I'M IN DUBLIN for Bloomsday and the occasion allows me to connect with Mitch Joel, a man I knew as a rock and roll journalist years ago. Today, Mitch continues to share creative ideas with international audiences in person and through syndicated media with Mirum, an agency changing the future of advertising and marketing.
I'M INDEBTED TO James Macolgan, a capable Scottish electrician, for offering tips via social media to problems arising from my broken central heating. In a perfect world, he would live closer and help me finish the job.
Mac is one of 80 different voices I've heard during February 2014 while using the Audioboo app on iOS and Android. I also pull my "followed" subscriptions directly into my Lumia handset by using the mobile version of Internet Explorer. This year, those voices reflect a mature community, one that has evolved partly because it's been ignored by the parent website.
It's hard to predict whether today's shiny online community will last beyond a few years. I've moved from forums hosted on bulletin boards, to mailing lists, to the app-friendly newsfeeds many of my friends use today. But in every instance, there are a handful of people whose contributions, sacrifices and willingness to pay forward their skills will always guarantee them a pint in any venue where I'm seated.
Bernie Goldbach using Saorview | Screenshot from Google Images
IF I WAS SELECTING the "most powerful woman in Ireland" I think she would be someone who makes things happen behind the scenes. Asking Google for the answer results in a lot of faces from outside Ireland--the same faces I see most often on my Saorview box.
Next month, the Irish branch of the Women’s Executive Network will honour 25 women at a ceremony where awards will be presented to recognise Irish women across five categories: corporate executives, public sector leaders, entrepreneurs, trailblazers and arts and culture. Company turnover, size of team, achievements, responsibility and influence on respective sectors will be among the criteria used to select the winners.
AS A STUDENT of American history, I decided to help the National Army Museum in London decide which five military leaders are represented at Enemy Commanders: Britain's Greatest Foes, a celebrity speaker event on Saturday 14 April 2012. I think George Washington deserves to be on the shortlist so I voted for him.
This meant setting up an account with the museum in order to get access to the plus-one button next to Washington's profile. George is running well behind Irish favourite Michael Collins, another tall commander.
As a young teen, I read a lot about Washington and told my mother he wasn't the rich, British-oriented Virginia aristocrat that she learned about in primary school. He never set foot in England and never traveled to Europe. We revered him in the Boy Scouts because he made his living as a surveyor, defining tracts of forests on the fringes of settlements. He knew the wilderness and spent five years in it fighting native American Indians.
I don't think George Washington completed elementary school. He had to work his family's impoverished land under the stern hand of his domineering mother. My books on Washington tell about his proudest possessions as a child. The Washingtons owned six good pairs of sheets, ten inferior pairs, and seventeen pillow cases. Their proudest possessions were described as "plate", one soup spoon, eighteen small spoons, seven teaspoons, a watch and a sword for a total value of £25 10s. Most of the eating utensils were carved from wood.
This modest man became America's first President, sleeping at least two nights in my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On those overnight stays, he kept his horse in one of the stables later owned by my grandfather. That building still stands today.
I HAVE DISCOVERED the stickiest form of online social media and it's full of headstones.
While a lot of people will drop hours into Facebook, Twitter, food spotting, Pinterest, Soundcloud, YouTube, or photo-sharing, I've discovered time spent online while researching roots is the best way of connecting people across generations and over thousands of miles. When I click into my account at Ancestry.com, I'm normally lost for an hour. And when I finish my time inside the ancestral records, I feel I've located a special part of myself. I get this feeling while working online, not while burrowing solo with my GEDCOM file.
I've tried several family tree software programs, all allowing GEDCOM exports. The GEDCOM file format facilitates communications between programs. The result looks compelling online with Ancestry.com record sets.
THE TELEGRAPH TOLD ME about the passing of John Marks, father of Kevin Marks. I know and respect Kevin's voice from hours on the TWIT network and I feel his loss.
From the Telegraph: RIP John Marks. Born June 18 1934, died February 18 2012. The co-author of several books and a multitude of pamphlets, Marks made it his mission to highlight inadequacies in standards of literacy and numeracy in schools. His influence continues to be felt in Ireland whenever there's discussion of league tables for schools.
John Marks was a co-author of two studies that helped to ignite a national debate about standards and the importance of accountability in state education. These were Standards in English Schools, analyses of English secondary schools’ examination results in 1981 and 1983. In 1996 he wrote a newspaper article about how he and his colleagues (Caroline Cox and Maciej Pomian-Srzednicki) had tried to conduct their 1981 “census” of the examination results of all the schools in the country: “Many schools and local education authorities refused to send the information which legally they had to publish.
CHRISTIE'S CONFIRMED a "new world auction record for Cindy Sherman" when her photography "Untitled, 1981" was sold for $3.8 million. So if you're an excellent photographer, you might have exceptionally valuable images in your Flickr photostream.
I HEARD OF DEREK K. MILLER'S passing through a Facebook note left by Bob Goyetche, a fellow Canadian podcaster. From Derek's Penmachine blog and through his comments on Inside Home Recording, I knew his battle with cancer was going to end in the Spring of 2011. Derek died on 4 May 2011, leaving behind a wife, two daughters and a digital legacy that inspires me. I continue to learn a lot about digital audio by listening to years of downloads from Derek and Dave. And I get large doses of inspiration from the extensive essays Derek penned while he considered how technology was rapidly changing the way people communicate and connect. Although I don't expect to live until 2060 (the year that would have made him older than his grandmother), I'm happy knowing that through the ether, we both shared some common thoughts--and many of them were started on his blog or through his podcasts.
WHILE OUT WALKING WITH MY TODDLER, I got a short email from Steven Gill: "Aaargh!" He explained, "That is what my head screams most of my time at home. The oldest two girls will not stop arguing. My youngest daughter and my son will not stop beating the hell out of each other. My house is always a mess, the washing pile never seems to get smaller." And he can never find where he put his coffee cup. I have the many of the same challenges.
Through a set of Media Writing assignments, I know that life as a creative media student falls somewhere on the scale of "bliss" and "hectic". Steven "would gladly work on a fifteen page document on campus than at home," but there are work pressures all around the gaff and if you don't deal with those as a priority, you will pay. Who doesn't have hectic home life challenges? And when you ask a few follow-up questions, would those with screaming kids really object to having them? Not the people I know.
I HAVE A GOOGLE ALERT set up for Chris Gulker and got a fright when Google told me about his "last picture show." Not knowing what I was going to see, I read a bit of gallows humour as Chris discussed the upcoming photo exhibition in Cafe Zoe, featuring many of his own shots. As an international journalist, Chris has shot and syndicated more images than anyone I know in Ireland. His love of photography almost resulted in me buying a black and white camera since his B&W work is superb. I hope some of it hangs in Cafe Zoe for at least three months--longer than the time Chris expects to live.