Author Archive

Loopthing – Irish business service with social features

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I met up with the lads from Cork-based Loopthing a while back when it was in Alpha to have a look at what it does for businesses.

The blurb from the site says this about them:

Loopthing allows every business to come online and network with one another, as well as providing customers with detailed information on their products or services.

The idea is that it will list your business on their site and also add lots of the social features we’re now well used to on the likes of Facebook and other places. People can leave comments, companies can add photos, podcasts and videos and they can network with each other.

Loopthing

Lots of practical features on the way too which I don’t disclose for now. Have a look about and send them feedback. Their blog is here. Right now this is a soft launch I believe. Why not get your business listed?

Ze Frank is talking at the Science Gallery on Friday

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

A genius comes to talk.

Here’s a reminder of Ze who starts off with a song about ugly mySpaces and then riffs on cheap design tools used by the masses scare the shit out of the design gatekeepers:

Bryan Dobson meets some bloggers, thanks RTE!

Friday, April 10th, 2009

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Yesterday RTE pulled out all the stops to give Darragh, Suzy, Alan, John, myself and Tommy a tour of RTE’s Newsroom. Bryan Dobson is dead on too. We got a quick tour of the newsroom where Carolyn introduced us to the many people that work to inform the millions of Irish people about what’s going on in Ireland and around the world. We got to briefly chat with Bryan Dobson and others. I think he’s now subbed to Tommy’s blog. We then went to the gallery or whatever it’s called where the magic happens for the news on RTE television. There we saw the prep for the 1pm news and they showed us how they line up the stories, images and graphics for each news bulletin. From there we went into the news studio and watched the prep from there before the 1pm news.

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Then we left them get on with the news. The Morning Ireland studio is adjacent to news studio and we got a look at that too. Morning Ireland are on Twitter too:
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And then we looked into the studio that does the Late Late (Rumour is Ryan will get the gig but Tommy will take over the TT show, makes sense) and Tubridy tonight, this is the view from above, a hell of a lot of lights eh?:
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After a brief break at the infamous RTE canteen we then headed over to where the Primetime team work and met Mark Little and other team members for a good chat about news and current affairs and the views of the bloggers and Twitter folks on what they’d like to see RTE do online. They seemed very interested in the liveblogging and Twitter feedback.

There’s a lot of talk about the licence fee anytime RTE does something people don’t like but when you see how the (Update: Clarifying that I mean RTE news) News organisation works and what they provide to the public in a efficient manner maybe you’ll consider the idea that they’re value for money.

Oh and on leaving I saw Larry Gogan. Half the visiting party never heard of him. Feeling old…

Fluffy Links – Thursday April 9th 2009

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Like comics? Comic Cast have released a mixtapes of songs to read comics with or something.

Event: Visually Impaired Computer Society of Ireland (VICS) – Web Accessibility 2.0: Making the Web work for Everyone – May 14th

Handbags between Labour and the Green Party on the web yesterday.

Gavin Bate is currently en route to climb Everest (this is his 5th attempt) which he is doing without support (no oxygen or stops). He’s doing it to highlight the Moving Mountains charity that he is involved in. Folks can follow him on Twitter (very regular updates on progress etc.) – www.twitter.com/gavinbate

Clever advertising from RaboBank – Truthbank a website to get people to talk about truths. Nice video too:

Fluffy Links – Wednesday April 8th 2009

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Communications checklist for companies.

Networking event in Cork on April 28th with it@Cork and InterTradeIreland.

Richard is giving away conversion optimisation services. If you want to convert a visitor to a cutomer on your site, talk to him.

So Amazon are delivering electronic goods to Ireland again.

This is David Byrne in a tutu on Monday night in the National Concert Hall. What an inspiring evening it was:
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Now that the country is even more fucked, why don’t we see who all these TDs are who didn’t take the pay cut? Wiki software and calling around anyone?

New blog: Andy Regan

This is how you treat fans. Fans surprised with screening of new Star Trek film.

Then this is what fans do for you:

i brought a troupe of back-up actors/dancers on the tour (we were only playing 300-1000 seaters) and had no money to pay them, so we passed the hat into the crowd every night. each performer walked from each show with about $200 in cash. the fans TOOK CARE OF THEM.

Drunk dialing no more. The bad decision blocker for the iPhone.

via BrandIreland: Banned VW ad. How the hell can you have a banned ad when the Net is around?

The bludget

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Got asked by a journalist about my take on the budget in regards to technology which I include below. Alexia’s post on it is clearer and better than mine though. Have a look. And bludget? Well that’s what the good folks on Twitter decided to label Twitter messages with that mentioned the budget.

So thats what Three kilos of chocolate looks like
Photo owned by MonkeySimon (cc)

My own take is that this was a prime opportunity to tell the tech companies of Ireland or those wanting to start one that there is real potential and to take the plunge. A budget, even if it is all about cutting things to bits can still be used to promote business and investment in people and ideas. Instead it’s leaving people with a mostly negative take on the present and the future.

