Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Twitter changes character limits in DMs – Potential for this

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

I wrote a blog post called Iterations, it’s going live on this blog tomorrow but people are getting it via DM tonight.

Twitter DM character limit change
Over the past few days for many of us on Twitter, the 140 character limit for DMs (private messages) has been replaced with a 10,000 character limit. That’s about 1500 to 1800 words. A good but short blog post.

For brands, this removing of the brevity limit might turn into a pain in the hole as a customer asks the most long winded questions ever whereas before they had 140 characters so brevity worked in your favour. I liked Twitter for that as I get emails from some people that are 4-5 paragraphs long and don’t need more than a “Yes” or “No” reply. Not now!

Reading a long DM is actually nice and easy too.

Still, I think there are many uses for these loosening of restrictions

  • It might be a perfect bounce back for customers as you can DM them a few pages from the manual that they’ve not read and that keeps them occupied for a while.
  • It’s a very handy way for an analyst to send on a briefing doc to the media. Slightly faster than email and keeps the buzz going on Twitter.
  • Authors can release short stories or a preview of their new book in the form of a chapter sample.
  • For those on crappy connections, you could request a pared down copy of a webpage from a Twitter account. Like the old Email2FTP services.
  • You could with a little work run a training course to people via DM. SEO Nick runs an SEO course via email. One part per day. Buffer is currently doing the same with an email a day on social media strategy. DMs could offer the same.
  • And with a bit of scripting this could turn into a handy service for organisations to distribute information privately to people. See below:

A Man for all occasions

More on that last point. In Unix the Man command serves you pages from the user manual.

man FTP – gives you the page(s) on using FTP for example.

There have been lots of comparisons to various web services now just doing a version of various Unix commands. You could do the same with Twitter and long DMs. Ask the Twitter account of a company/org for certain things and get a few pages of notes back. Think now about organisations like Samaritans or Spunout or other organisations around issues that still carry a stigma like family planning issues, mental health or eating disorders.

I know a few organisations on Facebook do not get interactions or even subscribers because people are afraid friends or family will see their interactions. It can easily be programmed now for someone to send a private message to these organisations, without following them and ask information from them. A manual of commands could even be sent on the first DM to the organisation.

So maybe you DM (private message) Spunout with the word “Help” and they send you back all the commands that allow you to get information. From there you pick a topic.
d Spunout depressed, d Spunout cutting, d Spunout threesomes

Commercially this can apply to a company too. You could DM Eircom with speed and your account number for support or information. The commands could reflect the tree that you get when you ring a support line.

I’ve already noticed that DMs are now paragraph in size with some people and surprisingly this can make conversations more efficient not less so.

Happy DMing

2500 people have subscribed to my website instead of coming back each day. You can subscribe to the site using a feedreader or email. I'm also on Twitter. My online marketing blog might also be worth a visit. Thanks for visiting - Damien.

Google’s Alphabet Street

Friday, August 14th, 2015

So, Google Alphabet

  • Alphabet = [Google] + [Calico, Nest, Fiber, G Ventures, G Capital, Google X]
  • Google = Google Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Android are still under the Google umbrella in Alphabet. The rest is shit Sundar Pichai doesn’t want.
  • Alphabet saves face as the founders and Eric are now not running their creation.
  • Sundar Pichai can gut the company more too and it wasn’t them. Nobody ever got the axe under the rule of the three amigos – Larry, Sergei, Eric. Actually, a few were left go during the crunch but not massive numbers.
  • Maybe now, silly projects like Google Glass don’t need to be crowbarred into being an integral part of Google and can be left to be fun toys for the billionaire’s boys club
  • You’ve started, will you finish?

    Monday, August 3rd, 2015

    There seems to be a growing trend that in order to be happy everyone should work for themselves, everyone should start a startup. Many people are happy to exchange 39 hours of their week for money from a company, they get to do their job and be left alone. That’s probably most people. This is for the others.

    2015 and startups

    This is an unrefined rant written on a Sunday morning that turned into a whole Sunday and some of a Bank Holiday Monday. It’s about starting businesses and is built around small independent thoughts on startups that I have attempted to weave together into a fabric that has a nice flow to it with edges won’t catch on anything too pointy.

