Author Archive

eircom via Google’s DoubleClick advertises on PirateBay

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

It seems you can now see eircom ads on the worlds most notorious file sharing website – thePirateBay.org. The site that the music and movie industry wants to shut down is now being serviced with ads by Google’s company DoubleClick. Below is a screenshot of an eircom ad. Click for bigger pic. I very much doubt eircom knew their ad buying company would put the ads there.

eircom ad on Pirate bay

Case study: Irish Businesses and Twitter

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

For those not familiar with Twitter, it’s a text message rebroadcast service, it has about 1.2 million users online.

If you have a look at twitter.com you’ll see SMS sized messages from people telling people what they’re doing or what they’re up to. People subscribe to get updates from your profile more than you sending stuff to your list of people.

When compared to the 100s of millions on social networks, Twitter is tiny, but the current trend is seeing people focus more of their attention on Twitter and way from the traditional social networks. Hah – “traditional social networks”. Those people on Twitter too are the trendspotters and trend makers. I recently put a list together here of Irish Businesses on Twitter and that is of course growing.

Horse Kisses
Photo owned by David Masters (cc)

It’s just one more place where companies can do business. Unlike other “markets” though, this is very very informal and while people are happy for business to take place, they’re more interested in the social aspect of this space. But aren’t people more influenced when they’re relaxed and talking to real people? I’ll harp back again to Recruit Ireland who have recently joined and are really getting the space and very recently Herb Street joined Twitter. Herb Street are a restaurant in the Dublin Docklands and while they only have a holding page for their website, they’re active enough on Twitter, even posting pics of their daily specials.

Irish Businesses are using Twitter in four main ways

Rebroadcast
1. First they just use it as a rebroadcast service so blog feeds or special offers are sent out in 140 character bursts from the account. There is no real interaction with people. Like this special offers account from Dell: http://twitter.com/DellHomeOffers , In Ireland the company might not even do it themselves, there are unofficial feeds for RTE for example: http://twitter.com/RTEnews

Human face of business
2. They human power it. Using an official title they go off and they might auto mention new blog posts but they also answer questions posed to them and join in conversations. Irish company Blacknight’s is like that: http://twitter.com/bksolutions

Active Participation
3. They join in as humans first, business people second. They take an active part in conversations, start them, contribute to them but also give their opinion on business issues and so forth. They use Twitter to show off their knowledge, to network and to have fun. Pat Phelan from Cork based Cubic telecoms is an example: http://twitter.com/patphelan

Monitoring and then interacting
4. They monitor Twitter for their brand and see what sentiment is like and they will also engage directly with a user to help them with their issue or a sale etc. Any company can search for their details using http://search.Twitter.com

When buses took over Market Street - 1948
Photo owned by bobster1985 (cc)

It’s interesting to see some Irish companies being ahead of the curve when it comes to this and there’s a good deal of Irish using the system when it comes to number of users per capital. Also too, a few Irish companies have built other applications and businesses on top of twitter. Cork based Pat Phelan and Dublin company Dial2Do made twitterfone.com, the ability to dial and talk in your message instead of typing and another group in Cork have built a statistics package called TweetRush.com to monitor how many messages go through the system per second, hour, day, week etc.

DownloadMusic.ie USB Album

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

download music usb

Got one of the DownloadMusic.ie USB albums in the post a while back from them for free.

Artists featured include: Saccade, The Rumours, Driving By Night, The Radio, Roberta Howett, The Flaws, OrphanCode, SUDDYN, Ro Tierney, Codes, Justinmanville, Dirty Epics, Jo and the Flood, The Kinetiks, Vesta Varro

I was expecting the usual Irish musical compilation album, you know, one or two good tracks and the rest being shite. WRONG. Very impressed with this. I’ve heard a few too thanks to Phantom but the quality of the bands and artists is really good. I’m now chasing up on some of the bands. There’s a lot of talent on this album. Only issue is I won’t use the media player that comes with it and the mp3s when loaded into Winamp has very messy song titles/names. An m3u file would have been handy.

I remember reading somewhere that the newest bands are influenced by the whole world now. They can connect with bands who only ever had an audience of 60 in their local town but the second their music is online, kids from the other side of the world can sample their work and get influenced. Hopefully in the next few years with such diversity of influence we’ll hear some amazing new stuff. Looks like we’re getting some of it with this album.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday September 3rd 2008

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

It’s not too late to come along to CreativeCamp Belfast on Saturday. Come along. After the amazing support the folks way up there have shown to the Blog Awards and BarCamps, I feel I owe them a few visits.

Suzy Byrne made the Huffington Post. Well done.

Via PhilFBcal – export the Facebook Birthdays to Google Calendar or iCal.

Gay Marriage for all in California. Even prisoners. Makes for some interesting dilemmas…

Love Zebras. Love this poster.

Get your musical goods on iTunes and sell cds too with TuneCore.
Anyone know where I can get this picture?

Nice Guerilla Marketing tips for startups.

$175k a day for an ad on the front of YouTube.

Sarah Palin had a lot of work done to her Wikipedia profile before she was nominated.

Via Kerry: Surveys

Via Treasa – Princess Bride in Lego

IrishRail’s gaywatch – Confirm they are on lookout to stop gay couples

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

It seems that IrishRail is actively watching out for gay and lesbian couples who might be getting the train. Minister for Setting things back 30 years Mary Coughlan, when she was in charge of social welfare put a law in place that denied samesex couples the ability to travel on a companion travel pass and IrishRail started enforcing it this year. They now have public notices in train stations that state:

Only named persons that have signed the rear of the pass and that are of a different gender are entitled to use the pass.

Irish, blacks, no gays

The “rules” mean that you can claim a companion pass even if you are unmarried, once the person is of the opposite sex. You can blab on about the Constitution and the protection of marriage and such but if unmarried couples who are not gay or lesbian can get the pass then that’s some serious inequality there. Or an old person with a non-loving, non-sexual partner. Up to the rule change by Coughlan, samesex couples could claim the pass if they passed the same eligibility tests as heterosexual couples. Of course if an elderly gay couple(I hear there’s at least 4 in the country) and an elderly lesbian couple went training around the country they would be allowed if they put a person from the other couple on their pass and vice-versa.

IrishRail’s spokesperson confirmed in an email to Suzy Byrne that they have been stopping gay couples from availing of this.

Maybe they should those World War II propganda posters too?
PartyOnCommunists
Photo owned by Ligadier Truffaut (cc)

Do Follow – Should you change link policies on your blog?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Michele’s kicked off something interesting with his blog post about the IIA’s Blog putting in nofollow or rather using the wordpress default on their blogs for comments.

(For the non techies who are the majority on this blog: the nofollow attribute in links left in comments on a blog means Google and other search engines won’t give these links any weight because they came from your site. See some people/bots had been leaving 1000s of comments on blogs before which linked to certain sites and it resulted those sites getting artificial boosts in Google rankings)

The IIA have since changed that around. Michele himself talks about his moderation policy and how he nukes any soft sell comments. If you have a moderation policy of doing that then removing nofollow makes sense I would guess.

No, not that kinda Link:
Link
Photo owned by metaxin (cc)

However, the way I see it, links without nofollow should be ones that you endorse and they’re not links in comments. I leave plenty of comments through that I do not agree with. I’ll do the same for links but I don’t vote with my site for those links. My own moderation policy is I’ll allow most stuff through soft sell or not (though not all) with the idea being the stupid and bad linking of an individual just makes them look like tits.

When you have IIA in their training classes advocating leaving comments on blogs to boost your Google rankings, maybe nofollow is actually a good idea?

Also wouldn’t spam engines target your blog more if it removes nofollows?

It would be nice though for WordPresss to allow you to have that control. Maybe they’ll bring it out. Meanwhile there’s a Dofollow wordpress plugin for it.

Update: This is what happens when you allow dofollow. The spammers make lists.

Operation Free Flow – anti-M50 toll campaign website

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Operation Free Flow

IMG_5529
Photo owned by poeloq (cc)

A new web campaign has started to fight the “toll free” toll on the M50.

Some of their suggested steps are here which should cause disruption but not on the M50:

3 Step Pay Guide
Support M50 eToll O.F.F. Campaign, by following 3 steps
Step 1: Do not purchase or use any prepay options.
Step 2: Use the M50 as normal.
Step 3: Pay via the telephone service by Dialing 1890 50 10 50 at exactly 7.45pm the following day.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday September 2nd 2008

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Going to PodCamp? Do.

My own take on this new Google Chrome Browser. I think the browser wars won’t happen. This is all about building an OS for the Web.

The latest Post the Roast is out.

K8 the Gr8 won August’s Blog Post of the Month. O2 are sending her a phone too. Fair play to O2 too for keeping up with the sponsorship despite a load of us bloggers giving them crap for their iPhone issues. Not every company would do that.

Eamon climbed Mont Blanc. For the laugh like. Read all about it.

Ryanair is one of the best PR/Marketing agencies in the world. Another example. I do wonder is it Ryanair themselves leak these? People keep getting told how they will try every trick in the book to cut costs. We get a new one every so often. Remember the mobile phone charging ban? Do you honestly think it was real?

Fan in fanatic. Look at the massive energy and gravity around the Dr. Horrible universe. Whedon has whacky fans.

Playlist from William Gibson. iTunes buy!

Jeremiah on How to get noticed. Brand wise.

Remember that cool enough song that was made for 500 quid and had 250k views on Youtube? Know how many mp3s he sold as a result? 100 Here’s Rhodri Marsden’s take on how hard it is for bands/musicians these days.
Here’s the vid again:

Are there any Seanachai events in Ireland anymore? I’ve love to go to a few of them and see how they work. I’d love if Eddie Lenihan’s TV shows were put online by RTE or put on DVD. You can listen to a tale from Eddie here.

Meanwhile:

Darth vader being a smart arse:

Net screwed in Ireland past few days? You’re not alone

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Update 4th September: BT Ireland officially stating they are unsure what the issue is and will revert when they do know. Been almost a week now. I’ve asked will they compensate us for the month of September for these continued outages. They’ll get back to us on that too.

BT are blaming eircom or some BT staff are. Also affecting Perlico and UTV. Seems to happen mostly in the evenings the past few days. Something is certainly screwy.

7 ways on how blogs in Ireland can make money

Monday, September 1st, 2008

There are hundreds if not thousands of stories about how blogs can make you thousands of dollars/euros/punts a month/year but there’s not so much out there on success stories from Ireland. I’m talking about honest ways of course. There’s always selling links and Pay Per Post if you want to go the online chugging route.

These are some direct and indirect ways to make money, please add more in the comments field.

Direct:

1.Ads and affiliations

Google Ads:
Many blogs in Ireland are using Google ads to sell ads. They’re probably the easiest to set up but depending on the content of your site, the return can be pretty shite. Saying that, the more niche the content and the bigger the International readership, the more return you can get from these ads. A blog like mine with such a massive mix of topics and fluffy links means that Google Ads would have an identity crisis.

Others:
There are thousands of other ad systems out there that you can use for your blog too. Don’t just stop at Google ads. Read Michele Neylon’s Monetise.it for more information and tips. There are loads!

GAP Simply Summer
Photo owned by Dominic’s pics (cc)

Sell em yourself:
In Ireland companies like Trade Doubler and SalesOnline.ie don’t seem to work with blogs at all. There’s a valid enough reason too: Most blogs don’t do enough traffic so it’s hard to manage 100s of small tiny sites that they can put ads on. Maybe over time we’ll see our own bloggers ad network. My own form for those Irish bloggers wanting to do ads is sparesly enough populated too.

Feed ads:
You can put ads on your RSS feed too with the likes of Google Adsense for feeds or you can use an Amazon feed option so that you can put affiliate links in your RSS feeds.

Affiliates:
You can become an Amazon, eMusic etc. affiliate so that every time you mention an album, book, movie etc. a link is created to a sales page on Amazon or others. If someone buys an item then you get a percentage.

There are lots and lots and lots of options there. Please leave some feedback in the comments below and I’ll add more of your suggestions.

2 Sponsorship

It doesn’t happen much with Irish blogs but it’s an option. I use this model for Gastronom.ie and Bleep.ie and it allows an advertiser/sponsor to create their own “sponsored” blog post. They contribute a blog post that has good content in exchange for a sum of money. The post itself is highlighted as a sponsored piece. The company can also sponsor certain categories of the blog too and their branding can appear in that section in the sidebars and header and footer. It’s something like TheRegister.co.uk does for the various sections of their site.

delicious happiness
Photo owned by myuibe (cc)

3. Tip Jar

Paypal, Amazon and other services allow you to create a tipjar style option for your blog. If you’re not into making a lot of money but just enough for hosting, this is an option.

05-17-08_1455
Photo owned by kingnixon (cc)

4. Content syndication

Why not make a note that your content can be distributed? I think a lot more blogs would find their content in newspapers and magazines (when not nicked) if they mentioned they had a syndication policy. A creative commons button means absolutely nothing to normal people. It’s not an organ donor card you know. There are plenty of bloggers out there that write great content that could well be syndicated if the person reading it realises this. Don’t be afraid to make this know. Have a Syndication Policy.

5. Events

Something that should be done but not done yet as far as I can see. Although the Blog Awards is probably one such event but the money there goes to charity and it’s run to break even. 400+ people attended the Blog Awards in 2008. If your blog has a big enough local following and has some theme, then why not organise an event on that theme. Or perhaps an event for the niche you are in along with other blogs in that area. *cough* food blogger eatathon *cough*

Podleaders All Around
Photo owned by topgold (cc)

6. Build up and sell on

If you build a niche or nichey(not a real word but then this is a blog!) website and work hard at it then there’s a possibility that you’ll be bought out by your rivals, a local publisher (I still think the Times or the Indo will start buying blogs) or a larger niche or not so niche content network. There are already some examples:

VIPGlamour.net was sold by John M. Ryan a few years back for an undisclosed sum. It had good traffic and was added to a stable of other sites. I guess the idea being that the more property you have, the better deal you can get from advertising networks or create your own ad network that sits on top of your various websites. See what I said above about ad buying/selling companies only wanting to deal in 10s or 100s of 1000s of pageviews per site.

ArseBlog is/was an Irish blog about Arsenal. It was sold to OleOle.com this year for an undisclosed sum and the Arseblogger still has full editorial control of the site and works fulltime for them now. Depending on your blog’s content, you might be able to do the same.

Of course if your blog is not on a domain you own, you’re going to run into a few issues with ownership.

Indirect

7. Using the blog to get other work

Book deals
Twenty Major, Grandad, Good Mood Food Blog, Kieran Murphy (one more link on this line and it’d be linkbait) and others have gotten book deals as a direct result of their blogs and the writing that they do. Publishers are always looking for new ideas and content for books and blogs are a nice way of seeing the ability of potential writers.

Consultancy
Rowan Manahan, Tom Raftery, myself and others have written about topics on their blogs which have resulted in approaches from people and companies asking us to do work for them or we have been referred on to companies by our regular readers. All depends on your niche again. Why not add a “Consultancy Services” page on your blog?

Fulltime jobs
It’s happened and it will happen again. Prospective employers can get a much better insight into who you are from your blog. If you’re blogging about a topic on your blog and are an expert at it, don’t be surprised if you get a call from a company for a chat. It might start off with some consulting work and might eventually turn into a fulltime job.

Stairway to Heaven
Photo owned by ╠╣ỴρΞЯ ΔC╬ịVΞ (cc)

Do you have any suggestions?