Archive for January, 2010

Privacy in this newest digital age

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

The Press Ombudsman and Press Council had an event in Cork last Friday and I was asked to talk for 15 minutes on privacy and blogging though I instead talked about what is happening online and thoughts on privacy.

I talked about Twitter and Facebook pumping out tens of millions bits of data every day and after the recent privacy changes on Facebook, these bits are public. Twitter mostly throws out 25 million 140 character chunks of text each day as well as links to websites and 100s of 1000s if not millions of cameraphone photos. Facebook 10s of millions more. So perhaps 100 Million chunks of data be they links, text or photos are now shared with the web. Once shared, they’ll be found. Google and Facebook already tie directly into Twitter now. Facebook and Bing are tied together and Google has some access to Facebook. Oh and by the way, Facebook and their privacy changes have lots of people up in arms. Facebook were going to be wiped out if they did not react to Twitter and sites like Tumblr who already default to public. A generation has already been won over by this. A generation that will fuel our wages.

Fox masks
Photo owned by panina.anna (cc)

Privacy was about control of you
Victorian era dictating your looks, what you say, how you sound, how you dress and so on. The idea of privacy back then seemed to force people into doing certain things. One was expected to shroud oneself in shroudiness (not a real word). Now we can opt in or opt out on sharing of data. We don’t have to Twitter, upload photos that are public by default. We have granular control in Facebook. We now have amazing control of how we share and to who we share. One definition of privacy is that it is a personal choice/control we ahvea right to.

I previously talked though about not having any privacy in public when I was off Twitter. Despite not being on it, people reported where I was seen, what I was wearing, they talked about when I was doing media interviews or where I checked in for food on Foursquare. Do I have any rights to demand privacy in a public place or a private place that the public can see in to? Not everyone has a legal team like Princess Caroline. If I upload photos of myself on Twitter then do I have the right to complain when someone takes one of me and uploads it?

At the talk was a very good example of what the kids saw as a privacy violation. A friend of theirs died and they left messages to their friend on his/her Bebo page. The messages were quoted in newspapers. The kids felt this was a breach of their privacy. Perhaps the equivalent of talking to your friend and their grave and having the comments printed. So findable text could be seen as private even in a public space? I notice this was done on the Brian Lenihan support Page on Facebook where his under 18 year old son left a thank you message and it was quoted in the media.

How can libel laws exist with a networked world?
So here’s another thing. Libel laws and defamation laws were great in an unconnected world. Word couldn’t spread that far and you could find the source and legally smother it. In a world where everyone is connected, news and lies can spread in the backchannels and there isn’t much you can do. That might have traveled in an unconnected world but it would be slow. Just via email. Facebook mail or private messages on Twitter, we all get to know all the gorey details of the Irish Robinson hoopla, much more than the press were able to print. So while the press here and perhaps even bloggers can be strongly influenced by the libel laws, what about those just copy and pasting 140 characters from one private message to another? We already saw the web getting around an injunction against the Guardian.

Even in public, when you retweet (resend a message from someone to your network) who gets sued for libel? The final person in the pass-me-along, the originator (if you can find them), every person that re-sent it or the people who have the most contacts?

Also, with the whole worry about kids making themselves look stupid and in the future they’ll need jobs and this will damage their chance. Do we forget that these kids are going to be OUR employers?

it@Cork job spec

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

it@cork are currently looking for a marketing exec on a part-time basis.


We are looking for a person with PR and Marketing experience to temporarily fill the role of the Events and Marketing Executive who is covering the Programme Manger’s maternity leave. Experience of organising events would be a distinct advantage. The position is part-time, 3 days a week; the successful candidate would ideally be available from February 1 to July 30 2010.

For an informal discussion of the role contact Alison Reilly, Acting Programme Manager 021 2307076 or send your CV and a cover letter to alison

The role requires:

* Experience in Marketing and PR; event organisation experience would be a distinct advantage.
* Excellent communication and organisational skills with the ability to prioritise a large number of competing tasks whilst working under pressure.
* Excellent computer literacy including Word, Excel and PowerPoint; experience in using a CMS would be an advantage.
* Flexibility around work hours as some events will be run outside of normal work hours.
* Ability to work as part of a team.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday January 19th 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Top websites in Ireland in December 2009.

Blog Awards 2010 are a go!

Facebook saves Haiti.

But maybe it does?

Here’s how to find old Tweets.

Various award shows plugged including the Web Awards and the Blog Awards.

Running men.

Wu Tang versus The Beatles.

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. Worth watching it all for the Gibson bit.

micachu & the shapes – turn me well

Fluffy Links – Monday January 18th 2010

Monday, January 18th, 2010

New Irish Food Blog – Not Junk Food.

Twinnerparty. It’s a multi-location cooking event where people can log in to via Twitter.

Mick’s Garage are looking for a web designer.

Jonathan Siegel makes a rally cry against the IEDR.

Cork’s own Alan Gleeson gives Online Marketing tips to NMK.

So Rapunzel was actually an anti-abortion story?

Nice TEDx Amsterdam video on connecting The Arts and Communities.

Via Bookslut: Paige Williams spent $2,000 of her own money to produce an article about Dolly Freed for the New York Times. NYT rejected it. So Williams has it on her own site and is asking for donations. It’s a quality piece and deserves attention. One future of journalism?

Radiohead – True Love Waits (the history of this song is fascinating)

Good news for Friday

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Good News Friday is this Friday. Media Express is allowing you free access to their press release system if you send out positive press releases this Friday.

You can sign up now and even compose your release and then time it to go out on Friday. The idea is that Friday’s news then will be full of positive news on the day which is normally the most depressing of the year.

Download a prep pack too. (PDF) Light the scented candles, drink some hippy tea and start putting together nice news!

A Good Old Standby
Photo owned by me’nthedogs (cc)


Sunday, January 17th, 2010

James Yorkston – ‘Woozy With Cider’

Coming up in online marketing thingys…

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Free Online Marketing event in Dublin on Tuesday morning. “Using the Internet for Profit and Political Gain” – X-factor style free business event. Tues, 19 Jan 8.00-9.30am at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin 4.

On Thursday there’s a webinar (no it’s not something durty) on social media from 4pm to 5pm. Being a webinar you can log in from home or the work desk. It’s free, leave it on in the background if needs be.

Online PR training course is on January 23rd. It’s booked out and over capacity but the notes are going to be released after.

Business Blogging in Cork is on Jan 25th. Places still left.

Social Media Unspun is on February 4th. If you want your Irish case study to be included in the talk, let me know.

February 24th is the Digital Festival.

Fluffy Links – Thursday 14th January 2010

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Choice “genuinely disappointed” Music Awards. I hear TCD’s Maths Department are genuinely disappointed every day that 10 divided by 180 doesn’t give 10. Music is dead guest blog post on Nialler’s blog on the way. Written by 2 Unlimited (original lineup). Well done to Jim Caroll and all the other organisers. Do or die trying is how some people operate. Detractors take note.

Anyone that’s houseshopped of late can relate to the same house being listed all over the gaff with different prices.

Sky TV crew obey the SatNav and get in trouble in snowy Wiclow.

Takashi Murakami is exhibiting at Versailles from September. So. There.

Via Metafilter, repurposing architecture. From Die Hard and building hacks to the Israeli invading a city and burrowing through walls to avoid street combat.

How Radiohead gets and remains creative.

Flash comes to the iPhone, kinda. Convert existing Flash apps into iPhone Apps.

Pisstake David Cameron posters.

Random Recipe Generator
Lime A La Lime
Serves 1
You will need:

* 4 sprigs of asparagus
* 3 lettuces
* 2 lime
* 50ml vinegar

I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with this.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday January 13th 2010

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Iris Robinson, for a quickie, loves balls. Chocolate ones. Possibly chocolate orange?