    It is also a test for myself to see can I still write interesting things since mostly I’ve abandoned blogging.

    My company

    I’m coming to this from a position of strength or maybe not giving a shit. My company is 7 years old and is doing okay. Not great, mind. I don’t have any full-time employees as I don’t want to expand it. I also am the “burn it to the ground” type where I fire clients or tell people I don’t want their business.

    Having full-time employees would mean I’d have to work for their future and not just mine and I’m too pigheaded for that. To me I find there’s comfort in knowing I can shut this down at anytime and walk away. I gave this 5 years now it’s 7 and I’m almost disappointed with this.

    It’s an accidental business. Blog posts on tech got me speaking gigs, they got me training gigs and the day job had to be given up to keep doing it. That’s my “founder story”. Iterations, which I’ll come back to.

    Even before then, I started the Blog awards which created the Web Awards which created the Social Media Awards which created the SME Awards. All of those helped me find some great people that I work with at events. Lots of mistakes were made but that helped with refinement. Iterations again.

    Without the blog awards none of the rest of the events would probably have happened. The Sockies 2015 generated revenue of about €40k but the profit to be honest wasn’t much and it created one motherfucker of a VAT bill. A proper manager would I’m sure make it a valuable entity but see above! But we got 650 people giving a standing ovation to the Yes Equality social media team. That’s a fine reward.

    So that’s my business. It shudders and survives despite of me, not because of me. Not a month goes by where I don’t bounce money around to balance things. Not in an Anglo way though.

    On to the rant

    So where is this rant coming from? I’ve seen a few people starting startups so they can get some kind of buss from that. There are better and cheaper legal and illegal ways of getting a buzz dear reader.

    I’ve seen other people start businesses because they have an idea that they think is a winner and people have encouraged them to go for it. Others start because they’re unemployed and this is their chance at something. This bit sounds like a riddle but some have listened when they should have ignored and some ignored when they should have been listening.

    I’m sharing my advice for those that want to start or are starting and it is based on my jaded views of the startup “journey” in Ireland. There are more blog posts on startup advice than there are people with a David Gray CD I suppose but this is my cover version!

    If you think the TV show “Silicon Valley” is what starting a business is like, you’re in dreamland. Don’t bother. Go back to the daydreaming of doing Darth Vader death grips. That show is far too close to home for some people I’ve encountered. Ever watched Dad’s Army? That’s more like it.

    Working for yourself means you are going to be on less than minimum wage, that you never leave the office mentally, even if you do physically. It’s. Going. To. Be. Shit. And yet so rewarding as you do it on your terms, such freedom. Stressful freedom!

    I’m not a fan of turning a hobby into a business because it ruins the love and you lose your hobby, the thing you can get lost in when all else turns to shit. For me starting something as a part-time gig was a nice measure of whether I wanted to keep doing it.

    Of late, what bothers me is those that start because they just want to be in a startup now and they have people encouraging them to leap without looking and are marketing their status as “pre-idea” and “pre-team”. Aren’t we all pre-idea and pre-team? You’re no more a startup than someone that speaks at a TEDx can say they’ve given a TED talk.

    Tell me: What do you want to do with this business?

    So many come to my training courses and a day later call themselves digital marketing experts. Oh you do training in that? That’s unique isn’t it? Is your training better? Faster? Cheaper? Different to be of value? Aa few 100 more within 10 feet are doing the same. Saturated market.

    An Irish facebook? Fuck off. An Irish Snapchat? Fuck off. Yahoo and Google tried that, they failed. You will too. Some people will tell you this failure is good, see the failure section later. They’re wrong.

    Now, going back to the digital marketing training idea. if you were to offer all this training online, you now have a global market and it isn’t saturated. That has potential.

    To move a few steps ahead you have to have some original take with your idea. What are the junctions in life where money, tech and people intersect? Some junctions are traffic jammed or slow, yes? How can you aid this flow?

    Start with software will eat the world by Marc Andreessen

    Start with Ev Williams on making a common thing easier by taking out one step

    Those two links are really all you need for now. Find other links after starting your startup. I’d suggest you never wait for that one idea and then go all in instantly. The natural high from finding this glorious idea inebriates you to think “this is it, I’m sorted”. It’s not, you’re not. It can easily be that half glass of booze that was so nice last night and you can’t stick today when you look back.

    Write down the idea, whiteboard it, examine it, figure out the use of it, figure out who would use it. Ask questions of people who might be users. Let it percolate over time. Outside non-startup pursuits will help you even more here. TV, reading, exercise. That hobby. Do the same for other ideas. Sometimes solutions or thoughts from other ideas fit perfectly with those other ideas. You might start to see the patterns in time. Now you’re trucking.

    That idea? It’s rarely a flash of light gifting something from the heaven that’s fully formed. It’s some rough stone you might see and you start to chip at it and then polish but you find other stones around too. A point will come when you finally see this idea properly and you might even find it seemed it was always there but you saw it in the wrong light until now.

    Built a startup at a startup weekend? Oh wow, that’s an amazing responsive site and Twitter account you have. Oh look, I can do that in the control panel of my Blacknight account in under 3 minutes. But I didn’t have fun eating pizza and beer.

    Pain points/pinch points

    Is there something in your life that could be made more efficient or could be automated? Is there something out there right now that does lots of things but it’s only one part you and most others use? Unbundle it.

    Is there something during your day that pisses you off and you despise doing and would be willing to pay someone else to do? I’d rather not get a taxi and have to endure some smelly, racist person that won’t shut the fuck up about Irish Water. Hailo! Uber! Servitude as a service

    Are you looking at a business and there are many elements of it that make you want to scream because they could do a much better job with some changes? Could they adapt fast enough to your offering and match or better it? Are they a Nokia? WhatsApp does text messaging better and for free. Worth $13.5 billion now. SMS was done yeah?

    If people are willing to spend big money – a small market is all you need to start
    Willing to spend tiny money or none – huge market is needed for you

    Feedback from friends is a fallacy

    Don’t ask people whether they think your idea is any good. They’ll lie and tell you yes because they’re nice or spineless or they’re idiots so will tell you yes. Depending on the idea, it might be something your buddy would never use for work or pleasure so why spend time explaining it to them?

    Find people who roughly understand what your solution is and see can they contextualise it for their work. “That would work for me if it was able to do this first” is much better than “Amazing, let me know how it works”. NDAs waste everyone’s time. If you thought of this idea about 50 other people are working on it too.

    Okay, so now can you just fucking start?

    Okay, idea sorted. Don’t fall into the trap of going to the “startup supplies” store and getting all these things before you start. You’re now just prepping for study by tidying your room, reorganising your notes, spending two hours on a study playlist kind of thing. Except afterwards you’re much much poorer. You’re just one more autobiography of a business person away from starting aren’t you? Just start.

    Start and as you’re starting you’ll quickly find what you need to keep going and what other stuff just gets in your way. I give out to people every day for having crappy sites and mine is crap. I’m too busy helping others but work comes in due to word of mouth so that’s grand.If I only had my website and not got an existing reputation then I’d be SEOing that site to the hilt and blogging on it and sharing it everywhere.

    For me my main thing that I needed was a money person, I got a good accountant for that. I had a laptop, broadband at home, a mobile, access to a car, cash in the bank. Google docs looked after my software and I had a site. For the first two years I used a slow old clunky laptop, it needed to always be plugged in to work. It did me grand.

    Bootsrapping aka being cheap

    Be a virus, live off a host for a while – Web, FB, Twitter. Use all the platforms that are out there. Don’t buy equipment. Don’t buy software. Just use the free stuff that’s out there even if with limits. Have meetings in the lobby areas of hotels with good wifi. Buy a tea to stay for ages, do work after the meeting. Cheap domain name and hosting for the site. Mailchimp for mailing lists.

    If you need hardware, rent it or borrow it. Use the manufacturing workshop of other businesses at night and weekends. It might feel like you’re only reselling for now and you possibly are but your overheads are low aren’t they? You can work on the process then, refine it, swap out and in elements to make you more money per interaction.

    Not got a logo, not got cards, have a one pager website, don’t have fancy offices with bean bags and slides? Good. Wait later for these go-faster stripes.