This tax relief on IP is also to be welcomed but those getting into creating or acquiring IP need to be very large and very rich companies or have considerable backing. IP development takes a lot of time and resources so it’s only really established companies that are in this area. For anyone starting up, it’s not the easiest place to work and there are better returns for a tech company and a startup by just developing something and launching something fast. Launch fast, launch cheap and iterate as you go, that’s one of the main rules for technology startups these days. Most tech VCs aren’t too worried about IP unless you get sued for breaches. I think a tax relief system where IP developed in colleges is commercially used and exploited would capture the interest of more tech companies. While there is college to business IP movements, this needs to be streamlined and made much more efficient. Stanford University is a model to follow here.

2009 has seen plummeting property prices and plenty of highly skilled people looking for jobs which are serious advantages in terms of starting a tech company. Most of a tech company can be run from anywhere with a broadband connection anyway when it first starts out. A tax or grant boost from the Government to invest in technology startups now will get most bang from a buck. Planning for the future is not all about slashing present costs. We should remember that Google started in a downturn too and the Government should be thinking in those terns.

We all know about creative accounting and creative ways people moved money about, why can’t we have creative tax breaks like tax relief for bars and cafes that install free public wifi or tax relief for a business that provides desk space for tech startups while they incubate. Small things yet effective ways to enable new tech companies.

Atelier du centre Erasme à la Maison du Rhône à Paris
Photo owned by dalbera (cc)

#bludget reactions

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Some interesting reactions tot he #bludget:

Linda:

Okay the #bludget doesn’t seem to have hurt me too much, except that I don’t see how it’s going to help create more jobs. I want a job!

David Smith:

Overall the #bludget doesn’t affect me too much but I’d hate to be 19, out of work and smoking!!

Iain O’Connell: (currently living in Holland)

Listening to the #bludget it seems clear that I won’t be un-emigrating anytime soon

Karl Deeter:

the budget was fair given the state of the economy, what’d you expect?! #bludget

Paul Sheehan:

all in all, a harsh budget, will probably cost me 10-12% but I think it had to be done, next year will be harsher #bludget #budget09

D.I.Y. in 09

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Numbers in B&Q, Woodies DIY and all the other DIY clones seem to be up these days. People are doing the “bits” they would previously have gotten someone else to do. But see, the bits are still being done.

How many are doing window cleaning, washing the car or getting the kids to do so (reinvesting in the family economy), spending more nights in with cheaper booze, getting more food in Aldi and Lidl, letting each other know where the bargains are, investing in bulk buys for longterm savings, switching off more lights etc. etc. Life is still going on but it’s being done in a more efficient, smarter way. Though maybe kludgier when Dad fixes things when he’s not used to doing it in years.

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Photo owned by Duane_Brown (cc)

And businesses? I met someone last week that was upskilling himself on sales, marketing and PR. To paraphrase what he said “I never had to do sales, the phone would just ring and I’d answer it.” Not so in 2009. I wonder how many companies are in that situation? Business was booming and business can still boom if a bit of thinking happens. Some see the future and are adapting.

A client and what they wanted in 2009 is going to be shockingly different to 2008 and 2007. Last year they might have paid a fortune for your services and this year it might suddenly be seen as unnecessary but going back to the core, the business still needs to do all their bits. I think it is wrong to concentrate on a dwindling market for these clients, offering what you’ve been offering all along but at a cheaper price while you slug it out with competitors. Towards the end of a very short life Bruce Lee was in a lot of constant pain from all the fights and stunts onscreen and offscreen. He used to get challenged on the street on a daily basis and fight all comers. Fight only the necessary fights. You might win but you’ll still get hurt.

The IP you offer will need to change. For me a lot of companies want to do those bits themselves when previously they got a company to do it, or they never did, like the guy above, the phone just rang. Now even the smallest of companies want to do PR, Online Marketing and public events, before they might not have needed to do this. So I’m doing a lot of teaching companies how to fish and it’s very enjoyable and rewarding when you see understanding and revelation in the faces of these people.

Business as unusual
Photo owned by Banalities (cc)

Lou Dobbs used to host the Business Unusual show on CNN. Business Unusual is usual business in 2009, if you changed your offerings to your customers to fit the new and what we might at first see as unusual needs, then you have a new market, a new way of generating revenue from existing clients and you are seeing as trying to help, not just extract money. Big changes are happening in 2009, you can’t fight the tide, you can’t fight this.

Time to find out what the bits your clients or previous clients still need to do and what new things they need to do and be the B&Q for them and the advisor on how to do them.

Fluffy Links – Monday April 6th 2009

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Treasa has a fantastic project. Taking pics and making a book of abandoned boats. Even has Gogole Maps!

Manuel points out godlike breakfasts: Bacon Cupcakes.

Blogger and Twitter meetup in Cork on April 25th.

Some upcoming business blogging events.

Ciara O’Brien is the latest Irish Times blogger. Godspeed.

New blog: LeFournier.

Honesty. Hangover cure.

Gonzotastic.

George Hook’s most used words on Twitter.

EC business help. Saw this in a GMail ad!

Via: Smooth to the wall post-its

Chemical Brothers – Believe

#fail

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Via H Failure is good because…