Archive for May, 2008

Facebook Search – Again

Monday, May 12th, 2008

I wrote before about how Facebook could beef up their internal search engine and get users used to good internal search and then they could go off and switch on external search too and how it would be more powerful than Google’s search as it would have so much profile data about their users that they could really refine search results. Time is ticking for Facebook on this, Google is battling back now with their profiling work.

I think Facebook, when they attempt to do Internet search will feel the full force of Google’s wealth and impressive collective brain to disrupt and wreck their plans. I’m sure Google has a whole team devoted to wondering what Facebook could do to them. If OpenSocial, their flailing attempt at hitting at Facebook’s growth by offering open alternatives to competitors; is all they can come up with then Facebook shouldn’t worry but I think this ill-thought out programme was a badly implemented 11th hour attempt at slowing Facebook. It’s not worked kids. They’re surely smarting enough now to get the next swipe to be more effective?

Plastic Bags with...Plastic Bags part1
Photo owned by scottwyden (cc)

So why not roll out a basic external search now anyway? Know of any companies hurting over a failed attempt at taking on Google? Oh yeah, Microsoft. They seem to have a lot of money to spend now that Yahoo! has rejected them. Rumours are saying they want to buy Facebook. Not gonna happen. If Microsoft became the external search partner for Facebook though it would be a huge boost. 70M extra and very active customers for Yes please. And all the ads around those searches! If some profile data was shared too for the ad servers – better ads, more money. Maybe this is what they’re negotiating?

Or there’s Yahoo! themselves. In my previous post I said that Facebook could one day buy Yahoo! but in the meantime they could allow Yahoo! to be their external search partner. Years back Yahoo! gave Google a break and used their search tech. Yahoo! had the chance of buying Facebook but now Facebook could give Yahoo! a break and do external search. God knows both companies could do with some real revenue.

Copyright: Amily Gelbman exhibit-5
Photo owned by zeevveez (cc)

Saying that though, Yahoo! seems to have become too aligned with Google of late and Microsoft are really good pals with Facebook at the same time. Search is a core thing needed for any “utility”. Facebook is connecting people and allowing them to share data and content but search is still essential and it’s never going to die.

Fluffy Links – Monday May 12th 2008

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Dermot Ahern, our Minister for Justice wanted the gays to be kept criminalised for their own good a few years back. Will he change his mind now?

Dominic Hannigan meets with Ming’s dad. Nice belt buckle.

How to sell social media to old bosses.

Via Emmet, the online marketing games for Batman go offline too.

Another Labour councillor with a blog, this time Michael O’Donovan. On catpissspot. WordPress multiuser on the main Labour site, no?

What do Americans spend their money on?

Twitter is a blah magnet making the quality of blogging better?

Fantastic mixtape from Nialler, all summery.

Pink boat anyone? Plonked in the middle of a garden show?

A very detailed article about the Gold Farmers for World of Warcraft and other online games.

Flickr user has their stuff nicked by a local TV station, makes noise, TV station makes on-air apology.

15 great examples of Web typography.

The 3 hour journey from Westport to Dublin, done in ten mins:

Sad Kermit singing creep:

Peach Plum Pair

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Joanna Newsom – Peach Plum Pear

Owen Pallet aka Final Fantasy covering the song in Whelan’s last Christmas:

Post of the week from Darragh.

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

It’s about Pat Ingoldsby. It’s a must read. I’m certainly thinking of stopping and saying hello and getting one of his books now.

Facebook Connect – Is this Beacon 2.0?

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Some are saying this is something like a version of openID and the current implementations for Facebook Connect are for interacting with your Facebook Friends outside of Facebook. An example is being able to see what your Facebook Friends are doing on DIGG for example.

Abandon aircraft beacon
Photo owned by saschapohflepp (cc)

What they’re saying though is that the apps that you could once run on Facebook only and which could access certain data about you and your friends can now be run on other websites. So external sites/webservices can now access your Facebook data or some of it. Now this is good, it’s almost data portability. But.

Isn’t this going to allow sites to know more about you and so sell more to you? Beacon allows external sites see that you’re a Facebooker and send “stories” (ads) back down your connection and into your news feed for your friends to see. Almost like that Candiru fish in the Amazon that swims up your urethra and feeds off you once inside. With a site using Connect and Beacon, won’t they know even more about you and your friends? Will Connect allow external sites to better display ads to you?

Should Google sign up to Connect?

Salim Ismail in Dublin on May 12th

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Salim is coming over.

