Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

Dear person browsing from luas green line

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

We can see you:

Luas Mulley

Luas Mulley

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!

Slide44
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.

Fluffy Links – Thursday September 4th 2008

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Congrats to Nooked and their new shopping widget.

FBD Insurance are on Twitter. Welcome folks!

Minister Eamon Ryan to use Bebo and Facebook for consultation feedback? Read that and how eircom had a barney with him about speeds at campbell’s blog.

Speaking of Bebo. It seems it can’t be stopped, even in Irish prisons. Hah. I think that’s good in a way. It should be hard to stop access to the Internet.

eWrite messenger now supports Toddle newsletter templates.

Staying with eWrite, Gordon did some stats on a Facebook campaign he ran for the Web Awards, seeing uptake on the ads he ran.

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is now free to download or read online. Great book and fun TV series.

Clever. HP are selling some of their latest notebooks without packaging. They come in messenger bags instead. Great idea.

Terry – TED-like talks but done by college students. Please please please do one in Ireland. Students only. Not the academics!

Steven Johnson gives Palin 3 weeks before she’s kicked out. D’ya think?

Some firefighting photo, this.

Using humans to get around blocks made for robots. Seems that it costs $0.002 to solve a CAPTCHA. (those horrible text box from things that are hard to read)

From Terry: Things to avoid when publicly speaking:

eircom via Google’s DoubleClick advertises on PirateBay

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

It seems you can now see eircom ads on the worlds most notorious file sharing website – thePirateBay.org. The site that the music and movie industry wants to shut down is now being serviced with ads by Google’s company DoubleClick. Below is a screenshot of an eircom ad. Click for bigger pic. I very much doubt eircom knew their ad buying company would put the ads there.

eircom ad on Pirate bay

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 twitter.com 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

Rebroadcast
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: http://twitter.com/DellHomeOffers , In Ireland the company might not even do it themselves, there are unofficial feeds for RTE for example: http://twitter.com/RTEnews

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: http://twitter.com/bksolutions

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: http://twitter.com/patphelan

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 http://search.Twitter.com

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 twitterfone.com, the ability to dial and talk in your message instead of typing and another group in Cork have built a statistics package called TweetRush.com to monitor how many messages go through the system per second, hour, day, week etc.

DownloadMusic.ie USB Album

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

download music usb

Got one of the DownloadMusic.ie USB albums in the post a while back from them for free.

Artists featured include: Saccade, The Rumours, Driving By Night, The Radio, Roberta Howett, The Flaws, OrphanCode, SUDDYN, Ro Tierney, Codes, Justinmanville, Dirty Epics, Jo and the Flood, The Kinetiks, Vesta Varro

I was expecting the usual Irish musical compilation album, you know, one or two good tracks and the rest being shite. WRONG. Very impressed with this. I’ve heard a few too thanks to Phantom but the quality of the bands and artists is really good. I’m now chasing up on some of the bands. There’s a lot of talent on this album. Only issue is I won’t use the media player that comes with it and the mp3s when loaded into Winamp has very messy song titles/names. An m3u file would have been handy.

I remember reading somewhere that the newest bands are influenced by the whole world now. They can connect with bands who only ever had an audience of 60 in their local town but the second their music is online, kids from the other side of the world can sample their work and get influenced. Hopefully in the next few years with such diversity of influence we’ll hear some amazing new stuff. Looks like we’re getting some of it with this album.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday September 3rd 2008

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

It’s not too late to come along to CreativeCamp Belfast on Saturday. Come along. After the amazing support the folks way up there have shown to the Blog Awards and BarCamps, I feel I owe them a few visits.

Suzy Byrne made the Huffington Post. Well done.

Via PhilFBcal – export the Facebook Birthdays to Google Calendar or iCal.

Gay Marriage for all in California. Even prisoners. Makes for some interesting dilemmas…

Love Zebras. Love this poster.

Get your musical goods on iTunes and sell cds too with TuneCore.
Anyone know where I can get this picture?

Nice Guerilla Marketing tips for startups.

$175k a day for an ad on the front of YouTube.

Sarah Palin had a lot of work done to her Wikipedia profile before she was nominated.

Via Kerry: Surveys

Via Treasa – Princess Bride in Lego

IrishRail’s gaywatch – Confirm they are on lookout to stop gay couples

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

It seems that IrishRail is actively watching out for gay and lesbian couples who might be getting the train. Minister for Setting things back 30 years Mary Coughlan, when she was in charge of social welfare put a law in place that denied samesex couples the ability to travel on a companion travel pass and IrishRail started enforcing it this year. They now have public notices in train stations that state:

Only named persons that have signed the rear of the pass and that are of a different gender are entitled to use the pass.

Irish, blacks, no gays

The “rules” mean that you can claim a companion pass even if you are unmarried, once the person is of the opposite sex. You can blab on about the Constitution and the protection of marriage and such but if unmarried couples who are not gay or lesbian can get the pass then that’s some serious inequality there. Or an old person with a non-loving, non-sexual partner. Up to the rule change by Coughlan, samesex couples could claim the pass if they passed the same eligibility tests as heterosexual couples. Of course if an elderly gay couple(I hear there’s at least 4 in the country) and an elderly lesbian couple went training around the country they would be allowed if they put a person from the other couple on their pass and vice-versa.

IrishRail’s spokesperson confirmed in an email to Suzy Byrne that they have been stopping gay couples from availing of this.

Maybe they should those World War II propganda posters too?
PartyOnCommunists
Photo owned by Ligadier Truffaut (cc)

Do Follow – Should you change link policies on your blog?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Michele’s kicked off something interesting with his blog post about the IIA’s Blog putting in nofollow or rather using the wordpress default on their blogs for comments.

(For the non techies who are the majority on this blog: the nofollow attribute in links left in comments on a blog means Google and other search engines won’t give these links any weight because they came from your site. See some people/bots had been leaving 1000s of comments on blogs before which linked to certain sites and it resulted those sites getting artificial boosts in Google rankings)

The IIA have since changed that around. Michele himself talks about his moderation policy and how he nukes any soft sell comments. If you have a moderation policy of doing that then removing nofollow makes sense I would guess.

No, not that kinda Link:
Link
Photo owned by metaxin (cc)

However, the way I see it, links without nofollow should be ones that you endorse and they’re not links in comments. I leave plenty of comments through that I do not agree with. I’ll do the same for links but I don’t vote with my site for those links. My own moderation policy is I’ll allow most stuff through soft sell or not (though not all) with the idea being the stupid and bad linking of an individual just makes them look like tits.

When you have IIA in their training classes advocating leaving comments on blogs to boost your Google rankings, maybe nofollow is actually a good idea?

Also wouldn’t spam engines target your blog more if it removes nofollows?

It would be nice though for WordPresss to allow you to have that control. Maybe they’ll bring it out. Meanwhile there’s a Dofollow wordpress plugin for it.

Update: This is what happens when you allow dofollow. The spammers make lists.