Gavan Reilly

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So that’s blogging dead, then

with 10 comments

Like a lot of Irish bloggy types I’ve been keeping an eye on the discussion over at Twenty Major‘s blog where a guest post by Una Mullally (formerly UnaRocks) has triggered a massive, and predictably sometimes overtly personal, discussion about whether the “Irish blogosphere” is over the hill.

As with most discussions, there’s good points to be made on both sides – even if both sides can get a bit grouchy and see a personal insult where there isn’t one to be seen – but feeling that I made a pig’s ear of my comment on the piece and wanting to address another point that isn’t being addressed in the comments, I thought I’d have my tuppence here. I’ll start by rewording my original comment and maybe going from there – the probably length of this post has led me to post it here rather than leave another thesis in the comments on the original.

Overall I think Una’s is a interesting piece and includes a few desperately-needed home truths – the fact that it’s provoked more than a few endorsements from commenters who are happy that Una has called the bluff of some circlejerky types where bloggers produce bad content but are encouraged to do more because of the backslappingthey get is a testament to this.

However, I think the comment left by Joe hits the nail quite squarely on the head: the notion of a ‘blogosphere’ is in itself a very cliquey phenomenon. Nobody refers to newspapers or broadcasters as existing in their own semi-autonomous platform and blogging shouldn’t be thought of in that way either. The problem with perpetuating this concept – that the ‘blogosphere’ is an independent platform where the values of what’s worth reading are somehow skewed from the rest of the world – only ends up endorsing this chasm of quality.

Personally I’d be uncomfortable with declaring Irish blogging being ‘over’ – as I wrote my comment on the piece, I noticed Suzy’s post revealing that Bertie Ahern’s book earnings have been declared tax-free, a piece that deserves to be picked up by the mainstream media because of its sheer newsworthyness. Blogs are only relevant as news sources if bloggers notice this kind of thing before a paid professional journalist can do it, and Suzy in one swoop has managed to proof that there’s life in the young dog yet. Likewise what the lads over at TheStory are doing in pointing out the abuse of public spending by certain people, and the attention they’re getting from other people for doing so.

There’s a world of difference between blogging being ‘over’ and the staple figures of early Irish blogging – Twenty, Rick, Una herself, Blogorrah – all moving on or finding their lifestyles changing as lifestyles inevitably do. For someone like myself who’s dabbled in it for about three-and-a-half years, the demise of Blogorrah or Twenty’s retirement were akin to a longrunning TV show being cancelled or the death of an elder statesman. Of course it changes the landscape a bit when a respected senior contributor disappears, but TV wasn’t dead when Gay Byrne quit the Late Late Show, nor was soap opera declared defunct when Brookside was cancelled.

Ireland exists in an unusual and somewhat perverse circumstance, where because of the everyone-knows-everyone-sure-isn’t-it-a-small-world culture we have in real life on this island, some people have an instinct to only read content that’s written by Irish people. This would be akin to people making a principled point in ignoring British TV or newspapers – it’s just too small a pool for many people of real impact to make any significant following.

Una comments that Ireland’s blogosphere has never been as vibrant as those of other countries to begin with, because

There’s no Gawker, no Perez, no Huffington.

I think if Ireland was bigger, there most certainly would be all of those sites – we’re a very gossipy race in Ireland. The problem is that for there to be  an Irish Gawker or a Perez, we would need there to be an enormous talent pool of Irish celebrities to ensure a reasonable turnover of content, where there simply isn’t. An Irish Gawker would be an electronic form of the Sindo Life magazine – God saves us all. There’s no HuffPo or Guido-type character because Irish politics is nepotistic, petty and severely underresourced. Too little happens and when it happens it happens on a scale that’s of very little use to anyone. What’s more, if Ireland had a HuffPo or a Politico – and maybe that’s what Mark Little’s new venture might ultimately produce – there’d be very few people to read it, because with a population as small as Ireland’s, not only would current affairs coverage have limited appeal to begin with, but the nature of Ireland’s tech infrastructure means that there’s still only a limited proportion of people who actually have the means to read it. We often forget in Ireland how few people outside of the Pale and the other major cities have a decent internet connection; your average active citizen in Donegal, Roscommon or Clare might be very interested in the content of a Politico but simply doesn’t have a decent connection to read it. (They might have dial-up but they’re not going to use dial-up to check a site or an RSS reader every couple of hours without paying through the nose for it.)

