Promenade, a music & technology blog, penned by Eoghan O'Neill.

Promenade

Author: Created: Monday, November 20, 2006 RssIcon
Irregular rants and reflections - usually somewhere around the place where music intersects with technology - from CLUAS.com's webmaster.
By eoghan on Saturday, July 10, 2010
Björk - Volta, worst album of the last 5 years?A few days I pulled together the list of the highest rated albums of those reviewed on CLUAS in the last 5 years. Now it's the turn of those albums that in the same period got the lowest ratings from CLUAS reviewers. The albums listed below are those that, since 2005, have been awarded less than 4 out of 10 by a CLUAS writer. Among them you will find albums by Placebo, Van Morrison, Smashing Pumpkins,...
By eoghan on Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The CLUAS Archives There are over 500 album reviews in the CLUAS archives. While they've always been accessible via our archive pages, the way the reviews have been presented (one big long unordered list of reviews for each year) is not very user friendly. Which is a pity as there are some terrific reviews in there, as well as reviews of great albums that may have slipped under one's radar. Thankfully the chances of missing out on some such gems over the years has now decreased dramatically. Read on for the fabulous details...

The CLUAS album archive...
By eoghan on Friday, April 16, 2010
Glastonbury Pyramid StageThe lineup for Glastonbury 2010 was announced yesterday and it's a whopper (as you'd expect for  the 40th anniversary of the festival). Over the 3 days of the festival there are 285 different musical acts scheduled to perform (and that's not even counting the acts earmarked for the "Poetry and Words" stage).

Playing are Muse, U2, Vampire Weekend,...
By eoghan on Monday, January 25, 2010
CLUAS on the move from Arizona to NebraskaTwo weeks ago I undertook one of the biggest tasks in the last 4 years of CLUAS: I moved the entire website to a new hosting company.  It's a move that sees us abandon the arid desert of Arizona for the flat plains of Nebraska... 

For the last four years we were hosted by the Arizona-based company Crystaltech and they served us well. However in the last 6 or so months I have seen that CLUAS needs a hosting company that really understands the Content Management System we use ("DotNetNuke",...
By eoghan on Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Vote countingTypically at this time of year CLUAS is full democratic flight with polling booths wide open for readers to submit their votes to find the top albums of 2009. However, this year we've decided to not do a readers poll. And why not? It's simply because of the utterly mad amount of time it takes to tot up the thousands of votes we get. Fret not, as there will still be a CLUAS poll this year. The last few weeks the CLUAS writers have been busy voting for their top 10 albums of 2009 and tomorrow (16 December) the results will be published. As always the CLUAS writers have stepped up to the plate and their votes collectively deliver an intriguing, diverse, credible and occasionally surprising top 40. I was pleased as well to see that, despite the intense competition from non-Irish releases, a total of five Irish albums released in 2009 made it into the top...
By eoghan on Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Skinny and Bloated websites in IrelandA pet peeve of mine is bloated websites: site with pages that are so stuffed with images and widgets that they take too long to download, even on broadband. Over our 10 years of operations CLUAS .com has continually tried to keep things lean and mean when it comes to page size (indeed CLUAS, as far as I am aware, remains Ireland's lightest – and hence fastest – music website).

Back in 2008 I had a good old rant about bloated Irish websites (specifically about Music and Technology blogs)....
By eoghan on Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Irish Web Awards 2009Last week it was announced that 26 sites were in consideration for the category of "Best Music Site" at the Irish Web Awards 2009, and CLUAS was one of them.

