A wise woman pointed out that it is perfectly reasonable to talk predictions for the year ahead up to and including 31 January! Well I’m going to type about resolutions.

Yes its a bit late to talk about new year resolutions, but here goes.

Get in to fights again

I ended up dropping out of Capoeira in 2008. A mixture of class clashes and commuting.  Now I can start again, probably from scratch. Of course, if that fails I may be asking for a different kind of trouble. In short, I need to do something which involves a bit of movement.

In camera

I got caught up in an interesting discussion about “what makes a photoblog” om Twitter, well lots. I play with photography, but I think its time I moved up to a better camera. I’m not going D-SLR this year, but I have my eye on something and I want my wallet to match. On a related note, I need to go to more events. Since I’m sort of bi-locational at the moment, when the weather gets brighter things might get interesting.

More sleep

An idea stolen off Phil IcedCoffee; I just need to get to bed earlier. As if that all.

Re: cycling

It’s usually better to keep old resolutions than to make new ones. — Chloe Sevigny. I’ve copied this quote off Tim Ferris‘ resolutions.  And I’ve copied this resolution from last year. This year I think I’m a commutable distance to work, but without showering facilities things could get sticky. Still given the Mad Cow traffic holdups, cycling to the office may not be a bad idea. The only reason I’m delaying this one is making sure I can do it, and timing a weekend run first.

Change the decor

Now that I’m the master of my own domain, it almost been a year since I moved in. Its time to redecorate a little. I had planned to use the Carrington theme with pallet swaps and image swaps (its the one Joe Scanlon is using) but I recently stumbled across a theme on Smashing Magazine which is almost perfect. Things may look a little odd here over the next few weeks.

I had also planned on trying out the Google Friend Connect here too, but I’m not so sure now.

Write more fiction. Read more fiction.

I more or less stopped reading fiction when my studies restarted. With the exception of one Cory Doctorow (which I inhaled in one weekend), the Pseudopod short story horror podcast and the NSFW Tales fomthe MU novel experiment in blog form,  I’ve not read anything for a while. To that end I’ve finally started reading “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (for historical reasons) and a few others thanks to the DailyLit. I’ll take suggested reads from their list please.

The spippets feel too small for me, but I’ll live.

As for writing. When I took part in the Blogmas Christmas Carol, I liked it.

it had been years since I last wrote fiction, and I’d like to start again. A few short stories may appear here. I also have an idea for a very free form group fiction blog. Ask if you’re interested.

Well, thats it. I can see the cycling waning again this year, and I don’t know if I can find an accessable Capoeira group, but the others are managable.

What do you think?

Will Knott

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I think the Media Virgins put it succinctly. “Before you fully commit yourself to a social networking site I think that it is a good idea to listen in on what is being said. The same idea goes when you are deciding which people to follow.”

And so it is with IGOPeople.com, the latest company being promoted in the revamped “Tuesday Push“.

The I, G and O of IGOPeople stands for Individuals, Groups and Organisations. The idea is that this is a network for real people. Not the social media elite (both of them) nor is it aimed at the youth market. The idea behind this site is that it allows individuals to contact organisations (mostly businesses, but there are a few charities in there too) and have the feed back in the public domain. It also allows for groups to form.

Groups like the proposed OpenCoffee Kilkenny. Groups like the DellCamp project to get things going in Limerick (and surrounds again).

Of the companies in there, its not just the technical ones like Blacknight and Eircom nor those using social media in other aspects like FBD and Vodaphone (who are running free top up offers) but accountants, recruitment companies and sellers of waterproof childrens clothing (who have their own special offer on IGOPeople).

This Irish company is paying attention to its users. Thy will take and act on suggestions. Its a tightly wel run (and threaded messaged) ship.

I joined it very early on, but I’m still listening. I’ve said this to the founder, Campbell Scott, I can see the appeal, but I just don’t get it.

Yet.

I’m still listening,

Will Knott

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28 Jan 2009

The silence in Eastwick

Author: will | Filed under: book, death, fiction, Writing

The author John Updike died last night. I won’t write much about him, but he did an interview with the New York Times in October last year (as part of the promotion to his novel “The Widows of Eastwick“, the sequel to “The Witches of Eastwick“). The talk was part of the Times Talks series and is available as a podcast. Be warned, its a one and a half hour talk and the MP3 file weights in at 82MB. But it interesting enough for me to remember it months later.

