Archive for November, 2009

iPhone and iPod Touch Apps to use in Ireland

Monday, November 30th, 2009

For those giving and getting iPhones and iPod Touches from Santa and elsewhere, here are a few apps to have a look at. Apps.ie also contain an impressive list of Irish-made apps. Not being big into games, I’ve gone for more utility apps.

1. Encyclopedia Wikipedia App
Encyclopedia Wikipedia App for iPhone. Made by Patrick Collison. Costs €6.99. Allows you to view and search the whole of Wikipedia on the iPhone/iPod Touch with and without an Internet connection.

2. Shazam – Guess that tune iPhone style
Shazam is simple. Put the phone near the radio and it’ll tell you the song playing and you and you can go buy it.

3. eirtext – Use your free webtexts directly on your iPhone/iPod Touch
Made by Vinny Coyne, eirtext is an Irish App allowing you to use the free Webtexts from Irish mobile providers via your phone.

4. Flickr App – Upload your photos and see what others have
Upload photos from your iPhone to photo sharing site Flickr. Stamp GPS coordinates on the photos and also see other photos taken in the location you’re in.

5. Echofon – Nice Twitter interface on your iPhone/iPod Touch
Allows you to use Twitter on your iPhone. Really handy application. Easy interface.

6. Evernote – Information taking and retrieval
Evernote is a document management system, a note taking application and more. Take a pic, it converts it to text. Add notes to it. It synchs with their website and your desktop if needs be.

7. Facebook
Everything on Facebook except on the iPhone. Very powerful and simple to use.

8. Daft Layar – Snoop on local houseprices
See details about houses around you for sale or rent with this Daft.ie Layar app. Whip out the iPhone and as you look through it via the camera then you can see notes, photos and videos tagged on to buildings and streets. This uses Augmented reality to show off the data (adds links and notes as you look through the screen with the camera).

9. Irish Phonebook
Irish Phone Book. All phone numbers in Ireland, all on your phone. Free and pro versions. €2.39 for pro.

10. Dublin Bus app
Nice app to find our routes and timetables for Dublin Buses. €2.99 to buy.

11. Entertainment.ie iPhone app
Concerts, events, TV and movies. The Entertainment.ie Entertain me app is very handy for finding listings and then connecting to the venues to make a booking. Location aware too.

12. Phantom 105.2 radio app
Phantom, one of the best radio stations in Ireland with some superb music choices now has an iPhone app so you can listen to their web stream from your iPhone or iPod Touch.

13. Skype
Make and receive Skype calls on you iPhone. Crystal clear phonecalls and they can be done for free when you are in a WiFi zone.

14. Foursquare
New to Ireland, Foursquare is building up a healthy following worldwide. Right now a consumer application, it will become more interesting when businesses in Ireland start to use it.

15. Dublin Bikes Layar
Despite the Dublin Bikes people banning a previous app about this. This app is here to use. It uses augmented reality to show off data.

16. WiFiTrak
Via James Cridland is WiFiTrak, a way of searching for open WiFi networks and seeing can you connect to the net via them. Picks up more networks than the iPhone scanner. €0.79 for it.

Way way more out there to put on your iPhone too. Add your own to this list.

2500 people have subscribed to my website instead of coming back each day. You can subscribe to the site using a feedreader or email. I'm also on Twitter. My online marketing blog might also be worth a visit. Thanks for visiting - Damien.

Fluffy Links – Monday November 30th 2009

Monday, November 30th, 2009

In the middle of the strike comes this protest placard.

Flooded Café in Cork take out their anger on the council.

Good coverage by Puddleducks on using Facebook to advertise your brand page to the friends of people who are already fans. 8 fans for five dollars?

You remember the head of Amnesty International Ireland resending Susan Boyle mental health jokes on Twitter? Sure it was all innocent, resending them really was nothing more than a commentary on people being cruel. A silent commentary of course. Some people just can’t get those silent and invisible nuances.

Santacon is on. People dressing as Santa and just drinking and such. Saturday Dec 12th.

Interesting design for ketchup sachets to start discussions on landlines.

Most of these did the rounds everywhere last week but for the few that didn’t see them:

Design a logo, with graphs. Hilarious email exchange.

A history of food in movies. Feast.

Jimmy Fallon channeling Neil Young covering the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.

Le Galaxie – You Feel the Fire

After an awful week in Ireland filled with nasty news…

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Comes a Facebook Group to appreciate a fun kid that was on the Late Late Toy Show. I must say it was nice to be entertained for a few hours tonight without having dark humour, violence or explosions being there to do it. With floods and all the horrible stuff about Church and State collusions, the Late Late Toy show was a welcome break for a stressed nation. Ryan Tubridy did very well. His team too.

2400+ people have joined the I want Johnjoe from the Late Late Toy Show to fix my clocks Group on Facebook already in the past two and a bit hours and the vast majority are pouring out positivity to the kid. We’ve had a long long week of bile and outrage, nice to see we can push out friendliness too. Love this comment:

Whatta sweetie pie!! I want him from santa!! You just feel like picking him up and placing him on you knee and asking him what NAMA is!!

Update on 28 Nov, here’s the video piece:

Software as a service workshops

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Got this via email:

it@Cork, ITAG and ISA in association with Enterprise Ireland would like to invite you to a workshop entitled ‘Managing your SaaS Business’ as part of the New Software Economy. (€100 a pop) These workshops will be held in Cork (Dec 1st), Galway (Dec 2nd) and Dublin (Dec 3rd) and have a limit of 20 places per venue. The workshop will provide insights from key thought leaders on the important topics at the forefront of the New Software Economy.

English website Slugger O’Toole decides to be bitchy about me

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Mick Fealty has been busy twittering about me:

Damien’s marketing MO is to attack viciously and then befriend: http://url.ie/2z88 It’s an impressively effective strategy.

In the linking blog post Mick says I said unkind things about Ivan Yates on Twenty’s blog:

How the net retains traces of your petulant past…

When Googling for the original tweet though I came across this less than kind remark by Damien regarding Mr Yates on Twenty’s blog (warning: not for the faint hearted)… But then again, maybe the old fogey will never find out…

Trouble is? Not Damien Mulley that said that. Nor someone pretending to me. Just because someone with the first name Damien leaves a comment on a blog doesn’t mean it’s me. But why change a bitter pattern of attack via a fake compliment at this stage?

I’m hoping that Slugger investor Channel 4 and Mick Fealty (never wrong for long it seems) will make an apology for being so quick to make such an unfounded personal attack. Hopefully the sterling that the once popular blog gets (Perhaps to pay their hosting bill so it doesn’t go offline again?) might also be used to maybe train Mick et al on how to do proper research online.

Fluffy Links – Thursday November 26th 2009

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Late with it but congrats to Daft Media for coming 8th in the deloitte fast 500 companies EMEA 2009 in London. Only one Irish company ever got as high a rank.

Fancy joining the beta of dbtwang, a social network for guitar lovers? G’wan.

New blog: Clive Nunn, furniture designer.

Nice use of Ning. Social network for Cork Businesses.

10% off at thebookdepository.co.uk

Horse Feathers finally coming to Ireland. Hooray. Love their music.

The manga guide to calculus.

Two for one video offering from Why?

Feck Dexter, this is a proper Miami show and with damned good music:

and this:

Dragon’s Den Ireland – Interview with Seán Gallagher

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Seán Gallagher from Dragon’s Den just wrapped up filming an episode of Dragon’s Den this evening and has answered questions sent in via email. You still have time to take a punt and enter you and your business idea for consideration. Being on the Dragon’s Den is a huge opportunity, even if you don’t get investment. Thanks to Jane Downes for arranging this.

1. For you personally, what was/is the best thing about Dragon’s Den?

I love to see budding entrepreneurs come into the den with ideas which they are passionately committed to and the potential to be at the very early stage of the launch of a new business. I like to see how the picture of the proposed product/business unfolds and unravels over the course of the entrepreneurs pitch.

2. How much weight does the person have when it comes into investing in their company/product? I’ve seen American VCs who are more interested in the team behind a company compared to any cutting edge technology the company might be building. Is this the same in Ireland?

Yes. Having a product or business idea is important but only 1 of the key elements of growing a successful business. Ideas are ten-a-penny and what is really critical is the ability of the entrepreneur to gather the correct market research and the correct research team around them to deliver the project, this requires huge energy focus and tenacity. Very often good projects can fail in the hands of the wrong promoter while strong promoters can create successful business from quite simple ideas.

3. Should the amount of involvement an investor have in their investment be in proportion to the % of the company they have? For example if you have 40% should you be in very close contact with your investment compared to having just 20%?

Yes it would be linked to the % but also it would need to be linked to the amount of money. Also I think the amount of time I would invest would be directly portioned to the potential revenue on value that could be generated.

4. Dragon’s Den is huge and it seems to have inspired business creativity in the general population, it reminds me of the old Late Late shows where they had inventors on, from the guy from Ballygowan to the farmer guy that made feeding buckets for calves. There seems to have been a larger vacuum that has now been filled. Do you think Irish people, creative as they are in the arts are creative in business? Are we natural born business people or do we need a push?

I think is very much the nature- nurture argument. I believe we have a natural disposition toward business, based on a history of farming, trade etc. However I believe much can be done to stimulate and develop the natural predisposition through creating a combination of the right conditions for business start ups as well as targeted incentives such as training, early stage seed capital, mentoring and awareness programmes

5. With the economy the way it is, people are very negative about it but there’s silver in every cloud and a cliché to boot! What’s good about 2009, what can we do in 2009 that maybe was not possible in 2008 or 2007?

In 2009 we have seen a return to the core fundamentals of doing business; quality products, good customer service and value for money. The positive change we have encountered is businesses seeking to be more competitive. This now provides opportunities within the marketplace for start ups. Cost of labour and flexibility of working practices have come about as a result of realistic expectations.

6. Even for a small company, is working with the media and getting attention important or do you think a company should keep their head down until they reach a certain size?

The lifeblood of every organization is sales. And sales depend fundamentally on the marketplace being aware of the company and product. Marketing is critical to the push and pull affect of generating sales. Therefore a company needs to be promoting itself as soon as it has identified its core brand philosophies and its product offering.

7. In terms of marketing and doing direct business/sales, how important is the web nowadays. Are Irish companies tuned in enough to it?

All companies progressively need to embrace the web as people now search online for everything. This includes information about companies, products, services and most crucially they are shopping online too. Therefore companies need to find an appropriate way to promote, sell and create awareness of their brand through advertising, online stores, blogging, forums and search engine optimization.

8. Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add?

The first consideration for an entrepreneur launching a business is their ability to embrace risk. You can’t swim unless you’re prepared to get into the water. So I encourage all entrepreneurs is to apply online to Dragon’s Den by going to www.rte.ie/dragonsden

The longest journey starts with one small step. Yours could be Dragon’s Den!

Fluffy Links – Tuesday 24th November 2009

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Calvin blogs about Food Dudes. I might sign up for this myself actually.

Joseph from Loopthing gives a warts and all description of them going for seed capital funding.

Another blogger jumps out of a plane. Ian this time and again for charity.

Congrats to the folks in Connolly English on merging with Rain Communications and Brian Wallace Advertising to form Rain Group. Begin Take That song…

Nice breakdown by Schneier on types of social network data.

More fun in the floods in Cork.

The new Grand Canal Theatre is looking mighty:

G’wan:

Social media outrage in Ireland!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The Irish world (make that rockbelly) of celebrity social media goes into mass outrage (two hashtags or more is how you tell) as the key “influencers” in Ireland are announced and it’s none of them. After all the work they did Retweeting Mark Little and telling George Hook how great he was and how he’s always so right and now this slight. After all the tweeting and liveblogging of TV shows. After all the pictures of mobile phones they weren’t allowed to take and upload and tag! After all the reviews of the freebies they got. After all the blog posts with titles stuffed with the keywords people used for whatever was in the tabloids that day. Jedward apprentice floods Cork weirdeyes carbomb. After all the PR events where the same 5.3 bloggers turned up to sample your new version of fairy liquid. After we went to RTE and looked AROUND!

And to top it all! Wordpress, the favourite of bloggers who like nothing more than doing a good old upgrade on a nightly basis was the technology behind this affront. It’s like getting slapped against the cheek by a dry leather glove with each finger being made of a mini-glove. And one finger of said mini-glove having an Elisabeth Duke faux diamond ring on it to scrape ya. Awful.

I’m going to leave an anon comment on this very blog expressing my outrage!

Read more.

If I dream it … will you come and build it?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

There are a few apps I’d love to see built so I could go off and then use them. Two of these are Facebook related.

Facebook + Google Ad system application
Facebook have opened their ad system API and already two applications are being built so agencies and companies can manage multiple accounts and campaigns. Google’s Adplanner tool is a great way of finding out rough demographics on sites but a system that allows you to target inside and outside of Facebook will be much better. If an Irish company builds an app that allows me to plan an online ad campaign that uses both Google Ads and Facebook then I’ll use it and if I like it will recommend it to the greater world (and clients). Course just a Facebook Ad planning app would be handy too.

Facebook Pages Visual Editor
Facebook Pages are obviously big these days and one good potential for them is you can add customised tabs to your Page and make them the default landing page for them. See a tonne of examples here. I want a tool that I can use and clients too that allows visual editing and creating of these custom boxes instead of having to train people in FBML. This really feels like the days of Geocities and their basic web editor.

Emacs at Google Developer Day 2009
Photo owned by Sphinx The Geek (cc)