Ireland is simply too small for this kind of stuff: it’s why we don’t have a Guardian or a real political spectrum of print media; why we don’t have any major domestic professional sports; and it’s why we have a constant chip on our shoulders about people telling us what we do is insignificant.

Blogging won’t ever be ‘over’. Bloggers just eventually do other things, just as journalists and broadcasters and people with any kind of hobby. There is no small irony that Una’s post was published on the blog of someone who has quit blogging before, by a former blogger themselves.

Una’s remark that 98% of blog content is rubbish is probably true, but that’s the same with most media. I used to read the Irish Independent but got bored of its constant editorialising. I now read The Irish Times but not on a daily basis, because I wish it would be more honest about its blatant pro-Labour agenda. The only paper I read regularly now is the Guardian because I admire its design and the resources it affords its writers, but even still I still largely read online so as to filter out a lot of what I consider crap (I had no interest in its Copenhagen coverage, and on the iPhone app I’d selected only content relating to football, other sport, media and technology to appear on the home screen because the rest doesn’t concern me). Perhaps it’s ironic that this isn’t an Irish medium but such is the world that all media, including blogs, now live in. Ireland’s Sunday papers are all quite poor too; the Sunday Times is too full of irrelevant Britspeak, the Sindo is only ever one nude Amanda Brunker picture away from exploding in a ball of its own semen, and Una’s own Tribune appears to be unable to decide what it wants to be, other than a permanent Government-basher (aside from the unfortunate fact that with dropping circulation, it has to keep cutting its pagination to stay alive). But again, TV isn’t dead; radio isn’t dead; journalism isn’t dead (it’s newspapers that are dying, not journalism itself).

One other point that Una made in her post that hasn’t been dissected in some way – and one that relates most personally to me, as someone with airs of trying to get a foot in the door of a paying job in some kind of media – was this:

Many seem to use blogging as their first stepping stone for getting on in other forms of media. Because of this, blogging will always be seen as rung number one on the media ladder, unless you work for the Irish Times or something and you’re dragged by the scruff of your neck into blogville. I think it’s only unfair in exceptions to describe blogging as anything else. The Irish blogsphere is populated by wannabes using a blog to broadcast themselves in the hope of latching on to other gigs, branding themselves as if their opinions or writing or indeed their ‘selves’ as a product is worth branding, and publicising various projects/work/whatever they’re undertaking outside of their blog. Why would anyone want to read that?

Student journalists and people like me are constantly being told that in order to set ourselves apart from the crowd in the quest to get recognised as a worthy contributor and picked up by ‘the mainstream’, we need to be jacks of all trades – we need to be able to produce copy, to edit it, to cut video, to record and treat audio, and to understand the platforms that all of this content uses. Essentially, we’re told we need to master all media, and the way to do this without being part of the bigger entities is to be users of the ‘new media’, of which blogging is the archetype. It might seem cheap, but for people in my shoes we’re expected to blog, and certainly don’t seem to be entertained for very long if we don’t.

I suspect that Una might be overstating it a little, but there certainly are a lot of Irish bloggers who want to latch onto other gigs and who brand themselves as being an entity. UnaRocks herself was one (albeit one that Una herself admits she got tired of, and one that she has abandoned by changing her Twitter username) and admitted in her final post that her online presence got her some gigs that her journalistic one wouldn’t have; Twenty is another, and was given a book deal for his work. Mulley is one too; he’s now able to make a full-time living out of it, and all credit to him. But again, that’s no different to other media.

What’s the difference between the ‘brand’ of Twenty Major and of Fintan O’Toole, or Vincent Browne, or Charlie Brooker or Richard Littlejohn or Terry Wogan or Pat Kenny or Ryan Tubridy or Gerry Ryan or Jeremy Clarkson or Perez Hilton – or, indeed, Una Mullally? There isn’t one – these are all people who make their living out of being a name, a brand themselves that people want to read. This is the nature of all columnists; they’re given the platform to write pretty much whatever they like, and the mere placement of their byline or headshot beside it is what gives it its prestige. There are people who read their output who wouldn’t read anything else in the platform in which it’s presented – Brooker readers who aren’t Guardian readers; Littlejohn readers who might never buy a copy of The Sun; and people (like me) who read O’Toole and Browne on and Una’s column on without buying the paper it’s printed in.