    TheJournal, a site I dislike for their wholesale robbing of content in the early days and quizzes these days still ploughed on, they were out there, they used staff from the web generation, they had a better site, they knew how to use website optimisation, they knew how to write catchy headlines. They got how to use Twitter and Facebook as distribution channels.

    With that, they had a huge advantage. I remember seeing people quoting Journal pieces on Twitter which were based on Irish Times copy. Years later and their headlines are still better for the same stories.

    They are now massively influential and have the systems to start pushing out original content and are doing a better job than “traditional” media with the printing press millstone around their neck. They could have waited for more newswires and building more sources, they didn’t. They could have built more automated systems, they didn’t at that moment. They got out the gap and live tested it all.

    Get out and talk to customers

    Most startups I’ve encountered failed because of arrogance and/or poor or no sales. I’ll say this later too: If you are going to be your own customer and you only need one customer then keep doing what you’re doing. For everyone else you’ll need to talk to people. Step away from your air-hockey table and ring some customers or customers of a competitor. Not comfortable with people? Hire someone that is or get a buddy to help. Get them to do an online survey. Customers and potential customers will teach you so much about your own offerings even if in the end they don’t buy from you.

    Iterate the motherfuck out of it.

    The Apple Watch is shit right now. It will replace the phone in 5 years. It’s basic now but it’s first. It has a base of a million plus users in less than a year who will stay loyal to it. Version 2 will be better, version 3 much better. Apple are making money and learning with live data from crappy version 1 though. They waited long enough to have an okay version 1 that will not be disliked and they’ll move on from there.

    This okay version 1 is still years ahead of the existing competition and it will be a year before Google/Samsung bring something out but by then version 2 is out. They do it with every product they have. Done is better than perfect, so says Facebook.

    Positive hits

    Do find small little easy to find measurements for your company. Milestones, milepebbles so you can see you are going in the right direction. The same way you can beat procrastination by splitting a task into easier parts, you ought to try it with your startup work. Even if what you think the most constructive thing you did is water the plants, they’re now done. Start with tiny tasks that take a few minutes and widen it out. I didn’t get X done today but I did get W, Y and Z.

    Failure 2.0 is dangerous.

    The myth of failure. “Most startups fail” They do. “It’s okay to fail” This is true too. But the current thing seems to be that it’s okay to phone in sick when running a startup and if it fails nobody was responsible as startups always fail, the odds were against you. This is just pulling the “It’s okay to fail” card. Failure is valuable if there’s responsibility and a need to learn from what worked and didn’t work.

    In this space we have “startups that failed” and we have people who “failed to do anything worthy with a startup”. Hugely different. Irish Smoked Salmon. Smoked Irish Salmon.

    Failing but developing as a person and enriching your experience is what you want if you did fail. The other is grasping nettles again and again and again and “failure experts” telling you that at least you know nettles sting and hard luck and best of luck with the next patch of nettles. And you’re still in that nettle patch two years later. Move one step forward, move another, get pushed back, ask why, ask how to prevent that next time, move one step forward. Is that failing? A long enough timeline and all businesses fail but was it a failure 80% of the time or just the last 5%?

    Startup Ecosystems

    There is finally a startup ecosystem in Ireland. Ecosystems can be healthy things but in the rush to encourage everyone to be in startupland, there are some dire companies that should not exist. Many can only exist in Ireland because they’re bankrolled by the State in one form or another. Ecosystems of course have predators. They are happy to push the idea that everyone needs to do a startup, the more the merrier. Volume is good for them. Plenty of people will now mentor you for a fee or take the fee from an Enterprise Board. Hypocrisy alert, I do this! Sharks with beards, baseball caps and a can of craft beer telling you “whatevers” in exchange for something. Beer, money, board place, equity.

    Some developers will build a site or an app for you and extract as much as they can from you for it. It really isn’t up to them to tell you your idea is useless. Useless or not they need to build and make money. There are some I know who politely tell a potential client to go away and have a think and then come back if they still want to do their idea.

    Do you need a fancy website, do you need an app? For some an app is hugely important, for others it’s pure vanity. If you need an app for the sole purpose of proving to people you’re a big deal, walk. We’re still waiting for iPad apps from Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat. Other things have their resources.


    This “pivot” term that’s used by startups today is mostly bullshit. Today it seems to mean a startup that started with a really bad idea is about to go under so they’re starting something new to get away from that bad idea. Which is a good idea if your new idea is a good idea. That’s where Twitter came from. Mostly though it’s just moving your company on to expensive life support and give yourself the space of a few months before calling it a day.

    Where the really good pivots work though are in working on the original idea you find a roadblock of pure granite that means you don’t go further. However on working on smashing through the granite you might come up with new tools or tech and suddenly you’re making something for others to smash granite.

    Or when talking to potential customers about your idea they end up presenting to you (without realising it) a bigger more lucrative issue and you realise can solve that.

    But that comes from talking to potential customers, really really getting the industry and the issues and fixing it. And fuck all companies do that cos that’s too much work for them especially so many introverted tech people. But tweeting and going to startup wankery events and hanging around with people that will never be customers is enough, right? No.

    You might not need a sales strategy (you actually do) but you definitely need a “meet potential customers and see what issues they have” strategy. Some non-customers can be of more value than customers that do give you money.

    The Hard Things About Hard Things is my favourite half-a-business book.
    The first half is a thriller that everyone that wants to start a business or has a business should read. So inspiring. The second half is just blog posts lashed on to pad the book. A billion dollar business was born from a failing other business that the guys had created, they took IP from that business and created Opsware. You’re googling the rest of that story.

    Flickr and Slack are “pivots” too. Businesses created from other businesses that weren’t doing well or were going nowhere. They were learning even while failing and reset their targets and made Flickr and Slack. Same guy too.. I love these types of pivots because the idea is road tested, poacher becoming gamekeeper in a way and a lot of time it creates a great energy in the startup. Leaner, tougher, looking for revenge.

    Killing in the name of … sanity

    Sometimes though, it might not go anywhere so just shut it down. It’ll steal full breaths off you for weeks but it will be the best decision. If you’re stuck for a gig at this point, do the circuit of giving talks at startup events and do some startup consultancy on the side.

    Incubation centres

    You needn’t worry if you’re in an Irish incubation programme, you will never fail, nobody ever fails in those. Nobody fails. hardly anyone passes. In a State funded one you’ll just get acquired for an undisclosed sum. A euro. Or pivot. Lumped in with a butcher, baker and selfie-stick maker. It’s a bit like school, you even get homework and given out to! So it feels like you’re working for them when they should be working for you. Incubation centres are good if those running them are well connected and will connect you. Worth a repeat: make them work for you.

    Do also note that those in there that tell you that you’re doing it wrong may not have experience of doing it right. You will be given guidance on building automobiles from people that still have horses and carriages and a “man” to work them. Did they ask for equity? What’s their motivation for helping you? What do they get? Job satisfaction? Run.

    While in there you can spend 6 months working on a business plan and get pushed down routes that area dead ends. Only a few years back anyone that wanted to do a web app startup were told middleware was better. Now if you tick Cloud, App, Internet of Things on the form, you’re probably in. Or instead of that business plan let the accountant do cost analysis on your idea in a few days and you build something for a potential customer with the freed up time. Everyone wins an award at the end too. They do graduation ceremonies in playschool now. No difference.

    Incubators are a core part of this “ecosystem” idea now. Pretty soon we’ll have an incubator for incubators. Just like you do that whole making a playlist, tidying your room to avoid doing study, incubators, funding structures and initiatives are a handy way of avoiding real work by State orgs. You know, like fixing the tax laws so someone that’s self employed pays more taxes than their own employees who might be on less or the same wage as you.

    Accelerators are things for cars, normally balanced with a brake. Speeding while you’re still learning to drive, great idea.

    Conferences and events

    Startup events
    Startup lads bant free drinks. LOL. Pivot. StartupBullshitBingo. Did you watch that latest episode of “Silicon Valley”?

    The ecosystem is now replete with obnoxious events on all the time that seem to be more support group AA meetings than anything more. Events on how to fail or something like that. Sponsored by an idiot bank, probably. Startup events on a boat, a plane, a tent,a treehouse, a van, a telephone box.

    I do wonder about those that are in startups yet give almost weekly talks about startups to startups. Not busy in work then? Life support startup? Intercom people talking at startup events makes sense. Stripe too. Their customers go there as do potential new customers. Do your customers attend startup events?