He also did a video interview for the New York Times in October, for those who want to see him in action.

Some people just enjoy writing. It gets something out of your system (much like blogging). I have to write more fiction.

take care,

Will Knott

John Updike
Image via Wikipedia
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26 Jan 2009

I can has Poney Poney

Author: will | Filed under: advert, music, text, video, What would you do

G A#7 G A7
G7 Em Eb C7

This means nothing to some people. Others will recognise it as a guitar riff. How do I know this?

Well imagine for a moment that you are in a band call, say, Poney Poney. Now imagine you’ve written a song called, say, “Cross the Fader”, and you want to promote it. But there is no cash in the pockets to make a video.

No camera. No cash. No problem.

Make the video using PowerPoint (or Keynote, or OpenOffice Presentation).

“Cross the Fader” by Poney Poney


PONEY PONEY “Cross The Fader”
by Institubes

(some RSS readers may require you to click through to see the video)

Nice workaround.
And I like the song.

The lyrics make no sense, I just hope that it’s due to bad translations from the original French.

take care,
Will Knott

So the PR / Bloggers conference took place in Edelman PR. And I’ve seen Alastair McDermott blog post on how a PR pitch should be a social exchange, Rick O’Shea blog on the difference between his media head and his blogger head when approached, Peter Donegan on how blogging is about passion and why you need to be careful with passion. Eoin Kennedy gives a nice concise summary of the event, Christian Hughes’ is even shorter and different, while future PR star Thomas Brunkard gives a different account of the night.

Much thanks need to be given to Damien Mulley and Edelman PR Dublin for orginasing the night, and to Donnchadh O’Leary, Piaras Kelly and Alexia Golez who blogged on how its better to learn about bloggers by trying it out for yourself. In fact most of this post began life as a comment on her blog (so sorry if you’ve read it before).

The unasked advice I would give to PR people is:

Think of bloggers in the same way a journalist thinks of contacts. This contact is the go-to girl for tech related matters. This contact is the go-to guy for music.
That type of thing.

While forming a media list may be “monkey work”, a targeted media / house list is worth its PR weight in gold.

Remember : For us its a hobby, not a job. Few bloggers want to become journalists, those that do already are journalists in their day job.

The professional media expect to be contacted with something thy are not interested in. Some spent their careers writing about stuff they aren’t interested in.

Bloggers have the freedom to write about what interests us. Its “our view”.

Things that may help both sides.
1) Introduce yourself and ASK.

If we bloggers were looking for a contact in X then chances are we would tweet it first and see what happens.

Of course we are following a lot of conversations.
Join in.
Babble.
I’d suggest you mention Collision Course in your first tweet before you “follow” anyone. Most (all) of us look to see “who is this person following me”. Of the 15 there on the night, I think most of us will follow back.
Just let us know who you are first.

Then ask…

E.g.
Would anyone like to go to the launch of the new Orange Tea Box on Tuesday at 8pm.
Or
Could you suggest any bloggers interested in Orange Tea
(I hope that there isn’t an Orange Tea at this point)

You’ll get a few time wasters, but not too many. And you might get a good contact for that one.

But joining Twitter and just tweeting without following anyone will not get noticed. Look up “Network Effect” to see why twitter seems to work.

Get to know twitter clients (software applications) and search.twitter.com.

By the way, Bloggers aren’t looking for freebies. Most are looking for information. If blogger X writes about Tea, they will want to know all about Orange Tea. No freebies needed (unless you count images they can used and information as a freebie).

On that note, if you find that a blogger has blogged about Red tea, see if (s)he has contact details on their blog ans ask, if the blogger would be interested in the forthcoming Orange Tea. No press release, no clips.
Just your details, and why you’re mailing them.

It doesn’t smell like spam, because it isn’t. They may e-mail back abuse, they might accept.

Time consuming. Yes. Cost high.
Potential rewards, higher.

2) Don’t spam…
If you got someone for Orange Tea, they may be interested in Yellow Coffee.
ASK.
But that does not mean they want to be contacted for Blue Cars.
The Blue Cars mail would look like spam. A mail with “I see you were interested in Tea, could I interest you in coffee” wouldn’t. (It does sound automated, but you get my point).
Besides, you’re asking.
You’ve formed a relationship with the blogger, don’t destroy it really quickly.

