, in order to get all my ducks in a row!

You can take a peek at the building site over at AnLionra.Com.  I’m running a beta programme of “test transmissions”, so please do let me know if you have any problems downloading the podcasts, or subscribing to the feed.

The first podcast in the new series will show up on that feed on Monday 25th September.  Depending where you live, you can also choose to hear it on your radio!  Discussions with broadcasters are ongoing, but I’m delighted to be able to announce the following stations have confirmed their participation:

Finally, for now, huge thanks to Cionaodh for the An Líonra Sóisialta logo.  Nach deas é?

An Lïnra Sóisialta

Stay tuned for further credits.  This project is getting a lot of help, from a lot of people!

Over and Out! 🙂

Irish Independent reports on the bustling Irish blogland

August 30, 2006

From today’s Irish Independent (subscription required, free).

Irish language activists are one of the interest groups flocking to the blogosphere. Having started his Irish blog, Imeall (, a little over two years ago, Conn O Muineachain has, without quite planning it, found himself taking the first steps to a full-blown media career. Some 1,000 readers visit O Muineachain’s blog each week, enough to persuade Irish language newspaper La to offer him a column.

Since then, his alternative career (he is an engineer by training) as an advocate for the Irish language has flourished. The launch several months ago of a podcast on his blog – podcasts are downloadable radio shows – has brought further exposure to O Muineachain. As a result, he is now contemplating a career in radio.

“From last April, the podcasts have been broadcast as a conventional radio show on college radio in Galway,” he says.

“And recently the Broadcasting Commission asked me to put together a series on social networking for transmission on independent radio stations. Suddenly, I’ve got a very busy media life – I’ll probably have to take someone on to help me with the new project.”

I ought to clarify that it was I who applied to the BCI and not they who approached me – but it has a nice ring to it all the same, doesn’t it? 🙂

Public Service Podcasting

July 25, 2006

Paul Browne made some very kind comments about An tImeall some time ago.  I didn’t respond at the time – mostly because I was on a blogging go-slow due to moving house – but also because – well, let me get to that in a minute.

Can I give my TV Licence fee to An tImeall? In the last 18 months Conn Ó Muíneacháin has done more for the Irish language via Podcasting than the entire team at RTE, so I’d like him to get my 150 Euro.

Thanks Paul, I’m hugely flattered! 🙂

My personal opinion is that RTE’s two Irish language services in particular (Raidio na Gaeltachta and TG4) do a wonderful job with limited resources.  In particular, I think it is regrettable that TG4 must resort to a high proportion of imported English language programming to fill the gaps in their schedule.

Not surprisingly, I support the principle of public funding for the production and broadcast of programmes which have cultural and public-service value, but perhaps not commercial value.  Traditionally in Ireland this has been the exclusive domain of RTE and and, on the whole, I think they have done well in serving this function.

However, a positive development in recent times has been the acceptance of the idea that public service broadcasting need not be the exclusive domain of the state-owned services alone.  The  Broadcasting Commision of Ireland now operates a scheme called Sound and Vision which allows independent broadcasters to tender proposals for funding “the production of new television and radio programmes in the areas of Irish culture, heritage and experience and adult literacy”.  This has resulted in a number of high-quality productions, in particular on local radio stations around the country.

Sound and Vision is designed to support public service broadcasting only.  There is (as yet) no framework for public service podcasting!  However, over the course of the past year, An tImeall has developed links with a number of Irish radio stations, and so, last April, I felt encouraged to submit an application to produce a radio series to be broadcast on Flirt FM in Galway.

I’m delighted to be able to announce that my application was successful.  Last week, the BCI announced the projects which have been approved and offered funding in the second round of Sound and Vision.  One of these is An Líonra Sóisialta (The Social Network), a series of 64 short episodes over 13 weeks, which aims to introduce the radio-listening, Irish-language community to the world of online social networking.

An Líonra Sóisialta will be broadcast on Flirt FM beginning in September.  At least one other Irish radio station has also expressed an interest.  In keeping with it’s theme, the series will aim to encourage audience participation and so it is hoped, by the time we go on air, that we will have agreements to syndicate the show across a network of independent local and commuunity radio stations in Ireland (and maybe even abroad!)

The ideas for An Líonra Sóisialta were developed based on my experiences with An tImeall, and in some ways it is a successor to it.  However, it will differ significantly, primarily in the fact that it is a radio programme, not a podcast.  It is designed for people who may have never heard a podcast or posted a message online.  It is designed for Irish speakers, both fluent and learners.  It will be for school groups and for isolated gaeilgeóiri.  It will aim to introduce the larger offline Irish language community to the nascent global community who are already using online social networking to preserve and promote this ancient and vibrant culture.

Of course, each episode will be podcast as well.  And the series will have a blog, a wiki, a mailing list and maybe even a message board.  I’m also looking for sponsorship, ideally from the Information and Communications Technology sector.  (The BCI funding will not cover even half of the costs.)  Interested?  Get in touch.  I think it’s a unique opportunity to raise the profile of an ICT brand in Ireland.

What else?  I need web hosting.  And I need a logo, any graphic designers want to get involved?  If you are a broadcaster and you would like to syndicate An Líonra Sóisialta, get in touch.

When Paul made his orginal post in June, I was too busy to reply, but I also must admit that I did have a superstitious fear that I would jinx my application by talking about it.  Now I can say it looks like Paul has got his wish.  The Sound and Vision scheme is funded by 5% of the TV licence fee.