Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Three Ireland – Banning Irish gay sites for the sake of the children?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Update @ 18.45: Seems it’s not just Irish gay discussion sites that an over-zealous third party application that Three uses sees fit to censor. Word is that Three are trying to just bin the software now. Vodafone also have banned access to, QueerID and all tame Gay Discussion sites.

Via QueerID

I recently switched my mobile phone from O2 to 3. I soon discovered that certain websites are banned, in fact all “gay” sites which I’ve are inaccessible from my handset.

I called 3 to ask them why this was, and if they could remove the restriction, they said that certain sites are deemed unsuitable for children, and that if they ban these sites for one user they must be banned for all. I explained that I’m over 18 years of age, but they said they they couldn’t remove the filters for just one user. When I asked if this was company policy (I got speaking to a supervisor), he said it was

Three of the main Irish Gay Discussion sites have been banned:, & but I’m sure there’s more than that.

Homophobia in Vilnius
Photo owned by moacirpdsp (cc)

Access, the new ownership?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

If we live in a world where we don’t fully own our digital content but have full access to ALL digital content, what happens?

Apple has given us iTunes, the iPod, Apple TV and the MacBook Air. All of which hate physical media. Apple helped killed the floppy, they put most momentum into killing the music CD and they’re doing the same for DVDs. And BluRay? Ttheir lack of support for it says it all. Dirty discs don’t suit Apple. Hell, they don’t like the public even accessing the battery part of the iPhone or the MacBook Air. Closed devices are what Apple likes, both in terms of ability to plug something into them as well as making the tech open.

Apple is probably doing more to kill off as much physical media as possible and move all our music and movies on to harddrives and then from there to the “cloud”. With ubiquitous broadband (stop laughing) we’ll be able to stream high quality music and video to our iPods or Apple TVs instead of storing it all on one device. (yeah there will be some local caching) There’s been rumours now and then that Apple wants to go down the subscription model where new iPod owners could get access to all the music they want for the lifetime of the iPod or a yearly subscription means all of iTunes can be accessed for free. All you can consume.

Fred Wilson has a really good and in-depth piece about the moving over from physically owning the CD to streaming of music. Streaming certainly has a strong future.

La Castro Taqueria is changing to Kasa Indian Eatery, it seems.
Photo owned by rick (cc)

JP Rangaswami wrote this the other day on a blog post about collaboration but I think it’s on the money about content property rights turning into access rights in the future:

Or maybe it was because I grew up in Calcutta. Access to material goods seemed a lot more important than ownership of the same goods; possession was a transient concept. It wasn’t your bed, your book, your park bench, your air. You just had passing and temporary rights to it, and the rights would fade as easily as they came to exist.

We’re probably a few years off this but a considerable amount of our media is going to be exclusively digital with just the hyperloyal fans buying the exclusive and therefore pricey physical boxsets and the like. If we only pay for “access” to the music though even for a year or for life, will we devalue the creative process of the content producers or will it mean the loyal fans who buy the boxsets and turn up at the concerts and shows let artists know they’re being appreciated? As an artist with all of the world able to access all of the music in the world, how are you going to get attention? Even more money spent on those marketing sharks or engage in a grassroots type campaign to build recognition? Another question, if people are given access to all the music in the world, can they be temped away from the overly manufactured pop drivel into listening to better quality music since they don’t have to pay to listen to it or try it?

Questions, questions, questions…

Somebody lost his duckie
Photo owned by gawd (cc)

And he’s off – Robin Blandford is off to startupland

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Robin was always in startup mode. His brain seems to be structured like that. Highly creative and highly innovative. One to watch, afterall. So he’s announced he’s off out on his own now. I’m really excited to see what he comes up with. Whatever it is, it’ll be the first of many projects I should think. Serial entrepreneur, Robin Blandford.

(This is what I got when I searched for “Startup”. It’s probably on the money actually.)

Kevin Rose
Photo owned by joestump (cc)

CSO totally trust estate agent rental prices – Can you see where this is going?

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Edit: Big Up the Pinsters!