However…
If you have formed a relationship, asking if they know someone interested in Blue Cars isn’t that spammy. Bloggers tend not to hoard information, if we did, we wouldn’t blog.
I’ve passed on info to people I know who blog about stuff (or are just friends interested in things).

But ask.

3) Read Blogs.
If you invite bloggers to do something, you should have read their blogs first.

Read other blogs. I know, long and boring work but look at what you are interested in only (at first). There are blogs about everything under the sun (and a few things that aren’t). Blogs on Make up. Blogs on Man U. Blogs on cars. Blogs on caravans. Blogs on rashers.

Blogs on PR.

Look at things. Get to know a feed reader.
This is a slow step. If you need a hand to hold, see step 1 to find one.

4) Audio blogs / podcasts
Listen to how others have done it.
F.I.R (For immediate Release, the Hobson and Holtz Report) is the big daddy in this arena. It’s also 90 mins long and twice a week.

For lighter listening, I’d suggest
Media driving” or “Marketing Over Coffee
Yes their focus is different, but they are short. Media Driving is 10 mins, Marketing over Coffee is rarely 30 mins. And only once a week. Think commute times.

They suggest others to listen to as well.

5) Join in.

You might be happy with twitter/facebook/linkedin/justsomerandomsite but by blogging (maybe blogging on PR/Shoes/Cars/Tea) you’ll see why.
For us its a hobby, not a job.
It’s called passion.

Do it yourself. If you can, say what you are working on. If not, blog on what you care about.

And finally…

The Irish blogging community is, surprisingly, a community.
I don’t know anyone who would visit me in hospital via blogs; but its happened (remembering tweets and people dropping food parcels off to people stuck on Casualty trolleys). Wandering up to a random person in a community centre and pitching to them is, well, silly.
Remember that when you want to talk to us.

Its better to ask for permission as a backlash is too late to ask for forgiveness (examples were given in the meeting).

Once we get to know you, we’ll let you screw up.

take care,

Will Knott

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22 Jan 2009

Definition : Gravanity

Author: will | Filed under: memorial state, memory, overheard

Gravanity is the enduring trend of aiding to consumers who want to leave ‘something’ behind in print, audio or imagery. It’s a goldmine of inspiration for entrepreneurs and marketers.

I wrote about this before, but it appears that there is a specific market for such a thing.

With a certain amount of shock I discover that I’m one of the many nominees longlisted for the Personal blog catagory of the 2009 Irish Blog Awards. I know I have to thank someone for nominating me. Probably in the area of coffee.

The list is 80 nominees long (it is a LONG list), and I honestly don’t expect to make the short list. I’m up against last years overall winner; the unsinkable Grannymar and  the irrepressible K8,  the curious case of Darragh Doyle and many, many others.

Best Personal Blog – Sponsored by Microsoft Ireland’s Developer and Platform Group

