Thursday, March 29, 2007

A hug from Innocent Smoothies on a rainy afternoon

It's the little things like this video that innocent drinks posted that can turn a day around...

I'm a self confessed innocent smoothies addict. I read their blog, get their newsletter and drink their drinks. I could have done with one today (no time) but they posted this today in their daily thoughts and it's almost as good (in a virtual kind of way).

Can't help but wonder if it would work in Dublin though? Would (could) you dare??

There'll be no excuse for not knowing

Bebo and Twitter taking over my life...

I read today in the ever informative Silicon Republic that Bebo is going mobile.

Between them and Twitter, pretty soon only "I couldn't get online" will be my only excuse for not knowing what my (online) friends are up to...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Serious Fun with Bandanas to be had May 12th

On Sunday May 12th, grab a Bandana for Barretstown and have Serious Fun.

This year's Serious Fun Day for Barretstown should see something a bit different to the usual pins and flowers and ribbons and wristbands on the streets. There's a Barretstown Bandana!

Barretstown are hoping to raise €100,000 on the day to bring more kids with cancer and other serious illness to the castle. The bandanas are on sale in Smyths Toystores from April 28th.

The Bandana DesignIt's a very visible way of showing support for one of the most deserving children's charities I've ever had the pleasure of being involved with. Bit of (serious) fun too!

At only €2.00 each, buying one is a great way to ensure that children from Ireland, the UK and 21 European countries can continue to have fun at that magical place.

You can order a box of 50 for your office or workplace by calling +353 (0)45 864 115 or emailing

Each year there are 12,000 new cases of childhood cancer in Europe. Barretstown can currently help up to 1,600 children with serious illnesses and family members each year. And boy, do they help! The results are evident.

Just to maintain these numbers, they have to raise €5 million each year and 96% of this money comes from companies and individuals. Every little bit helps.

I'll definitely be wearing one or two. And buying them for friends... and strangers...

Would you be bothered twittering on?

Twitter: now you can see EXACTLY what I'm thinking (when (and if) I post it).

This whole Interweb 2.0 is great. Thanks to Bebo, I can see how Orla's doing in Australia, thanks to Flickr I can share my photos and see other friends' ones, I can catch up with people on, thanks to Yahoo answers I can find out things like this, thanks to netvibes I can have my own homepage almost the way I want it and thanks to I can groove while writing this (as Stephen so kindly put it) "waffle". takes the waffle part to the next level. It's people's thoughts as they post them from around the world. I'd heard about it but Donncha joining up made me go and have a look...

Here's a really good post for newcomers about it. So it's people doing what people used to do way back in the day when blogs were weblogs. Enter text. Hit submit. It's a stripped down version of Bebo and My Space and it lets you see where your friends are and what they're doing - if they post. If they can be bothered. I have. Not sure if I will again though...

Twittervision helps you follow them around on Google Maps. "Interesting" is probably not the exact word I'd use, but from a web 2.0 angle you have to give it to them - they're certainly connecting the world!

So here I am... another page with my name on it. What am I doing now? Posting on Twitter that I've posted this here of course...

Personality tests taken to the next level

According to my VisualDNA™ I'm a go getting escape artist love bug apparently!

Way back in the day I remember a certain delight in those emails that you'd fill in honestly from 1 to 52 with your colours and so on and then scroll down to see what they meant.

Then came the online tests, which had a certain appeal for me but I could never find a good one I agreed with (or was happy to share with anyone else).

And today I've tried this test and got my results. Not a bad summation and fun to do as well.

Given all the recent talk about online profiles damaging career prospects, I hope this personality test just highlights my good points (assuming I have any at all...)

"They have all the best land and all the best jobs" - coming soon to a TV screen near you!

Delighted to hear that the genius folk over at have been commissioned for a TV series. Another great example of web based creativity crossing the divide into "mainstream media" - by which I mean a form my folks have a chance of seeing.

I hadn't realised I'd been working with the main designer of the extremely funny cartoons - I think he was a bit scared by how enthusiastically I quoted certain lines...

When we were over in London, this cartoon came out and became a staple view, with both the English and Irish laughing at it - or maybe the English just laughing at us laughing at it.

