Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fiscal Treaty Referendum - "Yes", but...

I voted "Yes" in today's fiscal treaty referendum. I always vote "yes" for European stuff. If there was a referendum tomorrow on creating a federal Europe, I would vote "Yes", and take control from the fools who are running the country right now. We need the EU more than it needs us, money talks, we need stability, the markets will not like a "No", - all the usual clichés are trotted out to get us to vote "Yes", and unfortunately they are usually right.

Image link to Michael McCarthy TD website.
When big wigs in Europe get together and come up with a Treaty, when a huge majority of our own Dáil support this treaty, when sensible commentators say "Yes" is best - I generally go along with their opinion. While I am very pro-European (see above), I have a very simple method for deciding how I should vote. Whatever Sinn Féin, Joe Higgins, Éirígí, Libertas, United Left Alliance, and Richard Boyd-Barrett are against - I am for.

This time however - I had a little doubt. When a sensible person like Shane Ross says he is voting "No" - it's time to pay attention. He wanted the referendum postponed - the ballot paper today was not about this. Ross is someone who should be listened to, and I must confess that he almost persuaded me this time. I pay attention when he talks, though do not always agree.

What I would really like is a referendum to let the Dáil decide on all things European from now on without the need for any more referendums on the EU - after all we pay them to make decisions like this. I am fed up with the divisive shite that fills the airwaves every time there is a referendum.

Comments are disabled for this post to keep the "No" shite off this page.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Official YouTube Blog

Earlier this month, YouTube celebrated its 7th Birthday - belated "Happy Birthday"! The occasion was marked by a post on the Official YouTube Blog - It's YouTube's 7th birthday... and you’ve outdone yourselves, again. In the post, YouTube writes that it is "so honored that you’ve used YouTube to share how-to tips, political moments, home videos, comedy, music, and so much more" - nice to see "How To" in there!

Also interestingly, the Blog notes that "72 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute" - apparently this is the equivalent of "61 Royal Wedding Ceremonies"! Being YouTube, naturally they put together a great video (I wish I could do this) to mark their 7th birthday "with some of the crazy statistics and incredible things" that we all have been part of on the YouTube journey. Watch and enjoy!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The 1932 Eucharistic Congress, and a little bit of family history

While at home in Ballingate yesterday, I told my Mum and Dad that I would be participating in the Statio Orbis mass as part of the Pilgrim Choir in Croke Park for the 50th Eucharistic Congress. Neither of course have any memory of the last time the Congress was held in Ireland 80 years ago in 1932 (Dad was 1, Mum was not yet born).

Th 1932 Congress was a huge event in Ireland - it was one of the first opportunities after Independence for the fledgling State to take its place among the nations of the world. Yesterday my Mum gave me a flag which originated in 1932 - the provenance is that she got it from my Dad's Mum Kathleen O'Loughlin (née Hurley) when she moved from Kimmage to Kilcoole - a sort of "Who wants this?" moment. Mum recalls that Kathleen (called "Katty" in her youth) said that it belonged to her sister Eileen Dwyer - affectionately known as "Mrs D" to us all. It may have been hung from a window outside her house in 1932. I was fascinated by the provenance, and also the superb condition in which this flag still is. The flag has a simple design - a Celtic cross with the chalice and the Eucharist in the centre. I think I'll bring it to Croke Park for the Statio Orbis mass on June 17th.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In the Ballingate Jungle

A scorching hot (25C) day, a forest, chopping my way through undergrowth, sweat pouring out of me - I must have been in the jungle? No - I was in Ballingate "sawing sticks" in a bog! 15 years ago my Dad planted trees in what we used to call the "bog" - it was time to cut down some of the trees to make passages and to thin out the heavy growth, this is an essential part of managing a forest. So I went down to Ballingate to help my Dad Joe, and my brother Joe cut down some trees. 