  1. A Propositional Structure: http://victoriamacarthur.com
  2. Alan In Belfast: http://alaninbelfast.blogspot.com
  3. Annie Rhiannon: http://annierhiannon.blogspot.com
  4. Brian Kenny: http://bkenny.com
  5. Casa Casey Courtney: http://casacaseycourtney.wordpress.com
  6. Chancing My Arm: http://chancingmyarm.blogspot.com
  7. Clom: http://kneelbeforeclom.blogspot.com
  8. Conortje: http://conortje.wordpress.com
  9. Coffee Helps: http://coffee-helps.com
  10. Conor&’s Bandon Blog: http://conoroneill.com
  11. Daddy Or Chips?: http://eguinan.wordpress.com
  12. Dante And The Lobster: http://dante-andthelobster.blogspot.com
  13. Darrenbyrne.comhttp://darrenbyrne.com
  14. Declan’s Blog: http://declanmeenagh.com
  15. Down With My Life By Vic Barry: http://victorbarry.blogspot.com
  16. Eamonn Fitzgerald’s Rainy Day: http://eamonn.com
  17. English Mum: http://englishmum.com
  18. Fake Empire: http://fakeempire.blogspot.com
  19. Fatmammycat.comhttp://fatmammycat.blogspot.com
  20. Grannymar: http://grannymar.com/blog
  21. Hangar Queen: http://hangarqueen.blogspot.com
  22. Head Rambles: http://headrambles.com
  23. Imantodotcom: http://imanto.com
  24. Infantasia: http://infantasia.blogspot.com
  25. Iarfhlaith Kelly – Code Agus Craic: http://iarfhlaith.com
  26. Insideview: http://insideview.ie
  27. K8 The Gr8: http://cackaloo.com
  28. Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff: http://kenarmstrong.blogspot.com
  29. Ken Mcguire: http://kenmc.com
  30. Knowth’s Blog – Stumbleupon: http://knowth.stumbleupon.com
  31. Le Craic: http://lecraic.com
  32. Liz Biz: http://lizbiz.wordpress.com
  33. Mcawilliams.com: http://verba.mcawilliams.com
  34. Mad Dogs And Englishmen: http://self-preservationsociety.blogspot.com
  35. Malcolm Redfellow’s World Service: http://redfellow.blogspot.com
  36. Mark Walsh: http://walsho.net
  37. Marramgrass : http://marramgrass.org.uk
  38. Manicmammy’s Blog: http://manicmammy.com
  39. Maxi Cane: http://maxicane.com
  40. Me Blog!: http://blog.sweetnam.eu
  41. More News From Nowhere -: http://blog.beara.ie
  42. Mum Lives On: http://MumLivesOn.com
  43. National Disgrace: http://itsanationaldisgrace.blogspot.com
  44. Nelly’s Garden: http://nellysgarden.blogspot.com
  45. Niallh.comhttp://niallh.com
  46. Not Today: http://wineandcider.blogspot.com
  47. O’conall Street: http://oconallstreet.com
  48. Panda’s Blog: http://pandaalan.wordpress.com
  49. Prototype Of A Person: http://sineadcochrane.com
  50. Radgery…: http://radgery.com
  51. Raptureponies: http://raptureponies.wordpress.com
  52. Red Leeroy: http://redleeroy.com
  53. Red Mum: http://redmum.blogspot.com
  54. Reverting To Type: http://sineadkeogh.wordpress.com
  55. Rockin Socks: http://toniireton.blogspot.com
  56. Rosemary Mac Cabe: http://rosemarymaccabe.wordpress.com
  57. Sickbiscuit: http://sickbiscuit.com/blog
  58. Sinful Origami Paper: http://sinfulorigamipaper.wordpress.com
  59. Smemon: http://smemon.com
  60. Sniffle and cry’s Weblog: http://snifflecry.wordpress.com
  61. Stranded On Gaia: http://strandedongaia.blogspot.com
  62. Stony River Farm: http://stonyriverfarm.blogspot.com
  63. Supersimbo: http://supersimbo.net
  64. Terencemcdanger.comhttp://terencemcdanger.com
  65. The Lindsays: http://sueandstevelindsay.blogspot.com
  66. The National Lottie: http://thenationallottie.com
  67. The Postman: http://drumlingo.blogspot.com
  68. The Red Scrapbook: http://theredscrapbook.blogspot.com
  69. The Reverend Garibaldi Mcflurry: http://garymcmurray.blogspot.com
  70. The Spanish Exposition: http://spanishexposition.blogspot.com
  71. The Unemployed Blog: http://theunemployedblog.wordpress.com
  72. This Is What I Do.: http://darraghdoyle.blogspot.com
  73. Trust Tommy: http://trusttommy.com
  74. Two Wheels On My Wagon:http://backpedalbrakes.wordpress.com/about
  75. Unlaoised: http://unlaoised.gerryos.net
  76. Wallpaper: http://wallpaper.blogs.ie
  77. Well Done Fillet: http://welldonefillet.blogspot.com
  78. Willknott.iehttp://willknott.ie
  79. Worth Doing Badly: http://tinman18.wordpress.com
  80. Writing In A Twist: http://moderntwist2.blogspot.com

But what the heck. Here are the logos for the nominated…

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And thanks to David McDonald and Stewart Curry for the logos.

take care,

Will Knott

Tomorrow I’m heading in to a Collision Course between PR and marketing people and bloggers. I have the odd feeling that this will be the first time that some people in the PR world meet a real live blogger. Now some people thing that this is going to be a fight. Personally I think its going to be a repetition of common sense.

The event is being organised by Damien Mulley, a blogger turning in to game maker. After all, he’s giving away his marketing advice. All of it sensible, none of it shocking. Except for the shock of the “new”. It’s not rocket sience, its people.

You do know how to talk to people, right?

