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March 2010

February 2010

Qik Sunday News

AFTER A TWO-CUP Coffee Fixx, I swept my Nokia E90 over two Irish Sunday papers, paused over Banksy (above and item 8 with his own video) and found 12 minutes of video content about the side effects of the Irish property #bubble, the success of Irish animation, the emergence of mainstream #social media in Ireland, interesting energy #technology, some #social media trends, and a #travel warning for those thinking about visiting Ireland.

Qik Sunday News

Most of these topics feature in modules of the creative multimedia programme in Tipperary Institute, especially creative elements that are part of a proposed animation degree. I've cited the authors of each item below the break. I recommend Justine McCarthy's Docklands item [3]  and Adrian Weckler's spread on Twitter [16] if you're time-limited and want to enjoy intelligent writing today.

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Haroon Mirza's Anthemoessa

Birds of Pray.jpgHAROON MIRZA'S exhibition of Anthemoessa is running in Mother's Tank Station through 27 March 2010. In Greek mythology Anthemoessa was home to the Sirens, from whence their plaintive songs drifted through the dark, luring sailors to their death on concealed jagged rocks. They knew they were sailing to their doom but couldn't resist the siren songs. Mirza employs this poetic but randomly violent idea to conceptually imagine the gallery as an island home.

The exhibit space mashes up audio and sculptural compositions. I feel layers and complexities, along with socio-cultural artefacts. In my teaching world of exposing students to a range of audio, from random noise through processed sound to multi-channel music, work like Mirza's low-fi assemblages give me another sonic environment worth hearing.

Every time I walk Victoria Quay toward Heuston Station, I glance at Mother's Tankstation, a gallery that used to be a derelict garage and before that, part of an island with a heritage dating to 1428, when the Friars Preachers of the convent of St. Saviour's had a residential school nearby. The friars kept An important library of philosophy and theology.

See more at Mother’s Tankstation. 41-43 Watling Street, Ushers Island, Dublin 8. Ireland.

Irish Immigration and Chinese

Air TrafficAS IF IT wasn't a challenging enough year for Irish tourism, the CEO of Ireland's Coach Tourism and Transport Council says "citizens of China, Russia or India who want to come to Ireland on holiday are required to provide six months of bank statements, a letter of invitation from someone in Ireland confirming accommodation, the marriage certificate, birth certificates of children even if they are not traveling, a notarised certificate showing they have no criminal record, three consecutive payslips, a letter from their employer showing they have been granted leave of absence, and a salary statement with duration of employment annotated." It's easier getting through US Cutoms with generic drugs in your bags.
Sent mail2blog using Nokia E90 O2-Typepad service in The Curragh, Ireland. There are suspicious Arab faces at the other table but they have Irish passports.
x_ref125mw #localnews

iDon't and Most of My Creatives Don't Either

THE iPHONE ISN'T REALLY a true convergent device, but it rules in the easy-using category. I'm uncomfortable about a lot of things my iPhone cannot do, so it sits for use in places where a full duty day isn't required.

Hat tip to Ewan MacLeod for the video pointer. It reinforces my appreciation of technology you can control.

You should listen to Mobile Industry Review or All About Symbian next.
x_ref125mw #create

It's What's Upstream that Counts

What's Upstream

THREE SIMPLE PEAKS from Statcounter document something I've suspected: if you want to reach people, you should offer a message in more than one medium because social sharing is driving web traffic. The graph above from the Irish-developed Statcounter site shows peak traffic on as a function of three separate sources of traffic. The first spike came a day after a Sunday news report that I filed on While Twitter and a feature in the Sunday Times Culture magazine played key roles in driving traffic onto my Qik clip, the source of the referrers sits in my Qik clip. The second spike illustrated above occurred as people clicked from a Facebook paragraph over to the main source. I suspect many arrived because I cited an image in the excerpted paragraph but the cited image did not appear in the Facebook newsfeed. The third spike is the largest. It comes from a burst of traffic spawned by Google Buzz. The Buzz traffic pushed my blog's newsfeed into Google Reader subscriptions of hundreds of people. Over the past month, according to AddThis, sharing through Google Reader is up 35 percent. At least 15 new people (shown in gold at the bottom of the graph) arrived to read about Ireland's smart economy. At least 10 more arrived because they were using Google Alerts for the term "smart economy."

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Long-awaited Coffee Fixx

I GOT MY FIRST STEAM-POWERED kitchen coffee fix of 2010 today, thanks to a gift of 250g of 100% Arabica ground coffee from Fixx Coffee Couture. I'm still trying to figure out how the coffee found its way from Inchicore in Dublin to my home along the Golden Road in Cashel. Perhaps the coffee-loving crowd is a Foursquare clique.

Recorded with my long-serving Nokia E90 and served with a flourish by Qik.
x_ref125mw #create

Learned from Birr Open Coffee

Birr Technology CentreALONG WITH SEVEN others in the Birr Technology Centre (at right), I shared some opinions about increasing the value of time spent online by using online networks effectively. The Birr OpenCoffee morning left me take an hour to show how I meander between Plancast, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Profile. The coffee morning had a Plancast footprint already and after the session, a small summary will appear in the OpenCoffee Ireland group on LinkedIn. It takes me no more than three minutes every morning to read LinkedIn updates in my phone's email and to scroll through Plancast summaries as they arrive via RSS on my phone. We discussed ways of handling social media overload through clever usage of search facilities inside Tweetdeck, Gravity and Seesmic. We're tracking "Clonmel" and "#hyperlocal" that way. Several people who saw my Google Profile for the first time and how it showed me in the venue. Following the event, Mark Cahill and I talked about ways of connecting the OpenCoffee meet-ups at the lowest possible level (i.e., ring-arounds) because a lot of self-organising networking is happening in Ireland and its by-product wants to be shared.

The Social in Media

Cable AccomplicesAS I CREATE an exam for a social media module in Tipperary Institute, an item from Chris Brogan bubbles up. He asks some pertinent questions and his post is sure to win 500 mentions on Twitter. I think his main points deserve consideration as final exam topics because they string together some themes that make the entire space of online connectivity a human habitat. Chris is a social media evangelist with a bigger heart and a more polite engaging style than many Irish online social networkers. He shares ideas that would build a social media legacy. He points out the value of starting "a public list of Twitter accounts from local businesses." It's something we've considered with the Clonmel Chamber of Commerce and it's something that should appear in the local newspaper. Here are a few other suggestions:

-- "Start small mastermind groups on Google Wave." Dunno. I think something simpler like colour-coded Etherpad spaces work better.

-- "Donate four hours a week to a charity, giving them more promotion and exposure for their causes, equipping them with more ways to find what they need." Brill. While some may say that charities just need money, the surveys show a decline in volunteerism all across the country.

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Working Smarter for the Economy

Points about Innovation and CreativityON THE 12TH of March, the Irish government releases its report on how we will create the smart economy in Ireland. I have a few ideas that I'm trying right across the table at work with the latest crop of smart graduates. I am working with a small project team to improve innovation in their project work. My process starts by looking at what is to be shipped. At the end of a successful project, third year creative multimedia projects should identify potential opportunities related to what they design and build. This specific focus runs counter to some of my colleagues who want to allow students the opportunity to "do things that interest them." As innovation consultant Dervala Hanley (at right) would probably point out, that's a normal attitude from an academic, not something you would expect from a smart entrepreneur. The syllabus forces students to quickly develop code, interfaces and alpha versions of their ideas--that's a skill of someone pulling their weight smartly. In Tipperary Institute, we turn up the heat on creative projects by evaluating teamwork as part of the overall assessment. This is the first year that we've evaluated group projects and several promising elements of collaboration have emerged already.

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Bankers Without Money or Advice

NYC GardaIT IS NOT HARD to find an Irish businessman who simply cannot roll through a bad patch by drawing on a line of credit from his local bank. Sometimes the process feels like a garda lock-up. What may surprise some people is learning that many Irish bankers are poor sources of advice about business matters. While working with three different Irish start-ups, I watched and listened to better advice coming from accountants and family members, not the local bankers. And not much has changed, according to Business Link in the UK. Business Link conducted a survey of high growth businesses and during the Delta Economics interview of 2,120 businesses, a league table of "useful sources of advice" emerged.

Profiessional advisers were the most widely used, both during the start up stage and later in the company's development. They were also ranked among the most useful, slightly behind family members, other entrepreneurs and mentos.

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