    Go to conferences where your potential customers are. If staff don’t come back with real leads, chop off one of their fingers. Yak style. Conferences cost time and money. Or start your own event or workshops for customers or potential customers.

    Makey Uppey Job Titles
    Chief Movement Creator. Director of Online Happiness. Co- Chief Hoody Wearer. Alloys on your 89 L Toyota Starlet. Director will do. The ones with money can see you’re bored with your gig. Careful.

    Well that meandered.


    In summary

    • Work on loads of ideas.
    • Start.
    • Start it as a part-time gig if you want. Switch when the day job is financially interfering with your startup.
    • Be really really cheap with everything that allows you to be cheap but not with wages.
    • Don’t implement most advice you’re given but listen.
    • Skip startup events, you should be too busy.
    • Incubators are safe and warm and keep you from the real world.

    Read this too if you want:

    Future of media bla-de-bla

    Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

    Actually, this is interesting enough.

    So Buzzfeed gets $50 from Andreessen Horowitz, decides it will create a movie studio.

    Post this, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz talk “software will destroy the world” and more in this podcast.

    Meanwhile one of the other Bens talks on a podcast about why Buzzfeed is a very interesting investment. Supporting blog post from him. The way they do “native” advertising could be one future of media. Advertiser picks a topic/area and Buzzfeed does a Buzzfeed on interesting content with the advertiser marked as a sponsor.

    Re/Code are now doing it too. What’s interesting there is their journalists DO NOT write this content but do we really look at who write pieces? Well actually, I do as you can easily spot biases depending on the writer. For example you can see who is in bed with what tech company in the broadsheets quite easily. Metaphorically.

    And 2013 content and traffic starlet Upworthy are getting hit by traffic decreases which they blame on training their new staff. New one on me that one. How long does it take to train these staff and does not say something about the structure that bringing new staff on board causes dips in traffic for months?

    Upworthy, Buzzfeed and even most Irish media websites are over dependent on Facebook right now. And now Facebook at last have said they’re going to combat click bait articles. Interesting to me is they’re using a lot og techniques Google uses to measure if a site is good content or not e.g. how quickly they click back to FB, the faster = less quality.

    These few tips on how to increase or sustain reach on Facebook may be of use.

    Now look at this switch too. MLB TV streams are moving away from desktops to devices. They’ll also move from traditional TV stations to streams too. Goodbye TV stations maybe, definitely “channels”.

    So this is why Twitch which was meant to be bought by YouTube is being bought by Amazon now for nearly $1 Bn in cash. Twitch is 3 years old. 3! Retaining their independence with Amazon seems to be the message. Remaining independent is the hot new thing. Twitch is where gamers stream their games and millions of people watch them every month. It’s huge and it seems nobody in “traditional’ media saw it coming. This is going to happen more and more.

    In January, Twitch reported that 58 percent of its viewers spent more than 20 hours per week on the site.

    20 hours!

    The future of PR – Robots

    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

    Stay with me on this. See the recent BBC news piece about a Korean baseball team adding in robots to the crowd so it appears the team is followed more than they are? Sure, people have been buying followers for years in the virtual spaces but now it’s physical spaces.

    And at the same time we have these scientific studies showing how humans will mimic the facial expressions of robots. Silly humans.

    The spontaneous mimicry of others’ emotional facial expressions constitutes a rudimentary form of empathy and facilitates social understanding

    This mimicry occurs even though these participants find the android unsettling and are fully aware that it lacks intentionality

    Now the study does say when the android is videoed instead of being in person, less mimicry occurs. They can fix that I bet. See the issue here is we mistrust someone as we can read their face and even the best trained PR people do actually find it hard to physically hide their lies despite what comes out of their mouth. But with with robots you can perfectly program the facial expressions and we’ll smile back to the “genuine” smile. A physiological study shows that when people give their driverless cars names, they are more forgiving when the vehicle has an error.

    So another oil spill and this time BP whips out the robo-spokesperson who like Johnny-Cab, tells you with a face full of contrition that they are sorry and it wasn’t their fault. Suckers.

