Archive for September, 2010

Fluffy Links – Wednesday September 29th 2010

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Best of luck to all behind the launch of eMobile.ie today. Purple is in fashion I’m told.

Web Awards short lists are out. Tickets on sale too. About two weeks left to get em.

McCambridges in Galway now are a-blogging. Was nice to meet them on a course a while back.

Love this post about Mary Coughlan from Twenty.

Avid filmmaker? 7up MOFILM Filmmaker Meet Up 1830-2030 Drinks, Networking & Irish TV Ad Competition in Dublin on Thursday.

Nixon McInnes measures workplace happiness in an interesting way.

Twitter and the Golden Ratio. Love it.

Been years since I watched Avalon

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.

like a stone into water

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Been reading Zero History by William Gibson. This quote on page 179 made me want to share it:

She watched as he sank instantly into whatever it was he that he did on the Net, like a stone into water. He was elsewhere, the way people were before their screens, his expression that of someone piloting something, looking into a middle distance that had nothing to do with geography

Fluffy Links – Monday 27th September 2010

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Ireland Involved Awards 2010. It’s the final push for nominations, deadline is the October 1st

Web Awards 2010 tickets are on sale right now for 30 quid a pop. Be quick!

Ciara Kenny, a journalist who has just completed her MA at DCU flew out to Zambia, to live for a month in a small rural village in Eastern Zambia called Makwatata. She’s armed with a solar powered kit, laptop, DV camera and other devices, and will be blogging on the people, and on life in the local community for the next month. Take a looksee.

Qluso: an online app that allows news editors to bid for exclusive stories from freelance journalists, launched in private beta at ShowCase Conf in Belfast recently and won ‘Best Demo/Pitch’ out of 22 start-ups. Congrats. From now until the 3rd of October they’re letting journos and editors sign-up for the beta on their website to get an invitation to the beta.

Google Instant doesn’t let you search for some items. Here’s the big list so far. Imagine a search engine that ONLY allowed you search for this.

Life Coach an online comedy from folks in Galway. Hector and Tommy free, thank fuck.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday September 22nd 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Win a Cully and Sully massive hamper on FoodFight.ie and don’t forget to enter your beans on toast to the Chef Factor competition.

Speaking of Food Fight. if you want your Irish Food Blog listed and want access to food producer giveaways, fill in the form.

Meanwhile a competition to win a Barry’s Tea hamper on Messy Chef.

Cork’s first street style blog.

UCC new media courses nearly full, 8 wks starting next week. Introductory and Intermediate.

Microsoft Ireland has launched the Microsoft AppChallenge, a competition to encourage Irish developers to create content for its Windows Phone Marketplace, the application store for Windows Phone 7

Exchange Dublin got a new website, woo!

Highly interesting, light therapy with light going into the ears.

Steven Johnson has a new book about generating new ideas. He’ll have a free webinar going through the tools you can use.

Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick

Social Media: Facebook and Weddings

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I’m loving how some businesses are using different aspects of Facebook to get business. I asked some companies that work in the Wedding Industry to explain how they use Facebook for business, two good examples here:

Allan Cavanagh from Caricatures Ireland

Allan Cavanagh Weddings

I’ve used Facebook to advertise my business, Caricatures Ireland, since 2008. In that time my combined ads have been viewed five and a half million times, and have received 5,000 clicks. The numbers are staggering for the relatively small spend I’ve invested in that time, and while I’m simply too busy to track exact conversions (enquiries converting to bookings) the fact that I am so busy is probably indicative of a decent percentage.

If you have a niche business like mine, the ability to tailor your ads to a specific demographic gives Facebook an enormous edge over Google Adwords. In short, my Facebook ad will only display for Facebook members who’ve indicated they’re engaged in their personal details. Compare that to Google Adwords, where your ad displays to anyone searching for keywords: a potential waste of money. A Facebook ad is reaching a motivated target market exclusively.

I’ve picked up a few tricks for maximising ROI on my ad too. For instance, there’s no need to have your campaign running indefinitely. I run my ad in bursts, spaced 4-6 months apart, and usually no longer than a week. Your ad will probably be seen by everyone that’s interested in that space of time, so you need to allow a few months go by for numbers of the newly engaged to build up again.

Allan Cavanagh Weddings

You’ll need to play around with your spend as well. FB will suggest a cost per click, but you should start lower than this and increase it until you notice an increase in enquiries. You can pay per impression or per click, but if you’re a small business you want to drive traffic instead of exposing a brand name, so pay per click. Your maximum spend is something you’ll need to play around with, but I think a trickle is better than a deluge: if your budget is €500, put a max spend of €10-€20 per day so your budget isn’t sucked up too quickly.

Good copy will get a potential customer to click through to your site. A good, illustrative image will draw a potential customer’s eye. Your landing page is your shop window, and all the info a customer needs should be present on that one page, including how to contact you. A separate landing page for your Facebook campaign
will help you keep track of how your ad is going. Facebook is rapidly outgrowing its role as a website: it is becoming more of a presence than a place, as the new “Like” button spreads throughout the web. Think about setting up a Fan Page, and incorporating the “Like” button on your blog.

If Google’s catchphrase is “Don’t Be Evil”, Facebook’s unwritten one is “Be Lucrative”, so get on it.

Allan Cavanagh is on Twitter here and Facebook here.

Claire from Mrs2Be.ie

Mrs2be.ie Facebook

The main reason we wanted to create a Facebook welcome page was to increase the number of fans (”Likes”) that our business page was achieving on a weekly basis. We wanted to create something reasonably eye-catching and that would have an obvious call to action feature – i.e. the big arrow that encourages users to like our page. At the same time, we also wanted to give a little bit of information about what mrs2be.ie is all about i.e. our friendly discussion forum, our supplier directory, our wedding checklists and wedding advice articles. We also included this message in text format underneath the graphic so that it would be indexed by Google.

Mrs2be.ie Facebook

After setting the welcome page to become the default landing page for new visitors, we could see very quickly that it was working for us. Within 10 days or so, our fans increased from 500 to 1,000. This has levelled off now, but we’re still attracting a decent number of new fans on a weekly basis.

Like the mrs2be Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter.

Fluffy Links – Friday September 17th 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

My friend Stephen did his dissertation presentation recently called SophieJS. Making search and even better. Check it out nerds and suits!

Love Twenty’s take on the Fianna Fáil Think-in.

Audiodetour by You’re Only Massive is a site responsive mp3 audio walk, commissioned by and currently running at The Model in Sligo.

It layers choreography, soundscapes and songs on top of the real Sligo and asks you to use everyday spaces with a playful sense of experimentation, exploration and adventure and to keep an ear out for the hidden histories of caregivers and bankers.

EU Journalist Awarddeadline is this evening. The prize “honours online or print journalists in the EU who, through their work, contribute to a better public understanding of the value and benefits of diversity and the fight against discrimination in Europe.” Get going.

An app for Arthur’s Day. Makes sense.

Bruce Dickinson. Iron Maiden frontman and marketing head honcho for an airline.

You still coming to Measure It!

Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills

Fluffy Links – Monday September 13th 2010

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Beoir – Ireland’s craft beer campaign group.

Was asked to mention this new online petition: “Minister for Education & Skills to take the reasonable and sensible step of evaluating and assessing the ABA schools before taking a decision on whether to effectively close them.” Seems Mary Coughlan shutting down some special needs schools and turning them into non-specialist schools.

New Community Maps tool for Dublin City.

Job: Web UI Developer for Franchise Direct. Dublin based.

Snorkelling in a Bog, Finding the King of the Culchies and Heading off to Tedfest all in the name of Bringing the Craic Back with Meteor! Picture of Ray Foley looking like a tit redacted. Too many around as is.

Louth County Enterprise Board are running an Innovation evening on Thursday, 23rd September 2010.

iPhone app allows you to see what a watch looks like on your arm.

Letter.ly – nice way to sell and send email newsletters.

Joanna plays in Dublin tomorrow.
Joanna Newsom – ‘81

Fluffy Links – Tuesday September 7th 2010

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Fred from DoneDeal.ie has started blogging over on Fred.ie

Fluffy links full of events today:

Voices of Children Conference this Wednesday in Dublin.

Will focus on the lives and experiences of children of lesbian and gay parents. Organised by MarriagEquality, the conference is called Voices of Children and will be used to launch a report on research in to children of lesbian and gay parents.

Measure It! is on September 29th. Hosted by yours truly.

There are generally 3 quick presentations which focus on measurements and then the crowd are given a task to do after being split into groups.

The One Stop Self Publishing Conference is in Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel on October 16th. I’d be going but it’s on the day of the web awards.

The GIY (Grow it Yourself) 2010 Conference takes place on Saturday the 18th of September in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Tickets are priced at €40 and include a hot buffet lunch and tour of the Guinness Storehouse

Hothouse Flowers – Emotional Time

Fluffy Links – Monday September 6th

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Liking this. The Fota Learning Zone. For Fota House that is. The Gardens there are amazing

Student writer? Want some work? Got this via email: “Interested in writing? Looking for some part time work to help get you through the long college year? Cybercom are looking for student writers around Ireland to write topical posts on student life…” Contact Cybercom for more details or send a sample of your work to lynne < at > cybercom.ie .

William Gibson’s new book is out. Zero History.

Nice post from Midpoint Creative on how they’ve helped out with the Web Awards.

Hurling helmets: Women say that they “take care of the ugly”.

At long last, a Dublin Bikes app is back.

WhatClinic blog points out that A/B testing isn’t the holy grail afterall.

Thanks to James in UPC, great list of connection testing tools.

Found via the Irish Times: While it’s an infomercial for heartburn meds, Heartburn.ie’s iPhone app is handy for finding pharmacies.

Via Kottke, medley of dancing in movies. Defy you not to tap a foot and shimmy a leg:

Connections – James Burke and his technology detective stories

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

I remember watching James Burke’s Connections series years ago and found it again on YouTube today. Many of the shows are there, split into 10 minute intervals. Connections brings you on a journey through time, back and forth, showing us how small discoveries were crucial to future inventions. Burke suggested the episodes were technology detective stories in the first episode and he certainly was right. Perhaps the modern equivalent of James Burke for me is Steven Johnson with books like Emergence, Ghost Map and Invention of Air. As usual, trying to get a copy of this British TV show is difficult from Play.com or Amazon UK, is a little easier from US websites and is so much easier from torrent sites. I’m sure he’d have some wry comment about that himself.