Tag Archives: News

Flood victims – we need to help!

Imagine this is your house:

Via Irish Independent
Via Irish Independent

Or this was the view from your front hallway:

Photo by @Mediaflash
Photo by @Mediaflash

I’ve been listening to the radio on and off all week hearing reports of continued bad weather, the entire Shannon being in a state of flood, bridges and roads being closed, towns, villages and cities all but shutting down completely. I’ve had more calls from my dad in Clare this week than I’ve had all month he’s so shocked at the state of things around him in the west.

It’s almost impossible to get your head around the damage that’s been done since this time last week. Listening to victims during the week talk about how they have had to split their families up and divide children between relations, to others talk about the stench of waste, rotting food and sewage in homes and streets, to people searching somewhere to rent to simply have a roof over their heads was really shocking.

What shocks me further is the apparent lack of support for these hundreds of people. The government have pledged an initial €10m fund (subject to means testing). Some say it’s not nearly enough, some say they can’t wait for means testing.

I remember the fantastic fund-raising that was done all around the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a few years ago. Why hasn’t there been the same response to our own neighbours? Is it the recession? Is it a case of ‘out of sight out of mind’? Or do people just not realise how bad it is in areas like Ballinasloe, Claregalway and towns along the Shannon?

Let’s help them out!

Newstalk have set up a flood victims fund account with AIB. If you go into any AIB branch you should be able to make a donation to the account which has the sort code 93.10.12.

Saint Vincent de Paul and the Irish Red Cross are also accepting donations, be they financial or materials like clothes, bed linen etc.

If anyone else knows of ways we can support those affected, leave a comment or drop me an email and I’ll list it on a new page.

There’s only 4 weeks until Xmas eve – at the very least, let’s try and give the families some comfort for the holidays or some hope for the time ahead – things are in a dark enough state as it is.

Caherlea, Co.Galway via Irish Independent
Caherlea, Co.Galway via Irish Independent
Parteen Weir, Co.Clare via Limerick News Wire
Parteen Weir, Co.Clare via Limerick News Wire

YouTube Direct: good news for citizen reporters?

YouTube have just launched a new service called YouTube Direct. It’s an extension of the existing API designed to enable news websites to take advantage of the increasing volume of ‘citizen reporting’ content being published on YouTube.

The main elements:

1. Embeddable uploader

You don’t have to leave the page – the customisable uploader sits on your news corp site (or wherever). Users with an existing YouTube account can log in to YouTube through it and then choose to submit an existing video from their account or upload a new video, as demonstrated in the screenshot.

2. Moderation Console

Does what it says on the tin – it’s a fairly straightforward looking moderation system that allows you to keep track of submitted videos, preview, approve and find out more about each video submitted. Here’s a video demo of it:

Some of the big FAQs answered on their FAQ page:

Q: Who owns the videos submitted via YouTube Direct?

A: The user who submits the video on your site via YouTube Direct owns the video. The video is uploaded to his or her YouTube account and is automatically made public on YouTube.com. By submitting it through your site, the user may grant you a license to use the video according to a set of Terms of Service that you set forth, assuming it does not conflict with YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Q: What happens if the user decides to remove the video?

A: If a user decides to delete a video after he or she has submitted it to your site via YouTube Direct, then this video will be removed from YouTube, and thus will no longer play anywhere on your site that the video has been embedded or linked to. When this happens, there will be a flag visible in the moderation panel indicating that the video is not longer live on YouTube, and any reference to it on your site should also be removed.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: YouTube Direct is free, but there may be a small cost associated with your Google App Engine account, depending on the amount of traffic being served.

Looks tasty. Will be interesting to see who will use it from both content creators and broadcasters. Read all about it at http://www.youtube.com/direct

Tasty morsels for lunchtime enjoyment

Beach in Bishopsquarters, Ballyvaughan, Co.Clare

Beach in Bishopsquarters, Ballyvaughan, Co.Clare

Stumbled across this photo the other day – it was one of the first I took with my little red camera that my dad got me for my 21st ChristmasBirthday (born 26th Dec, this is what it has become). The beach at home in the month of January. Nature is stunning.

Des wrote a lovely post about the death of the ‘desktop metaphor’ over on the Contrast blog. 

Stu is climbing the viral charts in the Buzzfeed competition with his fantastic ‘Songs Reimagined as Alert Boxes‘. You have got to check them out!

Got my tickets in the post for the closing gala concert at the Cork International Choral Festival yesterday. It’s taking place on the May bank holiday weekend and there’s loads of international choral music on all over the city for the long weekend. As if you needed a reason to visit Cork anyway.

Create Ireland, a start-up incubator type affair that’s now enrolling for 2009.

A List Apart has 2 interesting articles up for edition #282, ‘In Defense of Eye Candy‘ & ‘Real Fonts on the Web: An Interview with The Font Bureau’s David Berlow‘.

An article in The Examiner today that seems to be essentially saying that newspapers are better than blogs amongst other bizarre and questionable things. Get ready to face-palm.

Sunday Tribune features FG website rip-off

Story in Sunday Tribune

Story in Sunday Tribune
I was up and out early this morning for the filming of a dance scene for Ireland’s first bollywood movie today (awesome fun, post coming later). Glancing in on Twitter during rehearsals I found out that the posts I had written about the Fine Gael website had made page 2 of the Sunday Tribune.

Fine Gael are still sticking to their guns and now claiming that all sorts of research was done into finding inspiration for their new online face. My favourite quote from the unnamed FG spokesperson:

“What has been asserted is not correct; there are grains of truth in this thing but they would get a life of their own on the internet,” a party spokesman said.”

Their lack of understanding of the issues surrounding the website now outweighs the seriousness of their actions. Their lack of engagement with the online community on top of the poorest of efforts in delivering a suitable, usable and useful website is the basis for a total failure in the management of their identity and image online. As Suzy said earlier

“Above all this incident is about the second biggest party in the state and another example of it’s lack of serious commitment to on-line engagement with voters in the country,  a lack of faith in Irish based web developers, and no imagination in the excuse making department either!”

I’m still disappointed and quite annoyed with how the party have handled the incident. FG don’t realise that they’ve missed the boat completely in terms of communication with voters & getting their message out there ahead of the local elections and in time, maybe even a general election before long. Their attitude towards the Internet and the online community (from bloggers to developers) is archaic and worryingly ignorant. I’d normally wish someone luck at this juncture (considering the mountain that they have to climb) but the feeling of disrespect is now a mutual one so they won’t be getting any best wishes (or votes) from this citizen.