Ones to watch 2015

January 1st, 2015

I’ve been doing these Ones to Watch now for 8+ years. This is my 9th “Ones to watch”. This is the 2014 one. Good to see it’s something worth copying.

2013 ones to watch. 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 2008, 2007.

My ones to watch are entirely subjective, they’re based on people I know or know of, these people are mostly Irish or they have a link to Ireland that’s weaker than the criteria to play for our soccer team. I do not link to people hoping I’ll get gratitude from them or get links, retweets or future business from them.

Play

Read:

Marie Duffy was featured in these Ones to watch about two years ago. In 2014 she has been directly affected by mental health issues and she wrote about it from hospital. This felt like watching storm coverage on TV and the person in the middle of the storm pausing the scene and talking directly to you, explaining what’s going on. I worked with Marie when I was on the board of Spunout and am really proud of everything she’s done and will do. If there’s one new thing you’d like to read as 2015 starts, read this short piece from her. “Can you guarantee your safety?”

In no particular oder, here are some people to check out and see what they’re up to in 2015.

Matthew Mulligan
Deputy Editor of tn2 Magazine and Editor-at-Large of Trinity News for the 2013//2014. This is his LinkedIn. A very boring place for someone that is not. I first encountered Matthew from various tweets to his writing and retweets of his commentary. A very talented writer who I hope to read more from in 2015. His Twitter, far more interesting than LinkedIn.

Jane Ruffino
Well there’s someone that won’t shut up. Won’t be quiet when some bro has his mansplaining to share with the world. Won’t play the game of “all is well in techland” as everyone feeds from the trough. Good. I’m glad Jane has her weekly slot/shot in the Business Post. You should read it. This is her site. This is her Twitter. She did archaeology, she knows how to dig up the stuff that other people buried. Oh my, isn’t that clever writing from me? Punarific. Jane is also the token woman on the list so I can now go back to talking up the menz, right? All of the menz.

Mark Coughlan
Good journalists weave. They take various threads and bring them together and give you a tapestry. Weaving. Mark has put in the time to craft his skill, put himself out there and worked hard which has made him skilled. It wasn’t family dynasties that got him to now. In 2015 though they’re going to replace that pen in his hand with a swankier one.

Vicki O’Callaghan
I’m sure she’ll get awkward reading this. Vicki is a digital champion for Landmark Digital who look after all the digital properties of the Examiner. What’s great about Vickie is there’s no being able to bullshit her on anything digital. Same goes for a few others in there. The Examiner publications have seen major changes in the past few years and their digital offerings have been doing really well in 2014. I’m not privvy to the way the Examiner works but 2014 seemed to be a year of things settling down with debts, layoffs and office moves so given some good enough digital gains in 2014, I think 2015 will be very interesting for the Examiner group and it will be worth seeing what Vicki and her colleagues will be doing. Plus you know, Cork bias from me.

Mat Morrison
Mat’s Irish now. He’s stayed in Dublin at least three times. So yeah. Mat has spoken at the Measurement.ie conferences from the very start and made them successful as a result too. He’s finished up in his last gig and is off now, wandering the land like an episode of Kung Fu. 2015 ought to be very interesting for this very insightful chap. His blog.

Ciara King
Yer wanno from Chris and Ciara on 2FM. If she doesn’t kill him, their show is going to grow in 2015 and you may see them get more attention for the work they do. Ciara’s youth diary entries are a recently uncovered gem. Even if she did kill him, she’d get out in a few years anyway and can resume what she does. Ciara King on Twitter.

Aoife Clarke
Aoife and Caitriona and the other Lidl comms staff seem to be always on social media looking after their brand. Lidl did well in the 2014 Social Media Awards and it’s because of an in-house team that obviously like what they’re doing. For such a massive brand, the Lidl comms are a bit of fun. Looking forward to what happens in 2015 with whatever Team Lidl will be doing.

Deborah Maguire
Deborah is the bosslady of Irish Made Gifts, a growing company in Cork that sources well produced Irish crafts and sells on behalf of producers. One of the ways to pay attention to a company, technology or person is having three different sources come to you talking about the company/person and I experienced that a few times in 2014 with Deborah.

