Jul 162009
 
working from home

Image by gin soak via Flickr

Because this week’s column about working from home with children, was career related, I’ve posted it over on the new Career Moves blog, where you’ll find lots of other great career, jobs and recruitment related content from the Evening Echo Career Moves section and also stuff written exclusively for the blog.

Check it out, share it with your friends, and don’t forget to let me know what you think via the comments :-)….

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Jul 152009
 

The Toyota IQToyota Ireland’s latest publicity campaign for their new micro saloon, the IQ is going to include handing out four of the teeny-tiny four-seaters to bloggers / twitter users. The lucky individuals will get to use the car for six months in exchange for blogging / tweeting about their experiences with the vehicle.

The promotion was announced by @toyotaireland on Twitter:

4 Irish bloggers wanted to give happy homes to 4 Toyota iQ’s for 2009 check out http://bit.ly/YV9gT

Predictably they’ve been inundated:

In under 12 hrs of launching our IQ promo we’ve had excess of 100 applicants, 13% incr in daily traf to toyota.ie & 30 new fols. ds twit wk?

If you’ve got a blog and a Twitter account, are over 21 and you live in Ireland you can apply for the 6 month Toyota IQ test drive – but hurry – applications close on Friday! You can check out the full terms and conditions here.

It’s a great idea… one that’s already generating a lot of social media buzz… and provided Toyota handles it properly, and leaves the individuals to write openly and honestly about their experience of the IQ, it could be a real winner for them.

Who knows… if this works out for Toyota it could make a wonderful case study for next year’s follow-up to “Understanding Digital Marketing”.

Jul 102009
 

Ireland's Wildlife Facebook page, onlne Irish wildlife and nature resource If you’re on Facebook, check out my new page on Ireland’s Wildlife – and pass it on to all your friends. The page, and the twitter account on @wildireland, are the first steps in building an online community of wildlife enthusiasts in Ireland.

As time (and budget) allows I’m also working on an Ireland’s Wildlife website, sort of an online “hub” for all things wild in Ireland – a jumping off point, if you like, for Irish wildlife information, resources, links and discussion.

Wanted: wildlife content!

Core to the site will be the 200 or so species profiles I’ve written for the back page of Ireland’s Own over the years. I’m also on the look-out for potential regular contributors to the new site – so if you have relevant interests or expertise in any aspect of Irish wildlife and would like to volunteer your services / allow use of your content then please leave a note in the comments below, or drop me a line.

You can stay tuned here for updates by subscribing to the RSS Feed, become a fan of Ireland’s Wildlife on Facebook and/or follow Ireland’s Wildlife on Twitter.

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Feb 102009
 

A very talented software developer I used to work with way back when — Walter Higgins (@walter on twitter) over at Cork based Sxoop Technologies — has developed a cool little application that builds a clickable photo-montage of all your twitter followers’ avatars.

People are already putting the resulting Twitter Mosaics on their blog posts, desktop wallpaper, mugs, T-shirts, bags, business cards… you name it. The application has evolved somewhat since I first looked at it — and now lets you selctively delete avatars from the resulting mosaic and even order printed products. It also presents you with the HTML code to embed the mosaic on your own website or blog post.

So if you’re on Twitter, why not check out your own Twitter Mosaic.

Great work by Walter and the crew at Sxoop, and proof, yet again, that when it comes to Twitter application ingenuity Ireland in general, and perhaps Cork in particular, is leading the charge.

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Jan 232009
 
Merry Christmas Happy New Year

Image by kajvin via Flickr

I was reflecting recently on the Christmas and New Year break.

Over the holidays I took some time off, like lots of people, but as well as taking time off work, I also found myself paying little attention to the various blogs I look after (this one included). Family, friends, children and the like took precedence… which is only right and proper.

So why did I find myself feeling guilty for not blogging?

As I pondered this question I had to ask whether a line been crossed somewhere in my subconscious. When had blogging taken on such a level of gravity in my life. How could I possibly feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt for choosing to spend time with my family instead of posting stuff online?

It’s a fine line… and while it’s obviously important to keep a steady stream of content flowing on the blog(s) there are many, many things in life that are far more important.

Sometimes I look at the flood of posts from prolific Irish bloggers like Damien Mulley, Alexia Golez, and others in my feed reader and despair. Between work, family and other commitments I don’t have time to read all this stuff, let alone write my own.

But then I realised that it doesn’t really matter… not in the grand scheme of things. Different people have different priorities, are at different stages in their lives and are blogging under vastly different circumstances. A missed post here, a sparse week there… so what!

