Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Time to start a business/time to upskill

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Start your own business with Hothouse

If you’re thinking of starting your own business then might be for you:

We are currently taking applications for the DIT Hothouse program starting on September 19th.

The Hothouse is a one year training and mentoring programme for knowledge based start up businesses. The main points of note are:

* Free incubation space for 1 year

* Ten sessions with a business mentor

* Workshops on key business topics

* Access to funding

You can apply by emailing or

Subsidised Six Sigma Training

Meanwhile, if you want to upskill your company than SQT in Limerick are doing Six Sigma training in Dublin and Limerick which has been massively subsidised by FAS and Chambers Business School. Six Sigma training, normally around the 13k mark is on offer for 3k.

(Disclaimer: I’ve done some consultancy work with SQT)

Digital/Online Bootcamp for PR/Marketing companies

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

TechCrunch broke the news last week about certain members on charging to get your website/blog post to the front page of the website. I see nothing wrong with hiring a copywriter wise to the tricks of DIGG to get your website to the front page but not this way.

I seem to be talking to PR companies and PR people a lot and many of them are subscribed to the blog. Hi folks! I think most that sub to this blog realise that PR is changing and there’s going to be an online element to their work and they want to learn that that is.

I was thinking of putting together a free bootcamp for PR and Marketing companies that would cover the basic elements that companies should be aware of in 2008. Spend half a day at it. The companies that would go along would also be encouraged to share their thoughts and their own experiences. It needs to be interactive. I asked a few PR people for some areas and this is the list so far.

Some topics which might get covered are:

  • Current state of the web today
  • Web 2.0 and social media
  • SEO
  • Blogs, writing blogs, engaging with bloggers
  • Feed readers
  • Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon
  • Social networks
  • Web/blog/social network monitoring
  • Wikipedia/Wikis
  • Podcasting

Any others? Any interest?

weight loss spa beach boot camp
Photo owned by ninahale (cc)

Tuesday Push – 9th September 2008 – eWrite Lite

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

This week’s Tuesday Push: eWrite Lite.

eWrite Lite

eWrite Lite is a tool for editing and publishing a website. It can be used to create a whole new website or log into your existing website and make changes, all via a web browser. There’s no need to install anything. They even have a demo that you can use to log into your own site. It’s also very affordable and ideally suits their target market of SMEs.

I’ve actually reviewed eWrite Lite previously so read that. Ideally for such a low charge, eWrite Lite would best be licensed by hosting providers or ISPs as selling to individuals at that price could take a lot of footwork.

Check out eWrite Lite and their other products. If you want your product on the Tuesday Push, fill out this form. Please remember we’re looking for something that was created by an Irish company, not just some technology that was reskinned.

On a side note, someone asked me recently about whether you could give constructive criticism for the Tuesday Push or were you required only to say positive things and talk something up. The idea is to talk the company/person’s effort up and give honest feedback too. I would think the pushees would prefer someone kicking the tyres and looking for leaking oil than saying everything is super.

DownloadMusic is up in two weeks and BookAMeetingRoom

Property Pin raises €13k so far for full page ad campaign

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Once again the members of the Property Pin show how amazing they are at organising something. Sick of the lack of attention at the realities of the Irish property market, they’re putting their money where their mouth is and are raising money to buy full page ads in the Indo and the Irish Times.

This alone should get them a hell of a lot of media attention but I’d worry they won’t get the deserved attention if they don’t put a spokesperson forward. Til now they’ve mostly remained anonymous but if they want to do this to get maximum exposure they need their own Maurice Pratt of sorts. The media themselves will get a kicking if they are interviewing anonymous entities.

Go Pinsters!

Walker Road Demolition
Photo owned by Draco2008 (cc)

Innovation Vouchers – €5k to help your company

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Enterprise Ireland brought out Innovation Vouchers last year. The idea being that any limited company could apply for a voucher, worth €5000, that could be redeemed at a knowledge provider (University, IT, etc). The knowledge provider would then go off and do a bit of research or development for you. A handy way of getting something done when you don’t have the resources and getting the educational institutions to do something with the real world. Something they rarely experience.

If you haven’t applied for a voucher, do so now for goodness sake.

Saying that, I’ve heard some companies are finding it amazingly difficult to get a knowledge provider to do some work for them. I’m hearing that one firm were laughed out of it and told to pretty much PFO as they wouldn’t consider anything below 50k for them to do any work!

Photo owned by MikeBlogs (cc)

On the positive, I’ve heard also that some ITs are well tuned in and are doing their very best to help out companies. Informally it seems companies are talking to each other, recommending some knowledge providers and warning to not waste their time with others. National College of Ireland are having an open night about their work and what they can do with Innovation Vouchers:

Information Session on A New Facility for Measuring User-Screen Interactions featuring the newly installed National E-Learning Laboratory (NELL) at National College of Ireland on Wednesday 17th of September from 17.30 to 19.00.

Applied research can answer important questions regarding screen-based media, usability, design, content development, engagement and task-completion. The session is intended to be of particular interest to organisations intending to apply for an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher.

Interested? Book your place by contacting the Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching at 01 4498600

So what works for companies, what should companies be doing to get their vouchers redeemed? Care to recommend some good knowledge providers, are you a knowledge provider and actively want to talk to companies?

Got this great business idea you’re developing the past while?

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Stop deluding yourself and enjoy your brain crack.

I miss Ze Frank.

Case study: Irish Businesses and Twitter

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

For those not familiar with Twitter, it’s a text message rebroadcast service, it has about 1.2 million users online.

If you have a look at you’ll see SMS sized messages from people telling people what they’re doing or what they’re up to. People subscribe to get updates from your profile more than you sending stuff to your list of people.

When compared to the 100s of millions on social networks, Twitter is tiny, but the current trend is seeing people focus more of their attention on Twitter and way from the traditional social networks. Hah – “traditional social networks”. Those people on Twitter too are the trendspotters and trend makers. I recently put a list together here of Irish Businesses on Twitter and that is of course growing.

Horse Kisses
Photo owned by David Masters (cc)

It’s just one more place where companies can do business. Unlike other “markets” though, this is very very informal and while people are happy for business to take place, they’re more interested in the social aspect of this space. But aren’t people more influenced when they’re relaxed and talking to real people? I’ll harp back again to Recruit Ireland who have recently joined and are really getting the space and very recently Herb Street joined Twitter. Herb Street are a restaurant in the Dublin Docklands and while they only have a holding page for their website, they’re active enough on Twitter, even posting pics of their daily specials.

Irish Businesses are using Twitter in four main ways

1. First they just use it as a rebroadcast service so blog feeds or special offers are sent out in 140 character bursts from the account. There is no real interaction with people. Like this special offers account from Dell: , In Ireland the company might not even do it themselves, there are unofficial feeds for RTE for example:

Human face of business
2. They human power it. Using an official title they go off and they might auto mention new blog posts but they also answer questions posed to them and join in conversations. Irish company Blacknight’s is like that:

Active Participation
3. They join in as humans first, business people second. They take an active part in conversations, start them, contribute to them but also give their opinion on business issues and so forth. They use Twitter to show off their knowledge, to network and to have fun. Pat Phelan from Cork based Cubic telecoms is an example:

Monitoring and then interacting
4. They monitor Twitter for their brand and see what sentiment is like and they will also engage directly with a user to help them with their issue or a sale etc. Any company can search for their details using

When buses took over Market Street - 1948
Photo owned by bobster1985 (cc)

It’s interesting to see some Irish companies being ahead of the curve when it comes to this and there’s a good deal of Irish using the system when it comes to number of users per capital. Also too, a few Irish companies have built other applications and businesses on top of twitter. Cork based Pat Phelan and Dublin company Dial2Do made, the ability to dial and talk in your message instead of typing and another group in Cork have built a statistics package called to monitor how many messages go through the system per second, hour, day, week etc.

Operation Free Flow – anti-M50 toll campaign website

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Operation Free Flow

Photo owned by poeloq (cc)

A new web campaign has started to fight the “toll free” toll on the M50.

Some of their suggested steps are here which should cause disruption but not on the M50:

3 Step Pay Guide
Support M50 eToll O.F.F. Campaign, by following 3 steps
Step 1: Do not purchase or use any prepay options.
Step 2: Use the M50 as normal.
Step 3: Pay via the telephone service by Dialing 1890 50 10 50 at exactly 7.45pm the following day.

Net screwed in Ireland past few days? You’re not alone

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Update 4th September: BT Ireland officially stating they are unsure what the issue is and will revert when they do know. Been almost a week now. I’ve asked will they compensate us for the month of September for these continued outages. They’ll get back to us on that too.

BT are blaming eircom or some BT staff are. Also affecting Perlico and UTV. Seems to happen mostly in the evenings the past few days. Something is certainly screwy.

7 ways on how blogs in Ireland can make money

Monday, September 1st, 2008

There are hundreds if not thousands of stories about how blogs can make you thousands of dollars/euros/punts a month/year but there’s not so much out there on success stories from Ireland. I’m talking about honest ways of course. There’s always selling links and Pay Per Post if you want to go the online chugging route.

These are some direct and indirect ways to make money, please add more in the comments field.


1.Ads and affiliations

Google Ads:
Many blogs in Ireland are using Google ads to sell ads. They’re probably the easiest to set up but depending on the content of your site, the return can be pretty shite. Saying that, the more niche the content and the bigger the International readership, the more return you can get from these ads. A blog like mine with such a massive mix of topics and fluffy links means that Google Ads would have an identity crisis.

There are thousands of other ad systems out there that you can use for your blog too. Don’t just stop at Google ads. Read Michele Neylon’s for more information and tips. There are loads!

GAP Simply Summer
Photo owned by Dominic’s pics (cc)

Sell em yourself:
In Ireland companies like Trade Doubler and don’t seem to work with blogs at all. There’s a valid enough reason too: Most blogs don’t do enough traffic so it’s hard to manage 100s of small tiny sites that they can put ads on. Maybe over time we’ll see our own bloggers ad network. My own form for those Irish bloggers wanting to do ads is sparesly enough populated too.

Feed ads:
You can put ads on your RSS feed too with the likes of Google Adsense for feeds or you can use an Amazon feed option so that you can put affiliate links in your RSS feeds.

You can become an Amazon, eMusic etc. affiliate so that every time you mention an album, book, movie etc. a link is created to a sales page on Amazon or others. If someone buys an item then you get a percentage.

There are lots and lots and lots of options there. Please leave some feedback in the comments below and I’ll add more of your suggestions.

2 Sponsorship

It doesn’t happen much with Irish blogs but it’s an option. I use this model for and and it allows an advertiser/sponsor to create their own “sponsored” blog post. They contribute a blog post that has good content in exchange for a sum of money. The post itself is highlighted as a sponsored piece. The company can also sponsor certain categories of the blog too and their branding can appear in that section in the sidebars and header and footer. It’s something like does for the various sections of their site.

delicious happiness
Photo owned by myuibe (cc)

3. Tip Jar

Paypal, Amazon and other services allow you to create a tipjar style option for your blog. If you’re not into making a lot of money but just enough for hosting, this is an option.

Photo owned by kingnixon (cc)

4. Content syndication

Why not make a note that your content can be distributed? I think a lot more blogs would find their content in newspapers and magazines (when not nicked) if they mentioned they had a syndication policy. A creative commons button means absolutely nothing to normal people. It’s not an organ donor card you know. There are plenty of bloggers out there that write great content that could well be syndicated if the person reading it realises this. Don’t be afraid to make this know. Have a Syndication Policy.

5. Events

Something that should be done but not done yet as far as I can see. Although the Blog Awards is probably one such event but the money there goes to charity and it’s run to break even. 400+ people attended the Blog Awards in 2008. If your blog has a big enough local following and has some theme, then why not organise an event on that theme. Or perhaps an event for the niche you are in along with other blogs in that area. *cough* food blogger eatathon *cough*

Podleaders All Around
Photo owned by topgold (cc)

6. Build up and sell on

If you build a niche or nichey(not a real word but then this is a blog!) website and work hard at it then there’s a possibility that you’ll be bought out by your rivals, a local publisher (I still think the Times or the Indo will start buying blogs) or a larger niche or not so niche content network. There are already some examples: was sold by John M. Ryan a few years back for an undisclosed sum. It had good traffic and was added to a stable of other sites. I guess the idea being that the more property you have, the better deal you can get from advertising networks or create your own ad network that sits on top of your various websites. See what I said above about ad buying/selling companies only wanting to deal in 10s or 100s of 1000s of pageviews per site.

ArseBlog is/was an Irish blog about Arsenal. It was sold to this year for an undisclosed sum and the Arseblogger still has full editorial control of the site and works fulltime for them now. Depending on your blog’s content, you might be able to do the same.

Of course if your blog is not on a domain you own, you’re going to run into a few issues with ownership.


7. Using the blog to get other work

Book deals
Twenty Major, Grandad, Good Mood Food Blog, Kieran Murphy (one more link on this line and it’d be linkbait) and others have gotten book deals as a direct result of their blogs and the writing that they do. Publishers are always looking for new ideas and content for books and blogs are a nice way of seeing the ability of potential writers.

Rowan Manahan, Tom Raftery, myself and others have written about topics on their blogs which have resulted in approaches from people and companies asking us to do work for them or we have been referred on to companies by our regular readers. All depends on your niche again. Why not add a “Consultancy Services” page on your blog?

Fulltime jobs
It’s happened and it will happen again. Prospective employers can get a much better insight into who you are from your blog. If you’re blogging about a topic on your blog and are an expert at it, don’t be surprised if you get a call from a company for a chat. It might start off with some consulting work and might eventually turn into a fulltime job.

Stairway to Heaven
Photo owned by ╠╣ỴρΞЯ ΔC╬ịVΞ (cc)

Do you have any suggestions?