Two good pieces on search optimising your website. Both Irish case studies.
First is from Caelan King from WhatClinic. and Tommie gives a nice talk on search optmisation for a on Online Comic Books.

komplett Ireland has been sold but the good news is they see themselves expanding further. See this guest post on how social media is making them money.

Google will now store a gig of any of your files. You can bet they’ll analyse these files for data and connections.

Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You’ll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don’t convert into one of the Google Docs formats

Like architecture? Docus on Gaudi, Speer and Mies van der Rohe.

FT didn’t have a great experience with their easy to drop Nexus phone.

50 covers from My Morning Jacket.

Self-rolling giant snow balls in the UK. Probably not at all new to other countries.

Been doing the rounds on the webs. I hope Jim Carroll plays this on his show. Terminator 2- The Musical

Found via Cormac Flynn – Boards of Canada – Seven Forty Seven (33rpm)

Business communications Bible – A what now?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The idea for a Communications bible came from the way some TV shows operate. They create a “Bible” for the show that describes the limits/boundaries of the universe where the show exists. It will cover the characters, their backstory and importantly their motivations. The idea being that when a writer is putting a script together the characters don’t do something that is out-of-character and it keeps continuity. (Yes it does sound bullshitty but it works!)

This is the Bible for Batman the animated series, this is the bible for Battlestar Galactica. (PDF)

As a business, what you want is a bible to show how your organisation communicates internally and externally and the limits of your staff and what they are able to do. The endgame for this communications bible could be to generate sales of your products, to increase awareness of what your company does, to improve a shitty reputation or to just make your interactions with customers better. You chose what you want.

Your Customer Profile

To interact with your customers well, you need to understand what they want from you but also what motivates them before, during and after the interactions with them. Good salespeople are those who understand people (not businesses) and can relate to them. Some questions to consider:

Who are your customers?

  • What are the different type of profiles for them? CEO, CTO, office staff, field engineers etc.
  • How do they “meet” your product/company? Via your sales team, exhibitions, online via blog and Twitter?
  • How do they use and reuse your products?
  • How long will the product for? Use once, use it daily, buy but not use?
  • How do you encourage them to use the product?
  • How do you convert (looking at diff profiles you listed) into a customer? – expert, impulse buyer, friend of a friend, online visitor … each one needs a different form of engagement.
  • What is there daily work life like? Will they talk about your products when in the office or on break?
  • How do you deal with people who realise your prodcuts are not for them? They can’t go away without something from you…


There are plenty of people who will contribute to the success of your business while never being a customer or spending a penny with you. They include journalists, politicians, fans, business leaders and your competition to name but a few. How do you tell your story to journalists, how do you know what to give them that they’ll find interesting? What is so great about your business (this includes remarkable staff) that makes non-customers want to go and encourage their friends to use you?

Figuring these “characters” out before we start communicating with them will make our jobs much easier. The hard work for communications is the prep and figuring out what to communicate. The action of communicating is the easy part. You don’t tell a potential million dollar investor how the decision engine under your web app is built for example but maybe you do tell the tech reporter.

What’s your story:

  • What does your company do?
  • (fit the answer in a Tweet too)
  • What is the story about your business that you know will be spread the most? e.g. a funny case study that makes someone want to retell the story again and again?
  • Why are your products needed?
  • How did you bring this idea together?
  • How is my world/the world better with this product?
  • How will it make my community better even if I’m not a customer? (Sometimes non-customers can evangelise the most)
  • Who are the team?
  • What are their backgrounds?
  • What do they do?


You now need to figure out the way a customer, now knowing their motivations, will contact you, what they could potentially ask and how it gets dealt with. Consider the numbers of ways one type of customer will contact and what they want and the number of people who could take in the request. Quite a lot of variations and so there is potential to drop the ball or communicate something badly.

Potential interactions:

  • Direct phone contact
  • Email contact
  • CEO met someone at a party, told you to ring her
  • Comment on a blog
  • Twitter message
  • How do you explain your product to Denis O’Brien who you meet in an elevator and have 90 seconds to explain it?

This idea of a Communications Bible will be covered more at the Online PR Course on the 23rd.