As the trees are about 15 years old there were not too many large ones to cut down - but it was hot work. My Mum and Dad have a solid fuel cooker, so most of today's harvest will find its way into the cooker next winter. I also took some home for my own fire. As long as I can remember - "sawing sticks" has been a major activity on our family farm. The sound of the chainsaw, the smell of petrol and oil, the sawdust, nettles, logs - all bring back a lot of memories of my youth in Ballingate. Later we adjourned to Conway's Bar in Kildavin  for a thirst quenching glass of cider.

In 1978 Dad bought a new Zetor tractor - at that time the family farm was very busy and it was one of three tractors in operation. During harvest time my job was to bale straw with this tractor. One day, in Bob Murphy's field, I managed to crash this tractor into the back of a combine harvester driven by my brother Joe - we were both doing about 0.5 mph! The tractor suffered extensive damage, I was in the bad books, and I can remember my Dad marching up the field to the crash scene muttering "My new tractor". To date this is my most serious traffic accident! 34 years later I was in the same tractor again today - it is still working despite my best efforts to destroy it. To the right is a photo of my Dad driving same tractor coming out of the bog onto the Carnew-Bunclody road. Note the brand new tyres on the front! There's another 34 years in this tractor I feel!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

8 Things Your Students Are Afraid to Tell You

The I Love EDTECH blog lists 8 Things Your Students Are Afraid to Tell You which makes for interesting reading - the article is written for a K12 audience, but I believe that lessons could be learned for third level in the same way. The 8 "things" are:

  1. I do care about my grades
  2. I want a choice in my education
  3. I could teach you a thing or two if you'd just listen
  4. Respect is a two way street
  5. What you say is just as important as how you say it
  6. I want to learn
  7. Take home test = Google it
  8. You impact my life more than you know

Image link to SimpleK12.
Go to the web link above to read the whole article - I'll not reproduce it here. But take the first thing "I do care about my grades" - many students openly convey to me that all they care about is hitting that magical 40% pass mark. This can be true for 1st and 2nd year students. Award year students are naturally more focussed on getting better grades. Even though it may look/feel cool to not care - I believe that many students do actually like to see higher grades in their results.

"Thing" number 6 is "I want to learn". It's hard to accept that this is true when some students skip classes/tutorials, hand in assignments late, and generally disengage. But as the article states the "hard part is figuring out how to teach the material in a way that will keep them wanting more" - this is a challenge for us all. Let's hope we are up to it, because if we really believe the "8 Things Your Students Are Afraid to Tell You" - students will respond if we are aware of this too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poorly trained graduates are 'unemployable' - teach them PowerPoint says Digital Marketing Institute

The Irish Independent today reports that the Digital Marketing Institute is not happy with the quality of graduates coming out of Irish Colleges. Ian Dodson of the Institute thunders "The industry and the students are being done a major disservice by being taught by people who have never worked in the digital industry. When they emerge after four years in college, companies in our industry have to send them off on courses on how to use basics like Microsoft Power Point and Office -- before they even approach becoming employable. We are being sent babies who need to be taught how to walk".

Image link to Oz2 Blog.
Strong words indeed! So it's our job to teach students PowerPoint? NCI has recently launched a new Certificate in Digital Marketing. I must check to see if PowerPoint is on the syllabus!

Dodson does have something sensible to say when he states "We need people who know about analytics, LinkedIn, Facebook". This is true, and I'm glad to say that NCI's new Certificate covers social networking and marketing in some detail. We are also developing new programmes in Business Analytics. Dodson again moans that "Colleges are doing their graduates and the industry a major disservice" by not teaching the right things. He also doesn't know much about the effort that Colleges put into developing new courses and programmes when he states "We are being fed this rubbish that it takes years to change a college course curriculum. No it doesn't. Just add relevant modules and we will have graduates ready to take up jobs when they leave college". 

Yeah - just slap a few topics together there lads and Bob's your uncle. No need for the quality assurance rubbish that we all have to adhere to. While your at it, cook us up a few MBAs as well - we need two for next week!

Though NCI's course is new - I do wish people like Dodson would check their facts before publishing such rubbish.

