Archive for April, 2010

Notes from my TEDx Liffey talk

Friday, April 16th, 2010

And these were my notes from TEDx Liffey.

Accidental Business Man

A few years back people asked me to show them how to blog. They offered me money to train them. It went from there to online marketing training to whatever it is I do today. I never saw myself as a business person. Right now, in this time slice of my life, I happen to be someone with a gob that has a business

Jacked in the day job

So as I trained more people and companies, I eventually and after a bit of protest from myself, left the day job and started a business. Goodbye gourmet chef, 9-5 , 5 days a week job, hello just me, alone without support. So I told people I was in this business lark and worked flowed in. Pretty much still works like that. I don’t seek work.

Waking up not wanting to go to work

In the past few years of working for myself I’ve maybe woken up 3-4 times not wanting to “go into work”, mostly this was because I thought I hadn’t prepped enough for this. Compare that to my old job where I made up bullshit excuses so many times about stomach bugs, colds and whathave you because the place at times just got to me

I don’t have a business plan

Right now, invoices go out, money comes in. My accountant whips me when I’m late with accounts. At a previous talk a chap from Enterprise Ireland got quite upset with me when I said I didn’t have a business plan. My plan, not formalised is I won’t be doing this type of work in 3 years. I’ll probably shut down the company. I don’t want to be acquired, don’t want to buy anyone.

Accidently happy

So I might not have a business plan but I do have an idea about business and happiness. I do work because it makes me happy, not because it provides me money to buy myself happiness. I used to be someone that worked in a job that I disliked, waited for payday and bought myself shiny things. Now I pay myself less than the old job, get up usually when I like and can decide with very short notice to head for a break to Iceland or somewhere. I love my job, the last job I loved was working for 2.50 an hour in Pund City when I was 15 16 17, stacking shelves and the like.

Charge less for fun

So this is what I do when I do work. If it’s fun I’ll charge less. I’ll move money out of the motivation equation as much as I can so the before, during and after is fun. Not about a mechanism to pay a credit card bill. I’m not sure you can give 100% to work when you despise it and almost are in some kind of drug addict relationship with the drug.

Buffet to A la carte

So plenty of work comes in and it was as if I was at a buffet. Sample it all, there was so much that I was interested in trying that I was saying yes to an awful lot. Tummy ache for that. Happiness can make you ill too though. So I’m starting to go a la carte now. Wiser decisions, less work but more time to enjoy and appreciate it

Now the song is nearly over…

So my parting thought is that we can all earn a living but maybe we can do it and be happy and appreciate the journey to payday as much as payday instead

Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
Still there’s a light I hold before me
You’re the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams

Preparing a 4 min presentation

Friday, April 16th, 2010

So for TEDx Liffey last night I was given 4 minutes to talk about being happy in business.

240 seconds is 4 minutes so I figured I’d do 8 X 30 second talking points. I started off by jotting down a few quick thoughts on some rough paper. Followed by some thoughts on two pages of notepaper. From that I wrote down the slide headers on a post-it.


After that I rewrote out all 8 points again. I then proceeded to read them out and time myself. Came out to be about 4 mins 10 seconds after a few read-throughs.


And from there was typing it up:

After that it was creating the slides which only used the text from the headers with the last slide taking lyrics from a Pogues song.

IIA’s Digitise the Nation

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The IIA are running a week-long event called Digitise the Nation. It takes place from the 16th to 21st May 2010. The idea is everyone chips in and does a little to get people using the web more effectively. Workshops, discounts, art using tech etc. etc. While an IIA initiative, I’m told they’ll highlight non-members too that run events for it.

Lots of ideas on the Digitise the Nation page. Here are some more that were sent on:

* In Dundalk, we have a member who is filming from the Museum and streaming to 5th and 6th class students as basis for history homework and projects.
* Kavaleer (award winning digital animation business based in Digitial Hub) showing primary school students how digital art is created… showing children how cartoons are made and inspiring the next generation of Brown Bag Productions and oscar winning “Avatar” creators
* Received a call from Barge Heritage group who are bringing barges to Dublin on the same week and want to learn how to run a podcast, live-streaming as they are upstream on the Liffey and canals
* Two girls with their own computer training business have successfully approached their local “Golden Oldies” community group and are showing them how to make skype calls and send emails

Contact the IIA if you want to suggest some ideas or run an event.

Fluffy Links – Monday April 12th 2010

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Karen from Life’s a Bastard has a new blog counting down to her wedding day. Beating myself into a dress.

Interesting job from Prosperity. Online content editor doing social media larky stuff.