    And this from a few years ago when two bots argue with each other

    RTÉ tenders: Their ad system specs, Saorview goes all IP

    Saturday, June 21st, 2014

    Digital Ad System tender from RTÉ

    From the tender doc: … over 130 million monthly page impressions and 4.5 million monthly unique browsers … In 2013, RTE served over 2.5 billion display ad impressions

    Each ad serving technology must allows us to create and target ads, and define inventory ad units, without the need to select between web or mobile platforms. The ad serving technology should automatically determine which creative to serve depending on the device that makes the ad call, and the targeting selected at an order line level.

    1.2.3 Targeting options
    Must include the following:
    * Ad Units & Placements
    * Custom(usingkey-values)
    * Geo & GPS
    * Devices
    * Connection
    * Frequency capping, Labels

    Saorview Connected tender.

    From the tender:

    RTÉ is seeking to evolve the SAORVIEW platform to incorporate open internet IP connectivity, developing a DTT / open internet IP hybrid platform called SAORVIEW Connected. SAORVIEW Connected is a next generation of SAORVIEW and the intention is to offer SAORVIEW consumers with SAORVIEW Connected equipment access to online media players and linear services delivered over the top to complement the existing DTT services.

    It is envisaged that SAORVIEW Connected will offer:
    (i) A single user interface with a consistent design, look and feel providing access to the DTT and over the top delivered services
    (ii) A backwards EPG providing easy click through access to catch-up content from media players

    And now the board of Trinity commissions their own app

    Monday, May 19th, 2014

    After the well received reaction to Trinity changing their logo. Oh right. It now seems that the Board of Trinity College, University of Dublin (get used to that) want an iPad app just for their board meetings. The Public Tenders site lists iPad App for Board meetings.

    Informally asking and those who dabble in this area think it could cost anywhere from €15k to €25k based on how difficult the “cloud” backend will be.

    From the Trinity College iPad app tender

    Background & Project Overview

    It is desirable for a number of reasons to move to an electronic system of organising and circulating documents for the College Board meetings and for meetings of the Executive Officer Group. Such benefits include environmental gains, financial gains and more efficient use of College resources and staff.

    There are a number of ways that the organisation can securely circulate documents. Both commercial options and in-house options can result in savings versus the current processes. Best practice in other educational providers was explored and it was agreed by the Executive Officer Group (EOG) that the purchase of a hosted solution should be explored.

    Reminds me of Dave Morin and the “bespoke app” he had made so he could communicate with his secretary.

    I guess an app is needed because nobody has already made one. Oh. Hang. On.


    Here’s one take on that new Trinity logo too from Conor Walsh.
    New Trinity Logo

    “Square acquired by Visa” – Will Secret, Whisper influence the news?

    Monday, May 19th, 2014

    Woke up this morning to this:
    John Wilshire Square bought by Visa

    How can you trust a system that allows any rumour, lie or planned defamation to be published? Well, American laws for one. It’s a hot startup and has millionaire backers for two. Plenty of startups that do very dodgy things are left unchecked for a while in case there’s a chance they make money and others can profit from it. Ireland would knock and attack an idea like this, bludgeon it with negativity until we kill it. The American way is to encourage success so you can come in later and try and get a cut too.

    Valleywag loves Secret. And some really good information has been leaked out through the app. And crazy fun stuff too. It was a Secret post that eventually unraveled the toxic truth behind how Github operated in such an anti-woman brogrammer way.

    And the Evernote acquisition rumour was so far untrue. If you read this hilarious Tumblr, most of the rumours are untrue. Yet every now and then… Something like this too would be a perfect hoax, it’s well known that Square is trying to sell itself and is failing to do that. Visa is already and investor and of course the Square founder is already well known for running Twitter. Hoaxes have to have reality as a base.

    For hunting stories though, tiny bits of information, rumours that are mostly untrue but with a tiny amount of truth are things you can use to chip away at a story. A lot of investigative type stories are almost negotiations or trades. Approach a source with a little bit of information, see will they give you a tiny bit more when you offer than tiny slice of truth. Take that, move on, uncover more with that and chip away even more until eventually you have a solid foundation for a story and then are confident to approach the main sources you can use/you want for your story.

    An hour after the Twitter chatter, nothing has happened to that Square piece. An hour with a rumour or bit of information is a long time in media and a very long time in tech media. But the Paltrow/Martin marriage on the rocks rumour was weeks on Whisper before the conscious uncoupling became a reality. Nieman Labs even goes through the use of apps like these for journalism. Journalism with a small j, mind. Buzzfeed has even inked a content deal with Whisper. Well it certainly won’t be old-skool media would would find that distasteful and would take two years to come to that decision too.

    Coming soon: Top up your Leap Card with your phone

    Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

    From the Government Tenders website is a bit of revealing information. A tender has gone out asking for companies to build an NFC system for the Leap Card. The Leap Card is the “integrated” ticketing system, mainly for the Dublin area. The idea with this tender is that you can now top up your Leap Card with your smart phone.

    Well, not with all smart phones. Not the one used by most in Ireland – the iPhone. iPhone has yet to support NFC, instead going after iBeacon. But NFC may be on the way. While Android phones are bought more, iPhone users use their phones to do the smart part of the smartphone more. Your website stats will show that. So we could hail this tender as visionary if Apple goes ahead with using NFC in the next while or short-sighted if it does nowhere. Mad how one company can distort perceptions like that.

    So here’s the tender:

    The National Transport Authority requires an enhancement to introduce the ability to read Leap Card from Smart Phones, and to purchase top-ups and tickets from Smart Phones and then apply the resultant ticket or top-up to the smart card via the NFC functionality on the Smart Phone.

    More detail:

    The transparent NFC solution aims to provide Leap Card holders, which also have access to a mobile device with suitable NFC capability, a means to:
    • Read information from their Leap Card
    • Perform a top-up to the electronic purse value on the Leap Card
    • Collect a ticket which was purchased on or
    • Collect a purse top-up which was purchased on

    Great to see smart phones becoming the core of public transport transactions, more of this.

    The eroding of our accents due to technology

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Now I’m the most positive future of tech person around so I decided to do an Andrew Keen type post about some odd things I’ve noticed. Accents are important. Identity, even if a construct, readily uses accents. It tells people where I’m from or it can be used to hide where I’m from. The old joke about going home to top-up the accent is like many jokes, based on reality. You can trust, let down your guard, get turned on, get scared, get aggressive with someone from an accent alone. So what if modern technology forces us to speak in a certain way?

    Already we have kids with American and British twangs because of Disney shows and Ben Ten. But they’ll move back into the localised accents over time. Maybe. Hopefully maybe. Now in fairness they’ve been saying that about kids accents ever since One and Two channel land first imported TV shows and to a little degree the words we used and the sounds they make has changed because of this. Language and accents evolve too and naturally so. Stan Carey is the person for all of this and more.

    However, with the increase in interactions in verbal ways with technology, what will become of our accents and the way we structure sentences? Today we have to change the way we interact and how we intonate what we say to keep the machine happy. Smooth down a Scottish accent to keep your iPhone happy. Talk like a mid-Atlantic DJ for Siri to figure out that we’re directing them to phone Mam.

    Listen to how Siri is pretty condescending to James. It suggests you’re the fool here James, not it.

    Everyone is going to have a smart mobile device in the next 5 years and the amount of non-touchscreen interactions is going to increase drastically. So human to machine verbal interactions are going to explode. We have all seen the video of the baby trying to swipe pages on a magazine. What with a world of human to computer chatting?

    I got thinking about this piece you’re reading when watching (don’t laugh) Pound Shop Wars when a machine tells operators in a giant stock warehouse to go collect items. They interact with the big machine in the sky and they end up talking in their sleep in the language the machine accepts. The machine does not learn, it does not adapt, you turn for it. The machine sounds like a tape recorder being fast forwarded. It’s far from the computer in Her.

    Irony that they then subtitled the workers.

    Reminds me of the droids in Star Wars (the shit one):

    We have a bit to go however when the same machines have no idea what they themselves are saying:

    Interesting few years ahead of us with this. And again with everyone in the world having a mobile companion, it will impact the whole world.

    Now if each phone was a mullti-million dollar device… Scary scary scary

    Remember when a hard drive from IBM was the size of a room? The above is maybe 10 to 15 years away. Will our language hold to then? I wonder will France, cos it has to be France, put a ban on the Siris of the world?

    Ready. Roger Roger.