Sometimes I wonder. I’m interested in listening to the PR and marketing folk (know your enemy and all that). I’ve learned that badly done cold pitching is frequently badly done. E-mailing out all the information with a “oh, this is embargoed” tag at the end. Blindly following the “tags” in the contact database, rather than making their own in a targeted area (blame the list makers if you will).

PR and marketing is changing. Social media (and I’ll include blogging in this pile) is about conversation. Two way communication. Think about a journalist forming contacts in particular areas. A go-to gal on tech issues. An agony uncle on relationship issues. Making contacts who can help. Thats where PR is heading. Its going to be hard work, but bloggers aren’t scary most bloggers aren’t scary.

We will bite. But only when provoked.

take care,

Will Knott

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I took two minutes. Have you?

To: complaints@rte.ie, Joe@RTE.ie
From: Will Knott

Dear Sir or Madam,

Recently things have changed in RTÉ, in particular, afternoons on RTÉ 2FM.
I used to listen to the “wittertainment” (wit combined with entertainment) of interesting conversation about music, musicians, movies and anything interesting from the news on your afternoon shows.

Since the new year, Nikki Hayes and Rick O’Shea seem to have been gagged. Gone are the insightful riffs on air and conversations with their audiences to be replaced with “that was a song off the play list, here is another song off the playlist“. If I want pure music I have an extensive collection of CDs on my shelves and online music streaming services at my fingertips. (The less said about mp3 files at this moment, the better).

In one stroke (probably of a pen) you have removed the added value of the presenters. At times I wonder if the show has been prerecorded. These are presenters who would appear on Radio One’s playback on a regular basis. If the editors in RTE thought they were worthy of a special mention, why shut them up?

Was Jerry Ryan complaining about the upstarts of talk in the afternoon? Did Joe Duffy fret about being upstaged by rivals on the “youth” channel? Did other presenters resent their repeated appearances in the highlighted clip show? Did the fact the aiding the public in ways over multiple channels of communication hinder a target number of plays somewhere (the kind of thing usually reserved for a payola scheme, I assume you can confirm that this is not the case). Is this a preparation routine to move them off to other projects?

So, could you answer why the afternoons have been turned in to a “all music, no talk (except for the adverts)” festival, exactly like your rivals and so eliminating the sole distinguishing feature between most of the commercial stations and your own 2FM?

Instead of “more music”, any chance of “more entertainment”?
take care,
Will Knott

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18 Jan 2009

young people today

Author: will | Filed under: 2009, conference

You know, there may be hope for the future after all.

Yesterday was TeenCamp Ireland day. Despite being the same age as the organisers combined (yes Enda and Alan, I am only that old). I showed up out of curiosity, something that drives most of the attendees. Also I ended up serving as a guide to some lost Cork people (I won’t link).

The day started with a quick introduction and words of thanks to the sponsors of the day ( Mulley Communications and Spunout.ie) by his quoffness and then the presentations began.

First was Tommy explaining how his family isn’t the usual one and what gets him blogging.

Left to right: Mark, Tiny, Keyop, Princess, an...
Image via Wikipedia

Then Klara explained anime and manga (and is seeing what she can do about tracking down Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman for me).

Next up was David and what he learned as a developer for years. And as all developers know, standing still isn’t an option unless you’re jumping off.

And lastly (for a while) was TheChrisD (with special guest appearance by BabyBear) about gaming and gamers. Mostly about the &*$s  on XBox live.

Then came a gap in the middle which I’ll elaborate on later.

Then talks started again, this time a long free form chat with Stephen Spillane and Darragh Doyle about why we blog, use social networks and all.

Ben Keneally, on how to pull on the internet. This is a presentation which will go down in YouTube infamany. “Soft lighting, move slowly” will be remembered.

Finally came the prolific podcaster Cian about how and why he does what he does.

But the main thing about a meet up like this isn’t the talks and presentations. Its fate deciding that you’ll end up sitting beside someone interesting. Or finding out off someone how to do some things you want to do.  Or giving someone a contact to follow up with. Or meeting Ireland’s youngest blogger (sorry Tommy, you’ve been replaced with a younger model).

Its about meeting new people, and face to face meeting with those you’ve know for a while but rarely meet (or have never met).

Its about people. When TeenCampIreland 2 happens, its going to be bigger. Because this is a base on which more will be built. On which freindships and networks have formed.

It will grow bigger.

take care,

Will Knott

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