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,, 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;

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

“So what position did you play?” asked the good doctor.

“I’ve never played” I replied, and I could see a twinge of pity in his face.

I never went to a rugby school. I didn’t pay attention to the sport during college. The funny thing is that I only really got to appreciate rugby when I moved to Cork. When I moved to Munster.

Munster fans in Limerick during the 2006 Heine...
Image via Wikipedia

On the Wikipedia entry for Munster Rugby says “Munster is known for its fan support and game day atmosphere”.

And while there I got to see just how loved the team are. The streets filled with red rugby shirts on a match day (and yes I have one). The roar of the crowd. I’ve seen the furious passion of the fans when in a Limerick hotel, and the bride delays her reception so she and her family can watch the match in the hotel bar’s big screen. And due to the coincidence of sharing the same gym as the Cork Constitution team, I’ve even met chunk of the team (best described as loud).

I mention this because the Tuesday Push this time around is for MyMunster a social network for Munster Rugby supporters. There you to chat and share views with other Munster rugby supporters, view club photos and videos, get the latest news.  Fans can buy credits to enter competitions for Munster goodies and match tickets – they also say that buying credits helps support rugby development in the province.

Not only be part of that army of fans, but support the team at the grass roots too.

You can also follow MyMunster on Twitter too.

The questions that crop up are, why have a niche social network like this when the all encompassing FaceBook could do something similar? Well, I think some things can start on facebook, but if you have a vary large following, it will support itself with the mass of the interest generated. Sign up and its only Munster without any vampires or sheep (but maybe a few trolls).

And Munster has an army of fans to raise it higher.

Enter lift off?
Will Knott

p.s. Puddleducks has embedded the video of the Haka performed by the New Zealand members of the Munster team during the Munster vs. All Blacks match in Thomond Park last November. Its worth watching (just remember Mowvember was still in play, it explains the moustaches)

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I keep an eye on the Tuesday Push. The aim of the Tuesday Push is to get the bloggers of Ireland, usually the business bloggers or the blog of a business, to promote an other Irish company.

red sky at red lights

Those getting a push need to be offering a unique product or service, and should be taking part in the push themselves. Think of it as co-operative support. Creating a business community, one where ideas can be shared and have ideas bounce off each other freely. Or in internet terms, a meme gone sensible. Of course making the Irish technology community an actual community isn’t easy, but this helps.

That said, the key word is unique. Another template tweaked, off the shelf package generated on-line store, not for the push. I think new thinking might count, but you may have to explain what makes it innovative.

If you’re an Irish technology company that’s offering something new and have a blog (or other means to promote yourself and others), contributing to the promotional effort and putting your name forward for a Push of your own is worthwhile (just take a look at the feedback of some of those that have had a push). Or just join in, as some day you may be in the position of needing a push. By pushing now, you’re helping others, and may help yourself.

take care,
Will Knott

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Before you go to a Twestival, how should you keep an eye out for your friends off Twitter? Well, why not wear your Twitter friends? (yes that does sound like a very bad superhero team).

Wear their faces on your chest. (eewww) OK, pictures of their faces. Better? Or have their mug on your mug.

Twitter Mosaic Mug
Image by Irish Typepad via Flickr

Walter Higgins at Sxoop (pronounced Skoop, or Scoop) is a image manipulation software developer for a a while now. The headlined Pixenate, an online photo editor, is integrated on many sites worldwide. He also has a history of making image manipulation tools for Twitter. He’s responsible for all the Santa hats this Christmas, and he’s brought out something new, the Twitter Mosaic.

You tell it your Twitter user name (no need for a password) and it generates a mosaic of all your twitter friends or followers. A big image. This can be turned into Mugs, T-Shirts and Bags.

All of this is made possible because of Web2.0 and the philosophy of open APIs (both Twitter’s and Zazzle’s). What has been done recently at simply wouldn’t have been possible a few short years ago. Needless to say, these APIs are being battered at the moment. Walter has more details on how to get things running quickly too and the end products seem to be reviewed very well.

So you can create a physical social (media) object and drink to the health of your fellow Tweeters from a Twitter Mosaic mug  (hopefully full of  clean water thanks to Charity:Water) and wear your friends in public.

The Twitter Mosaic is indeed the beneficiary of a Tuesday Push, so soon after demoing it at the Cork Open Coffee Club. And yes I got to know Walter through the Open Coffee movement. However its a cool idea, a great set of products and it since to see someone in Ireland making money in there times. And making money while Twitter is still trying out how.

take care,

Will Knott

Get your twitter mosaic here.

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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, 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.


I’m still listening,

Will Knott

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20 Oct 2008

Pushing louder

Author: will | Filed under: blogging, business, comments, opinion, review, social network

I’m not late yet.

The Tuesday Push for this week is LouderVoice who have just launched a range of business services. This means that you can “white label” your reviews. Or to put it another way, your site features reviews, by your customers, of your products or services, but you don’t have the hassle of creating a reviews platform along with everything else.

LouderVoice Badge

All the pain of creating a review system is taken off your hands. You get to define exactly where reviews appear on your site, who can review/comment and how all of that content appears. The effort involved in adding reviews to a site using this approach is very low.

Reviewing is easy, and you can do it by blog post, SMS text, Twitter, Jaiku and even logging in to LouderVoice (how quaint).

You also get a little review and link juice for your site if you want it.

More importantly, LouderVoice is open for more ideas to make things better for you.

Its not just me who thinks they are good, they’ve been short-listed for New Company of The Year by The Irish Software Association.

And if you look very carefully on the LouderVoice, you can see some reviews I’ve done in the past. I think I’ll have to start doing them again soon.

take care,
Will Knott