20 Nov 2012

Two cups of coffee sitting on the wall

Author: will | Filed under: blogger, charity, LBC, Links

Its a simple idea, but in Ireland I think it would need to be adapted slightly, simply by putting a closing time on the wall.
What am I talking about well…

Giving is sometimes easy, but you can make it easier. Say you set up a café where you can buy a cup of coffee. Usually you can buy a cup for yourself, but to give back you can buy a cup "for the wall". The wall gets, essentially an IOU. Where the U can claim a cup of coffee later on. Which means someone down on their luck can come in, and order a cup from the wall.

Would you donate an actual cup of coffee?

I am a terrible blogger. Not just content, but frequency. In an effort to combat this I joined with the loosely affiliated "Loose Bloggers Consortium" with the plan of using the blogging deadline to force me to blog more. It hasn't exactly worked. One of the members is Padmum in India. She brought this story from Italy to my attention on the subject of "Pleasure". She is also an excellent blogger, and its an excellent idea.

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Pleasure: Two stories
Cup of Coffee on the Wall
From the Internet
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat on an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’ We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for tw…

Part of this post is for a Tuesday Push that is, namely Decisions for Heroes, and partly for a push that should be, Kildare Street.

Decisions for Heroes is a project that Robin Blandford has been working on for a while. And talking about it. In fact I assumed that the product has been launched a few months back. I was wrong; today is launch day.

And he’s built something amazing – technology that will help rescue teams save more lives. Its essentially a project management tool combined with an incident reporting mechanism that’s able to monitor team histories and readiness and raise alarms for expiration or under manning conditions.

What makes it different is that it is designed for a particular niche; rescue teams. Are the exercises and training reflecting the actual calls? Or the actually locations? Are there enough cliff climbers on-call this weekend? Are there certifications that are about to run out? This kind of thing actually saves lives. Its been studied, over 1,800 rescuers from Ireland, UK, USA, Greece, and Australia helped to trial and shape the development of the software. But one stands out. Robin is a volunteer member of the Irish Coast Guard (a cliff rescue climber to be precise) so he has seen first hand what is needed, and what is the most useful way to get that information across.

I’m sure that the basis of D4H can be used in more business-like settings, or indeed in logistic based industries.

And from saving lives, we move to a performance management technology that may cost the careers of a few politicians.

Created by John Handelaar Kildare Street is, almost simply a database. A database of what is being said in both Houses of the Oireachtas, by whom, when, how often and the complete text of what they say so it can be parsed for content. Based off the UK project, theyworkforyou.com, you can keep an eye on your favourite politician, or all the politicians in a constituency, or even when a particular word or phrase is spoken in the Dáil or Seanad Éireann debates or in written answers or questions to the Dáil.

There are a few bugs still in the system (it is a beta and since Irish addresses are vague it can misidentify a constituency, particularly when one side of a road is in one constituency, and the other side is in another constituency. It happens), and there is up to a 24 hour delay between the speech in the chambers and the text of the speech hitting the system (not a fault with the system but with the source; debates.oireachtas.ie.

Its useful to find out which TD or Senator has stayed quite all along (the records go back to 2004), and finding out how they actually voted on subjects of concern to you. Then you can challenge them when they call around asking for your vote.

Do challenge them. Right now, I’m wondering if there is a version for the MEPs.

Two people who should be praised for being heroes and making a difference.

Will Knott

20 Mar 2009

All yellow

Author: will | Filed under: brand name, cancer, charity

Today is National Daffodil Day.

yellow daffs

Daffodils are a sign of hope, after all they usually mean that spring is here, but they can be nasty. As a cut flower they release a chemical which causes other flowers to die off really quickly.

Daffodil Day is organised and run by the Irish Cancer Society. It is the most popular charity event in Ireland and is a chance for everyone in Ireland to make the biggest difference to the lives of everyone affected by cancer.

This year you can also plant a daffodil in their virtual “Spring Garden of Hope. Visit www.PlantaDaff.ie and write a message to accompany your daffodil in the Garden.

Or buy a pin, a daffodil or a bunch of daffodils from the sellers around the country. Just don’t mix the cut flowers with others.

Take care,
Will Knott

Rick O’Shea came up with a lovely idea; who would you like to meet at the 2009 Irish Blog Awards.

“Name 5 bloggers you haven’t met in the flesh before that you’d like to say hi to at the Blog Awards, say why if you want, link to them. They then, in turn, link to 5 bloggers they’d like to meet and so on.”

Now I have a problem with this. I keep meeting people.

I’ve have to re-do my list a few times as I bump in to bloggers and with the upcoming Twestival there is a chance that I might bump in to a few more.

So…

1) Robert Sweetnam.  He used to live near me and I never met him all that time. It tuns out our interests and situations were also similar (even started back in (different) college on the same date).

2) K8 the GR8. Wonderful fiction writer, and all round good person (with an evil streak, naturally). Her posts swerve from laugh out loud funny, to heart break to cruel twists of fate. And she also writes fiction. Having said that, I’m regularly freaked by her dad, Granddad, who I may want to avoid.

