Journey of Boann

This is a location based story that I have designed as part of storymooc. It is aimed at kayakers and water tourists on the river Boyne, who will use the route once it becomes part of the National Trails. The trail will allow kayakers to float through the Boyne Valley, past castles and ruins. You download an app with the game on it and each scene is triggered by GPS and will have augmented reality characters moving the story along. The distance involved is about 15 miles and will take about 2.5 hours to complete. The first GPS point introduces us to Boanne before we embark on the water.



1. My name is Boann. I am the goddess of the valley. A long time ago I lived here with the king. The king had a magic well which contained the salmon of knowledge that fed on the acorns of wisdom. No women were allowed to go near the well, but I was curious, so I disobeyed the order. As soon as the salmon felt my presence they attacked me, chasing me to the sea, and that is how the Boyne came to flow through the valley. They think that I am gone, but I am just hiding, waiting for someone with the knowledge to release me. If you follow the river, you will find plenty of knowledge, but be careful as there will be red herrings along the way to slow us down. You need to find three magical objects. They represent those who work, those who fight and those who pray. You will need all three to release me. Good luck.
By the way, the first clue will be at a warrior on a horse.

Mael Seachnaill

Mael Seachnaill

2. My name is Meal Seachnaill. I was the King of Meath. I defeated the Vikings and became the King of Ireland after Brian Ború. But I am not here to talk about myself. You want to find Boann don’t you? First, let me tell you about a legendary queen associated with this spot. Her name was Maeve. It was said that she was a fierce warrior. In front of us here, you can see that the river is low. When Maeve crossed the river on her way to fight the King of Ulster, it was here where she crossed. The town was named after the fording point and her crossing was the first record of the town which grew up around here. I have her sword here. You should take it with you. Follow the river to the wooden bridge and disembark for a while there. You may find someone who can give you some information which will help you more.

1532 - celtic sword-8

War Object

3. My name is William Rowan Hamilton. I suppose you have never heard of me? Nobody knows about me. I lived just there in Talbot Castle. No, not that ruin, the one beside it. There are so many ruins here. It was here that I studied as a child. I was a bit of child genius I will have you know. Chess champion, fluent in twelve languages by the age of ten, Professor of astronomy by the age of 19. Nobody remembers though. I invented quarternions. Quarternions! Oh for heavans sake! It is like talking to one of those medieval serfs from Fraunces Weir. Mathematical formula that are used by NASA to turn spaceships in orbit! Anyway, I am wasting my time. You want to know about Boann? Well, you have come to the right place. Did you know that Boann comes from the Gaelic mBó Ann, meaning the white cow. No, of course you didn’t know that. How would you know the significance of the White Cow, with your smart phones and and your google? The White Cow is the Milky Way, the stars that float above your head at night. The ancient Irish believed that the Boyne was a mirror image of the stars. Quite clever of them actually. At least they paid some attention to the sky. Now, I must go. I have experiments to carry out. I am sorry, I cannot be of anymore assistance. You are obviously too simple too see the significance of what I have just told you. Try the workers down at Fraunces Weir. Good day to you!

William Rowan Hamilton

Sheldon Cooper? Never heard of him

4. Ah, how is it going? You must be here because you figured out that old Hamilton is not much use to you. Head in the clouds that man. Too clever for his own good. This here is Fraunces Weir. The river used to come in here, channeled in a mill race to power mills. From here down to the ruins of Newtown was all mills. Tuck mills, flour mills, pottery kilns, you name it, we had it here. This was the industrial part of the town and it was all powered by the river. We had big wheels turning, stones grinding seeds, paddles beating cloths and not a bit of that old electricity you have today. This was original, whatyamacallit, hydro power. Anyways, you will be needing this on your travels. It is a quern-stone. Let me give you some advice. You see that big old ruin further down on the left? It is called Newtown Cathedral. If you are looking for a place of prayer connected with a woman you would be wise to check that ruin out. There is a little old church in there, all deserted like, and in the middle is a big old tomb, the likes of which you never saw, with a statue of a woman on it. Check it out.

