UNDERWAY -- The Irish countryside is soaking wet which means electric signals on mainline train routes are malfunctioning, effectively cutting off Waterford rail service to Dublin. That means I have greater seat selection when boarding in Kilkenny and more time to discover the Friday papers where this blog gets mentioned in The Irish Times.¹
Truth be told, this blog is a second generation survivor that has borrowed from inspiration and examples of those who have gone before. An entire generation of Irish bloggers mashed up cyberspace using LiveJournal just after we deemed ourselves Y2K-compliant. I marveled at college students who kept bashing away with musings about anything under the sun. That intrigued me because I wanted to encourage first-year students to write and I felt I had discovered a natural channel where they could express themselves in a self-motivated way. I think that psychology works and now we have woven blogging into education at Tipperary Institute. Different samples of student writing appear in our Sunny Southeast and Media Studies Classroom blogs. Both will evolve with student-designed identities in 2005.
Tipperary Institute students would affirm the "Lillington Shortlist" of Irish blogs by listing a few of their own. I can't qualify these URLs on the train but I'm listing them in the order that students say represents the hardest-to-read to the easiest-breeze. The subtext of that finding is that some of Ireland's best tech thinkers are blogging. I hope they read each other's stuff. If they do, the paid government consultants should write a White Paper and publicly announce that finding.
Anyway, here is the list in the rank-order of student voting. The blogs at the top are cited most often with words such as "techie, tedious, detailed, involved, or difficult." That's why they're at the top of my list.
- Sean McGrath: probably longest-running Irish tech blog with the greatest number of subscribers.
- Justin Mason: essential reading for things like tips on DVD recording.
- Diego Doval: happy in the Digital Hub.
- Liam Noonan: goes beyond where I read.
- Micheál O Foghlu: Wireless *NIX maven.
- Dick O'Brien: BackSeatDrivers debate quality themes.
- Antoin O Lachtnain: unassuming expertise.
- Heather James understands left- and right-brained wikis.
- Tom Murphy: best PR blog in Europe.
- Dearbhaile Hanley: Her blog deserves to be a book.
- Karlin Lillington: Techno/culture is Ireland's Blogging Treffpunkt.
- Maura McHugh: quirky and grounded.
- Gavin Sheridan: probably paying the most for his content.
- Rob O'Connor: TSSG researcher who seems to sit on the Zeitgeist.
- James Corbett: Eirepreneur through and through.
- North Atlantic Skyline does what it says on the tin.
- Tom Cosgrave: quieter now but continuing to facilitate bloggers.
¹Karlin Lillington -- "Blogging is a labour of love but it can also be hard work" in "Net Results".
Sent mail2blog using O2 Typepad services aboard Irish Rail.