Archive for May, 2008

Rock Rig the Vote

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Anyone else get that FG email from HQ? I only found mine in the spamfilter now. Already being discussed on

Dear Damien,
As the campaign gathers pace, with just over three weeks to go, I just wanted to advise you of a number of events scheduled over the next week or two.


The Party Leader will launch a new innovation in outdoor advertising tomorrow; Fine Gael is the first political party to use Opinionators – essentially these are interactive advertising sites, which allow members of the public register their intentions by pressing either a Vote Yes button, or a Vote No button; their vote is recorded – and the running totals are displayed electronically.

We have two sites – one in the ILAC, near Dunnes Stores and the other in Blackrock Shopping Centre – just inside the entrance off Main Street.

It would be extremely helpful if members and/or their family and friends could make a point of visiting these sites, and record a YES vote! (Conscientious objectors can help the Party by not pressing any button, if they can’t press the Yes one!)

The launch is in Blackrock tomorrow afternoon – so, it would be particularly helpful if members in that area could make sure that the Yes vote is well ahead of the No vote – before the Party Leader arrives! (not to mention the media)

Obviously, these sites are highly visible – and we would appreciate members’ voting efforts for the remainder of the campaign.

angry caveman
Photo owned by andy emcee (cc)

Early. Often. Stupid. The launch happened yesterday. Wonder how it went? Kind of overshadowed by a gobby Taoiseach. The scallywag. Though none of the Dáil recorder people put it down on the record so you won’t find it on

It’s not so much the whole rigging of the vote really. It’s the fact that the anti-No people can mobilise people too and take advantage by doing their own rent-a-mob tactics. Remember the Turkey in the Eurovision? People get a kick out of ruining things.

Last min Springsteen tix on right now

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Off you go if you want some.

Another reason to have a pint with Brian Cowen

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

He says “fuckers” with conviction. I can just see Enda’s microphone being left on and him calling Fianna Fáil “those scallywags”.

Mp3 link hijacked from the Irish Times, it’s the last 5 seconds:

Photo owned by Editor B (cc)

Fair Play to Enda Kenny and fair play to the Greens

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Enda Kenny called out the Church the other day for the insidious funding for a No vote on the Lisbon Treaty. Many right-wing Church funded groups are campaigning for a No vote because it will give European Courts more power to decide on local issues like abortion, equality, children’s rights and gay marriage. They don’t like that as they would prefer the much more conservative Irish Court system to use our dictated by the Catholic Church constitution to knock back anything which the Church is against. Bertie would never make such a call since he was in the pocket of the Church.

Also fair play to the Green Party who yesterday broke ranks to ask for less road funding and more funding for public transport initiatives outside of Dublin. They launched their sudbmission on a bus going around Dublin. My favourite Green Ciarán Cuffe (there wasn’t sarcasm there, he’s cool) was all over the radio talking about their submission to the Sustainable Transport Plan and really it made me harp back to the intelligence and logic the Greens had in bucketloads before the election. The old Green Party were out yesterday. It’d be nice to see plans like this turn into reality though.

A hippy bus, but not the Green Party hippy bus.
Photo owned by BusGreg (cc)

If the news is that important, it will find me

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Welcome to the Bebo generation. If you’re in the news business and the blog post title doesn’t scare you half to death then you’re either fucked or you already knew this and are ready for it. If you are in the news business and you think that statement is moronic then you’re beyond fucked. You’re already dead. The line “If the news is that important, it will find me” comes from a New York times article that created a buzz very recently.

According to interviews and recent surveys, younger voters tend to be not just consumers of news and current events but conduits as well — sending out e-mailed links and videos to friends and their social networks. And in turn, they rely on friends and online connections for news to come to them.

Ms. Buckingham recalled conducting a focus group where one of her subjects, a college student, said, “If the news is that important, it will find me.

I’ve seen a few newspaper people talk over the past few years and listened to some of their private views and they seem to think that people are going to come to them because everyone knows that they’re the people that cover news well. People no longer care who the paper of record is, they’ll listen to a friend or read an email from them about news. They’re the papers of records. As we connect more and more to our friends, they’ll have more and more of that power. Fergal’s blog post about the guffawing of journalists because the Lisbon Refendum Commission decided to advertise on social networks says an awful lot about the disconnect Irish media has with the younger generations:

Feargal Keane reported on RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime that the Lisbon Refendum Commission were spending large amounts of money on advertising on Facebook and Bebo. Keane described the journalistic reaction to this at the press conference as one of guffawing and barely controlled mirth

Photo owned by Sputnik world (cc)

News orgs and everyone else that wants attention will have to be where the crowd is and unfortunately for them it’s not in a newsagents and street corner or on the TV or radio or even on a newspaper’s website. The crowd are always going to be moving now and media orgs and businesses are going to have to be there too.

Here the Indo get it ever so slightly allowing you to use social bookmarks to bookmark stories with Digg, Delicious, Reedit, Google Notebook and Stumble Upon. This is great because people will read what people they’re connected to are reading and these services offer that. (You can subscribe to what people bookmark) Still the numbers that use the above social bookmarking services are tiny compared to the Bebo and Facebook population in Ireland alone. Where’s the integration with those sites? Big fail there from the Indo.

I don’t see integration with Facebook and Bebo either in the upcoming website remake of the Irish Times either. It’ll be social bookmarks and the paywall will come down so it’ll give them an SEO boost, which is great in one way and crap in another as it’s about four years too late for the basics of what the web is doing today. Yes, in case you didn’t know the paywall is coming down.

I think both the Indo and the Irish Times now need to start talking APIs like Reuters are doing and let other people redistribute their content to not just 1000s of people but 1000s of spaces where 1000s people are now congregating. If they were thinking about what to do with the present congregations they’d be doing deals to get into Facebook and Bebo, if they were future gazing they’d be considering at least APIs.

The Paper Boy
Photo owned by from a second story. (cc)

Still they also need to consider Web 1.0 basics too. How many people subscribe by email and get news alerts by email from the Indo or the Times? Getting your presence into the mailbox of someone have having them read you is both powerful and valuable. Where’s the ability on any of the newspaper sites to subscribe by author? Where’s the ability to subscribe by keyword? There’s another step here to be taken though. These news organisations need to become the premier dealer for all news, not just their own. They should be including news from other publications and blogs as well. The Indo again are kind of getting it with keyword underlining in articles that brings you to articles with the same keywords but they need to improve on this. Then of course there’s crowd sourcing of news with the Business Week blog where they ask the public to send in story ideas.

But with the ground staff guffawing at where the people hang around these days and probably the decision makers too, maybe the last man standing will be the group that gets what the future is about and feed their breed of news to that future.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday May 21st 2008

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

New blogs Certain People and Positive Boredom.

How steroids will give you the body you want and quickly. But take your balls, nips and hair.

Reflections of, the way we used to be. Spying using teapot reflections. Like.

Oprah makes great use of Skype.

Gordon Brown answers questions on his YouTube Channel. Will Brian Cowen get a channel? Sexiest Politician in Ireland Eamon Ryan has one already. But then he would because the last sentence says so.

Some nice tunes.

Check out Paul Graham’s argument pyramid.

The top secret Google Zeitgeist Europe event was on yesterday in the UK, here are the videos.

Velvet Underground – Venus in Furs

Eamon Ryan TV – The Youtube Channel

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

A selection. Interesting screen caps. What’s the Sexiest Irish Politician (the Facebooks don’t lie) talking about would ya think, just from the screen caps? Yes Minister Ryan has a YouTube Channel and I think it’s a great idea. I think it would really rock if he answered other YouTuber questions on it too. Even some of the tougher ones.

Internet Marketing – Measuring your Facebook campaign

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

It seems the experts that were at the IIA Congress last week didn’t know how to measure the success of a campaign inside Social Networks. Well here you go folks. For those that are hiring an Internet Marketing company in Ireland to do some social network marketing stuff and they don’t offer stats from the below methods then maybe you hired one of the many cowboy operations that slither around this area.

There are various elements in this and it all depends on which ones were incorporated into your campaign.

Check your website stats:

While Facebook is a walled garden and you can’t see inside it without logging in, they still send a lot of traffic out to websites. If you have set up a Facebook Profile, a Page, a Group or run Facebook “Social Ads” then they can all send users from Facebook to you. In addition so can anyone else in Twitter if they’re talking about you. For a marketing campaign you should have special website addresses tailored for the campaign so you know only your campaign elements are sending that traffic to your site. Google Analytics or any of the clones will allow you to measure incoming traffic from Facebook and you can tell if they are coming from profiles, ads, pages or groups.

Facebook Lexicon

Facebook Lexicon allows you to see what Facebook users have been discussing. It’s a keyword trend program that doesn’t show the number of times a keyword is mentioned but the number of people who mentioned the keyword one or more times over a certain period of time. More details on Facebook Lexicon here. For companies you can get an estimate of the number of times your brand or product is mentioned. Ideal to see are there jumps around the time you start a campaign. You can also compare up to five different keywords at the same time. But there’s a big but, it doesn’t give raw numbers so it’s just a rough estimate but it’s still good. Maybe you can purchase them from them though? Big marketing companies would probably pay for that.

Facebook Lexicon

Facebook Pages

I recently created a Facebook “Page” which is very much like a profile but for a company, brand, product. Instead of friending this Page, you “Fan” it. The Page was called “Gnéas” as a joke. When you become a fan, your friends also see you’ve become a fan of it as it shows up in their news feed. So a few people saw “Damien is a fan of Gnéas” and the viral element would have encouraged others to join too. The stats that are provided to Page owners are fairly good.

This is the Insights Control Panel (Everyone calls the stats Insights these days):
Facebook Stats

This is a graph of sign-up activity:
Facebook Stats

Some demographics of the Fans:
Facebook Stats

Facebook Social Ads

Read this Blog Post on how to run Social Ads. Like Pages there’s a whole section on statistics for your ads.

This is the Ads control panel. Note that the ads for the Gnéas page got canned because the Facebook prudes deemed the ads inappropriate:
Facebook Ad Measurement

Here’s how you can export all your data to Excel and add more calculations:
Facebook Ad Measurement

Facebook Apps

Many marketing campaigns will include the creation of special applications to get people to learn more about your brand/product. If you have an application created, Facebook will give you a whole load of information about installations and usage. Who, what, where, when etc. Data once again can be exported and presented to you.
Facebook App Measurement

Messy Measuring – Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups can be created by anyone and some do well and some stagnate. It takes a lot of work to keep activity going and Facebook really prefers if you use Facebook Pages to do marketing. They supply nice stat tools as mentioned above for Facebook Pages but nothing at all for Groups unless you pay a considerable sum for a sponsored Group. But you can manually check your group and measure it. Measuring it is a case of seeing how many have signed up for the Group and what the activity is like. So for example, the Bertie, Take Enda With You group:
Facebook Groups

You can see how many members there are. Then you can see what kind of activity is happening by counting the number of discussions, photos and videos that have started/ were added.
Facebook Groups

And you can also look at the Wall activity.
Facebook Groups

As I said, nothing that’s automated and more work but still data that’s valuable. Other measurements to take into account are the number of people that respond to messages that you send to the whole Group. See what the response rate is like. Don’t be surprised if it’s very very low.

I hope this was useful. Shall I do one on Bebo next?

Fluffy Links – Tuesday May 20th 2008

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Yes that was me on Prime Time last night. I blogged about Bebo and YouTube yesterday if you want my complete thoughts on it, not just some.

Primal Sneeze takes to task.

Some nice .ie domains that have not been renewed. Plus Blacknight have a .ie domain sale now on too.

Keith took some great notes at a recent conference on subscriptions. Cog from his blog.

it@Cork have a nice Web 2.0 intro class on next Tuesday. I’m not just saying that because I’m on a bajillion subcommittees at it@Cork

Spaces still available for the Galway Business Blogging Course. Same for the Waterford one.

50 more tickets are going to be released for Interesting 08.

Buckminster Fuller used Twitter, kinda.

Flying penises, once just seen in Second Life are now being seen in real life. It’s all very Matrix-like with stuff from one world seeping into the other.

Fantastic presentation from the Adaptive Path people at Google:

Duran Duran – Ordinary World

Google Health: Now we know that rash wasn’t from poison ivy

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Google Health is live. It’s US only but I was able to get in. Terms and Conditions. I’ve written before about Microsoft’s HealthVault and I stand by it. These services are good and if the data they collect can get us better medical advice, better and cheaper consultants and screw over Irish medical consultants. WOO. But I also want a cut on the money that Google makes from this data. As I said before about Microsoft but it equally applies here:

If we can move our money from a money bank, why not move our health data to a health bank? I’m sure HealthVault and the clones will add more features over time to negotiate discounts on tablets and meds for you and everything else that uses the service, naturally with Microsoft getting a cut too. And just like a bank, we should be able to make money from what we store in it. Microsoft will make money from the data from charging access (by charging for the applications that access it) and also from those discounts for what you get, as well as ads when you do medical searches via the site. Why should Microsoft or whoever make all the money? It’s our data they are profiting from, share the wealth guys.

Looking at the service itself:
You can already import your medical records from a host of places, mostly clinics right now but still. Impressive.

Here are some screenshots.

Google Health

Google Health

But do you trust Google? Now think about all that data and the fact that they WILL in the future integrate with the 23AndMe DNA analysis company they’re investors in, you comfortable with all your email, chat conversations, word documents, medical records and DNA all controlled by one group? There are many secret laws in the U.S. since before and after 9/11, how do you know Google isn’t complying with one?

There’s also the dervied data that Google has you on you. I wrote about this before too.

More from Google Blogoscoped:

Google continues to ask for your agreement for Google to pass on information about you to entities and individuals you define. As examples, Google lists sensitive information related to e.g. sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, alcohol abuse, genetic diseases and more.

Google in the Q&A later on explains that they may share aggregate, anonymous information from their Google Health records (a statistic like “10% of users with diabetes got a flu shot”).

Hmmm. I’ll wait another while just yet thanks.