It's a distinctly Irish humour - thankfully. All too rare on good sites today.

They're hiring at the moment. I'm emailing now to see if they need a bastardised Kilkenny-Dublin-years-of-elecution hybrid voice over for any of their features...

Joost a little note about Internet TV

Beta to test now and improve than sign up too late and complain...

Joost™ I'd heard the buzz about Joost a while ago, but have signed up to be an official beta tester. Admittedly they sent me the invite a while ago but only got around to downloading it today.

Apparently, Joost™ is a new way of watching TV on the internet, which "uses new and established technologies to provide the best of both the internet and TV worlds".

Sounds interesting. I shall post more when I know more...

I ran into an old colleague recently who is now with O2 and he showed me their new mobile TV sets. The picture quality was fantastic, the handset quite like the Nokia NGage and I'm sure there'll be a market for it.

Personally though I'm waiting for a big wireless broadband improvement in Dublin which means I can use sites like Go Fish or YouTube and when I'm in a conversation and say (as I am too prone to doing) "Ah there's a great clip online to show that" I can show them no matter where I am...

Bring on the iPhone!

For more visit

Where else would you get it?

I just wanna dance - more creativity from the monkeys with typewriters...

I've always loved the uniqueness of the web, in that people do/create/share things on here that have never been done or possible to do before and that realistically we may not have ever heard about.

It's only online I'd have seen this video from Avenue Q, read these unintentionally funny comic strips and watched the amazing Hunter Hayes perform "something called Jambalaya" - all well worth a look!

I suppose there are both positive and potentially negative aspects, but overall it's a real treat to see something "cool" or to share someone's love of what they've found. It used to be butterflies and rhyming cadences, now it's generally YouTube videos.

When Steve sent me this link I visited straight away. He only sends me good stuff. While I may not share his effusive enthusiasm about it, here again is something that can only have been shared online, on YouTube (I shudder to think about the copyright complexities on this one) and was also done by someone with obvious passion for what they do. I wish I had the creativity.

It was originally created for a background screen at Gay Pride, but sure if you weren't there you wouldn't have seen it...

Definitely not one for the kids (contains an expletive) and probably not for office loud speakers. The song was never commercially released (understandable but a pity) but this made me question all the recent controversy about You Tube copyright. If we could use more stuff like this legally - and appropriately - where would people's creativity take us?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Timing is everything... part 2.0

A response to insider@boo comments about the return of, and why I could be in more than my underwear when it's launched.

Good websites are ten a penny really, but like that song you've been listening to a lot recently (it's this one for me) it's the website you find when you need one (books here, distraction here, movie trailers here, etc. ) that often has the biggest impact on you.

That's the GREAT website for you, as in "Ah great, that's what I wanted."

It may not be the best out there, but it's done what you've wanted it to do, and that's the great part. And it's probably the one you'll go back to to get the job done again!

That's why Google is so great. It can find you that great website when you need it.

Yesterday I posted again about, just as the enigmatic insider@boo commented on one of my previous posts. Good timing there!

He/she/they/it (could it be Miss Boo back from her cyber grave?) said

"Hi Darragh, interesting that you think the new boo might be all about you, you could just be right...

What if it was about You and the wisdom of people like you?

What if You could be in control and have it your way?

Maybe you usually trust the multitude or prefer to trust friends and family?

What if boo could be all of this at the same time....."

They're interesting questions from an internet perspective... Because this is a very different type of website that I'm visualising compared to other ones out there.

Different because - well, let's say Boo 2.0 is fashion again, and it's about my choice of clothes and what I buy online.

The old boo had a dummy that you could spin around and see what the clothes looked like on it when dressed. Kind of like this recently launched website.

As much as I can model this 'virtual me' to my tastes (on the right is one as close as I can make it), it's still not me.

Similarly, just because "people who bought this book also bought..." doesn't mean I might want to at that particular time...

So I buy from the new boo, not based on JUST my tastes or on what boo recommends, but on the recommendations of either, as the boo insider suggests, the general public or my close friends.

Maybe it's a bit of a Hot-or-not thing going on, but personally I always feel better about my decisions when I've got advice from the people that I trust.

So if I ask a friend if a particular shirt or jeans or whatever suits me based on their tastes and their knowledge of me and what I'd like - whether Jeans x or y would suit me better, or what label is cooler, what site is cheaper etc, and they can tell me, then it's a win-win situation.

It doesn't have to be just my friends advice either. What's that quote? "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet." Well based on what you like, if it's relevant to me and at the right time, I might just go for it.

That could be brought into so many ideas - for instance, just because I like one song from Mika doesn't mean I'll like all his music, but I might like songs like it.

Just because I thought Jim Carrey was hilarious in Ace Ventura doesn't mean I'd go to see the Number 23. Because I've been to Barcelona doesn't mean I'll rush back to Madrid. Etc etc etc

But you try telling Google that and where does it get you? Long complicated search terms is where.

And even then I may not like what I find...

So insider@boo I look very much forward to seeing what's on the way. As I've said before... make me love what I find!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Maybe I should get my head shaved...

What Sri Chimnoy, Seth Godin, and Colin Hetherington have taught me about working on the interweb.

Apparently over at the new "the countdown has started". The story interests me from the whole idea of taking time.

In Gruel on Dame Street the other day, Giovanni picked up a leaflet offering a Free Meditation Course. On a whim we decided to go, just to see what it was all about.

The meditation class was due to be held at the Irish Sri Chimnoy Centre on Wicklow Street. I hadn't heard of it, but we went and I'm glad I did.

There's a certain manic nature to the web, a rush to get things done, get results, get that short term offer. We don't have patience. We want the information there as quick as possible. And for those who work online, there's the same pressure to deliver.

So it was nice to step away from all this for a couple of hours and enjoy some quiet time. There were a lot more people than I expected and yet despite my hesitance to do things like this, I did and I enjoyed it.

During the class, one of the things that really stood out for me (and I'm getting to my point soon, I promise) was a photo of this Sri Chimnoy person himself at the centre of the room.

I couldn't find it online but in it the man is just staring into the distance with a wonderful warm - but knowing - smile on his face. He looks chilled. Like at the end of a web project when everything has worked out.

Sri Chimnoy is a contemporary meditation teacher, poet, composer and athlete. He leads the meditation centre at the United Nations HQ in New York. Very well respected internationally is possibly an understatement.

Taking the time out to try this meditation technique I had a couple of things running through my mind. Foremost was how nice it was to take a couple of minutes out and focus. That's what the meditation was for me - a focussing.

In that line, I've been thinking about the nature of web projects and getting things done online.

I read Seth Godin's blog religiously every morning. I've read all the books available in Ireland, and the constant theme running through Seth's posts is about distinguishing yourself by doing things right.

This morning he posted about how "showing up on time with a smile on your face being the most important part of business". Dead right, but things like that take preparation, planning and all that stuff. It's the whole swan over and under the water thing.

In everything I do online, I make the effort to do it right, because maybe I'll become a Purple Cow. Better I suppose than being this guy.

I was lucky enough to work with Colin Hetherington, now managing director of Dublin for a couple of years from 2003.

Colin hated mistakes. Even more of a perfectionist than I was he taught me how to get the job done and get it right. Not take ages doing it but to keep an eye out for what could go wrong and avoid it. Something I still do (thanks Colin!)

And then there's this book. As I've already posted I'm reading about the collapse of, and now that it's coming back it's even more relevant.

Reading it all I want to do is advise Ernst Malmsten to slow down, take it easy and look at what they're doing.

Of course it's easier knowing the end to advise at this stage but still, I've seen some great examples of rushing things and not taking enough care.

I think this photo is possibly the best example in the offline world. It's called Not my job, but it could as easily be Not taking the time to do it right.

With the pressures of modern business, targets, budgets and closing dates there's a lot more of a need to get it live and done rather than getting it right.

Personally I'd prefer to use a site that was right than just done. I don't know if Sri Chimnoy uses the internet but I'd imagine he'd advise taking time to reach perfection. He says satisfaction is perfection. I like that idea.

And he's gone for that less hair look. As have Colin and Seth. With the summer coming in I'm thinking of it...