Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Bye!

No do not fear, I am not stopping blogging, I am simple moving the blog. Blogger has been very good to me for the last number of years, but it is time I moved on from this little blog of mine and it is moving on bigger and better things (hopefully).

So where can you find me?

Its easy! At!

My new RSS Feed is here.

Blogroll and few other things still need to be added, but we will get there!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

7th Think Post: Finding Your Candidates Online

Below is my 7th post. I have posted it in full so dont forget to rate it on the competition website!

A problem for me during the last European Elections in 2004 was finding out about candidates running for  election. Although I couldn't vote and was sitting my Leaving Certificate I was interested in who was running and finding out more about the candidates in my constituency. In my constituency, Ireland South, there were ten candidates running for three seats. Of the ten, four were independents and not all of them campaigned in Cork so it was hard to find out much about them.

This year elections will be different thanks to two websites based and set up in Ireland. The first is Eurvote, which is just aimed at Irish voters. Eurvote have pages on all the candidates in the Irish Constituencies. Of course they are a bit behind as they already are missing Sean Kelly from the list for Ireland South, but they do have Declan Ganley on the list for Ireland North-West. Eurvote has a page on each candidate (here's Marian Harkin's (Ireland North-West) page as an example) with a link to their website which is handy. They also plan on doing events and are looking for constituents to write analysis in each constituency. Unfortunately I don't know who runs, as their about page is blank!

The second website is, which hasn't launched yet, but will in the next month. This is based on the website which ran during the 2007 General Election here in Ireland, that website now redirects to miCandidate. was described as "an exciting and crucial addition to democracy by putting useful information at the fingertips of citizens young and old." by Joe Zefran a News Editor with (received via email), so they are hoping that their European venture will have a big impact. are currently putting together their database on candidates in all 27 member states, but not all seams to be right with them. According to Suzy of Mamanpoulet are putting pressure on candidates to sign up and pay up to have their information on this website. This is an example of an email sent to candidates.
We are very concerned that you are one of only a few remaining candidates who has not completed the information form that we sent you. Your profile will appear across dozens of Ireland’s busiest websites from RTE to the Irish Times. Failing to return this form to us in the next 48 hours may result in your profile being entirely empty. Given that candidates profiles were viewed nearly 4 million times in 2007 on RTE and the Irish Times you are giving your competitors in your constituency a huge advantage over you.

This is a free service, but we cannot stress the urgency that we need you to fill out your details. Seats are won and lost by a handful of votes, your competitors profiles will be viewed tens of thousands of times. Your profile will be empty.

Will the web have this type of impact on the European Elections? I don't think so. So should miCandidate be the top of your priority, probably not. Of course there is a paid version, which the Irish Green Party have signed up to for their candidates. Will it be worth the mone only time will tell and I hope that Fine Gael candidates wont spend money which could be spent on leaflets, which as Suzy points out can have the url to your blog/twitter/whatever and get people that can actually vote for you to engage with you. miCandidate are hyping up the net a bit too much in my opinion.

So there you have two websites one free and one free for us the voter, but possible not for the candidate, trying to inform us about the elections. Will they succeed? Will they actually inform people and get them to vote in the European Elections? Will they have an big impact or will they just be link farms to candidates websites, blogs, facebook/bebo pages and twitter accounts? Only time will tell.

Dont forget to rate it!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yea, another think post

European People's Party–European DemocratsImage via Wikipedia

Yup, I've gone on posted my 6th post over on This one is about the EPP-ED and their new tag-line..

I got a press release today from the EPP-ED Group of the European Parliament. In it they inform me of an event to launch their new tag-line. The tag-line is “Europe’s Driving Force” (now you see why the UK Conservatives left them).

Read Full Post, dont forget to rate it! Thanks! :)

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2009 European Young Journalist Award

The European Commission's DG Enlarement is running the 2009 European Young Journalist Award.

From 2 February 2009 – 31 May 2009 young journalists aged 17 - 35, citizens or residents of the 27 member states of the EU or the candidate and potential candidate countries, are invited to participate in the 2009 European Young Journalist Award

So what do you have to do?

The 2009 European Young Journalist Award invites print, online and radio journalists from the 27 EU member states, the candidate and potential candidate countries to participate and share their vision of the European Union’s enlargement

The rules?

Entries should be or should have been published or aired between 2007 and 2009. The main editorial office of the media in which the entry was published must be based in one of the above mentioned countries. All entries should be written in the author’s native language as long as it is an official EU language or language from the candidate countries and potential candidate countries. The article can be a maximum of 2.000 words. An abstract of 200 words needs to be provided in English.

The article must be written in a journalistic style and represent the personal perspective of the writer in the context of his or her country.