Fraunces Weir

Fraunces Weir

Medieval Serfs



Work Object

5. Greetings kind travellers, I see that you are curious about my wonderful tomb. Isn’t it exquisite? My name is Lady Jane Bathe and I was married to Lucas Dillon, the attorney general of Ireland to Queen Elizabeth the first. You can see that relief carved on the base of the tomb which shows our wedding day. You see both of our hands on the bible, making our vows, and our families standing behind us. That was such a memorable day, apart from the rain. Can you see the sculptures on the lid of the tomb? Have you ever seen anything like them? Lucas spared no expense. He was like that. Don’t I look fine in my Elizabethan gown? I have to say, Lucas does looks dashing in his armour. Not that he ever wore armour. Lucas was more into politics and money than battle. I do wish that he didn’t put that sword between us though. That was uncalled for. He could have had us holding hands as was the custom. A sword is so cold and harsh to have between man and wife, isn’t it? I do think he would have forgiven me for my affair though. At least in death. Lucas could be spiteful at times. It is like he wants to make me suffer for eternity. I am sorry that I do not have a more spiritual story, but there was no love here. If you are looking for a real place of prayer, I would suggest Bective Abbey further downriver. If you find it, make sure that you look for a carving on one of cloister columns. It is very interesting. Much better than a sword.

Jealous Man and Woman

Jealous Man and Woman Tomb

Bective Abbey

Bective Abbey

6. You made it. Thank you. Welcome to my abbey. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the 13th century but it is where I have hidden for all these years. As you can see from the carving on the wall, I have hidden in the fleur-de-lis to represent those that work, those that fight and those that pray. Now, time for a spot of salmon dinner.

Irish Aesthete

Prayer Object


Starfleet Analytics

starfleet academy

Welcome Space Cadet, to Starfleet Federation Analytics training.
Open up your analytics packages. Yes, they look confusing. No, you cannot break them. Yes, you must learn to use them or you will not get the Enterprise off the ground.
Our analytics package are mission geared and driven by logic. If the two are not connected you get data leak, not warp drive.

Before you press any buttons, start with your mission. All Starfleet spaceships have a mission. We do not fly randomly about the universe. Your mission can be ecommerce, lead generation, content publishing, support or branding. Each mission has different goals. It is your job to fly through the universe on your mission and report back to Earth as you go along. Let us look at how Kirk and his team might have managed their missions.


Usually you will want to beam objects down to people who want them. Now, Kirk’s goal will be to increase sales, increase unique visits and increase profits. He doesn’t really care how this happens. Spock on the other hand has no interest in that. He just wants to track the data to see exactly how it is happening. So he will break Kirk’s desires down into the most hyper relevant logical signals or KPIs. Someone has to ensure that the mission is on course and they are not just floating about in space. On this mission, he will be observing monthly revenue, monthly unique visitors and profit. Uhuru will connect Spock’s choices with targets so they can see keep an eye on their speed/direction. So she may be keeping an eye on the actual changes in numbers and percentages as the mission progresses. Should Kirk need any other help, he can also segment the information further. For example, he could ask Bones to run a paid search scan on it or he could check with Scotty to break it down by location. Finally Kirk will report back to Federation Command.

Set your mission goals

Set your mission goals

Lead Generation

If this mission, Kirk may decide to capture contact emails for a newsletter and to beam down the user a webinar. Spock would probably identify newsletter conversions and signups as KPIs. Uhuru would set monthly targets and further segmentation may be traffic source and gender (because Kirk would probably like to know that).

Captain, I detect lots of win in this sector.

Captain, I detect lots of win in this sector.

Content Publishing

This mission may be to publish a blog. In this case, Kirk would probably want to engage other lifeforms and ensure frequent and prosperous visits. Spock may be interested in observing returning visitors, audience engagement rates and perhaps if people were sharing the content through social channels. Uhuru would again set monthly targets to observe fluctuations and the reports could then be further segmented by possibly looking at keyword source.

Set clear targets

Set clear targets


Perhaps the mission is to act as online support for lifeforms needing assistance. Kirk’s objective here would be to help them as quickly as possible. Spock might choose to observe the time on site and the number of page views as this would tell him what he needed to know. Both of these should be low for a support mission. Uhuru should be able to keep an eye on how they are doing over time. Again further segmentation would be provided by looking at number of visits for each user.

Did he ask for the dilithium chamber at maximum?

Did he ask for the dilithium chamber at maximum?


Finally you could be on a branding mission, to increase Federation loyalty and counteract the Klingons. In this case, Kirk might want to back up the offline branding from the banners located on the moons in the Delta quadrant and engage with the community there. Spock will probably observe through his KPIs of branded traffic and bounce rate. Uhuru will keep track of the metrics on the visits to the Enterprise site and further segmentation can be given through number of conversions and days since visit.


Live Long and Prosper

Apologies and thanks to Avinash Kaushiks’ Digital Framework

Two Tribes

In my last role, I was the digital media officer of an education organisation. After the interview process, I asked them for some feedback on my application. They said that I got the position because of the range of skills that I brought with my library degree. They said that they wanted someone to help with information dissemination. What they meant was digital marketing. Information professionals (the new word for librarians) and marketers are not the strangest of bedfellows. Here are a few things they have in common.

1. Information Users


Both marketers and information professionals are in the business of dealing with users. Whereas traditional marketers concentrated on their product or their brand, digital marketing is all about segmentation. This is the practice of targeting messages at particular demographics. Because demographics famously do not buy products, personas are created from market research and user interviews. They include everything from possible quotes to phone choice. This sort of research is second nature for librarians.

2. Information Skills

As part of my library degree I had to study information behaviour, web publishing, web 2.0, digital media and information design. As part of my digital marketing course, I have to cover digital strategy, analytics, social media and User Experience. Librarians are primarily looking to create an engaged relationship between their users and their information. Marketers have a more focused objective – to track the exchange of value between the user and the information and to drive sales.


3. Information Technology

Both professions have changed as a direct result of technology. Traditionally, marketers didn’t exist as a separate profession until the industrial revolution. Without choice, there was no need to market anything. As mass production arrived, marketing operated on a broadcast basis for the huge numbers of products that were churned out. Mass media was the way forward. In the 1990s the internet arrived and with it search engine marketing. Social marketing then transferred the power to the user. The information profession exploded as a result of the printing press (mass produced information) in the 15th century and then followed the same trajectory as marketing from the 20th century onwards.

4. Social Information

Changes in information technology have social consequences for users. Information channels move away from interruption and towards participation. Users become media owners and co-creators of digital objects. The mass market becomes fragmented and developed into communities, tribes and niches. Marketers have to follow the crowd. Once upon a time, libraries were closed off and inaccessible to everyone except the elite. In a public library today there are knitters, children, researchers and homeless people coming in out of the cold armed with smart phones that can access complete catalogues. Future projections for both professions are looking at the semantic web, where personalised information will find the user.

5. Information Design

In a world that is cluttered with information and where the old means of communication are disrupted, it is important that there are few obstacles between the message and the user. Marketers know that people base their choices mostly on emotion, and they often get accused of manipulation because of this. They invest heavily in the visual design of the message. Librarians, at first glance, prefer logic but they too rely heavily on the emotions. One of the main theories of information design is Gestalt theory which explains how the rational side of the brain post-reasons what is happening with our emotions when we view information.

Font choice is important

Font choice is important

At present, I find myself with a foot in both camps. Luckily, both professions have been listed here in the top 10 most useful college degrees to have.