The 26 sites has now been whittled down to 11 and I was pleased to see CLUAS.com is one of them. The full list of sites now in consideration is:

Muzu TV Heineken Music State Magazine Nialler9...
By eoghan on Thursday, September 17, 2009
Yesterday CLUAS was one of the sites shortlisted for the 'Best Music Website' category of the 2009 Irish Web Awards, the winner will be announced on 10 October at a ceremony in the Radission SAS Royal hotel in Dublin. A total of 26 different sites were nominated in the category, the other sites that made the grade along as well as CLUAS are listed below. Best of luck to all concerned!

http://drop-d.ie http://state.ie http://roisindubh.info http://nialler9.com http://kilkennymusic.com http://Muzu.tv http://thumped.com http://downloadmusic.ie http://musicreviewunsigned.com...
By eoghan on Wednesday, July 15, 2009
While for many surfers the WWW often resembles a modern Wild West where just about anything goes there are - believe it or not - some formal standards in place. The particular standards I'm talking about are for HTML code: how HTML should be used when creating a webpage (and how a browser should interpret HTML and present it on a page). The setting of the standards is overseen by the all important World Wide Web consortium (also know as W3C, which is headed up by Tim Berners Lee, no less than your man who invented the World Wide Web).

W3C logoNow to be honest, up to about a year ago, CLUAS did not care about these standards and there was not a single page among our thousands that was even close to being compliant. This did not stop me having a begrudging respect for websites that...
By eoghan on Tuesday, July 14, 2009
It's common knowledge that securing links from other websites plays a key role in getting your website's pages into major search engines. CLUAS has been steadily attracting links over its 10 year lifetime resulting in a steady stream of people visiting CLUAS via these links and also - more importantly - ensuring we have an excellent ranking in the search engines. For example we have, for years, been the number 1 result for people searching 'Irish indie music' (and bizarrely also for 'Irish Jazz music'). But such searches are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. CLUAS receives a very considerable amount of its traffic from search engines thanks to - literally - thousands of different 'long tail' searches done by users each month.

So why...
By eoghan on Monday, June 29, 2009
There have been numerous media reports of surges in internet traffic once word was out that Michael Jackson had died. For example, the spike in traffic that hit Google was so out of the norm they thought they were being hit with an automated attack.

Michael Jackson - traffic surge on CLUASCLUAS too saw a surge in traffic as soon as word was out that The King of Pop had passed away. In our case this was due to our 2005 article on Michael Jackson's fall from grace ("Michael Jackson: demon or demonised? Or both?") that Aidan Curran...
By eoghan on Thursday, June 18, 2009
Anatomy of the CLUAS writers poll (part 2)As promised last week in the first part of the anatomy of our poll to find the top Irish albums released in the last 10 years, you'll find below the albums that were voted for but did not make the top 50. In total there are 86 albums that were voted for but that did not make the final published list of ranked albums. Of these, 5 were voted for by 2 writers, the rest secured a solitary vote.

A quick glance and you can see some acts who were 'penalised' for their productivity in the last decade as their votes, being spread over...
By eoghan on Thursday, June 18, 2009
Cork Indie Music ScenePerplexingly, CLUAS continues to be Ireland's number one website for jazz music (well, at least in the eyes of Google, Yahoo and Bing). Not happy with just addressing the needs of jazz aficionados, CLUAS has strived to earn it metal stripes and we are now the number 1 website for Irish heavy metal music...
By eoghan on Friday, June 12, 2009
Anatomy of the writers pollThe CLUAS writers poll to find the best Irish releases of the last 10 years has, as I expected, sparked off quite a bit of commentary (I particularly enjoyed The People's Republic of Cork forums and the comments section of Jim Carroll's On The Record blog).

No matter what one makes of its results I can say it was a considerable, but worthwile, effort to pull the poll together. It was worth that effort alone to see the poll results reveal (definitively of course) that 2001-2002 was the vintage period for Irish music in the last 10 years....
By eoghan on Friday, June 05, 2009
Vintage WineThere was one thing I was conscious of when I opened the polling booths for the CLUAS writers to vote for their top Irish albums of the last decade - the possibility that the final results could be biased towards releases from more recent years, considering more recently albums could well be to the fore of a writer's mind when casting their votes.

The first chart below however testifies that the CLUAS writers are not such a fickle bunch. It shows the breakdown - by year of release - of the CLUAS writers' top 50 Irish albums of the last 10 years and it is encouraging to see their choices are nicely spread across the full decade (although memories...