The Prize?

All national winners of the 2009 European Young Journalist Award will be invited to an all paid for cultural and historical trip to the capital of Germany, Berlin, at the end of August / beginning of September 2009.

You can submit your entry here! Good Luck if you enter!

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5th Think Post - "What Women Want"

EU Flag + Gay UKImage by stephen.spillane via Flickr

Well I seam to be getting used to blogging over on the blog becuase I just published my 5th post on it! Its on women and European politics.

Eurobarometer recently did a Flash survey on Women and Politics in the EU. It found that 79% of Irish Women and 78% of women in the United Kingdom think that politics is male dominated.

Read Full Post, dont forget to rate it!

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Lá Fheile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

I hope you are all enjoying your St. Patricks Day. I for one have spent most of the actual day in bed. I had to get up early this morning and bring the Macoaimh (Cub Scouts) to mass. So I went back to bed afterwards.

So whats the point of this post? I was going to do a post like this but then decided, why should I be posting about that on what is our National Day as well as being Lá na Gaeilge?

We Irish have a stereotype, of being drunk on St. Patricks Day, but something the priest said at mass today had me thinking. Today is day we celebrate the acheivments of forefathers, the acheivments of the Irish Nation, which we we can be proud of. Ireland can stand tall has a modern, diverse country. It is progressive and (slowly but surely) moving forward. While he went on a bit about religion and faith (I zoned out, the boys must thing Im an awful heathen but Im not bothered) I couldnt get those points out of my head. Why are we as a nation going out and getting drunk on a Tuesday? We have work tomorrow people! Let us instead look at teh acheivements of our ancestors and think, right if thay can do that, we can do more!

Cheannaigh mé Buntás Cainte Cuid a hAon agus Cuid a Dó sna Eason de hAoine seo caite agus tá sé ar fheabhas! Foghlaim a lán rud a fágach mé i na bliana seo caite. I do recommend it for people who want to learn a smattering of words that can be used everyday day! It does need updating though as it goes on about Pounds, Shillings and Pence!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Running Order

The modern logo was introduced for the 2004 Co...Image via Wikipedia

The Draw for the running order for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest took place today in Moscow and the results are as follows.

The first Semi-Final (May 12th)

1. Montenegro
2. Czech Republic
3. Belgium
4. Belarus
5. Sweden
6. Armenia
7. Andorra
8. Switzerland
9. Turkey
10. Israel
11. Bulgaria (chosen with a wildcard)
12. Iceland
13. FYR Macedonia
14. Romania
15. Finland
16. Portugal (chosen with a wildcard)
17. Malta (chosen with a wildcard)
18. Bosnia & Herzegovina

The second Semi-Final (May 14th)

1. Croatia
2. Ireland
3. Latvia
4. Serbia
5. Poland
6. Norway
7. Cyprus
8. Slovakia
9. Denmark
10. Slovenia
11. Hungary
12. Azerbaijan
13. Greece
14. Lithuania
15. Moldova
16. Albania
17. Ukraine (chosen with a wilcard)
18. Estonia (chosen with a wildcard)
19. The Netherlands (chosen with a wildcard)

The Final (May 16th)

1. Semi-Final qualifier
2. Semi-Final qualifier
3. France
4. Semi-Final qualifier
5. Semi-Final qualifier
6. Semi-Final qualifier
7. Semi-Final qualifier
8. Semi-Final qualifier
9. Semi-Final qualifier
10. Russia
11. Semi-Final qualifier
12. Semi-Final qualifier
13. Semi-Final qualifier
14. Semi-Final qualifier
15. Semi-Final qualifier
16. Semi-Final qualifier
17. Germany
18. Semi-Final qualifier
19. Semi-Final qualifier
20. Semi-Final qualifier
21. Semi-Final qualifier
22. Semi-Final qualifier
23. United Kingdom
24. Semi-Final qualifier
25. Spain (chosen with a wildcard)

The draw for the running order of the voting in the final also took place. Spain, Belgium, Belarus, Malta, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Iceland, France, Israel, Russia, Latvia, Montenegro, Andorra, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Bulgaria, Lithuania, United Kingdom, FYR Macedonia, Slovakia, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine, Turkey, Albania,Serbia, Cyprus, Poland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Portugal, Romania, Ireland, Denmark, Moldova, Slovenia, Armenia, Hungary and finally Azerbaijan.

Ireland has been drawn in the "unlucky" number 2 slot in the second semi. The last time we started at that position was in 1995 with Eddie Friel and we ended up 14th. Though both countries in the number 2 slot qualified from last year, one was from televoting alone (Israel) and the other was by Jury (Sweden). I wonder will it be unlucky for us.

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