Blogging, therefore, shouldn’t be bastardised or stigmatised because there are people who trade and present themselves as being an entity of esteem, or a brand that people should be attentive to. It’s the basis of all media to have names that people will be attracted to, and that’s what keeps the world going around. Not only is it the prescribed mode for someone like me if I want to be taken on board, but seeing names like O’Toole and Browne is some of the reason people keep picking up the Irish Times, and seeing names like Mullally is one of the reasons people keep buying the Tribune, and keep Una employed and living in a swanky city-centre apartment with a turret.

That’s damn close to the lifestyle I’d like – so what’s an aspiring wordsmith to do?

Written by Gav

January 6th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Wikipedia and the Death of Ignorance

with 3 comments

So. Six weeks away from the office, as semester gives way to exams and to the Christmas break. It’s been a mental semester, but one I’ve really enjoyed.

Anyway. I happened to make it to the LecturesIreland Jimmy Wales talk last Friday night in Trinity College, where I watched the founder of Wikipedia discuss his vision of the availability of human knowledge, and got to ask him whether a print version of the world’s biggest encyclopedia is a grim inevitability given the site’s goal of sharing all the world’s knowledge with all the world’s people, and the relatively sparse level of internet penetration in the wider world. (The answer to that long-winded sentence, which I managed to deliver in person with the same breathlessness as I typed it, was ‘yes’.)

Simultaneously, being a man of leisure before I start some work experience next week, I’ve been on an XKCD binge for the last few days, putting the ‘Random’ link on my bookmarks toolbar and clicking it ad nauseum for hours, disturbing the housemates with sporadic giggling.

I should mention, at this point, that since I set up this WordPress installation nearly a year ago and did a word dump of some potential posts into the Drafts folder, this piece has been sitting near the top, awaiting its turn to be fleshed out to the requisite few hundred words, but held back by (i) my sheer ineptitude at blogging with any regularity and (ii) a treadmill of college-study-college-finals-two-jobs eating almost all of my time.

So – I’m stumbling through XKCD and this one shows up:

It’s called Getting Out of Hand – and to a large extent, ‘out of hand’ is how I think our use of Wikipedia is slowly becoming.

I’ll begin with this: I adore education, purely for education’s own sake, and Wikipedia is, in my eyes, the best resource on the planet. Of any sort. It’s astounding. It’s the perfect companion to the modern ubiquity of tabbed browsing; open any page, and if there’s another piece you want to look at, you don’t have to cut short your initial reading – you merely queue it up in the background. I’ve misspent countless hours accidentally tumbling through election results and the minutae of international soccer tournaments. Spending a few hours on Wikipedia is like going on a druggy bender, where curiosity is the drug and the hangover is a cocktail of ‘Aaaah!’ and ‘Is that the time?’.

Another great thing about the Firefox and Wikipedia marriage is the ability to add search keywords. My browsers are customised so that if I go to the address bar and type ‘wp Adolf Hitler’ (where ‘wp’ stands for Wikipedia), the Adolf Hitler entry loads in seconds. It’s a fantastic ability, but one that leads to an easily developed over-reliance.

Put very simple, Wikipedia has slowly become far too easy to rely upon. When broadband first standard gaining prominence in the early part of this decade, the ability to access an untapped well of knowledge. As we go mobile, and slowly mesh ourselves into an interconnected web of data, the sum of all human knowledge is available pretty much everywhere (note Patrick Collison’s Encyclopedia app for the iPhone, which allows users to download the entirety of Wikipedia for seven quid). If you’re struggling to remember even something as insignificant as Roy Keane’s middle name on the move, it’s not difficult to get hold of the data – especially now as people slowly become more au fait with their phones’ abilities to access mobile websites.

I once asked an old German teacher, quite lazily, what the translation of some inane noun was, and was given an educating response. She told me that if I were just to listen to her translate it and write it down, I was unlikely to retain any of that information; but if I were to take a few minutes and check it in the dictionary myself, I was far more likely to retain the fact. (It was ‘potatoes’, and the translation – which, indeed, has never left my mind since, is ‘Kartoffeln’). But what is it to lose the wonder of not knowing things? Wikipedia might give the ideal process of a quest to check information, but when it becomes as instant as a teacher’s responses, it loses that special edge that genuine, laboured curiosity brings.

We’re coming dangerously close to a time where necessity – being the mother of invention – is a non-entity. If every enquiry can be answered in nanoseconds, what will become of human imagination? Ignorance is the fuel that drives humans to be more creative and do exceptional things. If all answers can be gotten at a moment’s notice, we forever lose grasp of that drive to create better things.

Roy Keane’s middle name, by the way, is Maurice. No Wikipedia needed.

Written by Gav

December 3rd, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Dell Netbook Repair: Fix One Problem, Create Three More

with 8 comments

I have mixed experiences of Dell and their customer support. Having been a Dell owner since college required me – literally – to get hold of one, I’ve had to be in touch with them on a few occasions, whether it’s to buy a new battery simply because the last has gotten wonky or whether it’s a full-blown motherboard replacement (once on each of my two machines at the time of writing).

Well, three weeks ago, after a day of regular use, I woke up one morning and found that my Inspiron 910, a Christmas gift from the parental units, was refusing to turn on. So, after a day of Googling for DIY repairs – learning that the newer the laptop, the lesser the chance that a randomer elsewhere in the world has catalogued their own problems with it – I bit the bullet and went to Dell themselves for help.

Now, I must say that the online chat feature, available to Inspiron and Latitude owners, is pretty excellent. You can say what your problem is, take live suggestions (rather than navigating through tedious troubleshooting kits that assume you don’t know how to turn the machine on in the first place) and generally it’s a nicely interactive – and free – way of getting a problem solved, especially if you’re still within your warranty, as they can arrange collection of faulty hardware with you on the spot.

Where they fall down is actually working on the machines, post-courier. After explaining via the Chat feature that a software glitch wasn’t to blame – the machine literally wouldn’t turn on, you’d think it would be a simple matter to rule it out – and having seen off the courier on the 9th of June, I heard nothing for a while. So back onto the phone I go, to ask when there might be any sign of the laptop coming back. Luckily I had my original Latitude D505, ‘Sushi’, newly reghosted albeit five years old, to see me through while the netbook (inventively titled ‘Sushi II’) was in repair.

“They usually take one week, sir, so you should expect it on Friday the 19th or Monday the 22nd of June.” Fair enough. I call again on Tuesday the 23rd, still Sushi II-less. I am told my details are taking quite a while to appear on the screen, so they offer to take my phone number and call me back later.

I never get the call. Luckily, I am pacified by the machine actually returning the following day – Wednesday the 24th – and indeed now being in a rather improved condition, given that it turned on. So far, so good (-ish). Attached is a small factory note from Dell themselves. “Motherboard replaced and Windows reloaded. All perfect working order. Dave Maguire.”

(As an aside, I’ll never understand that when making small hardware repairs, laptop companies, Dell prominent among them, decide it necessary to reinstall Windows, especially given my circumstances where I wasn’t in a position to make a backup before handing the machine over, when the thing wouldn’t even turn on. Can anyone illuminate me?)

Except that once I turn the laptop on, and try to charge the battery (assuming that it had been emptied during repair), I discover that the battery doesn’t in fact charge. This is the same battery that was fully functional when I handed it over, and which had been isolated as not being a factor in the initial problems. So back to the Chat I go.

06/24/2009 04:46:06PM
Agent (Americas\abhijeet_deb): "I have discussed the case and we 
will send out a new battery. May I have your address where we 
need to send it?"
06/24/2009 04:46:22PM
Gavan: "Sure"

I hand over my work address, agree to hand in the broken one as exchange, and indeed the following morning I am delivered a replacement – even though I’m away from my desk, and don’t get a call asking me if I’ll be present to hand over the dead one, meaning that the courier leaves without it. Great stuff. Admittedly it charges slower and decharges quicker than my first one, but it’s a battery nonetheless. Small quibble in the grander scheme of things.

So Saturday morning comes around and I hop online to get some coverage of the Lions match that afternoon. I open a stream. No sound. Hmm. I reinstall the sound drivers and check all the software settings. No luck. I try headphones. Ah, success. The speakers themselves, it seems, are busted. Sigh. Maybe I can live with it.

I go to Twitter to try and talk about the rugby. I try to use the hashtag #Lions. Only then, pounding away at the # key and the ones around it, do I discover that my newly-repaired laptop not only returned with a dead battery, but with broken built-in speakers and with five keyboard keys being totally unresponsive.

Darren had warned me that when Dell do repairs, they have a habit of using refurbished parts which aren’t in the best physical condition. Figuring that the Inspiron Mini 9 was only six months old – and had no recorded Google history of ever breaking down – I thought the chances were slim. Indeed, they probably still are.

So why Dell chose to take one laptop, with one problem, fix that problem and create three more, I don’t know. Dave Maguire, you have a lot to answer for.

Written by Gav

June 29th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Transparency, or How To Mess Up Before You Begin

with 13 comments

I’m sat at home watching Liverpool play Real Madrid in the Champions League right now, where Liverpool are doing a commendable job – as Man United did before them in Milan last night – of taking the game by its horns and rather than simply hoping not to lose, they are actively chasing victory. Liverpool know the score. Away goals count double and even if they lose tonight, a small loss coupled with a priceless away goal will go a long, long way towards advancing and overcoming a major obstacle.

The attitude is summed up very well by Eamon Dunphy at half time, who casually remarks (as Dunphy does) that “many teams go to the Bernabéu having already lost”, a very succinct remark indeed: many teams are so fazed by having to take on the Spanish giants in front of 80,000 of their own fans that they’re already writing off the chance of success.

While I was listening to the half-time commentary I happened to log into Twitter where the hubbub over the launch of Fianna Fáil’s new website was beginning to hit full swing. They’d invited Joe Rospars, who was in charge of New Media on the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. The press release that was circulated publically, asking bloggers to come along – and to bring friends – was as follows:

Strawberry Media are pleased to organise an open seminar with Joe Rospars, founding partner of Blue State Digital and New Media Director of the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.

Joe will be discussing the lessons of the Obama campaign, how it can be applied in other fields, and will take a Q&A on his talk. Attendance at the seminar is free.

This event is open to all, and would be particularly suited to bloggers and those interested in technology and politics. Numbers are limited, so please register your interest below if you are able to attend.

The event takes place at the Camden Court Hotel, Dublin City Centre at 6pm on Wednesday, February 25th. Click here for a Google Map to the venue.

You’ll notice, unfortunately, that there’s no mention of Fianna Fáil. Nor is there a mention that Strawberry Media, the “communications powerhouse” handling the event, is run by Cllr Damien Blake, a Fianna Fáil councillor in Letterkenny (a decision I still can’t really absorb – even with the FF connections, why have a Donegal-based company operate a Dublin event? Surely FF have better connections or abilities than farming out an event to a councillor who, although having the expertise to run it, is based hundreds of miles away?).

The following, meanwhile, was the substance of the Fianna Fáil release to party members plugging the event:

Fianna Fáil invites you to an audience with Mr. Joe Rospars, Founding Partner of Blue State Digital and New Media Director of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

In that capacity he oversaw all online aspects for the unprecedented communications and grassroots mobilisation effort undertaken by the Obama campaign.  Mr. Rospars has also helped lead Governor Howard Dean’s hugely successful new media campaign for the 2004 presidential election and worked with Governor Dean at the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Rospars is in Dublin to announce the formation of an agreement between Fianna Fáil and strategy and technology firm Blue State Digital to work on the development of the new Fianna Fáil website.  The new website will be launched tomorrow and will develop further in the weeks and months ahead.

To mark the occasion Fianna Fáil will be hosting a presentation by Mr. Rospars on his work with President Obama in the Camden Court Hotel on Wednesday 25th February 2009 at 6pm.  We would be delighted if you could join us for this event.

A very different tone, mentioning the words ‘Fianna Fáil’ four times. Clearly one that lets on that it has nothing to hide.

The question arises, why would Fianna Fáil want to give such mixed messages? Surely Fianna Fáil must be aware of the negative public sentiment out there for them; the opinion polls putting them into third place behind Labour surely ring testament to that. Surely, also, they must be aware of the demi-deity that any association with Barack Obama carries.

Why, then, if Fianna Fáil are making the concerted effort (which, I have to say, I do applaud; it’s not perfect but Christ, it’s a start, and from the party’s perspective they’re better off making political hay while they need the boost, and not while plateauing at the top) to seem like they’re changing their ways, starting up an official Facebook group, YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Flickr account, not want to associate themselves with the fact that Joe Rospars was in town, and speaking? Why not pitch the event as an interactive Q&A with bloggers themselves, answering questions on online policy aswell as taking suggestions from bloggers and Twitterers on what they’d most like to see on the site?

It nearly seemed like it was an impossible thing to do, but somehow Fianna Fáil have managed to come out of this whole event – the culmination of what I’m sure is a lengthy build and co-ordinative process in launching a new site and social media network – in lesser standing than they entered. How couldn’t they think that by mentioning their own name and that of Barack Obama in the same breath, that they would surely be seen in better light?

Damien Blake, to his credit, is currently trying to tackle the online hullaballoo head-on over at his own blog. He does, however, state that

“This wasn’t the launch of the Fianna Fáil website.”


“The new website will be launched tomorrow [the message being sent on the previous day] and will develop further in the weeks and months ahead.”

To suggest that the event wasn’t supposed to be a plug for the new website, or to showcase what was there, is a fallacy – and I don’t need to have been there to state that. It’s pure, unadulterated hypocracy. The event wasn’t a FF website launch, but they launch the website the same day as they have an event to announce that the Obama Web Guy is working with them? Such semantics don’t have a place when a hugely valuable outlet is coming out of incubation at a time when FF so badly need a boost.

Liverpool played the game, and won 1-0. Rafa Benitez’s type of football isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done. Maybe that’s the biggest lesson Fianna Fáil need to take from this shocking, shocking waste.

Edit: the Irish Blogs cluster will be appearing soon – keep an eye on this and have a read of the thoughts of Damien, Suzy, Green Ink, and Slugger O’Toole.

Written by Gav

February 25th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Cogito, ergo blog

with one comment

So – this isn’t quite the standard obligatory post-Irish Blog Awards entry, but it is heavily fuelled and inspired by the awards last weekend. Like most of the First World (or at least it seems like that many by now, but deservedly so), a hat-tip to Damien Mulley for his constant, tireless and infinite enthusiasm and energy he puts into the awards every year, and it’s my deep hope that he appreciates the shot in the arm that the gig offers the Irish blogosphere every year.

The big winner on the night was Suzy Byrne of Maman Poulet, picking up the category prize for Best News and Current Affairs Blog as well as the overall Grand Prix for Best Blog. None deserved it more: few put as much vigour, dedication, and professionalism into what is essentially an amateur pursuit as Suzy does. While the blogs of professional journalists naturally carry the self-assured, but not self-righteous, swagger of someone who can happily make a living from doing what they do, Suzy is one of those who would easily be mistaken for one of their class: the notion that she doesn’t make her living from her blog (and I use ‘doesn’t’ because I’m positive she could, should she choose to) is a strange one indeed.

Suzy’s acceptance speech for the Grand Prix was generally on the theme of why she blogs. Her blog later recounted the same idea.

I blog for fun, for anger, for stress relief from my day job, as a source of pain relief […] and simply I blog becuase I can.

It was the last phrase that rang most sincerely at the awards: I blog because I can. At a basic level, it’s a privilege that too many of us would easily take for granted: a quick look at Amnesty International’s is a sobering reminder of how little some of our fellow man can get away with, aside from the fact that not alone do less than 20% of the world have an internet connection, but a substantial chunk of the world doesn’t even have phone lines.

Suzy’s lines were put back to mind today as I read that UnaRocks has decided to hang up her keyboard for a bit:

I’ve never been really comfortable with the persona that has grown out of how I blog. It’s my own fault, of course, this whole ‘UnaRocks’ thing. When I was talking to Lili about it last night, she understood, she said that she could see how people misread me and mistake the personality that emerges from this blog as my actual self. I’m not at ease with that, and I never have been. But then again, that’s my own fault, because I suppose that’s how I’ve put myself across.

Una’s blog is one I’ll miss. Before I blogged, even on incarnations that barely exist any more, I knew about UnaRocks and how it was always an indirect measure of the wellbeing of Dublin’s nouveau pulse. I hope that Una finds the relief in not blogging that she’s hoping for; as someone who’s never managed a conversationwith her but who’s nonetheless been on the receiving end of some wonderful, provocative and insightful advice from her, I know how people so obviously genuine can find it difficult to cut out a part of their lives that they don’t necessarily do for themselves.

Which leads me to the question really, why do we blog? Why do I blog? Well, the honest truth is that I’m not totally sure. I write because there’s an egotist in me that likes seeing my own words before me; I write because I harbour resentments at some things in the world that are simply wrong, I write because it’s made me some good friends, I write because… well, it’s really like Suzy said. I write because I am; because I think, I have thoughts, and like a pushy parent – and because I can – I push those thoughts out onto their own platform, making them dance and sing for the supposed delight of others, but really just for the vicarious life of the author.

So congrats to Suzy, good luck to Una, and fair play to the other winners at IBA09 and to Mulley and Rick for keeping the show on the road so brilliantly. For the rest of us mere mortals, the show doesn’t merely choose not to end, but just as our own being, snowballs softly onwards.

Written by Gav

February 23rd, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Blogging

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