I enjoy writing the blog – that’s why I do it – but feeling guilty for not posting isn’t an acceptable part of the equation.

I purposely didn’t make a new year’s resolution this year… but in hindsight I think I probably will take up a belated one: I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT BLOGGING!

In 2009 I’ll post here and elsewhere when I can, when I want to and as time allows… without any guilt, remorse or regret for failing to maintaining a punishing posting schedule.

What about you?

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Jan 182009
 
Transparent version of :Image:Nintendo DS Lite...
Image via Wikipedia

“What are you doing girls?” I asked the twins.

“Shhh Dad, we’re connecting,” came the distracted reply.

They were sitting in the living room heads burried in the Nintendo DS consoles they’d got for Christmas, playing the same game, together but apart. On one level the remote interaction, using portable electronic devices to communicate and collaborate in real time, is a really important skill for them to develop — on another it’s worryingly antisocial and all consuming. Trying to get their attention while they’re immersed in a game or engrossed in a wireless instant messaging chat with each other (even though they’re in the same room) is disturbingly difficult.

It’s a sign of the times… technology is bringing us closer together, but at the same time its pushing us further apart,  diluting the need for real human contact.

Via the internet it’s now easier than ever to connect, share and communicate via media that by their very nature transcend physical barriers like geography and time zones. Always on, high speed access to the internet is fundamentally changing the way a whole generation of people do everything, from Christmas shopping to chatting with their grandma on the other side of the world.

The rise of the internet to become a dominant force in practically all of our lives is unprecedented. According to Internet World Stats in June 2008 there were a staggering 1.46 billion people online. That’s 21% of the human population — and it’s still growing at a phenomenal rate! Even if you don’t own a computer, have never sent an e-mail, and never want to, the influence of the internet in your life is profound. How so?
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Jan 102009
 
Internet Addict
Image by husin.sani via Flickr

Always on internet should come with a Government Health Warning.

No, seriously, it should!

I’m sitting here at daft o’ clock in the morning writing this blog post wondering where the time went to.

My wife is away for a couple of nights, the kids went to bed almost eight hours ago and are sound asleep, and I should be too… but I’m not.

Why? Because we have always on internet, that’s why. I’m not going to call it broadband… because to do so would give it delusions of grandeur, but it is, demonstrably, always on.

And that means I’m always on. On the laptop, on the netbook, on the WiFi enabled mobile.

…must sleep. Kids will wake up early regardless and I won’t be able to cope if I don’t get four or five hours in. Will finish up tomorrow :-)

Rightmorning all!

Woken up at 7:30 by the little one. Don’t even want to reflect on how little sleep I’ve actually had. Looks like I’m running on caffeine today folks!

Now… where was I… oh yes, always on internet.

It’s like heroin… only worse, because while getting your fix online might make you look a bit geeky, it doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as hard narcotics. At least not yet. But it is addictive, and if it’s suddenly taken away you do go into a kind of withdrawal.

But wait, you cry, while it might be an insidious habit, unlike a drug addiction it won’t lead you down a spiral of deceit and criminal activity to get your next virtual-hit, will it? I’m not so sure. Hands up how many people out there have casually hooked up to a conveniently unsecured wireless network “just to check e-mail”, or a profile page, or twitter or whatever?

It’s a slippery slope.

So, I’m thinking of starting a new group — perhaps on facebook (lol) — welcome to Internet Addicts Anonymous (IAA). To kick things off, I’ll go first:

My name is Calvin Jones and I’m a always-on-internet-oholic.

Admitting it is the hardest part — go on, try it for yourself in the comments below, it’s cathartic. I feel better already :-).

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Oct 252008
 

Just spotted these Kronomy timelines after following links from Guy Kawasaki’s “How to Change the World” blog.

As a Welshman living in the South West of Ireland, I have to say I’m paying only cursory attention to the US election antics, but I wanted to share these timelines here because I think they give those of us who are distant from the front-line of the campaign a quick, convenient and entertaining snapshot of both candidates’ backgrounds.

Here’s Obama’s timeline:

And here’s McCains:

This is the first time I’ve encountered Kronomy… and I have to say it’s pretty cool, and looks incredibly slick. I haven’t played around with setting up a timeline of my own yet… if you have let me know what you think in the comments.

Oct 212008
 

Picked up a link to this photo on Twitter (click on the image for the original image on Twitpic) it’s a shot taken by @clodaghkelly at her local SuperQuinn.

Superquinn do their bit for the over seventies :)  on TwitPic

Sums up the government’s medical card fiasco so more eloquently than anything I could write… no further commentary required!