Jim Carroll
The Banter Boy. Jim has been piloting Banter for a good few years and it’s expanding out and out each year too. It’s almost, but thankfully not fully become “the establishment”. And when other outlets report on what happens at them, good stuff is happening. Again, not privvy to his plans but with Banter, Agility HQ, that Irish Times gig and other bits n baubles, 2015 could prove very interesting. New shirt for those bigger arms or something.

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.

Quick notes on 2014 flipping over to 2015

December 31st, 2014

We say true things so we’re outspoken. We call out mistruths so we’re angry. We do this repeatedly and we have an agenda. Truth is some kind of social faux pas these days. 2014 was another year of Snowden “leaks”, Wikileaks “leaks” and Sony email leaks. Truth being released is now controversial. Let’s see what 2015 brings for all things true.

Will the T in LGBT, no longer be a silent T?
Transparent from Amazon was a well received show on a parent transitioning to being a woman, surrounded by her completely batshit insane family. What was fantastic to me was a lot of the crew and cast were trans themselves but the show didn’t need a giant flashing yellow arrow to point them out in the show.

Laverne Cox on the cover of Time. And not a trans show but the BBC airing the Boy in the Dress this Christmas was a fantastic way of moving society forward even if by a few millimeters.

T was just tacked on to LGBT for many years, T issues were skipped or attached to being mental health issues. I’ve been totally ignorant of it, comfortably so for ages because just like fighting for equal marriage, it’s easy to ignore those you don’t know of. I remember only a few years ago the near violent protests when some college LGBT societies wanted to add on the T to their swiss army knives of letters. Some of those most against it then I note are very vocal campaigners for marriage equality now. I’m sure that’s LGBT equality. So maybe with a few things like this, things will change. The creator of Transparent equated her show to Will and Grace for gay rights, I thought that show was awful and very stereotyped but it was a start to having gay characters regularly on screen.

And away from societal stuff…

Music:
No more Phantom so I tuned in to 8Radio, Lyric FM with Liz Nolan, John Kelly and Aedín Gormley. John playing Dobrinka Tabakova every Friday.

2FM came back with swagger and I find myself listening to it a lot more than before. Nicky Byrne is perfect for that radio slot with Jenny too. And Chris and Ciara. The music has upped a gear too.

TV series:
Fargo, Breaking Bad was good but just good. Hannibal went a bit too grotesque but man what an ending.
Rick and Morty maybe my fav show. Black Dynamite was good but too formulaic. Archer over-extended. It was not Wired Season 2 if that’s what they were going for. Come back Venture Brothers.

Books:
Mostly factual books with me taking lots of notes. 100 years of solitude though. Damn. Currently reading The Peripheral. Not sure what’s happening. Read Iain M. Banks’ last one. Sad it was all over, goodbye The Culture.

Being Mortal will stay with me for a long time and has already changed by 2015 plans about things I wanted to research. I was looking at looking more into things related to sleeping and better sleep but ageing is probably something to consider too. Look after your older people. Falls are their biggest threat according to that book.

Fav site:
TravelPirates, LowCostHolidays, Ryanair. Holiday porn. I know, holiday porn.
Bookdepository for books, too many books. I need to stop looking at Bargain Alerts on Boards too.

Pulling things together

December 29th, 2014

You know the way when you do a proper tidy of an office, bedroom or whole house, you rip everything out, pile it up and then find a way of re-ordering? While doing so you find things you forgot about and you might decide to dump them or find a use for them again?

You then reorganise things in patterns comfortable to you. Adding some new bits to an existing pattern/pile or removing some, merging others and of course then there’s the detritus the remains and you shove that away somewhere in a box labeled Misc, misc boxes are drafts on this blog. Some drafts are 9 years old now.

When you’re done, all is tidy once again but you know that it isn’t 100% perfect but pretty good. The tidying, acquiring, moving is how I see myself putting proper long form blog posts together. Here are some lovely insights on how to distill ideas and find new ones:

These are all kind of linked. Reading the tea leaves, pulling things together.

Shane Parrish’s piece on how he reads and takes notes. Superb quote:

“I’m trying to engage in a conversation with the author.”

And from him again, a collated set of quotes on ways we can gain insights.

Kazuo Ishiguro: how I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks. 4 weeks of hell where it seemed he was almost hallucinating at the end. He does point out 1) He had done a tonne of reading before he started off on this journey and was satisfied with the amount he researched 2) After the 4 weeks he had the raw material for the book, not in any way a finished book.

I wrote free-hand, not caring about the style or if something I wrote in the afternoon contradicted something I’d established in the story that morning. The priority was simply to get the ideas surfacing and growing. Awful sentences, hideous dialogue, scenes that went nowhere – I let them remain and ploughed on.

Time is the Secret Ingredient to Writing Great Articles. Thomas Baekdal. Genius. He suggests gathering your data, writing it up, putting some thoughts together and … wait.

By allowing yourself time to reflect on your story, you see things that you hadn’t realized initially. You form connections you hadn’t recognized, and you identify the patterns that you couldn’t see before. And, more to the point, you let the story simmer for as long as it needs to.

Fluffy Links – Monday December 29th 2014

December 29th, 2014

Last Fluffy Links of 2014!

On January 13th in Dublin I’ll be giving 29 short lectures on digital marketing. It’s nearly free to attend this. Nearly as if it was free people wouldn’t feel obliged to turn up if they got a place.

Mailchimp Snap is a nice idea. Take a photo, send it to your mailing list or part of it with a little note. All from your phone.

A list of courses UCC will be doing mostly in the evenings come January. So many I’d love to go to but work travel means no.

Laghdú by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Dan Trueman. Album of the year say so many people and they’re right. Do see Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh live too if you ever have the chance. A gent and a slow-motion explosion of talent in front of you.

The Jack Lynch Tunnel has its own app. You can connect to the CCTV streams too. Obviously only as a passenger but you could watch yourself drive in and out of the tunnel from your phone. The future has landed but we won’t realise it until it’s the past.

Is the Malcolm Gladwell mask slipping? Doubts on his work now.

Anti-social (media) publications. Let people read the content and not see Twitter and Facebook begs. You may get less traffic but people that do consciously share your content are more bought in to it.

A graphical explanation of UI vs UX.

Missed stories on Facebook? Most people do. Catch up here.

Absolutely scary. A piece from a woman about her father. Her father the serial killer.

Hoodies where the hood part can be swapped out for another one and you can collect the designer hoods? I’m in.

You can just tell that the people in Reuters, stuck on Queen and started singing “I Want to Break Free”. Reuters says good luck and fuck you to commenters.

The Philosophy of Aristotle

30 minutes of Jeff Bezos’ time and he’s silent.

December 28th, 2014

Amazon, for meetings, gets into the idea of being considered. Their very high level meetings start with a 6 page properly written talking points memo being handed out and everyone reading it in silence. 30 minutes of silence at the start of a meeting. Jeff Bezos:

“Full sentences are harder to write,” Bezos explained. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”

30 minutes of Jeff Bezos’s time is fairly expensive but there you go.

December 2014 Dublin Mentoring Sessions

November 20th, 2014

Each year I do mentoring sessions with some Enterprise Boards/Org toward the end of the year and also do one public one. The public one is on December 4th in Dublin.

Length: A mentoring session will run for 50 minutes.
Cost: Around €45
Location: Gibson Hotel, Dublin
Prep Work: Know what questions you want answered and know I can mostly only help during that 50 minutes. Bring a laptop or tablet.

I’m good at giving advice on Digital Marketing, PR stunts and tech startup feedback.

Interested?
You can reserve the Dublin mentoring sessions by clicking here.

Put in your initials next to a time you want then then email me and I’ll send you on payment details.

Please note: I’ll be wearing at least Christmas jumper, you don’t have to.

MulleySantaTheFuck

Fluffy Links – Monday November 3rd 2014

November 3rd, 2014

Well that was a bit of a lull. Web Awards stuff got in the way of me posting stuff up here. Good event, hotel will never be used by me for anything again though. Roll on the SME Awards.

