Tag Archives: nuigalway

After the WebCamp workshop on social networks


A great day by my account at least (and by some others that I overheard!) was had at the WebCamp workshop on social networks held at DERI, NUI Galway yesterday.

Considering the short notice of just nine days, there was an impressive turnout of between 50 and 60 people, and as well as six talks in the morning we had some interesting “birds of a feather” discussion sessions in the afternoon.

All presentations from the day are available at SlideShare. We hope to publish some of the day’s videos to YouTube during the next week. Thanks to Conor and Uldis for their help with organising the event, and to Ina for recording the videos.

John Breslin – Introduction / overview

Conor Hayes – Topics, tags and trends in the blogosphere

Jill Freyne – Collecting community wisdom: integrating social search and social navigation

Andrew Page – The demand for search in a social network

Gabriela Avram – Where is the knowledge: reflections on social networking in corporate environments

Mark Tarbatt – Successful campaigns on the Bebo social network

Valdis Krebs – Social network analysis: 1987-2007

DM110 – Week 4 – Social Networks

DM110 Emerging Web Media is a module that I teach to the Masters in Digital Media course at the Huston Film School, National University of Ireland, Galway. Yesterday, I was talking about social network theory (in brief) and online social network services (SNS). You can view the slides below.

Edit: I’ve also uploaded the previous lectures as Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3

Blogging from the Drupal Ireland Meetup

We’re having some interesting talks at the first Drupal Ireland Meetup in DERI, NUI Galway today. Alan Burke has talked about the views module in Drupal, and Vincent Jordan is now talking about Drupal 5 multi-site installations (I also gave a SIOC module and taxonomies presentation earlier). Looking forward to the rest of the talks (aggregators by Aidan Finn, webforms and jQuery by Stéphane Corlosquet, and CCK by Alan Burke). Also in attendance are Haklae Kim, Sukhyung Hwang from DERI, and Gerry Shanahan from boards.ie.

Martin Sheen, NUI Galway (and Ireland's) most famous mature student

I’ve been seeing lots of Martin Sheen in the Irish media recently. For those of you who don’t know, the West Wing actor and movie star is currently finishing up his semester as a mature student at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he was studying English literature, philosophy and oceanography.

Martin Sheen is probably used to playing courageous characters on screen, but with all his accompanying fame I think that enrolling as an undergraduate student at NUI Galway must have taken more courage than you would expect from a typical Hollywood celebrity.

Also of note is his work for various charities while he has been in Galway. He need not have bothered, but he deserves our respect for doing so…

Here’s a funny quote from Martin Sheen in today’s Irish Independent:

Despite his instantly recognisable features, there were a few students who did not recognise the actor, but one of his favourite anecdotes concerns one who obviously did:

“Is it yourself?” the student inquired when he came across Sheen wandering around the campus, apparently lost.

“It is,” said Sheen.

“Where is your minder?” the young man demanded.

Sheen said he didn’t know what a “minder” was. “Your bodyguard,” came the reply. “I don’t have one,” said the actor.

“More power to you,” said the student and off he went.

Other articles about Martin Sheen at NUI Galway from The Guardian, The Irish Examiner, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Sunday Times.

Sunday Times: Colleges Put Stop to Bebo.com Craze

[Posting this from my Xbox.]

Mark Tighe wrote an article for today’s Sunday Times in Ireland (26th March 2006) about the Bebo.com craze and its banning in colleges around the country, including NUI Galway. I was interviewed for it on Thursday.

From timesonline.co.uk:

Colleges put stop to Bebo.com craze

Mark Tighe

RECRUITING 6,000 new Irish users a day, the latest internet craze to engulf Irish schools and campuses has become a victim of its own success. IT managers in colleges are blocking access to Bebo.com, the social networking website that claims more than 500,000 Irish users, because of the site’s unprecedented popularity.

NUI Galway, Carlow IT, Waterford IT, Dublin Business School and Queen’s University, Belfast, have all blocked access to the site after receiving complaints from students who were unable to access college computers for course-work due to hundreds of other students jamming PC suites to log on to their Bebo profiles.

“We had a significant number of students come in to our user support centre complaining that they couldn’t access a computer when they went into PC suites,” explained Kieran Loftus, director of computer services at NUI Galway.

“I’ve never seen anything that was as popular as this craze. And that’s what it is — a craze. It’s like Hula Hoops back ages ago, it’s a cultural phenomenon of our time. There were cases where 35 out of 40 students in a suite were logged into Bebo, which obviously is not defensible as an educational activity. We have to police the resources here and had to take action.”

Loftus said he recognised that Bebo was a popular site for students but blocking access was the only solution. “We aren’t China,” he said. “College is about being curious and we accept that. There are issues here but our job is to ensure facilities are available for educational purposes.”

Bebo is aimed at the “hard to reach” 13- to 24-year-old demographic beloved of advertisers. Its success — more than 22m users worldwide have signed up since it was founded in San Francisco last July — is due to the provision of free, fully customisable websites for users. Members can upload pictures and movie clips, draw pictures on friend’s pages (whiteboard) and create personal quizzes for their friends to take.

Bebo is one of a number of sites that aim to bring communities of like-minded individuals together and mirrors the success of MySpace, Friendster, Facebook and other virtual meeting places.

“All these social networks have this attractor of ‘how many friends do I have?’ ” said John Breslin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway. “When you go to these sites you see a little number beside someone’s picture that says they have 20 friends, (then) you want to have 20 friends as well. It’s almost like a viral thing.”

Continue reading Sunday Times: Colleges Put Stop to Bebo.com Craze

Bebo Blocked from NUI Galway Network

Schools and colleges online social networking site Bebo has been blocked from student use on the NUI Galway campus network. The virally addictive site, which has over 2,500 registered users in the NUI Galway group alone, was blocked due to overusage by students resulting in computers being unavailable for academic purposes.

Director of Computer Services at NUI Galway, Kieran Loftus, released this bulletin:

Access to Bebo.com
Tuesday, 14th of March, 2006

Bebo.com is a website which facilitates the exchange of personal information between teenagers and other young persons. Access to Bebo.com from University computers was restricted last Friday afternoon Friday March 10th 2006 in response to an substantial number of requests to Computer Services from students. Since we took this action we have received positive feedback on it from students.

The substance of these complaints was that students were becoming unable to access computers in the suites to do academic work because of widespread use of bebo.com, particularly its whiteboard drawing facility. The complaints extend to the use of the shared resources provided by the University’s network including its wireless network.

Continue reading Bebo Blocked from NUI Galway Network