Author Archive

The connected self

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I normally do one of these Ones to watch each year that goes live a few seconds after midnight on New Years day. Like the linked post. 2010 was quite a busy year for me getting the company going and doing a hell of a lot of travel. 2011 will be the same, I’d expect. It resulted in me having less time to get to know others and what they’re up to. So the ones to watch 2011 post is not as researched as I’d like it to be. Still, I met a lot of new and existing people that were interesting and doing new things in 2010 and I am quite positive about 2011 and the next few years.

Patrick Freyne interviewed me a while back asking me about the idea of an Irish Silicon Valley and whether Irish web startups were at last getting suited and booted and ready to take on the world. It made me think and evaluate things. I recently wrote about the failure mentality in Ireland and this being chipped away is probably helping people too.

Since the days of Paddy’s Valley (Sequel in pre-production hell?), we’ve had plenty of Barcamps, Web Summits, Founders, Web Awards, Bizcamps (mmm coachtastic), Open Coffees, 091 labs and more. All events where people mix and share and build networks. This takes time too. That culture of meeting up with those with the same interests always happened but with the Internet and networks like Twitter you can each out to way more people and then gather them together. Physically or not. As I’ve said probably too much, James Burke and very recently Steven Johnson both talk about cross-pollination of ideas needing to happen for new inventions/technologies to occur.

In Silicon Valley it really does seem like everyone knows everybody else. There are lots of events, lots of startups and lots of starting again. Introductions fly all over the place too. There are plenty of people that have worked with each other before and will work with each other again. Now in Ireland we are seeing the same with companies doing side projects with others, talents are being mixed with some people with experience and some tech geniuses doing something they love for the first time.

Ireland still isn’t as networked as we could be but we’re certainly getting up to speed quite quickly. The average Irish person on Facebook having 160 connections is an example. This recession also gives us many opportunities we didn’t have before: Cheaper labour, companies willing to experiment more, landlords practically giving away office space and even redundancy money waiting to be used on that passion project you couldn’t do when writing java code for AIB. We shouldn’t forget to get out of our small pond too and meet people in London, Boston and Silicon Valley from time to time and bring back and share what we’ve learned.

So 2011, we’re the ones to watch. Let’s get more connected. High five or some shit.

Ones to watch in 2011

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

The list for 2010. Nice list of people that did well there. .

I actually wasn’t going to do this post at all since I haven’t had much time in 2010 to meet and greet and then stand back and evaluate trends and topics and have a look at the potentials. However people read these posts so I’ll do a mini sized one instead.

Stephen O’Leary
Stephen O’Leary in O’Leary Analytics. Media/social media monitoring and data magicking is what they do. Started his own company and is now up and running and doing well, getting his name out there, networking, getting to know people, sharing his insights for free and learning as he goes. 2011 will be big for people that can measure stuff that happens online and especially in social media.

Brian Greene
Brian I know for years via the Blog Awards, Web Awards and Twitter. An election in 2011 means Brian will, unlike so many of us blowhards, put his name down to ask the people for their vote. And possibly an actual honest politician in his area too.

Lisa Domican
One of life’s golden rules is “Don’t fuck with a mom” and Lisa Domican is typical of so many others out there who ignore what everyone says and goes off and gets what she needs for her kids. So off she goes and gets an iPhone app made for people with autism. Find the person to do it, gets it made, works like mad to get attention for it and still doesn’t stop. The Grace App won at the Web Awards and she made her thanks, then hunted anyone down that had a lanyard that evening so they could be used with iPhone holders. As you do. Just wait for her pitch in the comments here as well! The Grace App is gaining momentum so good luck to Lisa.

Pat O’Mahony
That guy that did that fashion yoke on the telly. That’s how someone addressed a letter to him before. Pat’s stuck me on the television twice now with his year in review show. He’s the producer, dontchaknow. The reason for being on this list though is that firstly Pat knows everyone. No really. I met Pat for a coffee before and he knew 6 different people in the space of a few minutes. A very well connected and pleasant person to know. On top of that he’s an intense worker. Lots of ideas always on the go, always chasing down need leads and potential features. Lots of plates deftly spinning. As he builds back up his local network, 2011 will be a good year for him I should think.

Eoin Purcell
Eoin worked for a publisher previously and now works via his company Greenlamp Media as a consultant. Eoin’s personal blog, work blog and Twitter accounts are great to find out what is happening in publishing in Ireland and abroad. With Kindles and iPads, digital books, ePublishing or whatever you’re calling it, 2011 is going to be a very very interesting year and Eoin is there as a veteran of traditional publishing and someone who consumes online media, he hopefully has a chance to show authors and publishers a better path than the “follow the exact same path as the music industry” path some have chosen up to now.