Pat’s put broadband in his car, for his iPad. Easy setup.

BTW meetup (Blogger-Twitter-Whatever) on the 29th April. The event is free to attend.

Direct eBooks in Cork are looking for a web developer.

Congrats to all those nominated for Net Visionary Awards.

Via Neil Gaiman

Skinny Puppy – Spasmolytic

Irish Times iPhone app

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Via JC
Hopefully we’ll something more exciting for the iPad app. Better than viewing it via Safari on iPhone but not by much. €1.59 for the app. Cheap as chips. Offline storing of the stories too. Good!





Marc Coleman’s letter to the Sunday Tribune

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

An article last week in the Sunday Tribune entitled “The Blame Game” questioned where were the realists during the past few years. Marc Coleman (former Irish Times writer and Newstalk economist) was mentioned in the article in this paragraph:

Outside the political spectrum, former Irish Times writer and Newstalk economist Marc Coleman published a book titled, The Best is Yet to Come. And Bank of Ireland economist Dan McLaughlin slammed negative reporting about the economy. He was adamant that we were in for a “soft landing”.

Note: Profits of said book were donated to the Forgotten Irish fund

Subsequent to this he has sent a letter into the Sunday Tribune and CC’d a copy to a large number of people in the Irish Media, check out the dig at the end too, here’s the letter:

Dear all,

Below is a letter written to the Sunday Tribune by myself in a personal capacity in response to an article published on Sunday 4th April last.

Kind Regards,

Marc Coleman

Dear Editor,

“What did you do in 1916, fight? Cower under the bed? Or side with the Brits?” To distract from their own inaction, sleeveens would asked this question of others after the Easter Rising. On the anniversary of it a similar question is being posed now. “What did you do during the boom, warn us of disaster or hob nob with the bankers?” The loudest answers come from self-promoting “Boys who cried wolf”. Those who did the real fighting don’t feel we need to justify ourselves. Until that is, lies are told about us. Last Sunday you insinuated that I was a “player” (causer, presumably) of the recession because I had written a book entitled “The Best is Yet to Come”. Only fools judge a book by the cover. Here is my war record, of which I am proud:

Only a few days in the media after leaving the ECB to become Economics Editor of the Irish Times, I wrote on 13th July 2005 that lending threatened the economy. On July 29th 2005, I wrote that growth was “not sustainable”. On August 19th 2005 I wrote that construction was “hugely disproportionate” in the economy. On March 31st 2006 in a piece that began “Stop the economy I want to get off” I warned that financial regulation had broken down. On July 6th 2006 I warned of an imminent collapse in public finances. On July 17th 2006 at a Fianna Fail conference I challenged Brian Cowen to draw up contingency plans for a possible recession. In October 2006 I told ISME’s annual conference (chaired by George Lee) that a downturn would start in 2008. In the 2007 election campaign I relentlessly wrote about how all party manifestos were based on illusory growth assumptions.

Later that 2007 – in a book praised by TK Whitaker and others – I warned again of the downturn but added that our population would keep growing. With the right policies we could restore prosperity by 2020, which I still believe. The first two predictions have come true. To offset the books short term pessimism, I called it “The Best is Yet to Come”. Judging by Tribune figures, though, I’m sorry to say it won’t apply to the Tribune unless you restore the paper’s reputation for fact based reporting and analysis.


Marc Coleman

The Filthy, flirty, fooling around Irish

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Fun survey from in the PR box today. They surveyed us Paddys on their website. Bloody hell, I’m shocked at some results.

  • 9% of those asked “Did you ever hook up with someone on a social media website such as Facebook?” answered yes.
  • One in 3 have cheated on a trip abroad
  • One in 5 have had a secret hotel rendezvous
  • Six in 10 have had a holiday romance
  • 85% believe in monogamy in marriage
  • 38% have engaged in sexting
  • 70% of 18-25 year olds are sexting on the sly with someone they’re not married/partnered with

That 9% one has to be much higher than that or maybe we use Twitter now?

Radisson Blu Galway – I’d avoid for events

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Update as of end of April 2010: After a long time going back and forth and escalating this to the general manager for Radisson Group Ireland, the Radisson and I came finally came to a satisfactory resolution on this matter. Many lessons were learned by all sides.