Some alternative Christmas jumpers you might like. 51 days to go.

Heard Tony Mac Mahon on RTÉ Arena the other night. He has a new album out with Steve Cooney, which is a recording from a good number of uears ago from a gig they never knew was being recorded. That link allows you to listen to it.

The Irish Coffee in Chapter One is a hell of a thing. Good post about how it’s made.

Rhône Wine Week Ireland 2014 is upon us. Full events listing.

When betting or making decisions, an empty stomach could help with decision making.

CEOs share the best advice they’ve received and given.

Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars? Stay in it for a few quid per night. Just need to get yourself to Tunisia.

With Tim Cook publicly acknowledging that he’s gay, lots are saying that’s great, let’s move on. Eh no, the reason this very private man made that statement is because it helps. A lot of LGBT people both young AND old need role models that suit them and Tim Cook will help people. Just watch this video from Pixar if you think we’ve got that whole “everyone is okay with gay people” bull.

Interesting one from James. Twitter video cards potential, video keeps playing while you scroll through Twitter. Second screening without the TV!

How to make videos succeed on YouTube. BBC advice.

Tony Mac Mahon explaining an air.

MKAI – Waiting

Keeping a “your computer has a virus” phone scammer busy

October 18th, 2014

This was about 40 minutes in to the call

Fluffy Links – Monday October 13th 2014

October 13th, 2014

Web Awards stuff has/had me busy so that’s why the lack of posts.

Looking forward to this gig in Triskel Cork on Saturday, the lovely Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh is playing.

Apply for Late Late Toy Show tickets.

On that, list of 2014 Christmas Pantos.

Roy Keane Rant fanfic.

Clarity as a business model. Lovely way of looking at super clear and honest ads. There was a bit of this where ad agencies started making clients make better products so they didn’t then have to lie and confuse to sell shitty things.

The Physical Web. I like this idea. Very very early days. When everything has an IP address (and this is almost a certainty) then do you need an app for it? Use cases:

Any store, no matter how small, can offer an online experience when you walk in.
A ZipCar broadcasts a signup page, allowing you to immediately drive away.

JOMO! The Joy Of Missing out. Yes.

And on the topic of JOMO, one day I’ll get around to talking about my personal trainer, David and the huge progress achieved in the past few months after going to him. I went with back problems but the side effect of fixing them has been the various issues I had with insomnia were kicked away too. It’s so exhilarating to be falling asleep before settling into bed. Another side effect is I’m now a 28 inch waist. I’m 12 again. I want to start a blog, yet another one around sleeping and sleeping issues as I seem to notice more and more people are having them. Definitely a link between this and the always-on life. Anyway, this is almost a public promise to go through this in the future here.

Aidan’s site. Want docs, print outs binded? Binding.ie may be of help.

Fascinating story of two guys building an art tool that hasn’t been made in 100+ years, the very end is very enlightening too.

Tina

Fluffy Links – Monday October 6th 2014

October 6th, 2014

79 days until Christmas. Some more posts from me over on Christmas.ie

This illustrated take of Cork City centre is lovely.

The iPad beats chocolate brands, Nickelodeon, Disney, YouTube and M&Ms as the favourite brand of kids 6-12 year olds. That’s the thing, it seems more a family device these days than anything else. One can do many in one family too which probably stunts their own market. A phone is never and never will be a shared resource though.

The finals for the 2014 Web Awards are out. Some crazy numbers in it this year. We’re going to have to gut it for next year, the size is not sustainable.

Calendar for inspirational women in science and tech. Put the Frozen wishlist to the side for a few moments.

Merce Cunningham, motion as a metaphor.

David Hieatt is doing some Do Workshops on branding. I traveled all the way to Cardigan in Wales to attend one. Was worth it. Plus I drove a car ON TO A FERRY. Woo. I’m 6.

via Kottke, Emergent calls bullshit on Twitter/Social Media news stories. Shame they’re not real time yet.

Using Excel to summarise your Twitter Analytics data better.

If only there was video. 1991 Clio awards were amazing, it seems.

Working with Dignity.

Rhythm and Stealth, full album: