Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

Bebo Cards – Bebo Moo Cards

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Arggghhh. Talking about timing. This post has been in draft for a while as it was one of those “ideas” one has. A while back I was looking for printers who did Moo style cards. The reason being that I was thinking of doing Moo style cards for Beboers. Well Bebo and Moo beat me to it.

Bebo Cards

Bebo now has Moo cards. Get ten free now.

My variation of this idea though is that they supply 100 cards for free and in return Bebo sells the space on the back to advertisers. But, the advertisers have to offer some kind of discount voucher. So a girl gives a boy she likes her card that only contains her Bebo information, he takes it, goes to Bebo and adds her and then goes off and uses the card to get a discount in HMV. Still, were I to run with my idea, I’m sure I could get sponsors and it isn’t just Bebo this can work on. 🙂

You gotta love the email receipt you get from Moo:

Hello Damien

I’m Little MOO – the bit of software that will be managing your order
with us. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will
print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done
and on its way to you.

In the meantime you can track and manage your order at:

Remember, I’m just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions
regarding your order please contact customer services (who are real
people) at:

Christian Sue Gays over use of Rainbow

Friday, January 26th, 2007

It was bound to happen really. We all know Noah wouldn’t allow the two unicorns on cos they were gay. We’d still have unicorns today if it was for homophobe O’Noah. Although I can understand the Christians when I see T-shirts like this and this.

You scare me Sharon

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Seriously. 🙂 Thanks for the hello!

An Irish Customer Care Portal?

Friday, January 26th, 2007

So there’s a little chatter about the idea of some kind of site or blog that gathers customer complaints. It isn’t a bad idea at all. But in my own experiences what the people want and what they’ll do about it are quite different. So what is needed? Well Annette mentions the following:

I for one would like to see a dedicated portal for customer service in Ireland where bloggers could post their experiences (good and bad) of customer service and try and impact on this whole area. I’d be really interested in stories of excellence as well as the horror ones because until customers raise their expectations of what is acceptable then our benchmarks will hover around the bottom of the scale

Definitely I agree and like the idea of the negative and the positive being highlighted. McDonald’s seems to be getting great press recently via Piaras and Conor and even are getting some positive remarks from an initial negative me. I’ve also since heard two more positive stories about addressing issues people had with them after people read my post.

Some things to think about:

  • Would such a site just be about customer care and not actually about resolving your specific issue?
  • (as in “NTL’s support is bad because x, y z “compared to “Please fix my broadband speeds”)

  • Moderated or unmoderated comments?
  • Anonymous, semi-anonymous, real name only?

There does seem to be sites out there for that purpose such as the Consumer Issues forum on, the Ask About Money website and the seemingly defunct website but I think we need a lot lot more of them. Plenty of niche areas could do with groups and websites to do something about service.

As Will mentions, my experiences when I ring to complain to a telco or to the regulator now are that my call gets escalated, even when I have a genuine complaint. Without question I can route around the tech support line barriers and have someone appear on my doorstep within 3 hours if I wanted to abuse my position in IrelandOffline. I don’t and I even refuse to intervene when family members have hassle. However, imagine if everyone were the in a lobby group, all our calls would be treated with priority in that small market segment. That can actually benefit the service providers too.

It is easy to set up a group to collate and magnify issues. Easier than ever thanks to forums and email and skype and Wikis. This consumer portal could be like a central site with dozens or hundreds of subsites are all present. One single-sign on gives you access to all of them. In fact, could always add some kind of consumer group module for allowing people to create tools for an activist community to use.

Years back I had planned to build a portal called where it would allow someone to create a subdomain for any activist group and it would supply them with email lists, public and private forums, wikis and lots of other tools. I still might set that up but there is also a need for a consumer portal too.

I’ve seen a community built up around the IrelandOffline forum on and around other lobby groups and know of businesses that actually got formed from these communities. The IrelandOffline community has been good to eircom, BT , UTV and many other companies because this community shares their knowledge and they help people with tech support issues too. Less staff needed by the companies if their users act as supporters. I think that is a key issue with companies. Their users are not their supporters. There is an “us” on the consumer side and their is an “us” on the business side and these do not intersect . The broadband forum over there on Boards is another example of a voluntary community solving a lot of the tech support issues which ISPs could be getting.

To rehash the words of Brian Caulfield at BarCamp, it is the market and the team that are important, not the tech. You don’t need techies to build your portal. You don’t need to know web programming. A blog could be your portal to start with. Find your niche area and find the people to campaign around it. Who’ll do it though?

National Development Scam

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Noel Dempsey has really pissed off a lot of rural communities after finally admitting that they won’t invest in the Group Broadband Scheme anymore. Despite telling people for all of 2005 and 2006 that all they had to do was apply for a GBS, the last round to apply was some time in 2005. Since then there has been nothing apart from lots and lots of “coming soon” talk from the DCMNR. Rural communities have been strung along since 2005 and were told round three would open in September 2005. Noel, you’ve deceived 1000s of people desperate to get broadband. I hope the voting public remembers that.

With some creative accounting and spin they have reannounced almost all of the same money for nearly all the same plans already announced. For example, the budget of €435m is over 7 years. That’s €62m a year. The DCMNR was already allocated €48m a year so that’s an additional €15m a year. Right… and with inflation probably going to go way up, that’ll make sfa of a difference.

Now, add to that funding of €170Million already announced for the current building of 27 MANs (the fibre rings around towns which don’t actually connect to homes) and future building of 120 MANs. However, now it seems 80 of these MANs are now part of the latest NDP. No new towns have been announced either for MANs yet some towns could do with fibre rings. I’m not a fan of MANs and they are only once piece of the puzzle to get broadband to the end-user yet the Goverment bills they as solving all issues.

James gets namechecked by Techcrunch

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Nice one. I have no doubt Google people are researching games and virtuals worlds for advertising opportunities. Again as has been said before, Google is an advertising company with a search engine.

Fluffy links – January 25th 2007 – Don’t count your lions before they’ve hatched

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Hi Maryam!

More pink than fluffy, top 5 nuttiest pink gadgets. A pink George Foreman grill!

Rent a protester for 100 quid an event. I always had this tinfoil hat belief that Greenpeace was a group for hire by the competitors of various groups they’ve protested against.

A lion in the hand is worth two in the bush.

A really cool learning management system.

What a great durex ad.

Ooops we did it again. (again) (again) Microsoft paying people to rewrite Wikipedia articles that make them look better.

Campaign for Nike to release the shoes/boots they had in Back to the Future II. Nike McFlys:

Fluffy links – January 24th 2007

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Blogorrah had a fantastic post title yesterday. Ginger, model, trevor white and bitch were not even mentioned!

Pat Phelan is looking for reviews for Roam4Free. Write a review, enter a prize draw. No purchase necessary. 🙂

Kathy is going to the history of Irish food night classes in UCC. Damn you! I have to suffer Irish Land Law on a Wednesday evening.

10 Google feeds worth subscribing to.

Best merchandising tie-in EVAR! Now, why doesn’t an Irish zip manufacturer hire a panto star?

That same character loved duct tape. Here’s how to use it for babysitting.

Richard Dawkins would love this.

Twitter goes corporate. I can just see a David Brent scenario where he Twitters his advice to his staff when he’s on the road and then accidently sends a personal text to it. Finally the thing sent me my password yesterday evening when I tried again. Site is still at a crawl. It is now updating via my mobile now too.

Found on tonight. The National Forum on Europe podcast. This is a sweet looking site.

A tactile interface to Second Life.

Download Jacob Borshard’s albums for free. His mySpace.

Mind-bending Blog Awards nomination idea

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Over on Letter to America, a blog post asking for nominations for the Blog Awards starts an interesting discussion in the comments on whether it would be superfunironical that their Podcast at last year’s awards would win them this year’s Best Podcast award at the Awards. Now they also go on to talk about creating Barack Obama/Hilary Clinton style viral videos to ask the public to vote.

Nowwwwww wouldn’t it be fun if their viral video which asks for votes so their Blog Awards podcast ended winning Best Podcast, itself ended up winning the Best Vidcast award?

Fluffy Links – January 23rd 2007

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

There’s now a rejigged nomination form for the Irish Blog Awards. Remember that all you need is one nomination. No need to have 50 people nominate you for best blog post. 2200+ entries in the nomination database so far.

My name is Earl wins for most elaborate net nerd reference.

Give Away of the Day. Each day some shareware is given away which if not installed by the end of the day, expires and you have to pay for it.

Famous McDonald’s Manager Dave has a day off and things turn to shit.

The travel pussy. Vile.

Where’s Wally inserted into Apocalypto? Mad Mel Gibson.

Just two weeks and lots of SecondLife clients for loads of diff OSes

What women want:

This woman has better insurance premiums for a reason: