Video Blogging Is In For 2009

I was wondering was 2009 going to be the year for video blogging in Ireland and if the month of January is anything to go by, I reckon I’m not far off.

For the past few months I’ve been happily sitting behind the camera (N95) showing off food (those brownies were delicious), the office, talking gigs, talking theatre and more through Qik. Pat Phelan, Bernie Goldbach, Joe Garde, John Keyes and more are at it.

But it’s when more and more people start getting in front of the camera that it becomes interesting. Ross has been showing people around the Mycrofilms offices, the “other” Ken in Kilkenny has recently started video blogging, Niall Harbison has been making great waves with daily video updates on the blog and now another Kilkenny man is at it as Keith Bohanna has started with some videos about the development of dbTwang, set to launch this spring with a closed beta.

Interesting that all the Kilkenny heads have ties to Young Irish Film Makers in some degree. Part of my blogging resolutions for 2009 (yes, I made those as well) includes getting back in front of the camera myself though it will be another month or two yet and relates more to KilkennyMusic.com and My Music (also set to launch in ’09). For now though, I’ll be happy qikking away.

Check Keith’s video here…

Keith’s reading habits of late correspond to my own – I’m seeking out and enjoying getting video content that I can watch or listen to while working or take something on the go with me. So I’m looking forward to the onslaught of videos to be pushed out by Irish bloggers in 2009 and I’ve a feeling we’ll see a dedicated video blogger category coming up at the 2010 Blog Awards if not sooner.

Blogging For Beginners Hits The Spot(light)

Last May I was asked to give a Blogging For Beginners course to a number of ArtLinks members, the primary focus being on blogging from an arts perspective.

While the meat of the day was in the actual talking and conversation part (as more often than not is the case), I had put some slides together as a handout for the eighteen or so who attended. Cathy Fitzgerald has been working away on getting the ArtLinks courses online over Christmas and the Blogging For Beginners presentation on Slideshare is currently the featured presentation in the careers section.

You can view / download the slides here.

Another one on ‘Getting Ahead In The Music Industry’, a talk myself and some of the KKM crew ran in Wicklow in November 2007 should be making its way online in the next few days.

Some of the presentation may indeed be dated at this stage but will get a revamp soon enough.

Blogs Banned In Dubai

Blog Banned In Dubai?

I thought this might happen…

I ran a search on Google earlier this morning for ‘blogging in Dubai’, to see what bloggers in this neck of the woods are up to. While some of them opened, others presented the above note…

Du is one of the country’s mobile operators and I’m guessing one of their internet providers as well. Browsing in general in the country goes through a national proxy in order to filter out inappropriate content but everything else I’ve been doing so far – my own blog, KilkennyMusic.com, flickr, twitter, the Irish Times, and a lot of my regular web haunts don’t flag anything… yet.

Note: managed to get a few more pics up on Flickr from the N95.

Upgrading To WordPress 2.5

I’ll be upgrading kenmc.com to WordPress 2.5 starting within the next half hour or so. If you’re visiting the site between 1:30pm and 2:30pm and spot any abnormalities then I’ll apologise in advance and ensure you that normal service will resume shortly.

After spending a lot of time last night testing out a local install with some of my preferred plugins, I’m not expecting any real damage to occur and foresee a relatively smooth transition.

Of course, stranger things have happened….

If you’re updating to WordPress 2.5, don’t forget to disable any and all plugins before you begin uploading and activiting. Once you’ve completed the necessary upgrade steps (normally be executing yourdomain.com/wp-admin/upgrade.php), switch them back on one at a time and see if you spy any difficulties. Hopefully I won’t see anything too radical.

WordPress 2.5 Is Live And Wild (Plus Popularity Contest Notes)

Update April 5th: Download patched version of plugin here.. Note you’ll still need to make the database changes if you don’t have the tables already in place.

The long awaited WordPress 2.5 has been released. In fairness, some of the advances in WP2.5 are as great that it could well have been labelled WordPress 3.0 but who’s to argue with version numbers.

Before rolling out upgrades across a number of my own blogs and blogs I manage for others, I’ve been doing the precautionary thing of testing WP2.5 locally with a variety of homemade themes and some of my regular plugins.

Plugin Issues

So far I’ve only found an issue with with Alex King‘s Popularity Contest plugin – if you try to activate the plugin under WP2.5, for the moment, you’ll see it triggers a fatal error. This can be fixed as outlined here

Open popularity-contest.php and scroll down to line 59. Replace require(’../../wp-blog-header.php’); with require(’../wp-blog-header.php’);

However, in running the plugin locally I found that after making the changes in order to get the plugin to activate, it wouldn’t create the two tables needed in order to run, so these had to be entered manually (via phpMyAdmin). To create the tables, you’ll need to run the following SQL queries.

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `PREFIX_ak_popularity` (
`post_id` int(11) NOT NULL,
`total` int(11) NOT NULL,
`feed_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`home_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`archive_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`category_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`single_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`comments` int(11) NOT NULL,
`pingbacks` int(11) NOT NULL,
`trackbacks` int(11) NOT NULL,
`last_modified` datetime,
KEY `post_id` (`post_id`)
) ENGINE=MyISAM;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `PREFIX_ak_popularity_options` (
`option_name` varchar(50) NOT NULL,
`option_value` varchar(50) NOT NULL
) ENGINE=MyISAM;

Note that PREFIX refers to your WordPress table prefix, in most common cases it is simply wp_ unless you’ve got multiple copies of WordPress running in the same database.

Initial Impression

Love it. I downloaded the latest SVN version only yesterday in the office though never got around to playing with it (of course not knowing the full release would hit today). The admin interface is much smoother, I’m liking the customisable dashboard (I used to edit the admin index and strip out everything bar the ‘write a post’ link and stats) and the overall colour scheme is much more appealing. I was never a visual editor user before (and won’t change in a hurry), but I do like the changes they’ve made, including the full screen option for those intensive blogging moments.

I’ll have a full play around with the gallery / media functions yet as well as making sure my other preferred plugins (sitemaps, podpress etc.) are all up to working order before doing a widescale upgrade.

You can download the latest version of WordPress 2.5 right here. You can also see a full list of new features right here.

Blogging For (Creative) Beginners

I’ll be giving a half day beginner blogging course in Kilkenny in May under the ArtLinks banner. With details being finalised just before the weekend and rolling out with the new ArtLinks business courses being promoted for the summer, I’ll have to say I’m looking forward to giving the course and working with more creative types in Kilkenny.

That said, the course will be promoted to creative practitioners working within Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow and should attract a good blend of visual artists, musicians, writers and the likes. This will be the second course I’ve been involved in putting together for ArtLinks, having facilitated a “Getting Ahead In The Music Industry” day (my 90 minute talk focusing on effective use of the web for musicians) in Wicklow last November.

For musicians who are new to blogging and don’t want to wait until May for a chat, have a gander of Kyra Reed’s recent blog post for TuneCore on Why Every Artist Needs A Blog.

It is also nice to see that the Kilkenny Arts Office have also started the ball blogging about their Artist In Residence programme at the gallery at 72 John Street.