3 and 4) Le Craic and Maxi Cane. LC, because he comes up with brilliant ideas that I would like to see succeed, and Maxi as he got me writing fiction again (got to love a deadline).

And finally, 5) Sweary, or rather the Sweary Lady. Cause she makes me laugh, then makes me think. She is the Darwin Awards of blogs.

I should end here, but there are a few special mentions…

Omani – Partly to apologise (until he commented I thought his name was Grace O’Mani).

Darren Byrne and The National Lottie – who were on the list, until I met them at the PR Collision event. (And Darren, go ahead and tell her).

Phil Iced Coffee who I have met a few times, but he is the only other person I’ve seen do this.

Nick McGivney because I think I have already met him and Christian Hughes because after seeing him at the PR Collision even I’m convinced I’ve met before (if not, nice watch).

Graham Linehan simply because I like the IT Crown and Fr. Ted. And also because I don’t expect to see him.

And lastly but not leastly (if that is a word) Debbie Metrustry, one of the organisers of the Dublin Twestival who I am definitely going to meet, because I owe her money and I can’t get in to the Twestival until I pay her.

Some of you may notice that I’ve linked to blog posts an not to their blog front page. Well, if they have automated trackbacks, they’ll notice that I want to meet them. Its a touch more subtle than asking directly. Or is that my devious streak showing itself again.

take care,
and see some of you tonight,
Will Knott

Twestival Houston
Image by .imelda via Flickr

On Thursday February 12, there is going to be a party, a tweet-up, a Twestival.

The difference between a normal tweet-up and a twestival is that the date is global (there are currently over 100 happening in cites worldwide). And its going to cost you money. All the “entry fees” collected are going to go towards a charity, charity:water.

It hasn’t been in the pipeline for long; in just one month, from volunteer effort alone Twestival has created events in 175+ cities, predicted to raise $1 million for the 1.1billion people in the world who can’t access clean drinking water. Growing beyond all expectations since launching in January 2009, Twestival takes place for 24 hours on February 12th, everywhere including London, Paris, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Austin, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Dublin, Munich, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Melbourne, Lima, as up to 20,000 come together inspired by community and charity.  Read the full press release for the global effort, but nearer to home…

(Search Twitter in Ireland only for Twestival)

The Dublin Twestival is in The Sycamore Club, No 9 Sycamore Street, Temple Bar , Dublin 2 and Is being put together by Aido McMahon, Anton Mannering, Debbiemet, Qamir Hussain and others. Given the musical talent on offer; there will be dancing (help).

The Belfast Twestival is in Laverys Bunker from 8pm – 10.30pm (currently before Radiation / Laverys DJs, changed from the earler venue) and is organised by Andy (Good On Paper) McMillan and Phil (Iced Coffee) O’Kane.

There are a lot more. If you’d like to help in a volunteerism role with any kind of Twestival organization, wherever you are, get in touch with Amanda Rose or Jaz Cummins. For updates, follow @twestival on Twitter.

I’m going to be at the Dublin one, are you going?

take care,

Will


Jennifer Connelly in charity: water Public Service Announcement from charity: water on Vimeo.


Twestival from charity: water on Vimeo.
Thanks to Neville Hobson for being the first to tell be about it.

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23 Dec 2008

Helping

Author: will | Filed under: 2008, blogger, bloggers, charity, creativity, mobile phones, Writing

I want to tell you a story, about Catherine Brodigan.

She put together the “Homepages” book. Homepages is a unique collection of stories and photographs, the first of its kind in Ireland. The nation’s best bloggers hold forth on the theme of “home”, covering everything from pets and expat life to parenting and the Kellogg’s Variety Pack. By turns hilarious, heartbreaking and thought-provoking, it promises a captivating read and showcases some of Ireland’s best undiscovered writing talent. All proceeds from the sale of each book, compiled on an entirely voluntary basis, go directly to Focus Ireland, who provide services and support for people who are homeless across Ireland.

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The book can’t be bought in any shops, but is available on a “print-on-demand” basis for €14 from Lulu.

Also on the charity theme, the Elfish Damien Mulley is asking that people donate their mobile phones (and their chargers) to the Jack and Jill Foundation who recycle said mobile phones. He is asking that people pass a note in the jiffybag leave a comment on his offer post making sure you add some referer details (as in “WillKnott.ie sent me”)  and put their phone with the recharger bits in a jiffybag and send them to their freepost address: The Jack and Jill Mobile Appeal, Freepost, Ratoath Road , Finglas, Dublin 11.  You see, he’s offering a prizes for your kindness  (Damien is blaming Pat Phelan for this).

For everyone that donates one or more mobile phones to the charity, they’ll be entered into a draw for three prizes (First, second and third out of hat) – a Nokia 5220, a Voyager 815 bluetooth headset and an Elextex rubberised portable keyboard for phones. The blogger who gets these people to donate phones will also be entered into a draw for a Nokia 810 Internet Tablet.

Now, I’ll admit, that as much as I want to play with one, I don’t need the Nokia tablet. So I’ll ask that if you donate, you add your details and a note saying that you found out about this through who ever the first commenter on this blog post is.