Published with Blogger+ for iPad.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garda Vetting for Choir

Today at choir I got a letter from the Parish Child Safeguarding Committee requesting that I fill out a Garda Vetting form. The letter opens with "The Archdiocese of Dublin requires all who are employed or who engage in volunteer ministry or work of service for the Christian community to undergo Garda Vetting". I have already been vetted by the Gardaí for my work at the College as there is a possibility that some of my first-year students may be under the age of 18. However, this does not count as Gardaí must vet you all over again when a new request is sent to them. Despite the fact that there are no children in the choir, everybody in the choir got one of these letters today, and I'm sure that there are may others on various Parish committees who got one too. If this is replicated in every Parish on Dublin, I'm certain that the Garda Vetting Unit down in Thurles is going to be very busy!

Image link to
The form requires you to list every address from birth that you lived at - I felt a bit silly listing "Tomacork House, Tomacork, Carnew, Co Wicklow" from 1959-1960 where I lived for the first year of my life. But better be safe than sorry - I could have been a nappy-wearing pram-driving pervert preying on other children. I don't mean to make fun of vetting as it is a serious procedure, but this is a bit ridiculous?

So - have I anything in my past that could be shown up in this vetting procedure? I have never been arrested, charged, or prosecuted for any crime. I was summonsed once while I was a student for not having lights on my bicycle, but as I was not home at the time the Garda who was serving it tore it up on the spot. So I have never been in court. I do have two penalty points for speeding - that has my only brush with the law.

For further information on Garda Vetting, there is a very good FAQ section on the Garda website

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teachers are Heroes

Sarah Fudin, writing in the University of Southern Californa (USC) Rossier blog, shows a great infographic in her post TEACHERS ARE HEROES [INFOGRAPHIC] - this was part of a Teacher Appreciation Week in the USA. She writes that USC Rossier have launched "an infographic to support teachers around the world for everything they do each and every day, but especially to honor them" during the Teacher Appreciation Week. The Infographic "shares information and statistics about who teachers are, what they do and how they inspire".

Fudin encourages readers to share the infographic with "teachers you know who have made a difference and touched the lives of their students" - this is what I am doing here. The infographic is based on the United States, but I'm sure that we could extrapolate similar figures for Ireland (the US has 70 times the population of Ireland). The figures below make for great reading - enjoy (and share)!

Image link to USC Rossier.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Top 10 Most Read Books in the World - How many have you read?

Having read and reviewed a few books lately I was interested to see which, if any, of the top 10 most read books of the last 50 years I had read myself. Jared Fanning has produced an infographic "based on number of books printed and sold over the last 50 years".

Top 10 Most Read Books in the World #infographic

Of these top 10, I have read just two - The Da Vinci Code and Gone with the Wind. I have seen one Harry Potter movie, the LOTR series, and the Diary of Anne Frank movie, but not read the books. I have read small pieces of the bible. Of the top 10, I had never heard of The Alchemist or Think and Grow Rich before. 

So - 2 out of 10 is my figure, what's yours?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: "Thomas Jefferson" by R.B. Bernstein

This book (Kindle edition) about the third President of the United States, and author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 is an excellent and enjoyable read about one of America's favourite icons - Thomas Jefferson. R.B. Bernstein has written a short (214 pages) account of Jefferson's long life that is an enjoyable read, though it does leave you wanting more.

Image link to Wikipedia.
Thomas Jefferson was many things - a patriot, planter, politician, ambassador, President, and slave owner. But he was also an interesting character who was a brilliant writer - not of books, but legislation and letters. He famously wrote in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This from a guy who owned over 200 slaves!

Nevertheless, he was a man of his time - a Southerner who struggled with the slavery issue (he believed that it should be abolished and that free slaves should be deported). This bordered on hypocrisy, especially since there is compelling evidence (supported by Bernstein) that he fathered several children with his slave Sally Hemmings.

The book is short on detail - I'm sure that other books will have dissected his live in far more detail. But it is an excellent read that does not tax the mind too much (great for me). It is written in a popular history style and is just perfect for anyone wanting to read about Jefferson and get the key details of his life.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Paris Day 4

Last day in Paris before heading home. Our flight was at 15.40 - plenty of time to see some sights? We decided to splash out and have breakfast on top of the Montparnasse Tour - the tallest building in Paris. But the café was closed for refurbishment. While the view from the top is brilliant, we felt that we had seen pretty much the same thing from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We also felt a bit cheated as we had understood that our Paris Pass would cover the cost of the tickets - we had to shell out €11 for two tickets. The tower is worth visiting, but it is not like the Acropolis in Athens.

On top of the Montparnasse Tower
By 11.00 we were ready for breakfast and stopped in the nearby Café Montparnasse. We had a great table at the front of the café and after a bit of a delay and some translation problems we finally order Petit Dejeuner from the menu. A word of warning - service is terrible in this café. A couple at the table beside us waited nearly 20 mins before finally giving up and leaving, they were replaced by another couple who waited a long time before being served. The whole front of the restaurant was served by one waiter. Incredibly, there were four other waiters serving only a few tables inside. Demarcation lines at their worst. We waited a long time for food to arrive - which some of it did in parts. After an hour I complained and decided to leave, not waiting any longer for the rest of breakfast to arrive. I was prepared myself for an argument over the bill, however, we were just charged for one breakfast. I won't say that waiters don't work as hard when service is included in the bill, but the thought crossed my mind. Our waiter clearly assumed that we would tolerate crap service and that we had all day to do it.

We had intended to go to the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg, but it was now after 12.00 and we had to return to the hotel and make our way to the airport. We used the Roissy Bus from Opera to CDG which is an excellent service.

Paris is a great city - full of attractions and activities, wonderful sights and fantastic restaurants (apart from one). I love it - I was first there in 1975 on a student exchange and want to keep going back. I do wish my French was better - despite my best efforts, most French people I tried to talk to responded to my dreadful French in English. Note to self - take some lessons before going back. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Paris Day 3

Saturday in Paris - we decided to do a mix of tourist and non-tourist activities, and some shopping. In the morning we had breakfast (coffee and crusty bread) in the Paris Madeira Brasserie, which was just down the street from our hotel. After this we did some shopping - Roma went off and bought some clothes, while I browsed around a few shops. I even bought a  scarf in Galeries Lafayette, though was more interested in the fnac electronics shop.

Then we set off for the Notre Dame Cathedral. I have often thought that people who would have seen this building hundreds of years ago would have been in no doubt as to the existence of God - it is magnificent. Even though it was still early, we had to queue to get inside - you don't see queues at churches much any more. Despite the presence of hundreds of tourists inside, there was a calm reverence. We looked around (I even said a few prayers to myself), and enjoyed the photographic display about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Whatever one's thoughts about religion (and the Catholic version of it) - the Notre Dame is still inspiring.

Later we went to the Butte aux Calles area where we had heard about interesting off-tourist attractions like narrow streets and interesting shops. Not many interesting shops, but we did have a nice lunch at Les Calloux Italian restaurant - the photo to the left shows me holding a €15 bottle of beer. We just had one between us! The food was delicious here - we both had pasta dishes. A much quieter and calmer location than in the hectic central tourist attractions. We browsed through a very long street market of junk antiques.

In the evening we looked around the area local to our hotel - the Opera location is great for a variety of restaurants and we dined later in a Japanese restaurant. Ordinary Sushi served at breakneck speed - we were in and out in an hour. We were again exhausted at the end of the day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Paris Day 2

Breakfast facing the famous Opéra under a canopy in the pouring rain - coffee and croissant. Delicious. We both had decided that we wanted to go to the Musée d'Orsay to see the Impressionist paintings. This is a super museum and well worth a visit when in Paris - some of the worlds most famous paintings from van Gogh, Monet, Manet, and Degas are there for all to see. The place was thronged at 11.00 in the morning. We when to see a special exhibition on Degas and his nudes - the guy like to paint people in the Hey Jude a lot!

On top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Eating and drinking near any tourist attraction in Paris seems to cost a lot. Since I fancied a beer with lunch, I baulked at the €16 per litre price - we walked a good bit away from the museum and settled on Le Drop Café where the beer was half the price (naturally I had two!). Delicious burger and fries - recommended.

Later we jumped on board a Hop-on Hop-off Red Bus tour and made our way back to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed the 284 steps to the top (the lift was out of order). This is a fantastic view from the top of all around Paris. We had good fun picking out the sites. We continued our Red Bus journey until the Eiffel Tour where we stopped off to take part in a boat trip on the Seine. We had thought about pre-booking a meal on one of these boats, but settled for an open top tour. It was quite cold and later we had to get inside under shelter. The boat trip is good fun, but you see very little of the main sights because you are looking up from a low vantage point all the time. The highlight was the Notre Dame cathedral - magnificent.

Later we set off for Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur to sample the night life. We had dinner in the centre of the art district and I had my portrait drawn by Mariella. She wanted €40 - I offered €20 - we settled on €25. I think the portrait is a reasonable likeness - she was generous with my hair, and also gave me a bit of a smirk. I think I'll use this as my thumbnail photo for a while - I like it.

After such a long day we were exhausted, though managed to stop for one more beer on the way back to the hotel. Montmartre in the evening is lovely, inside the church is nice and peaceful, but outside it as full of life and music. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Paris Day 1

I am just back from a few days away in Paris and did not get the opportunity to keep up my blog posts while away - so this post and the next few are published late. Roma and I decided to spend a long weekend away - we had fond memories of our first visit back in September 1984 after I had won a trip for two to Paris on the then Gerry Ryan Late Night Show on RTÉ 2 radio. It was time to go back.

Image link to Linternaute site.
CityJet are much better value to Paris than Aer Lingus so we flew to Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday afternoon and arrived at our hotel - the Astra in Rue Caumartin near the shopping centre in Paris. We had booked a Paris Pass over the Internet so had to quickly set off to pick the ticket up. Once we had the tickets we stopped at the nearby Restaurant Chartier for a late lunch - we had heard about this place as a place of character and good food. It has a reputation for long queues and being popular with the French. I had roast sea bass and boiled potato which I have to say was just about the most boring meal I have ever had. The fish was tasteless and the potato over-cooked. As the photo (not taken by us) shows, it is a very interesting looking place - shame about the food.

We walked around in the early evening and stopped at the Le Carre restaurant for a late dinner. This was really nice - we sat out at the footpath and enjoyed watching the passers by, we felt like Parisians! One word of warning about this place - the "vin du moment" was €30 a bottle. Later we went to the Arc de Triomphe but were too late to go up to the top. Here we also discovered that our camera was faulty and could not take photos in focus. Given that the iPhone is shite in the dark, I have no photos from our first day in Paris. We walked back to the hotel via the Champs-Élysées - lots of tourists like ourselves about. An enjoyable first day in Paris.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Kindle vs iPad eBook Reader - my view

I have just finished reading my second book ever on an eBook reader. Last Christmas I was given the Amazon Kindle as a gift and I read Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" (see my review here). Despite a lot of errors in the Kindle version of the book, I found the reading experience a very good one. Yesterday I finished reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" on the Apple iPad - which I had downloaded for free from the Kindle store. 

Image link to DigitalTrends.
There is no doubt that as a tablet computer, the iPad exceeds almost everything that the Kindle does. The one thing that it does not do better is the Kindle eBook reader App. While I found that Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" was formatted a bit better on the iPad, the Kindle is a far better reading experience for me. It is lighter and easier to hold while reading - but crucially the text is far clearer and the background softer to make it very comfortable and easy on the eyes. Yesterday I tried reading the iPad in the Conservatory, but the alternating rain and sunshine made it difficult to see because of the glare during bright sunshine. Now that I am about to get my Kindle back (my daughter has had it for weeks) I expect that it will be my preferred choice for reading from now on. The good thing is that when you buy a book from Amazon, you can get it on both the Kindle and iPad at no extra charge.

"Pride and Prejudice" is, to my almost certain knowledge, the only book I have ever read twice. The other book was George Orwell's "1984" which I had read in school during the 1970s, and read again in the year 1984. P&P was the main English text for the Intermediate (Junior) Certificate exam in 1975. It's an excellent story that I have also seen many times on TV and film. The English prose is difficult to follow sometimes - I wonder if people really spoke like the dialogue in the book all the time in the early 1800s? Nevertheless, it was very enjoyable to read the book again and feel the presences of two of  English literature's strongest and most favourite characters - Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. In 2003, P&P came second in the BBC's The Big Read, a national poll to find Britain's best-loved book" (Lord of the Rings was 1st).

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Book Review: "Just Joe" by Joe Duffy

In my time in Trinity as an undergraduate student from 1978 to 1983, one fellow student stood out from all others in this period - Joe Duffy. An abiding memory of that time was first of all the Duffy/White/Hayes student union election - I did not vote for them. I firmly recall Duffy, in his green duffle coat, speaking in Front Square many times and alluding to the fact that he was one of only three students in Trinity from Ballyfermot. He was a fantastic speaker, and rallied hundreds of students to the various causes of the time. 

Image link to RTÉ.ie.
I remember his protest march out the front gates of Trinity and back in again very well - I followed him. I studied hard the photo in the book of the occupation of the Junior Common Room to see if I was there - I wasn't, though I do remember occupying the Dining Hall (and helping myself to a lot of Guinness). I was on several of Joe Duffy's student union protests at that time. I met him just once in my time in Trinity - I was on a picket at The Buttery and he came along to show his support. I recall being mildly embarrassed as I mentioned my motorbike, trying hard not to look like I had any money. Years later I met him when he launched Dr Paul Mooney's book - "Accidental Leadership". We chatted and I reminded him of that last time we had met.

"Just Joe" is an easy to read book. His years spent in Trinity were the most interesting for me 'cos I was there. His drive to educate himself is an inspiration to all - the book describes a relatively happy childhood and school/college days, The last part of the book is about Liveline - a show that I don't get to listen to very much, so I wasn't too interested in that. There is no doubt that Joe Duffy has made a difference to many people's lives - far more than he could possibly have hoped to achieve as a social worker/probation officer. He is proud of his roots and rightly so.

Good stuff Joe.

Friday, May 04, 2012

iPads for students - a "ridiculous idea" says Dad

Now sometimes I get irate and rant about the stupid things that people say before they really think things through. In yesterday's Irish Independent, Linda McGrory writes about iPads for pupils hit parents but they won’t need books. At the end of the article, a "father" states that he feels that he "will now have little option but to look for another Credit Union loan to finance this ridiculous idea". The school in question is Carndonagh Community School in Co Donegal, who are considering using iPads in the classroom and are consulting with parents. Well done to this school for thinking progressively. (Declaration - I have an iPad).

cartoon from
Cartoon by Dave Walker.
Find more cartoons you can freely
re-use on your blog at 
We Blog Cartoons.
iPads start at €479 (this IS a lot of money) for WiFi only - on top of this it is easy to get up to a 10% educational discount from Apple, and I'm sure they are open to even more discounts when bulk buying. The article above quotes a price of €750 per iPad - now this is "ridiculous".

Meanwhile, in New York - according to the Obama Pacman website, iPads are "a hit with educators and students" and that many "universities, high schools, even kindergartners are ordering hundreds or thousands of iPad to go paperless". New York City public schools have ordered more than 2,000 iPads for $1.3 million. This IS a lot of money, but despite the upfront cost that may seem too extravagant to those who don’t understand cost of ownership, iPads (or similar devices) would save schools and students money over time. This is primarily done by reducing printing and textbook costs.

Apple are making a big push into the education market - and the iPad is leading this push. Clearly Apple is serious about education (and making money) - but for me they have hit on a winner here. Even if it is only used to replace textbooks, I think it is more than worth it. Check out the following video from Apple if you still need convincing:

iPad in the classroom a "ridiculous idea" says Dad - a "brilliant idea" says Eugene!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Anatomy of 1,000,000 YouTube views - Part 3

My final publication of YouTube Analytics for the Learn with Dr Eugene O'Loughlin Channel shows some interesting information about how people find my videos. The top two sources are thanks to YouTube itself. 28% from videos that YouTube suggests to viewers when they are viewing other videos, and 26% are found through YouTube searches. Google search at 15.5% comes next.

