Archive for the ‘media’ category

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? 🙂

Raidio na Life to Broadcast “An Líonra Sóisialta”

August 1, 2006

More good news for An Lionra Sóisialta.  Radio listeners in Dublin will have an opportunity to hear the series when it begins in September.  Dublin city’s Irish language community station Raidio na Life join Galway’s Flirt FM in agreeing to broadcast An Líonra Sóisialta.

Watch this space … 🙂

Blacknight Solutions sponsor web hosting for An Lionra Soisialta

July 26, 2006

Heartfelt thanks to Michele Neylon, CEO of Blacknight Solutions who has graciously offered to sponsor web hosting for An Lionra Soisialta.

Go raibh maith agat!

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.

I have taken too little care of this

May 20, 2006

My poor neglected English blog!  Dervala describes the strange experience of visiting your own abandoned blog.  As each day passes, it looks more and more and more like someone else’s – which of course it is.  That last entry stopped being yours when you clicked “publish”.  Like the shutter of a camera, the moment is captured, perfectly preserved while you move on.

I have moved on.  For the time being, I have stopped producing new podcasts in the An tImeall series.  After 125 episodes, there is more than enough to keep Flirt FM going with material previously unheard on radio.  I continue to podcast my weekly “Blogger” column for , and I’ve been following Dermod‘s lead in experimenting with voicemailstyle podcasts.

I’m working on developing a new radio series.  (Of course it will be a podcast as well!)  It will be in Irish, like An tImeall, and it will follow the same outline format of 15-minute daily episodes.  However, it will be primarily directed at a radio audience.  Flirt FM will broadcast it in the same timeslot in Galway, and other radio stations will have the opportunity to syndicate it also.  Sponsors welcome, contact

And we are moving house!  🙂 

Edge Radio

April 24, 2006

Flirt FMAn tImeall, the daily podcast in the Irish language, today becomes the first independent Irish podcast to cross-over to traditional radio, as it begins a syndicated run on Galway city's college community station, Flirt FM.  The 15 minute show will air each weekday at 5:30pm

Podcasting is the term used to describe the distribution of sound and video files on the internet for use on portable digital players.  Podcasts are subscribable, meaning that users can configure "podcatching" software such as Apple's iTunes to watch for updates to selected podcasts and download them automatically to the users PC or mobile media device.

Podcasts are growing in popularity because they offer the audience greater choice of programming as well as increased convenience in terms of how, when and where they choose to listen or view.  Podcasting also lowers the barrier to entry for content producers, allowing anyone to distribute their programming to a worldwide audience independently of tranmission networks and programme schedules.

Recent months have seen a flurry of activity among traditional broadcasters eager to join the podcasting parade, and many popular Irish radio programmes are now also available as podcasts.  Until now however, no independent podcast had made the transition to the airwaves in Ireland.

An tImeall is published at  It was the first podcast in the Irish language, and one of the first in Ireland.  It's mission is to serve the worldwide community of Irish speakers and to encourage the development of online networks to promote the language.  Over 120 episodes have been produced since last July, and last month the site was honoured for it's use of Irish at the inaugural Irish Blog Awards.

Flirt FM is the community radio station for the student population of Galway city's two third level colleges.  It was established in 1995.  Flirt FM's new summer schedule starts today and further details can be found at

Further information:
Conn Ó Muíneacháin
+353 87 7408056