Update: Staff members of the Radisson Blu chain are swarming around this blog post, one has even left a fake comment about his love for the Radisson Blu Dublin

I’ve been back and forth with the Radisson Blu Galway for over a week about the crap service they gave for the Blog Awards. Below is a list I sent the hotel of what I have subsequently been told were “minor issues”. I unfortunately trusted others that I would be guaranteed good service from the hotel, instead I got the worst service of any hotel I’ve done business with in 6 years of running various events. All these complaints have been forwarded to the GM of the Radisson Blu Group but I have yet to hear anything from them either. So much for good quality hotels in Ireland. The amount of additional stress added on to myself and others on the night of the Awards because of the below was uncalled for and should not have happened. This is what you don’t want for a conference or an event.


Lack of delivery of contract and prices until a few weeks before the date.
Despite choosing the hotel and going over details for the event, it was just weeks before the event that a contract arrived.

Staff wanted Twitter messages deleted
When I rang to clarify some issues, the main number for the hotel rang out. I noted this on Twitter. Later a staff member rang me back and answered some of my questions then said my tweets made them look bad and appreciated if I deleted them. When I said no I got a smart “well that’s your prerogative”. Further explanation from me that I’m not in the business of deleting tweets got the same “your prerogative” reply.

March 26th
We checked into the hotel, with a distinct lack of “hello and welcome”. A handover between two staff members for the event was amateur and the most up to date details and contract couldn’t be found. One of the Blog Award volunteers was assigned two rooms instead of one so had to correct that. I got asked at the handover what media coverage I would get for the hotel, does this post help? 🙂

The power sockets blew in my room on late Friday night leaving phones and laptop dead on Saturday morning.

March 27th
Tried to ring down dozens of times over the space of two hours to complain about power sockets. All numbers were engaged almost all day. Resorted to charging phone in someone else’s room. Walked to reception and it was swamped with people, could not find a staff member to complain to. Eventually had someone in housekeeping get an electrician. Electrician came to room and fixed sockets, they blew again later that evening.

Blog Awards Function
Function room was set up for 250 not 300, despite the handover on Friday making this very clear. I had to correct this with the staff who seemed unimpressed with my telling them. Staff were unpleasant to me and others.
Lights blew in VIP section of the function when lights tested by staff, had to be replaced by an electrician.
Unsafe wooden steps for the stage put up, yet had previously been promised proper steps in runthrough earlier in March. No proper steps were put up.
The stage was dirty with rubblish left there from previous event and rubbish was not cleared by staff.
Curtains at left of the stage had very large and obvious stains on them.

March 28th
Complained to John W on checkout about power in rooms. No record of any issues was sent down by electrician or housekeeping. Rooms was comped over power issue. Supposedly. Banqueting manager not around to discuss other issues or deal with payment.

March 29th
Chatted to Karen J on the phone about list of issues, outlined bedrooms were comped by John W. Outlined all the other issues I had. Told Karen J I would be paying

March 30th
Invoice for event arrived and I was charged for supposedly comped rooms

April 1st.
Without permission, hotel took 1000 euros off my credit card.

Data Protection Breach
Hotel has sent a survey to numerous Blog Award attendees despite them ticking box asking for no contact. Hotel has added many Blog Awards guests to their mailing list despite people opting out on check-in cards.

April 6th, 7th
Issues raised with Radisson Blu Group Manager – waiting for response…

April 8th.
Hotel writes me a letter, comping my room. Again. Pointing out issues were minor. Offering me a voucher to stay in hotel.

Fluffy Links – Thursday April 8th 2010

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Fantastic summary video of Blog Awards 2010 inc the funeral entrance.

Irish review site, as in As Gaeilge

TEDx Liffey is next week. Grab some tix, they’re almost gone.

Paul Dervan wants to bring charities, marketers and students together to work on projects. Great idea.

FunConf just got funner. FunConf is the one day web conference on a bus driving through Ireland. Very limited seating obviously. Speakers inc Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO.

Win an iFad, forget the aul iPad.

BeLonG To Youth Services are launching a campaign called Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week, you can follow them on twitter.

Another year, another Storyland. Follow Gerry the Butcher on Twitter. Watch him on YouTube and vote for him if you wish.

New Chemical Brothers tune, 12 mins long!

Fluffy Links – Wednesday April 7th 2010

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Love this post from Phil about movie spoilers.

New blog, nice concept. Couch Surfing in Dublin. Great database of gaffs to rob too.

Good post from Frankie P about using multiple feeds for Facebook Notes.

New blog: Alternative Tunings. A blog about the Irish alternative music scene.

What is The Board? “The Board is a support group for your business, provided in the form of structured monthly board meetings”

Via Eoin. Some great presos on recycling campaign ideas.

Via Anrooooooo, TED talk on simplifying legal jargon.

Via the Award giving and winning Jim Carroll -> Mountain Men – Animal Tracks