Further down the list you'll that my YouTube channel comes in at a disappointing 0.5% - clearly very few people are viewing the videos by visiting my channel page. I'd like to see how this compares with other channel owners. The data shown below only starts at 29th November 2009 - data before this are not available.

Finally, many people have asked me if I make any money out of YouTube. Part of the YouTube Partner agreement (I think) is that we are not allowed to publish such details. However, in my case this is easy - I have not turned on "monetization" for any video, so my earnings are ZERO. However, purely in the interests of research of course, I will be turning on "monetization" very soon - then I can sit back and watch the cents rolling in!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Anatomy of 1,000,000 YouTube views - Part 2

There are just over 1,000 subscribers to my YouTube Channel - I appreciate every single one of them. Subscribers are from all over the world, but unlike views - the growth in the number of subcribers is very low in comparison. The following chart illustrates the change in subscribers since 1st January 2009:

The huge solitary peak is from 21st October 2011 when the NCI Marketing team published a Press Release, which was subsequently picked up by Silicon Republic - "Irish computer lecturer is a YouTube hit". This happened when the channel hit 500,000 views, I got a lot of subscribers on that day.

Many viewers take the time to comment and to click the Like/Dislike button - thankfully most are "likes"! The chart below illustrates a comparison between the Likes/Dislikes:

It has started to grow in favour of "likes" since the middle of last year. It's great to get so many "Likes" - but each "Dislike" still hurts (96 times)!

Finally - the number of viewer comments on the channel is approaching 1,000 as illustrates by the chart below:

The peak in the centre (which represent 16 comments in one day) was recorded on the 8th June 2010 - I think (YouTube does not date comments) that this was an occasion where a viewer (@AMANJOTROCKS) and I used comments to resolve an issue with YouTube videos not working in PowerPoint as my video on this did not work for him/her - in the end we got it right. @AMANJOTROCKS' comment was "omg it worked!! thank you so much for your help :)" - glad to be of service.

More stats tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Anatomy of 1,000,000 YouTube views - Part 1

One interesting thing about having a YouTube channel is that you get detailed free analytics (previously called "Insight", now called "Channel Stats"). They are great fun to look at, but also very informative about who, when, and where viewers are watching your videos. The first image below shows the lifetime views for the channel:

I started the channel on 5th November 2007, and as you can see it took a long time to get going - it wasn't until nearly three years later that the number of views started to climb. You can also see down dips - there are three sharp dips coinciding with Christmas/New Year holiday period over the past three years. Dips in the summer are less pronounced. 

The top 10 videos (with number of views) are as follows:

How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010
How To...Embed a YouTube Video into PowerPoint 2003
How To...Create a Project Network Diagram in PowerPoint 2003
How To...Create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2003
How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2003
How To...Embed a YouTube Video into a PowerPoint 2010 Presentation
How To...Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) in Excel 2003
How To...Create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2010
How To...Plot a Normal Frequency Distribution Histogram in Excel 2010
Problem Solving Techniques #1: Pareto Analysis

Interesting that 9 out of the top 10 are "How To..." videos - if you want numbers, these are the videos that will generate most views.

Finally, here's a breakdown of the demographics of the Channel's viewers for the lifetime of the channel:

Interesting that the dominant group are males in the 45-54 age group - funnily enough the same cohort I belong to! The United States is by far the location of most viewers - it's also great to see countries like Singapore, the Philippines, and India there too. The bottom ten (numbered from 205 to 214) countries, with one view each, are:

        205  French Guiana
        206  Falkland Islands
        207  Equatorial Guinea
        208  Chad
        209  Turkmenistan
        210  Burundi
        211  Saint Helena
        212  San Marino
        213  Marshall Islands
        214  British Indian Ocean Territory

The last country, Diego Garcia as it better known as, is a US/UK military base with no civilians and the channel's first (and so far only) view took place on 4th March last when one person on the base viewed the How To...Create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2010 video. It's cool thinking that a marine in the middle of the Indian Ocean is watching one of my videos!