Says Joe:

Salim Ismail is in town next Monday (12th May) and suggested a meetup somewhere in Dublin. The Market Bar is traditionally where we hold these events, so if you’d like to shoot the breeze with Salim and lower a few beers at the same time come on down to Market Bar at 7.30pm on Monday.

Salim and Tom
Photo owned by Phillie Casablanca (cc)

Salim made everyone that went on the Paddy’s Valley trip hugely welcome. He went above and beyond. It’d be nice for us here now to buy him a few thank you pints.

And he’s off – Robin Blandford is off to startupland

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Robin was always in startup mode. His brain seems to be structured like that. Highly creative and highly innovative. One to watch, afterall. So he’s announced he’s off out on his own now. I’m really excited to see what he comes up with. Whatever it is, it’ll be the first of many projects I should think. Serial entrepreneur, Robin Blandford.

(This is what I got when I searched for “Startup”. It’s probably on the money actually.)

Kevin Rose
Photo owned by joestump (cc)

Fluffy Links – Friday May 9th 2008

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Christmas. Not long off now.

Check our Mike Kelly TV, a video blog that concentrates on Acquired Brain Injury.

Lover, you should have come over. The Dear Lover blog.

East 17 and Vengaboys on tour! In Ireland! In Enniscorthy

Why do so many Americans wear phone belt clips on their ears?

Volcanoes! Lightning! Lava! Photo op!

Black Acid. Played last night in Dublin. Ex Death in Vegas.

I wonder how this young innovators showcase went?

Loving that marketing folks in the music biz are copping on and using their brains.

Gaytime candy. Course.

WWF Smackdown!

Of course Cork Airport is the best place to Salsa dance.

Go on a benda with GlEnda:

Via You Ain’t – Islands – Red Football (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

CSO totally trust estate agent rental prices – Can you see where this is going?

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Edit: Big Up the Pinsters!

Hattip to the smoking man with the smoking gun. 🙂

From the best damned website in Ireland, The Property Pin:

The CSO compiles statistics on how much rent people pay. (PDF Link) The past few months they’ve been showing it going up consistently. “Rat smell” says the people of ThePropertyPin.

When I asked where they got thier figures for rent I was told form several sources including estate agents. Estate Agents are, it would seem, thier primary source!!

They do not ask tenents what they are paying as this would proove difficult when tenents move on. They do not do like for like monthly questionaires of tenents, ( eg tenent in 3 bed semi in a particular estate in Dublin and then use the same estate again in the following months).

I just called the CSO Cork office. Told me the same thing. EA’s and Local Authorities (for Council rents) are their only sources. They don’t go next nor near tenants!

Richard Delevan already covered the fact the Irish Times don’t trust prices from Estate Agents/Auctioneers anymore. So rental is the same now?

On Tuesday the number of properties to rent on Daft hit 12,000 for the first time. May 07 was 5000, so thats 140% increase. Have a look at the number of properties available for rental explode (via Daft Watch):
rental Properties

Watch those rental properties plummet with the Rental Price Drop Forum. I love it. Not the dropping, the idea of such a forum.

So there you go.

Cork International Airport Hotel – It’s like the set from The Prisoner

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I visited the Cork Airport International Hotel again today. It’s one of the strong candidates as the location for the 2009 Irish Blog Awards which will not be in Dublin. Apologies for the shit quality of the pictures, blame the crappy video camera that I had with me. The hotel’s design is fantastic, though some hate it I’ve heard. I love it. The decor rock. It really feels like you’re in Dr. Evil’s layer or on the set of the Prisoner. Bernie’s been and recommends the grub. Part of the restaurant is done like the inside of a plane too. Free wireless all over the hotel. They have their own bakery and hairdressers! Didn’t take pics of the rooms but they’re huge.

The only other hotel that almost compares is the funky Radisson SAS off George’s Street. Have a look at the photos. Even if we don’t use it for the Blog Awards, I have to use it for some event.

Cork Airport international Hotel

These are pics from the lobby area:
Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

These are pics of the stairs going from the lobby area to the reception area which is upstairs. Check out the mirror ball:
Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

And these are pics (really bad ones) and a video (worse again) of their Pullman Lounge, a room for those waiting to pop over to the Airport which is just behing the hotel and you can walk to. The Pullman Lounge allows you to relax in chairs where you can get a kip, check your net, enjoy a good few types of seat massages (I giggled when they switched it on) and watch a movie or a computer demonstration on the screen.

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

And a video