From Slack Spaces to Creative Cities

I found this Via John

From Slack Spaces to Creative Cities
Presented by The National Sculpture Factory for ArtTrail 09

St John’s College,
Sawmill Street,
Main Lecture Hall.
Friday 20th November
2:00p.m.- 4:00p.m.
Admission Free, no Booking required
http://www.stjohnscollege.ie/large_map.html

Artists and creative practitioners have a rich history of co-opting  ’slack spaces’, vacant, unused commercial units, to realise art projects, create ‘pop-up’ galleries and to establish studio spaces. Now City Councils, landlords, estate agents and universities are also embracing these opportunities in the post-Celtic Tiger recession era to develop new working strategies for the use, reuse and new use of these inner-city spaces.
National Sculpture Factory as part of Art Trail 09 will host a public debate on possible new strategies for the creative development of these empty commercial spaces, from existing working models like Creative Limerick, part of a Limerick City Council strategy, and those used by the Waterford City Council Arts Office among others.

It sounds like an interesting idea and there is a Public Forum afterwords. The use of unused commercial properties is becoming an issue in Cork and allowing artists to use them in the short-term could be a nice way to actually highlight their potential. I may go along to this!

More details on John’s blog

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Jan Moir

I wasn’t actually going to blog about that Jan Moir article in the UK Daily Mail (they had more sense not to publish in the Irish version) but a statement released by Jan Moir claims that we are all over reacting and there is a ‘heavily orchestrated internet campaign‘ against her. (Link via @Glinner)

It is amazing that someone with views like that are allowed print them. It is crazy and it is offensive.

To be honest, I wasn’t too much bothered by Stephen Gately’s death. Yes, I did think it was sad and a tragedy for the family, his partner and his friends, but it didn’t really effect me personnally. This on the other hand has incensed me.

She dosen’t think she has done anything wrong and there in lies the problem. How can you write something that flies in the face of the facts and invent a story around what happened and then wonder why people are angry and claim it is ‘orchestrated’ and ‘mischevious’? That is just absurd! It’s mind boggling!

Its not very often you see mass outrage among friends online. My friends on twitter and facebook have been giving out about her, both gay and straight. Its impossible that this is orchestrated!

I hope the Press Complaints Commission come down heavily on the Daily Mail (if they can).

Anton Vowl has a brilliant fisking of the article and Charlie Brooker has an excellent article in Comment is Free on it.

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More Tips for Bloggers

Models of Blogs: Blog as Participant in Conver...Image by robinhamman via FlickrMy post about blogging tips got a good bit of comments and feedback so I have decided to try and think of a few more. Bock gave a few in his response to the post, so may be borrowing a few of them!

1. Link within your own site.
If you have other related posts, list them at the bottom or put links to them inside the post. Stop thinking of your site as something sequential and start thinking of it as three-dimensional. You want to persuade readers to dig wider and deeper into the stuff you’ve written.

2. List sites you Like
Post an occasional list of links to sites you’ found and liked. This just shows your DO read other peoples blogs. Also shares the linklove

3. Get Stats!
Install something like Google Analytics or StatCounter. This allows you to see what is popular on your site and to see where people are coming from.

4. Post when you want!
As Bock says in his comment post “regularly” not frequently. In other words, do post when you feel like posting and don’t force it!

5. Get Listed on Technorati.
Technorati ranks blogs by authority so it is to see what is happening around your blog!

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Some tips for new bloggers

Lego Blogger PictureImage by minifig via FlickrSo I’ve been blogging now for over three years and have built up a bit of knowledge on whats makes a good blog. Of course, I don’t consider this blog any way excellent as there are loads out there which are better, but lately I have gotten the blogging bug again and I think its only right that I share some tips on how to increase page views and therefore visitors.

1. Get Listed
Get your blog listed on blog directories and blog aggregates. Just to show in last year I have gotten 1,092 hits from Irishblogs.ie. That is about one sixth of my total refereed page views in the last year. Corkblogs.com is also in the top ten but unfortunately you can’t add new blogs at the moment. There are lots of directories and aggregates out there so have a look around!

2. Feed you blog
By this I mean feed your blog into other websites. For example I have a twitter bot for this blog @stevemyopinion which allows people on twitter to see when you have posted something. Another idea is to feed your blog into facebook where it will appears as notes. This shows you friends who might not be aware that you have a blog the stuff you are writing about and it might get them onto your site to read more. Friendfeed is also handy for amalgamating all your feeds twitter, blogs etc into one handy place.

3. Say something controversial!
This is a tricky one, but it does work. If you say something controversial and it gets picked up it can take off. But be prepared to back up your statements. I noticed this through my support for McCain/Palin ticket and my opposition to Gay Marriage (though I’m Gay!). NOTE: only say something controversial if it is true!

4. Link!
Link, Link, Link. This is important. i notice a lot of visitors to my site are coming from back links either through their WP-admin page or through the link created on blogger. This sometimes leads to the other person linking you. If someone links you it is polite to link back, especially if you expect other to do the same!

5. Comment
This is something I am useless at, commenting on other blogs. Normally if I like a post I will “share it” on Google reader but if you have the time do this! It create rappor between you and the other blogger and therefore increases likelihood of them linking and each comment creates a link in its own right. Also remember to respond to comments on you posts!

6. Blog about what you want
Lots of people make the simple mistake of button-holing their blog to one specific subject. I did at the start at the start to an extent that I only blogged about news and politics, lately I have diversified and think it is better for me. Specialist blogs are great, if you have a lot to say on one subject stick to it, but if you can for only a short time allow some diversity!

7. Enter Competitions
Put yourself out there no matter how you feel about your own writing. When I was long listed for a blog award back in 2007, I was shocked. When I entered the EU Blogging competition I was not expecting to be picked. So put yourself out there!

8. Guestblog
If a major blog is giving an opportunity to Guest Blog forward take the chance! this worked for me when I emailed Gaypatriot.net earlier this year and they reproduced it! Again just take the chance and put your thinking cap on.

9. Go to tech events
When you have established a routine start going to tech meetups such as open coffee and bar camp and things like that. I was daunted the first time going to OpenCoffee Club as a blogger and not being in the tech industry but I was able to hold my own with my views on software and the like. These days most tech companies (well the ones that go to Cork OpenCoffee Club) nearly all have blogs so they appreciate the views of a blogger.

10. Mis-spell!
Strangely enough my bad spelling leads to lots of hits from Google from other people who can’t spell! This leads to me looking a Google analytics going that is spelt right following the link to find that I couldn’t spell in the first place. So if you make a mistake, don’t be in too much of a rush to change it!

Right that’s ten tips from me that hopefully someone will find useful! Feel free to add your own tips in the comments and I’ll add them to the main post!

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