Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Bord Gais Energy did something interesting last night

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

They talked to bloggers. They told us of their new consumer electricity offering ahead of the press conference about it which is one right now. They asked us for opinions and answered every question. Genuine consumers got genuine answers in a nice relaxed atmosphere. They’re now in the electricity market with a guaranteed 10% cheaper than the ESB offering.

This is the ad which will be seen on TV soon enough.

I was seriously impressed with the transparency from a company of their size. Others will fill you in on the consumer issues they addressed.

Don’t forget

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The blogger and company event tomorrow night in Dublin. If you’re a blogger, please come along.

Oh and check out my new twitter mug I was given from Walter and his Twitter fun machine:

Your name in foam – Give some feedback to Made in Hollywood

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Made in Hollywood is a sponsor for the upcoming Blog Awards and Fran, the man who made the Ws for the Web Awards has started blogging. The first blog post is soliciting ideas on what he should cover in this blog. The top 10 ideas givers will get their name in foam.

Get suggesting. I wonder could we choose something other than your name? I can just see the expletives and lolcat phrases being layed by the giant foamchicken or however these things are made.

Bathtime psychology
Photo owned by janetmck (cc)

You’re cordially invited: Pre-launch event by one of Irelands largest companies

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

8pm, Tuesday 17th Feb, Casting Couch, Fitzwilliam Sq, Dublin

I’m organising a pre-launch event where the above company will brief bloggers on the roll-out of their new product and an overview of how they intend to market it to the masses. This company has never worked with/interacted with bloggers before and they’d like the input from bloggers amd readers (that’s you!) you as to how best to engage with their customer base (in excess of 500,000). Your input will help shape how they interact with their customers and market to their customers in the future. Your feedback might directly change how a big Irish company works. Looks like Collision Course is making an impact!

All will be revealed on the night as to who they are and what they’re launching. You know, pre-launch, so it’s shush shush for now. This is certainly a new one and though there’s bias as I’m organising it, I’m genuinely impressed with the attitude of the people that are working on this, working very hard on this actually and who think online has to be in a marketing plan. If it works I’m sure other big companies might cop on to the idea that talking to the public is good for business.

There’ll also be some food and light refreshments at the event. Leave your name in the comments if you want to attend.

3D Invites - Wedding layout
Photo owned by Hans van de Bruggen (cc)

Fuck the Recession, now give us our data and up our bandwidth

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I mentioned recently the Hack the Government day in the UK where people will meet in London and now Brighton on building better Government systems. I’ve been thinking recently about our own Irish Government and many of the totally useless systems they have or websites that appear to run on Windows ME. Years ago I wrote a piece for the Tribune about the idea of a Government API and being able to access Government (which really is ours) data. In the article I mentioned the OSI data and being able to access the Revenue Service too. Two of hundreds, if not 1000s of datastores we could access.

The Government is right now panicking and doing their best to get anyone to come to Ireland and hire Irish people to do any kind of task. At the end of the day these multinationals are doing nothing more than making Ireland their tech support hub. The runt of the litter really. While the pharma companies are doing genuine R&D and IP creation, for the tech multinationals it’s tech support or localisation. Robot work.

Open Government Data Session Tack-on Free For All
Photo owned by illustir (cc)

The more connected people and businesses are and the more data that flows between them, the more value that can be extracted from this network they are in.

I’m sure the above has been said by people before. There’s the idea of Metcalfe’s Law about the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system but I wonder if the bandwidth of the interactions between those nodes increases does this value go up even more? Exponentially? I think the value of those connections does go up.

Setting aside the National Broadband Fuckup which will limit bandwidth between people, the Government should be doing their best to make sure that people are shifting as much data between each other as possible. Freeing all Government data is one way of doing this. Encouraging companies to share data might work too.’s release of 10 years of data was a brlliant idea. And stop thinking about the killer app, the street finds its own uses for this data and the world will make the apps. The Government can supply the data and work with companies to build the access methods. I’m sure a very clever business could tender (for free) to build all these APIs in return for minimal charges for API access to the app makers.

I’m not gunning after Eamon Ryan here but he’s Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Minister. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Minister or someone that looks after electronic resources too? It would be nice to move beyond the grandstanding about a knowledge economy and start working on things that can kickstart local companies taking existing data and creating something new with it. So Dear Government, fuck the recession, let’s start playing with our data.

Photo owned by pacomexico (cc)

IGO People – The Tuesday Push

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Connecting Indviduals, Groups and Organisations to each other. Doing something so simple but in a meaningful and structured way is actually very complicated but that’s what IGO People does and does well.

IGO People

If you talk to the people behind this service, they believe very passionately about using technology to make the world better for people and the aim or one of them for IGOPeople is to get people to talk to each other and sort things out. It’s nice that if you have an issue you can address it to a group or company whether they are there or not and from the way I believe it works, they can officially come along and address youe issues. They need not be customer care issues either, just queries. We’ve already seen blogs as a place where people can get soapboxing and get satisfaction but IGO People is purposed to help you do this better with others around you.

It’s a very clever service and it’s Irish and it has some fun stuff happening on it already. Well done to them.

The push for companies on a Tuesday

Monday, January 26th, 2009

The Tuesday Push is coming back for another while. First one is tomorrow. There was a bit of a hiatus as I was busy with other things and also deciding the future of it.

Some clarifications
Unfortunately it seems people started taking advantage of what they saw as a free marketing resource for their company without having to give anything back, which is the opposite of what this is about. This is about a co-op mentality where the group involved with the Tuesday Push all helped each other out when it became the turn of those pushed. Many that signed up didn’t even want something pushed, they wanted to just help out. If you don’t have a blog or method of promoting people then the Tuesday Push is not for you. Creating a blog for this isn’t good enough either. Creating a blog and expecting 15 other blogs to talk you up on your first week isn’t going to wash either.

Another thing that people missed or I wasn’t clear about was the service has to be a unique proposition. Online stores are not unique. Rebadging off the shelf tech that was licenced or purchased is nothing new or very interesting, even if you’re selling yellow penguins that go moo in the store. Anyone can build a site using VBulletin.

Hopefully with these clarifications we can start to get attention to some clever and interesting companies and products which in turn can help the wider group.

Myself and Gordon will be looking after the Tuesday Push and there is now also a Tuesday Push twitter account. The next pushee is tomorrow and features IGO People.

The form for Tuesday Push is here.

You don’t have to work with him, I do

Saturday, January 24th, 2009


TeenCamp Tomorrow

Friday, January 16th, 2009

TeenCamp is just hours away. Temple Bar, Dublin from 1pm onwards. Pop in.

Enda in D’Echo.

Photo owned by borrowed time | demi-brooke (cc)

Fuck the Recession – Links to think about

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The worst thing you can do if you read the below post and what I consider some inspiring links and feel energised from them is to bookmark this blog post or any of those links. So let’s make an agreement before we begin. If you like this blog post, don’t bookmark it and don’t go off and write a blog post and link to this. If you really really want to do something go off and do it, there and then. Register a domain for a business idea, drop every damned thing and do that. Way better than that, walk out of the office or where you happen to be with a pen and paper and using the energy or elation that you have, plan something out on a pen and paper right then. But do not, do not, DO NOT bookmark, do not consign to the back of the browser drawer these webpages. This allows your excited brain to eject those feelings and move back into doing something comfortable, routine, mundane.

But do not spec out an elaborate plan either. Concentrate on one piece of it. See that piece as a a whole part and work on figuring out that and that alone. Forget the overall system that it ties into right now. You want to challenge all parts of your brain and get them working together. Visio is evil. Wire diagrams are evil. Bookmarks (I’m just reiterating) are evil. It is better to build a nut and bolt for a system than it is to spec it out. Yeah you want to build a new car but concentrate on the alternator for now. (Spot the guy who calls the AA to start his car)

Here’s another thing. If the idea turns out to be shit. Grand. Your brain however has now been exercised. It’ll let you know it liked it. Pretend that silly joke about the guy that made 1up and 2up and 3up and gave up at 6up is true. Think of these as warm-up laps and one warm-up lap you realise you’re not so much running as flying. When it all clicks and it all makes sense you’re going to have a good environment to start. Here’s why:

The economy is going to shit but with it prices are falling down, people need money, companies are charging less, people are charging less, many are happy to take a job that pays the mortgage and will work at home afterhours doing work to pay the other bills, work you can provide, non-unionised labour is going to be cheaper, people will want to work on things that help their portfolio and get their name spread if YOU do well. Inflation is going to go into negative percentages soon. 2009 is the best year ever for those with spare cash or who can rob a piggy bank for some. Fuck the recession, break the routine. Fuck the recession, try something. Fuck the recession, build something. Fuck the recession, fail at something. Fuck the recession, start again. FTR. And yes I have badges that say this.

One in a series. And being another. And Hero.

And with my lecture to you out of the way…

Photo owned by karpov the wrecked train (cc)


The mobile web is here. Look at how much mobile web traffic the iPod Touch has created. Think app store.

An idea that started on Twitter is expanding out now that they have traction.

Om Malik talks about 2009 being the year of the hacker. Go try things out. Go write stuff, go break stuff, go use your spare time to do.

Less features, less rules, less restrictions and the community will evolve your platform.

“Given fewer rules, people actually behaved in more creative, co-operative, and collaborative (or competitive, as the case may be) ways.”

Tim O’Reilly suggests working on the stuff that matters. Brilliant essay.

I’ve been a professional developer about ten years now and I don’t want to do it any more. I don’t mean developing, I love coding. I mean work.

Read on.