This post has changed direction several times in the last three days.

At first I was going to write about green issues. What happened was that I bumped in to a pair of representatives for, a government run site for creating a plan of action for environmental change and reducing Ireland’s (and maybe the world’s) carbon footprint. I told the reps that I was surprised that there hadn’t been blogger outreach to other blogs concerning green issues, and pointed out a few that I knew of.

One rep asked me to e-mail in the details of the sites, the idea was to get something of an aggregator going.

The first person who came to mind was Ms. Phoebe Bright…
who seems slightly miffed in this photo about what happened next.

Phoebe presented at the recent Open Coffee BBQ about energy, energy demand and a technological solutions to change the thinking currently driving our consumption habits. Well worth a read if you weren’t at teh presentation.

Also, how can I forget Greennav. Actually I did, which is why I e-mailed in the links. Greennav is an odd mix of a group blog in that anyone can add to it. So its one better than an aggregator, is something of a community. And yes its full of green hints and tips.

Even the landscape gardener Peter Donegan has added a collection of green hints and tips to his site.

And now a change in direction.

Ladies and gentlemen. Get them together, as the response from the government sources was “that’s nice, anyone can blog, go ahead”. Or a “we’ll do nothing thank you”.

This is one of those areas where we should collaborate, and double, nay triple the voices to get the messages, and actions out there. A green meme. Not just an internet meme but a get off our backsides and do something about it meme.

I’m just not sure what.

But its this tendency for collaboration which brings me to to the next change of directions, sponsored by Twenty Major and Adrian Weckler.

They have complained about the fact that …

  1. We’re not angry and fighting enough. (But Mr Weckler things me are too angry).
  2. We aim for consensus
  3. We don’t do enough investigative journalism
  4. Bloggers seem to be people who are fake

Well lets see.

I know that I don’t intend to ever get close to Granddad without a stab-proof vest, but the Irish blog-sphere is a small place. If you don’t count Bebo blogs, you could fit most of the Irish bloggers in a medium hotel for an awards ceremony. Because we are a small group, the chances of prolonged bickering are few. Grudges can be held, but so can tongues. And the word “community” tends to hold sway. (Besides, Twitter is the place for small short-lived Irish fire fights). And besides, Barcamps, Tweet-ups, Open Coffee clubs, photo-walks and general get-togethers happen enough to prevent full blown flame wars that lead to bits going missing.

As for a consensus. Well, the early Irish bloggers were either techies, or non-technical people in the technology industry (sometimes in the one person). In this world, standards mean a lot. Consensus gets the job done. And could a barcamp exist without consensus?

As for people who aren’t and don’t aspire to be investigative journalists not doing enough investigative journalism for Mr Wreckler’s liking. Well, circular logic only gets you so far. Maybe you would be willing to teach us the way, and teach us, using your blog or course, on how to do these investigations. I think a few hundred well trained (even if we are bored, lonely or angry) bloggers might do you some justice. (Besides you forgot about Maman Poulet teaching journalists how to do their jobs when it came to Michael Lynn).

And finally, “bloggers are fake”. Now he’s not talking about fiction blogs, nor blogs maintained by a fictional (or pseudonymous) character. He’s talking about people who create great blogs, to get employment, and once employed, stop blogging. I can only assume that he means people who want to write for a living, and are using their blog as a portfolio in the same way that an artist creates work for themselves, to get their own style (or voice) and use that portfolio as a way to become a writer.

Well, if they exist, and I actually expect that they do, then more luck to them. If the only reason they wrote was to get someone to pay for the writing, then isn’t it better that they stop blogging?

Can we all agree to that?

take care,
Will Knott

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11 Responses to “Non-collaboration”

  1. Grandad Says:

    I know that I don’t intend to ever get close to Granddad without a stab-proof vest



  2. will Says:

    Lots of people seem to think I’m a tourist, and you’ve created your own reputation in that area.

  3. Grandad Says:

    I don’t know where that reputation came from? You are always welcome in my neck of the hills.

  4. Darragh Says:

    Will, great post, but are there any examples of positive collaboration among bloggers where an actual result has been achieved? It’s something I’m struggling with at the moment.

  5. peter donegan Says:


    great post and a pleasure simply to be mentioned in the same breath [page] as the rest of the techie-world.

    slán go foill

  6. will Says:

    Peter : you did the links

    Darragh : I have an idea to monetise the Internet’s “Pink for October” meme in order to get money in the Irish Cancer Charities coffers.

    I’ll post later

  7. will Says:

    Oh, and Granddad. Maybe

  8. will Says:

    Hi Darragh.
    My idea to get a practical collaboration going.

  9. Patrick Liddy Says:

    Hey Will,

    Thanks for the link


  10. Phoebe Bright Says:

    Thanks for the mention – and for reminding me why I hate having my photo taken!

  11. Phoebe Bright Says:

    Re aggregator, check this out just found it via link from Tom Raftery’s site.

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