WHEN I ASK 11890 directory assistance for a phone number, it's a 30 second transaction that now includes a map.
I've rang a few times from my mobile phone (in the photo) to see cross-check a few things, like the name of our college (it's recently changed) or the new phone numbers of businesses we like to use. The service is always fast, always accurate. I normally say something like, "Maura, could you text me a business phone number for Beva in Glanmire, County Cork?" The reaction is as fast as a person can type and rarely longer than 20 seconds. That's 20 seconds from the time I start to ask to the time a text arrives on my phone. And now, the text comes with a map that's more accurate than I get with Foursquare.
YOU'RE INVITED to tweet along with a half-hour interview @rickoshea is doing on #howtobeirish by simply listening to the hashtag starting at 4:30pm Dublin time on 15 March. I'm planning to learn a lot.
I've Irish genes (proof at left in the offspring) and am sincerely interested in some of the inside story behind the user-generated documentary airing this Saturday night at 7:30 on RTE One TV. If anyone knows the inside story about people sharing their secret hints about being Irish, it's Rick O'Shea. He has a special way of integrating radio, television and Twitter. I'm joining Rick on the #howtobeirish hashtag while tweeting this week from the @ireland account on Twitter.
I already know the RTÉ show features submissions from Columbia, Finland, New York, London, Guatamala, New Zealand. According to the programme guide, it captures random feelings, images, songs, observations, jokes and special moments that sum up, in the minds of the contributors, what it means to be Irish."
The Applied Communications students taking LIT'sBSc in Creative Multimedia will be participating in the process, learning how Rick sourced and vetted material was shot on a variety of stills cameras, webcams, video cameras, camcorders and mobile phones.
I really like Rick O'Shea's work and I'm looking forward to seeing via Saorview a lot of "funny, touching, awe-inspiring and strange responses" that make me proud to be part of the Irish gene pool.
THE DEVELOPER WHO figures out how to encapsulate individual blog posts as social objects will have the next big thing. Getting that capability means returning juice to blogs.
If this blog post was a social object, you could embed the whole thing wherever you desired. Any comment you made would follow you or could embed into your Twitterstream, refreshing with a follow-up comment if you dialed that into your preferences. If this little post was a social object, people would be more likely to share it, like it, upvote it, and paste it onto their Facebook wall where they could continue babbling about it. And magically, the babbling would percolate back to this original blog post. This is something Google Plus is trying to do but the API isn't sorted yet.
The image embedded in this blog post is a social object, pulled from Flickr. But it's not a two-way social interaction because what I'm writing here doesn't attach itself to the image on Flickr.
I'm patient so I'll wait. Based on what I'm seeing inside G+, I think Google has figured out the most primal thing people do on the internet is not search, it's share. We're humans. We like looking at things and telling friends what we saw. We like spreading gossip. And if we could write on our own space and expose what we wrote as social objects, the world would observe a blogging renaissance.
Perhaps as early as this year. Stay tuned for blogs that get christened as social objects.
YEAR-END STATS from three sources confirm something I've know for several years--I'm shedding around 30,000 annual visitors to my blog.
At the current rate of decline, I wonder how strong the long tail of my blog actually is. I know that if I don't post anything for one week, I'll attract an average of 88 visitors per day. If I let the blog idle for more than a month, I doubt more than 20 visitors would stop by every day. I wonder what might boost the annual visitor count back to the 100,000 mark. I've put this blog post up on Google Plus where I expect to read the opinion of some clever commentators.
I REMEMBER BLOGGING ABOUT surgical masks on September 23, 2001 but at the time I didn't think my writing about the masks would start my adventure in blogging.
The masks were part of a kit given to the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity on the upper east side of Manhattan. Several of the Trinitarian nuns had stood on the top of their convent and watched the twin towers fall. My aunt was one of them. The fire department gave the convent several dozen surgical masks to ward off the ill effects of the dust in the air from the collapse of the World Trade Center. Ten years later, the masks are still in the convent. I've a local copy of that blog post and I'm going to replant it on Inside View because my first post deserves a relook--along with several of the high points of my adventure in blogging.
This means that fewer people want to download Photoshop the program or fewer are looking for Photoshop files to revise on their own computers. I don't know why interest in Photoshop downloads is declining across the web but I know the reasons for my own blog's demise: Facebook and Twitter. I push out my blog posts to both of those services and I can see a steady flow of people coming into my blog from both of those networks. The headline from each of my blog posts goes to Twitter and the first paragraph of my new blog posts often automatically publishes on Facebook. I imagine that's enough content for people so they don't click back to the source. The result is the downward progression of the bell curve illustrated in this blog post.
APPROACHING 10 YEARS as a blogger, I'm asked why I blog. It's a question that Doc Searls (at right) asked me when he visited Dublin in 2004.
Back then, I read Doc religiously because he conversed online. I also bought The Cluetrain Manifesto (TCM) in a dog-eared copy and put it on our creative multimedia curriculum. TCM sets out the case that all markets are conversations. And in the case of my blogging, all my posts are authentic snippets of conversations I've heard online or they are fragment of ideas that I would like to discuss. I use my blogging to think and reflect and I take some heat because I occasionally publish items that are not well thought-out. The result has been telephone calls before 8AM and late night text tirades telling me I'm a loser. But even when that happens, I feel like a winner because the commentary means I've succeeded in stoking a conversation. That by-product alone makes blogging and its permalinked nature well worth my time and energy.
I like 9thLevel.ie both for the information that the 9th Level serves up and for the referrers it generates to my personal blog. Years ago, I discovered that some colleagues thought I was the 9th Level blogger because they saw snippets from my Inside View natterings on the 9th Level website. And it's fair to say that LIT colleagues read my perspective about the School of Tipperary while clicking through news of Irish higher education on the 9th Level Ireland blog.
ONE OF THE PRESSURES I get as a blogger is that it faces time pressures from all sides. I get veiled advice from co-workers that I need to cut back on musings I make online and to focus on things that will pay the bills week to week. And while they are right, I'm sticking with making microcontent because (1) I like writing, (2) I know it will pay through its long tail, and (3) it's how I meet people who matter.