Archive for August, 2010

Limerick Hackerspace is go (but won’t be called that)

August 24, 2010

We had a turnout of 15 creative types at the Absolute Hotel in Limerick last night to discuss the setting up of a hackerspace in Limerick. After a round of introductions we broached issues such as location, facilities required / type of space, creative pursuits to be facilitated and legal formation.

Lots of questions still to be answered and plenty of debate ahead no doubt, but more than enough interest and motivation to make it happen. One thing we agreed on was the requirement to get a name other than [Something] Hackerspace (too much negative baggage). So, please join us if you're interested in being part of "a collaborative community space… a shared physical space for any and all creative projects… a place for people to work and collaborate on creative projects, to learn and to share their knowledge."

image from

Photo by Laura Czajkowski

Interviewed by

August 17, 2010

I was recently interviewed by for the SMXQ (10 questions on Social Media) series. My answer to the last question was where I went a bit blue-sky starry eyed but a guy can dream, right?

10. How do you see social media helping and improving things for us in the future?

Innovation happens at the edges. For all the success of social media the flawed design of today's tools draw us inevitably into silos and echo chambers. Stifling the cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines.

I'm very interested in the area of memetics which brings evolutionary models to the study of cultural information transfer. A meme is defined as a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means. Memes, like genes, are replicators and 'use' people as hosts (interesting aside: the movie 'Inception' refers to 'the idea' as the most contagious virus in the world).

So I see an evolution of social media in symbiosis with memetics. We will continue to refine the protocols, plumbing and tools such that social media will eventually not be seen as a mere part of the internet but the internet itself will be the ultimate social fabric and a hyper-efficient 'meme machine'. Boundaries will disappear, silos and echo chambers will be consigned to memory and ideas will flow effortlessly across demographics and disciplines.

Read the first nine questions and answers here.

Irish Hackerspaces Week – Saturday 14th August – Sunday 22nd August

August 11, 2010

Soldering, electronic textiles, photography and 3d printing are just some of the exciting topics for the first annual Irish Hackerspaces Week next week. These events are being hosted by hackerspace groups all over Ireland to highlight the talents creativity, innovation and opportunity of modern hacker culture in this country.

Planned events will cover a range for fun and informative topics in theform of presentations, meet-ups and social events. Events are being hosted and organised locally by each hackerspace group, highlighting their facilities and areas of interests. Streamed collaborative eventsare also planned to showcase the shared identity between hackerspace groups.

A hackerspace is a community based around a shared physical workspacewith shared resources, where members of that community can come together to collaborate on topics involving science, technology and art. Irishhackerspaces also form part of a growing international community ofabout 450 hackerspaces.

Participating hackerspace groups include 091 Labs in Galway, Hackerspace Cork, HackNI in Belfast, Limerick Hackerspace and TOG in Dublin. Themajority of events are free and open to the public, though pre-registration may be required due to limits on physical space.

Specific event information can be found on or

Irish Hackerspaces Week

August 3, 2010

091labs is a hackerspace in Galway, Ireland. I paid a visit to their premises last week when they hosted OpenCoffee Galway and was hugely impressed by what I saw. In fact I was 'on a mission' to see if we could bottle up some of their hackerspace magic and bring it back to Limerick.

And what's a hackerspace? Well the 091labs website defines it as –

"A collaborative community space… a shared physical space for any and all creative projects: art, woodwork, software, photography and electronics – to name but a few. Our aim is to provide… a place for people to work and collaborate on creative projects, to learn and to share their knowledge. We welcome all skill levels and all creative ideas."

Robert Fitzsimons sent the following email to the Irish hackerspaces mailing list today.

"During TOG's recent trip to 091Labs in Galway we were inspired into running a series of local and collaborative events.  These events would be a showcase for the creativity and culture of hackerspaces in Ireland, and the unique and shared features of each of our spaces.

We have decided to call the series of events Irish Hackerspaces Week and it will run from Saturday 14th of August until the 23rd of August.

The following groups are planning to run one or more event:

But there's room for more if you've wanted to have a hackerspace in your town or city, jump on board.

We will be using the following wiki page to coordinate activities.

We don't have a lot of time to get everything organised, so we're
looking for people to get involved and help out.  Hopefully each space
will start adding the confirmed details of events they plan on running
to the wiki page.  At the same time we need to come up with a suitable
press release which can be used to promote the events and introduce
hackerspaces to the wider community.

Lets get the ball rolling."