So go out there and help someone. It’s the Christmas spirit thing to do.

take care,

Will Knott

Update: This post was updated as I included the wrong information to win your prize.

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18 Dec 2008

Cycling about a revolution

Author: will | Filed under: advert, charity, cycle, Health

Ferg and Si are cycling around the world. Literally.

funky yellow

And, among other things, the are cycling to support the charity Aware.  Aware provides support for those suffering from depression and is working to de-stigmatise depression and suicide in Ireland. Aware provide a wide range of services to ensure that help and appropriate therapies are available to those who need them. And over Christmas a lot of people need help.

So help Aware.  Ferg and Si are selling Revolution shirts for €20 where 100% of the proceeds go to Aware. So go and buy a shirt.

take care,

Will Knott

19 Aug 2008

Grief

Author: will | Filed under: charity, photo, pink for October, pinkforoctober

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Is it better to go on without someone you are sure you need. Or should you wait.

I’m at a crossroads with the Pink Portraits for October project, and a very strict deadline with a heap of organising to do. And no official word from the officials source other hand “wait and see”.

For this to work we need:

  • Photobloggers to group and work in teams, while spread out across the county
  • A complete model release form (literally yesterday)
  • Advance publicity about the photoblogging teams so that willing volunteers show up to be photographed
  • Those willing models, who will also commit to buy the photographs
  • Enough lead time to modify and print the photos

I’m sure I should be bothering HARO and a few of the PR guys for help.

Any tips on ways to get large groups of volunteers to show up?
Is an online model release form legally binding (a copy to read would be a good idea anyway)?
Would a facebook group (or 2 for each country) or myspace pages be a good idea?

Given that pinkforoctober.org exists, should I set up a site just for the portraits?

Of course doing any of these actions guarantees that any official support will just halt.

And all of this on our own. Or is it my own?

I’ll take all the advice I can get in the comments,
Will Knott

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1 Aug 2008

Spectrum Bandwidth

Author: will | Filed under: business, charity, conference, open coffee, opportunity, photo

I wish I could tell you more about the Dragons’ den presentation that Dr. Keith Nolan made at the Open Coffee Club BBQ, but I can’t.

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Mainly because I’m not too sure what his business is. I know that it involves use of the radio spectrum (and that was because one of the judges needed an explanation. Its something to do with dynamic spectrum access systems, cognitive radio and networks (and either policy-based systems, or regulating the policy). he has tried explaining things, but I’m not going to copy and paste something without at least a basic understanding. But his blog and site should explain this to the radio hardware fans.

The main reason was I was busy trying to get a net connection working at the back of the room, when this surprise presentation arrived. I do know that his presentation was also testing out some equipment (and broadcasting the the Derg Inn across the road), but I didn’t get to play with it.

Anyway, i need to hurry up and hit send (while I have power and connections) and check out the floods.

take care,
Will

Update : Aug 2 2008

Keith Nolan from the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research in Dublin spoke about their software-defined radio platform that replaces many of the hardware elements of wireless communications systems with software.

Software-defined radio involves taking the components of a wireless communications system that have typically been implemented in hardware and are instead implemented using software on a laptop, desktop PC, or other embedded processor device.

This approach was originally initiated by the US military who wanted to create a single radio device that combined the functionality of over 10 different military radios in one device and could operate over all frequency bands (e.g. from shortwave to radar frequencies).

Instead of taking the hardware from each radio (e.g. walkie-talkie, satellite radio, naval radios, cockpit communicators, etc) and creating one enormous all-hardware device, the idea was to use a single common piece of hardware and switch between the different radio standards in software that simply operated using a processor inside the device.

This reduces the size and power consumption of the device. As new wireless standards emerge, they can be easily added to the radio by simply involves updating the software.

This approach now applies to a huge range of consumer devices from mobile phones, wireless broadband, to mobile content-streaming services. A software-defined radio approach reduces development and testing time, development costs, slashes the time to market, and adds value to new products.

Keith described how he and his team have developed a software-defined radio system that allows people to implement many different types of radio standards in software using a single piece of hardware. This system called Implementing Radio in Software (IRIS) also enables developers to create new innovative wireless and wireline standards to cope with the increasing pressure on the airwaves and use them more efficiently, and to help get new products out into the marketplace as quickly as possible.

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29 Jul 2008

Ms. James and the Dragons

Author: will | Filed under: business, charity, conference, open coffee, opportunity, photo

More Open Coffee Club BBQ photos, this time from the Dragons’ Den.

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This is E. Alana James, Ed.D. of Reinventing Life facing down the Dragons.

She is opening a consulting business whose purpose is to facilitate the NGOs or charity organizations’ communication process to include dynamic web interaction and social media tools.

The result of a few hours of consulting can be a redistribution of communication and communication methods, so that clients, funders and all interested parties gain easy access to the benefits of the organization. This redesigned process will result in increased support, especially important during low economic times and will make use of free or open source internet technologies.

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I should have more from the den tomorrow,
take care,
Will Knott

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