Suzy Byrne and Alexia Golez – Electionauts
The upcoming election, mentioned above is going to define Ireland for a very long time. Like the present government has done by leaving the country and people with scars on out international standing for generations, this election and what happens as a result of it could worsen things or clear out the rot. During the electioneering, the hype, the car crash youtubes and the highs and lows at the count centres will be many politicos and anoraks but the two I’ll be watching will be Suzy Byrne and Alexia Golez. Suzy the consummate finder of gaffs and weird singing lawyer songs and Alexia doorstepping everyone including Lord Garreth Fitzgerald. There, token women section is now done.

Margaret Smith
Hang on, I thought I reached the women quota already? Margaret Smith is a cook and blogger in Ireland. I’ve met her a whole twice but would interact with her on Twitter a good bit. She’s come up with a tonne of different ways for her to teach you, your partner, kids etc how to cook as well as doing catering for your events. What I admire is that she’s working and networking like mad the past year to build her name and as a result get trade. Twitter, blog and Facebook within the year. 2011 is going to be fun for Margaret.

Fail fast, fail cheap, fail smrt

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Failure is an option that is finally getting explored in Ireland. It’s now starting to trickle through that trying something and failing is not the sin it once was. Many have been saying for years how in Silicon Valley people are trusted almost more if they have previously done something and failed. It’s not the failure per se but it’s the experience gained from work and being at the coal face. In Silicon Valley it’s “hard luck, what are you doing next?”. In Ireland it’s been a case of “Oh that guy failed, should you really do business with him?” It still exists too. Lots of companies merged or were acquired in recent years to save face.

There’s a definite culture thing at play here. Good old Catholic guilt probably contributes to this. Communities via the pulpit have always been encouraged to knock anyone that rises about their “station”. Possibly tied to that is the excuse about bankruptcy laws in Ireland. I’m not convinced strict bankruptcy laws are holding people back.

If struck off it’s hard to start new business yet there are plenty who never go as far as being struck off. Plenty of people have risen above being struck off and have done well for themselves. If bankruptcy laws are holding you back are you not creative enough or are you too risk averse?

It seems like years ago but at a conference in March Dylan Collins amongst others talked about embracing failures and mistakes and learning from them. “We have to be proud of our mistakes – It’s how we learn.”

Any fans of James Burke and his Connections programmes will know of the way discoveries throughout history were more to do with lots of trials and their errors moreso than eureka moments. A “good” failure allows the lessons learned to be applied elsewhere and lots of these combined becomes a new discovery.

Just like the scammers swarmed into seo and social media though, now I wonder will the acceptance of failure see the spirit of it twisted to: hard luck, what grant are you going to try and nobble next?

Failure when you and others/the collective learns is important. Selfish failure does not help anyone, it encourages skewing of data, hiding results and outright lying. Going back to companies merging, many that invest in companies including organisations like Enterprise Ireland and VCs have plenty of companies on their books that are probably already dead but to save face, are not publicly wound down.

I do wonder has this culture of fear of failure not only slowed our progress and experimenting but also created an even worse scenario where you can have worse failures because of the level of secrecy that happens. And what of all the things learned in them. A secret failure means others will have to trudge through the same stuff too. Can we have a Wikileaks for this stuff?

Cheers Homer.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday December 22nd 2010

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I have about six blog posts in draft ready to write over Christmas. More long-winded meandering shite is on the way, guaranteed.

9 week Social Media/Online Marketing nightclass by MulleyComms in Dublin starts Jan 24th 2011.

9 week Social Media/Online Marketing nightclass by MulleyComms in Cork starts Jan 12th 2011.

Tweet #xmaseveryday and Strategem will donate a euro per tweet up to 1000 euros to Focus Ireland.

Trocaire asked me to mention their Christmas gifts campaign, see their Facebook here.

Showing how the solar lights are being used in Uganda:

Hanna, maybe what Kickass could have been?

Fluffy Links – Monday December 13th 2010

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Social Media/Online Marketing nightclass by MulleyComms in Cork starts Jan 2011.

Beat the earworms.

Moral compass Joe Duffy says Gerry Ryan’s cocaine habit that gave money to criminals didn’t harm anyone.

Flahavan’s is looking for funny morning photographs for its ‘Stir Up a Smile’ Facebook competition.

Fisticup. A cup that helps people with weak grips but also looks like a knuckleduster.

Got asked to pimp Eric McGrath’s music. So I have,

Some solid ideas on PR/Marketing trends for 2011.

Facebook and how it operates, from a psychology perspective.

Not exactly nero on his fiddle but a harpist plays from Shandon on budget day

Fluffy Links – Monday Dec 6th 2010

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Looking for new Irish business social media case studies for my presentations. Want to feature? Fill in this form.

Sigur Ros online store is a go! Woo.

Adrian Weckler goes over some great biz apps for the iPad. My fav apps are Osfoora and oPlayer though.

Via Ben. A website that shows you how high the Thames is in a visual manner. Leave the site open and you can see the rise and falls. From the same guy that allowed you to print a book of all your tweets and other insanely clever ideas.

Put your tweets on a tea towel.

Via Jim Carroll – The Unthanks

Reachout have done an anti-bullying video. They have not called it a viral. Thank feck.
BullyOS

Fluffy Links – Friday December 3rd 2010

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Ireland competes in another International sport –Football Tennis. Really.

I give a lot of presentations on online marketing/comms/social media each month. If you want your company as a case study to be used in my presentation, fill in this online form. Note, the form will be made public so everyone can avail of good case studies.

Measure It! January 5th or 12th, you decide.

Remember that online retailer list I put together? Now standing at 82 listings of people selling goods online in Ireland, some have special discounts. As a retailer, you add yourself here. It goes live right away.

Some videos from the launch of Wicklow TV.

Was in Malaga the other there where I had a good laugh with Mr. Adair from NI Travel News.

At the Janelle Monae gig the other night, where she painted and sang, some clever kid got a video:

Fluffy Links – Tuesday 23rd of November 2010

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship has opened the application form for their 1Million investment fund. Up to 24 early stage technology startup companies can avail.

Silent protest outside Dáil on Thursday holding You’re Fired signs.

Colm Tobín on the IMF coming to town.

The first allowed for compromise and nuance in Ireland over issues of identity and sovereignty. It allowed for the idea that you could be British in Ireland, or both Irish and British, or just Irish. It allowed for the idea that history carries as much shadow as substance, and that nothing is simple in our heritage. It was negotiated with imagination and openness by Irish politicians and civil servants as well as British ones.

Queer Notions 2010 – Dec 7th to 11th. I like the idea of The Bobby Sands Memorial Race:

Bobby Sands was a long distance runner as a teenager. During his time in the infamous Maze prison in Belfast, Sands wrote articles and essays on endurance and running. His essay, ‘The Loneliness of a Long Distance Cripple’, is the inspiration for Welsh choreographer Eddie Ladd’s extraordinary show The Bobby Sands Memorial Race.

Set on a 12ft X 6ft running machine, Ladd’s stunning solo piece follows the sixty six days of the hunger strike and considers the long-distance goal of resistance.

Go Google. They bring out a plugin that allows you via Word and Excel to live sync with Google Docs. And it supports more versions than Microsoft’s online offering!

The Pipe, the documentary about the Corrib Gas project, will be released at the Irish Film Institute with a gala screening + Q&A on Thursday December 2nd at 6pm

Roy Harper – When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease

Fluffy Links – Saturday November 20th 2010

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Another Foodfight.ie competition, this one with Doodle bread.

And it’s from Cork. Nift.ie task management web app.

Despise designing a powerpoint deck? Outsource it.

An IGNITE Information Evening which will include talks on Wealth Creation and Idea Generation will take place on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 6pm. To register for this free seminar email ignite@ucc.ie

Researchers throughout Ireland are invited to the 6th Annual Scientific Workshop of the National Access Programme (NAP) which takes place at Tyndall National Institute in Cork on Wednesday 26th January 2011.

Loving this Cake Stands made from old plates.

Preventing suicides by projecting an ad on to the river under a bridge.

Digable Planets – Where I’m From

Fluffy Links – Monday 15th November 2010

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Not my idea, so after some banter on twitter a website gets created that lets people know Is Mulley On a train? I think it’s genius. I would though.

I’m compiling a list of Irish Online Retailers to get Christmas gifts from this year. Are you one? Add yourself here. To see the list so far have a look here.

And on that: Do Irish websites make money?

Now this is a nice patriotic ad for Ireland. I thought it was by the IDA to start with, it should be:

And yes, I agree. Being There is a fantastic movie.

Ghost and Entity removal. Thank you Internet.

City Tickets. Take pay and display machines and allow them to be used to log issues with your City Council.

Username and password in the one box. Like it.

Hidden Cameras – Boys of Melody – A Take Away Show. Walking down by a river while performing this. Lovely.