Category Archives: Education

CELT talk / WWW@15 on Morning Ireland / Ulrich Schnauss

A mixed-up blog post, but I haven’t the energy to write three separate posts, so here’s a three-in-one:

  • On Wednesday, I gave a talk at CELT, NUI Galway about “Learning via the Social Web”, which was a slightly-revised version of the one I gave in February. Again, there was an amazing turnout, and there will be a webcast made available via the CELT website at a later date. For now, you can access the PowerPoint slides here.
  • Yesterday, Damien Mulley and I were interviewed by Richard Downes on RTÉ R1 Morning Ireland about the 15th anniversary of CERN releasing the World Wide Web code for free (podcast available here; alternatively there’s an extracted clip here). I talked a little bit about the WWW versus UMn’s Gopher, and how the Web has expanded beyond the initial target audience of academics and researchers. I gave a slightly-tangential answer to a question I was asked about the importance of the Web to Ireland’s future and economy (FYI: CSO 2007 ICT stats), saying how dependent we are on the Web to do many tasks today, and describing how our work at DERI in NUI Galway will help us to deal with the current over-abundance of websites, by adding more structure to web pages so that computers can help us in finding the right information. “Are you telling me that the future of the Web […] is being designed in Galway?”, Richard asked at one point. Yes!!! Finally, I mentioned how the problems with online video gridlock may have larger consequences as the Web is increasingly moving from the desktop to mobile devices where bandwidth is even more important, so smarter ways are needed to reduce exactly what will be sent to your phone (FYI: Opera Mini is a nice example, a tiny Java browser that works on most phones where the content is pre-filtered server-side before it gets to you).
  • Last night, I went along with friend Conrad to see Ulrich Schnauss at Stress in DeBurgo’s here in Galway. Although I missed the encore (it had been a long day, with a nine-hour session at work), I really enjoyed the night and the support acts: Beatpoet was great playing on his mono-something device, and Airiel were pretty good too 🙂

Been a busy B…

…for the past few months, hence the lack of regular blog entries. Most of my summer has been taken up with proposal writing for research funding here at DERI, the first of which finished up around the end of the June and the second ran from then until the end of August, so unfortunately I haven’t had time for much else…

Anyway, here are some updates about future social media / social software activities I’m involved in:

ShareIT training day in UCC

Damien tells us about a training day he is organising in UCC this Saturday (March 24th):

The training will cover the basics for an IT company or IT person that’s just setting out in business. […] If you are interested in coming along, please do come along or if you think someone you know in the Cork/Munster area would benefit from the training, send the details on to them. All training is provided free. After Cork it is hoped there’ll be on[e] in Dublin around April 28th.

More details are available from

More about the Social Networks WebCamp this Wednesday

30 people have signed up for the forthcoming WebCamp “Social Networks” day of talks and discussions on Wednesday, 7th March. Again, this was organised on very short notice (just announced last Monday) but the response has been amazing, in part due to the high quality of speakers we will have and also because of the topic relevance and scope. Oh, and it’s free!

So, here is a bit about each of our speakers. If anyone has any ideas of what they’d like to discuss in the afternoon, please post them here.

20070303c.jpgValdis Krebs is a management consultant, researcher, trainer, author, and the developer of InFlow software for social and organisational network analysis (SNA/ONA). InFlow maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and other connections within and between organisations and communities. Since 1988, Valdis has participated in almost 500 SNA/ONA projects. His clients have ranged from IBM to Shell, and his work has been covered in major media from Business Week to the New York Times.

20070303d.jpgJill Freyne is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Computer Science in University College Dublin. She received her PhD and BSc degrees from UCD, and worked as part of the I-SPY research project which was funded by Enterprise Ireland. Dr. Freyne specialises in the area of social search, and also has research interests in personalisation, social networks, web search and folksonomies.

20070303e.jpgConor Hayes is a senior researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway. He previously worked at the Centre for Scientific and Technological Research (ITC-IRST) in Italy. Dr. Hayes’ interests include online recommender and advisory systems, case-based reasoning, collaborative filtering, user profiling, knowledge discovery in databases, information retrieval and machine learning systems, and trend discovery in online communities (such as the online music or blog domains).

20070303f.jpgDes Traynor is co-creator of Bigulo, an enhanced search and rating system for users of social networking services (such as Bebo). He works as a lecturer and PhD scholar in the Department of Computer Science, NUI Maynooth and is an expert on computer science education and social networks. Please note that Des may be replaced on the day by Bigulo colleague Andrew Page.

20070303g.jpgGabriela Avram is a blogger, researcher, and educator, currently working at the Interaction Design Center in the University of Limerick. She is involved in a major project at UL on globally-distributed software development. Dr. Avram’s research interests include social software, online communities, blogging in corporate environments, knowledge-based systems, learning elements in education, and open source communities.