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I can has Poney Poney

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

(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

Dance, give, type and nom.

Exams and projects are getting in the way of me updating this, but there are a few things I need to cover before their deadlines expire.

On November 27 (that’s Thursday folks, see what I mean by a deadline?) Jason Roe is organizing a blogger /web meeting /tweetup/meetku in the Porter House Central in Dublin. A fine venue (with Murphy Ice Cream for those inclined to sweetness) . Given that its very near the Soundcheck night on , South William Street, Dublin 2 where pop culture blogger Rick O’Shea is doing a DJ thing, there is every chance of a moving meet.

And dancing. There will be dancing.

As you’re a blogger (if not, pretend) , would you like to take part in a cross Ireland Christkindl?
This is a mixed idea between LeCraic and enormous. The idea is that a bunch of Irish people all register, and at random you are assigned another person to buy a gift for (with a limit of €15). It works well for bloggers as you could read their blog and find out what they are like. But is should work for anyone. Give a little fun this Christmas.

The fair lady Sabrina Dent (probably accompanied by Emer the I wonder dog) is actually a Master. She is going to give a masterclass in blogging on December 2. The difference between a masterclass and a class is that the pupils get to stand before the rest and show off their wares while the master (or mistress, or master mistress in this case) is going to critique and correct.
Currently the times is listed as 1 to 5 pm, but chances are it will either be shorter, or two linked classes. Cork City Centre in a yet to be determined venue. (I’ll update when I hear).

Don’t know about dancing, but Sabrina has assured the class that there will be smoke breaks.

And finally, Food. On December 17 Niall Harbison is putting together a Christmas lunch for bloggers and also for people who run their own business and have only a couple of employees and wouldn’t be able to organise a very spectacular event on their own. He might also allow a few bloggers who have had their Christmas party cancelled.

There you go. Dance, give (and receive) type and nom.
take care,
Will Knott

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Overheard : Market realities

“Go outside and look at the building you’re in. The concrete in the foundation hasn’t shattered just because the Dow Jones fell a certain number of points.” — Christopher S. Penn write about not panicking about the economy and about the things that should matter in life.

So what does matter? He writes about music, which I’ve written about, and he writes about family and friends. The concrete reminds me of a little party where I met friends from last weekend which I think went well.

At this moment I’m wondering about a one-off opportunity or going to Podcamp Ireland this weekend. Its an either-or and I’m torn.

Which would you choose?
Will Knott

I fought the legal forms, and the legal forms won

I had been looking forward to placing a call for photographers on the blog now and directing people to the site to register as models and photographers.

But that is not to be. Instead, I’m afraid to say that there will not be a Pink portraits day on September 20th in Daunt Square, Cork.

whipping post 1

If I was to do go back in time to prepare the Pink idea again, I’d have to go back to June. Then I would…

  • Start the call for photographers.
  • Get then to register.
  • Explain that they need to register full contact details so that Gardai and City Council required
    • health and safety
    • traffic management plans
    • pedestrian management plans
    • first aid appointees
    • public liability insurance etc are in place.

    Also the Garda contact mentioned that mobile numbers (or at least contact numbers) of all the “staff” are required

  • Also the HSA have legal requirements for event with more than 3 staff

So that seems to be that.
I would like to have a photo-walk in its place. A meeting of photographers and photo-bloggers to wander around Cork City with their lenses out on a busy Saturday. How does 11am in Daunt Square sound as a meeting point? If you want to contact me, my details are in the about page.


Sorry to disappoint those who registerd on the (admittedly half built) site, but if you’re interested in doing something; I’m planning on turning the pinkforoctoberireland site in to a blog aggregater for this year (should be up soon), and make plans for the photography next year.

If you want to blog, comment etc as part of Pink For October, register with the international site. And when I have the aggregater up, register and tag your posts with “p4oi”.

If you want to do more, bring pink objects to donate to the ICS shop just off Daunt Square when you are coming on the photowalk. Should make us easy to spot.

And as for next year. I’ll take all the help I can get

Care to join me?
Will Knott

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The innovation of Crowds

The way we interact with technology changes from year to year (and on occasion, something comes along and changes an interface overnight, like TwitterFone). Given that one of the creators of Twitterfone, namely Pat Phelan, posed the question “Have we over innovated?“, its surprising.

