Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Falling in Love with the Web Again – 09 Style

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The 09 Realex Payments Irish Web Awards are on Saturday. Tantrums, tiaras and more. Oh no, that’s the Blog Awards. 20+ categories. 350+ people. Cupcakes. Great food. No tuxes. Thank yous. Mulley’s laptop bluescreening and Rick O’Shea having to improvise. Playful moods. Childish tones. Wear legwarmers. Kicking out very very late. Bloggers, Twitterers er ers, sponsors having a laugh with the nominees. People in full Irish soccer kit. A large chunk of the Irish Web dev community. Himself might call in too.

Tickets €35 each.


and then two arrive…

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

So first we have:
Get The Focal is a 12,000 word Irish language translator which can be installed on modern mobile phones including iPhones, Nokias and Samsungs. You can translate words from Irish-English as well as from English-Irish


And we also have Amhrán na bhFiann recently developed for Nokia and available on OVI.

RTE news clip of it.

What is it? It apparently is a Karaoke style application that enables you to learn the words and the tune to Ireland’s National Anthem – Amhrán na bhFiann. Sing it, know it. No truth to the rumour is’s been bought en-masse by the FAI for the soccer squad.

More of this. No leprechauns were harmed in the making of these apps.

Some Saturday stuff

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

I’m giving a talk on Monday for IBAC (Institute of Business Analysis and Consulting ) in the IPA building in Landsdowne. The slightly bullshity title is: Social networks: The foundation for long-term business relationships with your customers. 45 min talk, 25 euros in.

On the theme of Innovation yesterday and 2009 being the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, the IIEA have a lunchtime talk with Paul Garner of BT Innovate & Design, on Wednesday, 7 October 2009 at 12:45 p.m. with the title: Open Innovation in Practice

and two weeks later another one to do with innovation:
“Creativity and Innovation: the European Perspective” by Mme Odile Quintin – Wednesday 21 October 2009 at 12.45 p.m Mme Odile Quintin, Director General, DG Education and Culture, European Commission

And on BT, I blogged last year about their Community Connections scheme for groups and it’s back again now. Open to Irish charity type groups. Free laptops, broadband etc. The deadline for postal applications is 5 January 2010. The deadline for online applications is 7 January 2010

Update: More more thing.
Statement from the LAMA Awards:

Zurich LAMA Awards wish to issue a statement vehemently denying any involvement in yesterday’s disturbances on the M50, involving a loose herd of llamas. Hannah Bates, Event Executive for the awards says “there will be no awards given out to any llamas, at the Red Cow Roundabout, or indeed anywhere else today. The awards are solely for the Local Authority Members Association and local developments and no matter what stunt these llamas pull, they will not be included in the awards ceremony”

Innovation in Ireland, the IDA and knowledge sharing

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Previously on the Mulley soapbox I mentioned a blogger evening with the IDA I was involved with. I’ve met with the IDA a few times and they do appear to get the idea that the group is more intelligent than the individual and the network is more intelligent than the group. Thus eminating from meetings and the blogger briefing is the Innovation Ireland LinkedIn Discussion group, facilitated by the IDA and with people interested/concerned/working in the future of Ireland contributing to all forms of discussion on current innovation in Ireland, on what other countries are doing and what Ireland should be doing.

Creative Coffee
Photo owned by torontodailyphoto (cc)

I’ve already expressed strong opinions on the death of manufacturing in Ireland and how those that moan about the demise are as bad as the taxi drivers complaining about the inevitability of inevitability. There are close to 200 members of this LinkedIn Group and more opinons are welcomed. Lots of news resources being shared in the group. Don’t be afraid to join and point to a blog post of yours if it covers that topic. In addition we need to accept the situation we’re in and move on. Too much shoegazing and concentrating on the past and all the bad stuff that was done, talking about what others have done and how we can achieve through innovation is better than writing only about job losses, I hope.

A conversation seems to be slowly happening on value added services and proper design thinking these days. I was at DIT (where Seán Haughey got that welcome) this week where some Swedish people as well as Seán McNulty from Innovator talked about Innovation as a way of saving money and increasing business. This was part of their Quality of Life exhibition. Innovation is not just about product design and it’s not about bunging money into R&D. We talk about sales focus, marketing and PR focus, maybe we should ask everyone in every business conversation about how they’re innovating?

Let’s dance

Monday, September 21st, 2009

This blog post on design houses have entrepreneurs got me thinking about businesses and how they should always be in an adapting frame of mind. It made me think of dancing and specifically of dancing at weddings. We start off with the bride and groom and the traditional waltzy dance and move there to the “classics” and pop hits with the wedding band and then as the DJ comes along we wobble our extremities to all different songs, rhythms and so on. Some businesses are perfect at the traditional stuff, no stamping on feet at all while others are shit and do their best not to crash into others as they spin about. The ones good at the waltzes sometimes find themselves in foreign land at this “modern” stuff and leave the dance floor.

I often think that while being fantastic at one style of dancing is great, the ones that are rough around the edges and will stand in the middle of a dance floor and give it a bash have the better attitudes. Trying different things out, being game for something new is a survival skill. I’m reminded of this by three tech companies in particular: Odeo, Seesmic and Game Neverending.

Barbara and Uncle Pat
Photo owned by edenpictures (cc)

Odeo created a tool called Twittr which became Twitter and Odeo the shell got sold on. Seesmic started as a video service and now their main product is an aggregator for Twitter and more and Game Neverending had a photosharing tool that turned into Flickr. Sometimes if you do join the dancefloor after watching the ebb and flow and studying the dance moves you’ll be grand, sometimes the music changes without notice and you’ll need to improvise and adapt.

It seems this year more companies than ever had to adapt and yet still haven’t. Taxi drivers are a great example. All complaining there are too many plates. That can’t be changed but they won’t adapt in other ways. Offer premium services. Create a driving standard way higher than the regulator enforces and push that as a selling point. New music, they sit in chairs and grumble. Any other examples of Irish industries that are not dancing to different tunes when they could be?

You dancing? I’m asking. And an all too serious video to end the post with:

it@Cork 2009 Tech in Business conference – Wedn. 18 Nov

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Details are up for the 2009 it@Cork conference. Liam Casey opens the conference, Dr. Ed Walsh closes it. Lots of good talks jammed in between.

The theme for the conference is “Recovery Through Technology”.

it@cork 2009 Conference

I’m part of the organising committee and it’s very interesting working on a conference that needs to watch costs while getting good speakers to encourage enough people to come along to make the conference work. 2009 and the state of the economy and business in a way is making the talks at this conference very relevant to those attending and those organising. There are probably more opportunities now than ever before and hopefully we’ll have the speakers show all the possibilities out there.

Here’s an interview with Liam Casey on Morning Ireland.

Shared experiences and the Princess Bride

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

So a good while back now we had the Princess Bride #asyouwish event on Twitter. The basic idea was that you could be part of a group experiencing an event, even if you were not physically near the group. People watching the Eurovision, Rose of Tralee and texting back and forth. Now we’re on Twitter doing it.

We tweeted, we had a liveblog. SoundCheck tuned in from their event. Simon McGarr stuck up some stats too: Total visitors: 409 Number of posts: 885 Number of comments: 281

Mostly super positive reaction to the event and some negative ones complaining that if you want to watch a movie you shouldn’t be tweeting. Or maybe eating. Or moving. And maybe on your own. But you don’t watch Princess Bride for the 5th or 10th time in silence. It’s very participatory. Even on first viewing.

People who have never gone to a concert and sung along to some songs probably would find this foreign and shocking. Maybe people who didn’t partake in a Rocky Horror night with all the props. Shared experiences are here to stay in digital format just like they’ve been around in analog for possibly thousands of years. Christian masses are like this when everyone sings and claps, right?

Then we see this from Fox and Fringe.

On Thursday at 9 p.m., the penultimate episode of Fringe will be accompanied by Twitter commentary from two of the show’s cast and producers.

If you’re a Helge Tennø fan you’ll know his take on marketing and earned media and how companies now need to not broadcast or disrupt and instead contribute and provide. I think vehicles like running shared experience events is one way companies can work with the general public and people from various online communities and have a little bit of fun in the process. Much better than advertising/spamming by asking people to mention your company name on Twitter.

So Princess Bride was the first in a series. People want another Twitter Movie Night soon and we’ll have one alright but also on the way are other participatory events using online communities.

Unite and build

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

An article in the Business Post a while back covered the fact that RTE, Today FM and the regional radio stations are uniting to do an ad campaign to promote radio ads. This is the first time ever it’s happened. Shame it took a recession and many of them on deathwatch for it.

Why aren’t companies in the same industry doing this? Why aren’t hotels in a certain tourist location uniting and talking up their area? Why are so many companies now doggedly fighting over a smaller and smaller patch instead of making the patch bigger? Cooperation works if you want it to. The businesses in Washington Street in Cork did this a while back as did a number of other pubs running “decades’ nights in various pubs.

Do businesses in Ireland take things too personally so much that they couldn’t be a uniting force to build their whole industry? Thoughts?

Project 365 #258: 150909 Nice Chopper!
Photo owned by comedy_nose (cc)

Bianoconi’s the best pizza in Dublin? Oh Hell..

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

As people know I’m a massive fan of Hell Pizza, even Sunday Times employees have accused me that I’m on their payroll but I’m not. However I am on the payroll of who had me help them organise a blogger/Twitterer/rantAndRaver event where we came, saw and pizzaed.

We were there to not be very sciencey but to sample pizzas from 6 different pizzerias and see which ones we liked and disliked the most. It was a blind taste test, nobody knew until after which pizza was from where and to my surprise and slight shock, Hell didn’t finish too well in the list.

It was my first time sampling Bianconi’s and I liked them a lot. They also apparently came out the cheapest. I heard from a few people that they do really good pizza and they’ve won some world pizza awards too but taste is subjective. Some of those on the night loved some pizza that others hated and vice-versa. So, have to head to Bianconi’s. Also the Steps of Rome? was mentioned. Where else is good in Dublin. Was our small focus group of foodies way off, near to reality, bang on? Sorry Hell 🙁

Thanks Casting Couch

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Ran an event with yesterday evening (more on that later) in the Casting Couch facilities in Fitzwilliam Square. Bord Gais Energy did their blogger thingymajig event there earlier this year. The staff there were beyond helpful and I’ll definitely be doing more events there and that’s not even taking the good value for money it was for renting the place out.

The event involved food and they have no issues bringing your own grub and booze in, handy kitchenette in there and two rooms with wireless, laptop and the likes there. From running other events, hotels can get snooty when you bring in outside food. The Casting Couch is used for event launches, TV/Movie castings (duh) and other bits and bobs. It’s a nice alternative to a hotel situation. Check it out if you’re doing some events.