Hattip to the smoking man with the smoking gun. 🙂

From the best damned website in Ireland, The Property Pin:

The CSO compiles statistics on how much rent people pay. (PDF Link) The past few months they’ve been showing it going up consistently. “Rat smell” says the people of ThePropertyPin.

When I asked where they got thier figures for rent I was told form several sources including estate agents. Estate Agents are, it would seem, thier primary source!!

They do not ask tenents what they are paying as this would proove difficult when tenents move on. They do not do like for like monthly questionaires of tenents, ( eg tenent in 3 bed semi in a particular estate in Dublin and then use the same estate again in the following months).

I just called the CSO Cork office. Told me the same thing. EA’s and Local Authorities (for Council rents) are their only sources. They don’t go next nor near tenants!

Richard Delevan already covered the fact the Irish Times don’t trust prices from Estate Agents/Auctioneers anymore. So rental is the same now?

On Tuesday the number of properties to rent on Daft hit 12,000 for the first time. May 07 was 5000, so thats 140% increase. Have a look at the number of properties available for rental explode (via Daft Watch):
rental Properties

Watch those rental properties plummet with the Rental Price Drop Forum. I love it. Not the dropping, the idea of such a forum.

So there you go.

Cork International Airport Hotel – It’s like the set from The Prisoner

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I visited the Cork Airport International Hotel again today. It’s one of the strong candidates as the location for the 2009 Irish Blog Awards which will not be in Dublin. Apologies for the shit quality of the pictures, blame the crappy video camera that I had with me. The hotel’s design is fantastic, though some hate it I’ve heard. I love it. The decor rock. It really feels like you’re in Dr. Evil’s layer or on the set of the Prisoner. Bernie’s been and recommends the grub. Part of the restaurant is done like the inside of a plane too. Free wireless all over the hotel. They have their own bakery and hairdressers! Didn’t take pics of the rooms but they’re huge.

The only other hotel that almost compares is the funky Radisson SAS off George’s Street. Have a look at the photos. Even if we don’t use it for the Blog Awards, I have to use it for some event.

Cork Airport international Hotel

These are pics from the lobby area:
Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

These are pics of the stairs going from the lobby area to the reception area which is upstairs. Check out the mirror ball:
Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

And these are pics (really bad ones) and a video (worse again) of their Pullman Lounge, a room for those waiting to pop over to the Airport which is just behing the hotel and you can walk to. The Pullman Lounge allows you to relax in chairs where you can get a kip, check your net, enjoy a good few types of seat massages (I giggled when they switched it on) and watch a movie or a computer demonstration on the screen.

Cork Airport international Hotel

Cork Airport international Hotel

And a video

Arseblog now part of football network

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Arseblog is the most successful Irish blog with on average 16k visitors per day. It’s been winning awards left right and centre for years too and is a central hub for all things Gunners. Congrats to the Arseblogger who will now work fulltime on Arseblog which is part of the football network and which itself wants to turn itself into a social network for football. Football fans being the obsessive kind will probably make it a massive success.

Photo owned by menut (cc)

Perlico sending out deceptive flyers to try and win new customers

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Got the below flyer in the letterbox this morning. It was only when I got to the very end that I realised it was a Perlico flyer. It was designed like it was some kind of service announcement from eircom which got me to read it thinking my service would be going down or something. I don’t think it is very wise to try and trick potentially new customers and I really think using eircom colours and branding too like eircom’s is in any way kosher. Complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and ComReg lodged. Win my business with pricing and service not fraud.



How to listen to/monitor what people are saying about your company online

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Will try to get Fluffy links out later today! Meanwhile. Have this:

It’s the new world of communications where the web has gone all cluetrain (which means it’s not broadcast it’s conversations) so it’s not enough to fire out a press release or write a brochure website and leave it at that. Statements are no longer respected.

Photo owned by anjrued (cc)

Conversations and soliciting feedback is where it’s at and now that the customer is starting to get spoiled with that, many companies will have no choice but to start engaging with the public where on the public’s patch such as blogs, discussion forums and social networks.

But you can hardly just connect to a lot of people and see what they say. This is where technology comes in. Gee whizz! (Internet on computers joke inserted here)

This is another blog post on an ongoing (it seems) series about communications. I previously covered Blog Crisis Management, Corporate Blogging and Community Managers.

How does a company see what is said about them online?

So where does a company start?

You can just use basic Google search to see what is being said about your company and your products. Do searches for the company name, product names but also for the company domain name and even the main staff in your company.

Google Alerts:

Google Alerts

Go to and sign up via email to get web search, blog search, news, video and Google Groups results sent to you for your searches. Google Alerts is fantastic and very useful BUT you only get results via email. Google killed their search API and there’s not an RSS feed for the main Google Search Engine.

If you have a feedreader such as Bloglines or Google Reader or others you can get searches sent via RSS feeds to you for Google Blogsearch, Video (inc YouTube), News, Groups etc. Everything except the main search engine results.

Google Blogsearch:

Go to: and bung in your search and look at the left sidebar on the results page. You can subscribe to the search using via email, RSS or Atom.

Google Blog Search


Bloglines search
Bloglines is a web based feedreader and if you have an account with them (which is free) you can also do searches like Google Blogsearch. I use both just in case one spots something the other doesn’t.


YouTube is a little more difficult to sign up to. If you want to subscribe to an RSS feed for “Bertie Ahern” then the search feed is They don’t really advertise this and there is no quick link at the sidebar of search results.


Like it or who cares what you think 🙂 Twitter has a huge and very active community talking incessantly in small bursts of text. Twitter is a text message rebroadcast service and a lot of the usual first movers are on it. There’s a very healthy community on it now.

twitter Scan

You can now subscribe to searches on Twitter and see who is talking about your name, domain name etc. etc. and what they are saying too. Tweet Scan is a service which allows you to monitor Twitter for various words and phrases and you can be notified via email RSS or even Twitter itself when people mention you. With people moving some of their conversation on to Twitter and away from blogs, this is definitely another place you should have that virtual glass up against.

Yell If It Changes:

Yell if it changes
Yell if it changes is run by Gordon Murray. Yay Cork! It can notify you when

* a website is updated
* a website changes Google Page Rank
* a website receives more incoming links
* a website changes position on Google

This is good just to let you know about new links to your site and if you go up and down in Google rankings but this is much more important for monitoring your competition. You should be watching what your competitors are doing and know when and what they update on their website.

These are some of the free tools available to monitor the net but there are good private ones too. However unless they are using old API keys for the main Google search engine then they might not be as good as the free ones. Enjoy stalking yourself.

PaddyPower looking for a blogger – Want a job?

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

This was passed on to me. It might be of use.

Bloggers Wanted

Are you a financial blogger – or want to be a financial spread betting
blogger – interested in discussing stories about assets trades: (the
good, the bad and the ugly) and other areas of interest to financial
spread bettors?

You may have your own blog or you may take part in discussions on
other blogs or forums.

You must be passionate about the financial markets; particularly
equities or individual shares in the UK and Irish markets. Writing
experience and a keen sense of humour are needed.

You don’t need to be a blogging expert, but you should understand
blogs and know how to make comments and add hyperlinks.

Possible areas of interest:

• Equities

• Indices

• Forex

• Commodities

• Economic indicators

• Stock broking fundamentals

• Education

Contact us, indicating your area of interest or expertise and include
a paragraph or more about your experience or the reason you would like
to get involved.

We will provide you with useful and valuable tools and information.
The site is already up and running. We also pay a non-commission based
competitive basic salary.

So if you think you have what it takes. Email the following
information to

• Your Full Name

• Email Address

• Phone

• Country

• Region

• Area of Expertise

• Your Blog URL if you have one – otherwise a sample of your writing

• 2-4 paragraphs about what you’ve done before

• Anthing else you think is relevant

Some Community Manager Slideshare Presentations

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Making a Gabillion Dollars With Community Marketing…or something like that – Tara Hunt

Community Evangelism: Tools + Techniques by Anil Dash and Deborah Schultz

Community 2.0 Community Bootcamp: the technology part by Tara Hunt