Liveblogging FF

I have to ask this because I was showing some of my fellow bloggers at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis the figures. How many people were following the liveblogging exactly? It’s not an easy thing to measure, but some of the indications are pretty surprising.

I was taking photos with my iPhone and tweeting them, while tagging with the agreed #ffaf. The first picture I took, of Mark Coughlan in the media centre, has had over 1,000 views. Further photos I took while Lenihan et al were speaking live on television, received similar numbers. This one of Mary Coughlan got 888 views. This one of Lenihan got another 762 views. A picture of Suzy at her laptop got 633 views.

I am pretty amazed by those figures, I had no idea so many people were following the conversation.


Two milestones this week.

Firstly the blog I started in mid 2005, originally named Irish Corruption and later renamed Public Inquiry, is a finalist in the Best Political Blog category at the Irish Blog awards. I blogged on there consistently for the first year or so before handing the reins over to my uncle Anthony. He has over the past 2 years stepped up his blogging and deserves full credit for getting on the shortlist. To say I am immensely proud of him is an understatement. He certainly deserves credit for the work he puts in.

Secondly, my own blog passed the 1.5 million visitor mark yesterday, a significant milestone for any blog. I obviously thank all of my readers over the years, those who drifted in and indeed drifted out, and those who for some reason have kept coming back over the years. Understandably I did not make the short list for the blog awards, probably mainly due to my consistent lack of writing over the past year. The lazy way out is always to post photos and videos!

But here is to the next 1.5 million!

Update: A big thank you to Steve Clemons for the shout out. If you are not subscribing to his excellent blog already then head on over there. It is one of the best.

Apture for WordPress

I first started experimenting with Apture a few months back, and have since turned it off. While I loved it, it had a habit of chewing up memory on my server. To me it was a combination of ease-of-use, along with providing readers with quick links to rich content. Indeed, I would call it the most impressive plugin I have ever used in all the time I have blogged since 2002.

Rory O’Connor of HuffPo has gone a step further and called Apture Web 3.0. Says he:

Is Apture “a paradigm shift in publishing and online communication,” as Harris would have it? Decide for yourself – but there’s no doubt that it provides new tools to users that enhance their online experience, and allows bloggers such as yours truly to add true context to what I post. Sure, I could add the same content by copying and pasting code from, YouTube, but Apture makes it dead simple to add and share content on the Web. So what’s not to like?

If it wasn’t such a resource hog I would add it to all the blogs I host. As yet, I have not seen any other Irish bloggers try Apture, but I would encourage any bloggers out there to give it a go. Once you get the hang of inserting the extra content (wiki links, photos and videos), you will find yourself doing it to all of your posts.

Other plugins I have been playing with or plan to install are Open Calais by Thomson Reuters and Searchles.

Update: I’ve reactivated Apture for further testing. It is one of my favourite plugins, of all time. I must ask everyone if they like it too.

Munich wanderings

I never got round to posting some photos from my very brief visit to Munich during the Oktoberfest. I had better share some. Eamonn was a true gent and did me the courtesy of showing me around and buying me beer. How bad, as we say in Cork.

I do rather like this platz, Odeonsplatz, it has some historical significance.


It was from here that war was proclaimed in 1914, and a now infamous pictureexists of one Adolf Hitler lurking in the crowd just in front of the lion’s head to the right of my photo.


War, it was thought, would be over quite quickly. Hitler would later serve in the German army. The Feldherrenhalle is also where Hitler’s putsch ended in 1923. You can read a little history here.

This is the rather impressive St. Cajetan’s Church just beside. It was designed by Italian Agostino Baralli and was finished in 1768.


I did have a quick look around inside, but there was a Mass on so photos were awkward. On to the equally impressive new town hall (Neues Rathaus):



Reminded me a bit of the Houses of Parliament in London, with that whole Gothic revival thing going on. Very nice indeed.

And finally, another impressive Church, Frauenkirche, completed in 1488. Interestingly:

Much of the interior was destroyed during WWII, and even the restored parts look still plain by comparison. However, two of the attractions still can be found are the Gothic nave and the Teufelstritt, or Devil’s Footstep, at the entrance. This is a black mark resembling a footprint with a small hooked tail at the heel, which, according to legend, was where the devil stood when he curiously regarded and ridiculed the windowless church that Halsbach had built.



And it had some very interesting markings and gravestones on the side too.




I also liked this rather Disney looking building: