I recently got a call from the guys behind the website Small Business Can about how they could go about getting attention for their service that brings experienced business people together with people looking for business advice. The site is launched and live and a full press campaign is happening very soon. Ulster Bank like the positivity so much they’re giving some support and some media outlets too but the service is always going to be independent and non-commercial.
The whole idea is that the creators of it are putting in their time to give something back to the business community in Ireland. The site isn’t sexy and there are many areas that can be Web 2.0ified but the information on it is very practical. I was impressed with the intent and passion of the people enough that I’ve volunteered my time to help them spread the word. The people behind this are Greg Byrne, Ron Immink and Fionan Murray.
To begin with you figure out at what stage your company is at and you can access resources at each stage then. The stages are Startup, Emerging, Rapid Growth and Next Level. From there you look at the 4 Ms (yes yes it’s very Mnemonicy) in your selected stage which are Marketing and Sales, Management, Money and Motivation. There’s a map or maze! for the resources under there. More articles will be added over time and if you want to contribute any, I believe they’ll be welcome and might be put up after the information is verified.
Naturally the articles will never cover everything so there is a discussion forum on the site too where you can post questions without having to register. It is hoped to get enough people contributing there with questions and answers to build a good body of knowledge and be a place of positive encouragement.
They’ll also be looking to collate case studies, success and well-earned-scars stories for others to look at so keep looking at the site as maybe you know someone or it could be yourself. They’ve also done a few videos with way more to happen. I’ll be getting them to blog, use Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and drag them into 2009.
Some of the founders will be around in Cork on Thursday evening if people want to meet with them and have a chat. For those that have blogs or are on Twitter and Facebook or take part in discussion forums, please consider pointing people to Small Business can.
Oh yes and want to demo your company/product at the Science Gallery? See here.
We walked around backstage and went up some stairs, passing some famous art on the way and went into where all the ropes and counterweights are, high above the side of the stage. From here all the curtains and scenery are controlled. Lots of nautical links with the ropes and all that. I’ve been watching Horatio Hornblower too much so I was really fascinated by this. It really is like a sailing vessel with curtains instead of sails but rigging and mostly unseen crew making sure those on the deck below can, in a way, sail.
An awful amount of work goes on behind the scenes in the Abbey for a single play to be shown. Weeks upon weeks of nonstop work goes into making a play work well each night. Think about the small amount of time, measured in hours, that a play has on that stage compared to the time that goes into getting it to that moment. An army of people squeezed into a small building are constantly and silently beavering away to entertain the public.
I got to watch the cast rehearse too which was fantastic and the acoustics in the Abbey are really impressive. The play itself is very phyical with the set being quite minimal. Scaffoldings are moved around the stage by the cast and given the size and weight of them, everyone in the cast is going to have strong legs and shoulders by the time the play ends.
Because of limited space they also have other rehearsal spaces outside of the Abbey and again due to space their large collection of art can’t be proudly showed off like they want it to be so they loan it out at times.
What was pretty interesting too is how the Abbey fosters new talent and they recently launched two programmes for this. The first of these launched last month and is the Abbey New Playwrights Programme. Over 11 months the Abbey will support 6 emerging playwrights with a series of workshops and talks with international and Abbey writers, directors, actors and designers. The playwrights are not expected to write a play but the Abbey will give them any help they do need. The second initiative takes place on June 15th this year for a week. Six 20 minute plays from female writers under the theme of ‘The Fairer Sex’ have been commissioned and readings of these will happen over the week.
The Comedy of Errors is running until May 1st. Anyone interested in availing of a bloggers tour of the Abbey, leave a comment here. Names will be picked out of a hat etc.
The main reason I was in San Francisco was to attend Presentation Reboot run by Garry Reynolds from Presentation Zen and Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design. Gods amongst those that do presentations in Powerpoint or Keynote or I suppose Google Presentation since some use that. It was a day-long course and yes it was very much worthwhile the 12 hour flight over and back. Well I did get to visit Silicon Valley for a day or two on top of this.
Duarte Design is in Mountain View (where Google have their HQ) and is on the same street as: Smug Mug, EyeFi, FriendFeed and Evernote. Walking to the place and seeing all those famous companies was pretty inspiring all in itself. I wonder how many people randomly knock on their door and say thanks for the good work. Maybe I should have? It wasn’t just the trainers too that made the day great. I met some very nicepeople there. I only googled Sally when I got back which is a massive shame as she’s a hugely impressive figure in California politics. I would have loved to have chatted more. Ric from the Powerpoint Team was there and his colleagues too and he mentioned Presentation Camp SF was happening on Saturday so I signed up for that when I got back to the hotel. More on that in a little while.
Presentation Reboot was very practical in nature with Garr and Nancy tag-teaming during the day. We even got pens and paper and glue out for storyboarding sessions. Yes it’s worth the money and worth the time to go. Get their books if you can’t go and sub to their blogs at the very least. Nancy blogged about the workhops herself here.
So later in the week, the day I was heading back to Ireland in fact, I went along to Presentation Camp San Francisco in the Slideshare HQ. The room names were those of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rocking. The Slideshare staff were wonderfully helpful. They make such a great product too. A great deal and very diverse set of talks during the day. Ones I liked most were the ones from Cliff Atkinson (Cliff blogged about the day here) and Scott Schwertly from Ethos3. Cliff is another presentation God so it was nice to meet him. I must get him to sign a copy of his book when I bump into him next. Oh did I mention I met Seth Godin the other day for a few seconds? Yeah I did. SF rocks. Rashmi from slideshare presented about Slideshare too. Almost meta!
I missed a few presentations because I had to head to the airport, the most talked about one was from Dave McClure, more a presentation about pitching that on presentations. Great content all the same: “How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On)”
And because I have a signed copy of Presentation Zen and Slideology, I’m going to give away the existing copy of each book I have. They are some of the best books on this subject area and should be eaten and ingested. Want to win them and a medium size Slideshare t-shirt? To do so, simply create a presentation saying why you should win them and put it on Slideshare.
Damnit, I thought a snarky comment and the YouTube video would be enough but it’s not. I guess I can’t sleep until I write this down somewhere. What happened last night with RTE apologising and giving in to the bullshit from the Government and the statements from those fucktards in Fianna Fáil show how bad things are.
Last night part of the freedom of the press was murdered in front of our eyes, in prime time hours. We should be crying at that apology. Hope is quickly diminishing in Ireland and more of it went tonight. The country is going to hell in a handcart and now they’re attacking satire in a most brutal way. RTE News has been shut down. RTE cannot report news anymore without having to secondguess themselves and the reaction from Government press officers.
This is not the time for just a Facebook Group. I think this is time to attend clinics and say what we can say to Fianna Fáil before they stop that too. Because they will. Nob Nation was killed and we pay for that, not Eamon Ryan, not Brian Cowen, now our news that we pay for is censored. Did we vote for this? Did those that voted for the Green Party vote for those and of those who said they should go into Government? Did members of Fianna Fáil vote for this?
There is a meme starting on the Internet where Irish people are posting naked pictures of Brian Cowen on their blogs and Facebook profiles. Not enough. Let’s gather together with A1, A2 posters of these and protest outside the offices of the Taoiseach. At every public event we need to track Brian Cowen and his staff and display these posters. Brian Cowen’s office needs to apologise over this. RTE need to apologise to us over this. There needs to be more done though. There should be transparency when it comes to contacts from the Goverment on the direction of a state broadcaster.
On one point I agree with Fianna Fáil. The RTE DG needs to go but not for Fianna Fáil to be happy but to get someone else in instead:
Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kennedy last night called on RTÉ director general Cathal Goan to consider his position. The report “represented a gross insult to the position of An Taoiseach, not to mention a personal affront to the dignity of the man himself”, Mr Kennedy said in a statement
Let’s set a date and start a protest, let’s bring all the world’s press together and have them record caricatures of a naked man from the sticks. Let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s send naked pics of Cowen via MMS to each other and wave our phones, let’s encourage the opposition parties to wave these phones in the Dáil. Have them wear t-shirts under their shirts/blouses. Let’s walk up and down outside RTE news broadcasts. Please please please don’t roll over on this because next time we won’t know what else the news is hiding from us.