The wheel was invented circa 4000 BC, and has become one of the world's most famous, and most useful technologies.  This wheel is on display in The National Museum of Iran, in Tehran.Image via Wikipedia

The answer is no. I think that Robin Blandford, Damien Mulley and Alexia Golez all agree that we have more innovating to do. Part of the perceived problem is that the innovators produce something for the general person; but the general person doesn’t want it. The bleeding edge early adopters might love it, but not their less technology loving friends and relatives. The early innovations tend to be the “engineering model” with a few unfinished features, bugs and complicated instructions. A remote control which has an individual button for every function the device can do is not the most user friendly of interfaces. The early adopters will flock to it and understand it. But if it isn’t obvious and fast and easy to use, I know my Mum will hate it, and the chances are that the device won’t survive to a second model. Its an innovators dilemma.

The true irony of this dilemma is that its caused by a mixtre of a lack of communication, and too much. After all, some innovations were things that the users didn’t know that they wanted. An “unknown unknowns” sort of thing. This is a want, which is so convenient that it rapidly becomes a need. Sometimes this is generational (e.g. mobile phone uptake), sometimes this just swoops in out of the blue and everyone joins in (grandparents and grandchildren on the Wii). But sometimes they are consigned to the “ideas before their time” bin. Being able to “vote out” unnecessary parts of the solution, means that the idea has less of a problem.

The other type of solutions is the “What if?” caused by the “Why not?”. The “Why doesn’t this exist yet?” type problems. Which is usually what is thought about when people talk about a lack of innovation. The slow incremental kind where the steps seems obvious only after the product comes to market. And these steps are being sped up due to communication.

Now an idea or observation can become a idle tweet, which sparks another’s blog post, which sparks a small blog storm, which sparks a business plan, which sparks a gathering of minds and ideas, which sparks improved ideas and a flurry of research work, which (might) spark a business plan but is more likely to spark a business start-up first. And each step in an itteration of the idea, refining the initial notion with practicalities and possibilities. Due to the wonder of social networking at it’s finest, this allows people who know brightsparks to become involved in an interesting idea and produce something. Because ideas are easy, but the skills to do something specialised are, well, specialised, and few people have them. But knowing someone who knows someone who might be able to help you is a practical possibility due to the sped up communication of social networks. Then your idea moves from notion to production.

But you have to produce something which enables others to know some of your ideas. You have to give in order to get. You have to spend time or talent to get attention. To get communication. And you have to join the conversations, otherwise you are considered the unwelcome gatecrasher that will be ignored. But if that gatecrasher helps out, then he or she is no longer an unwelcome gatecrasher, but a welcomed guest. And this new guest may point out that part of the solution yo are trying to make already exists, so there is no need to reinvent that wheel (or how to avoid being sued by that wheel’s inventor).

Open source projects and wikipedia works this way. Individuals who may never physically meet work on a project in their spare time. And it works for businesses, where one entrepreneur meets another on line, or a third party brings them together virtually and then physically. Perinatal ideas get defined through this virtual iteration and idea refinement so that not only is a full bodied idea born, but the creation process creates a bit of interest in the idea itself. Enough interest, and there might be interested funders.

Can we over-innovate? Only if we are willing to accept it as (science) fiction, but science fiction frequently sparks the research to become science fact. Is innovation over? Not as long as others can spark ideas and collaboration. As for a visual representation of this collaboration, see the video below.

take care,
Will Knott

No regrets

“The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.” — Helen Rowland

Paul Browne of Technology in plain English posed the question “What [would] you do if you weren’t doing your current job?”.

Needless to say its something I’ve (along with oh about 350 co-workers) have been looking at. The Sports and Social group had a bit of a blowout of the budget on Friday…. and this question came up.

A few of the developers were chatting as the night wore on and the questions were asked.
One sort of regretted that she didn’t go down the marketing route. Another wished that she had worked in fashion. I asked “why not try it now?”

When I was young (leaving cert from a long time ago) I wanted to be an actuary. I could have gone and done the study and exams directly, but I decided to go down the 4 year degree route which drops you off in year 3 of actuary-hood. I hated it (still have the books, useful for nights when I can’t sleep and working out long term financial calculations)… Very quickly I changed course.

When I was a little kid I wanted to be a scientist. My job title was “Computer Scientist” (we had a range we could choose from (no kidding!) e.g. software engineer, computer programmer, software designer… sometimes a software person wears a lot of hats). So technically I achieved my childhood dream.

More recently I wanted to write. Be a writer. I started off a fiction blog… this is as far as I got. One post. but I tried.

My point of this is, if you have a dream job, give it a shot. Even if it’s just a small step in that direction. Because if you don’t you will always have this “what if” thought at the back of your head.


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