Archive for July, 2007

Tech Company Profiles – Want to be profiled?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

As you may or may not be aware, I write a column for the Sunday Tribune and I have this blog here too. I’m always interested in tech stories for my column, as is my boss. I put a blog post together before on how to make contact with Irish Journalists and now I’m offering to profile any and all tech startups. Now, to be clear, this is not for the Sunday Tribune, this is for me so I can get a better feel for the next generation of tech companies in Ireland and get to know more people in tech. It might help me get more material for columns I write too. I will put the profiles up on a blog. Possibly not this one but another. Since a lot of Irish journalists read this blog and my other blogs, there is a strong chance of getting spotted by them too. It will also get you spotted by other tech bloggers who might like you enough to evangelise you on their blog. Win win, right?

If you want to be profiled, fill in this form. More than likely I’ll come back to you, looking for more details too.

The Facebook Ecosystem – Some thoughts

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

We’re still just one evolutionary step above slimey mould
Friendster was shit, mySpace is shit and Bebo took the idea of mySpace and made it a better looking version of shit. Yet all of these had and still have massive userbases. If it were a country, MySpace would be the 11th largest country in the world. Despite an awful interface, lack of proper search and good ways of connecting with people, mySpace is making News Corp a fortune from advertising alone. I think people forget the key fact that people like to connect and want to connect. This is why Friendster did well, why Bebo is doing well and why mySpace is such a colossus even when they still can’t seem to get the simple things right. One thing they did get right, though is the inter-networking options. It’s like life itself, even in the most hostile environments, there’s life. Social networking life is still that slimey mould where life began, it is a long way off being the most evolved entity.

The New Kid on the Block isn’t so different.
Now Facebook is the boy wonder and in fairness it’s an improvement over all the rest but it is still just an iteration on existing sites. Slime 1.5 or whatever. For years people have been saying how to make the ideal social networking application and Facebook has adopted some of these suggestions but it is far from rocket science. It’s common sense really but they still haven’t made it as easy as possible to network.

Facebook the honeytrap
Facebook to me is a honey trap for pageviews. You get emails to say someone has written on your wall but not what they have written, so you go to the site and read and click and click again. You get an email when someone adds you as a friend. Now you need to add them AND spend time describing how you know them. Facebook widgets are fantastic and again are just a way of getting you to stick around. The news feed type wall showing you that your friends have changed their status message, telling you they have added photos is a fantastic honey trap for voyeurs. Facebook is artificially inflating page views in order for a good IPO or for a gullible Microsoft to buy it so it can send ads to the people who spend so much time there and then 12-24 months later they are the owner of a dying community and thinking about buying the next big thing. How many times has this happened to AOL, Mirosoft and Yahoo! ?

Because it is their nature
All those that are hyping Facebook such as Scoble do that for all the next big things and will with time, move on to something else. That is their nature and the cyclical nature of the social media environment they are part of. Some people might not realise that you need to keep up your energy reserves for the next journey to the next big thing and that using them all up and concentrating everything on this latest killer app will wear you out more.

It’s a nice contact list but it’s locked in
I’m using Facebook like a cheap form of blog aggregator. I much prefer reading blogs but Facebook allows me to see a list of friends, colleagues and associates and what they are saying and doing (to a small degree). An interactive, media rich and social contact book but one that I can’t export. The more you know about someone, the more you can trust them and work with them. This makes good business sense.

Business people using Facebook
Right now it seems to be cool for business people to set up profiles on Facebook and link with other business people as well as friends and relations. In terms of making contacts with people and learning more about people, it’s great and much better than LinkedIn but when it comes to business relationships, I really don’t want to be turned into a Zombie by someone or be poked by someone or play whatever games people want me to play that exist on their profile. There’s a absolutely fantastic business social networking site inside in the Facebook jungle and it is screaming to get out and rid itself of all the other crap floating about.

Would you bet your house on a horse race? What about your business?
Would I stop using other sites though and making contacts through these other sites? Not a chance. It is nothing short of moronic to fully trust a site that is not making money and currently just runs on the goodwill of it’s backers. Moving all your digital interactions to such a space when you cannot easily export your data or regularly synch it is a short-sighted move and one which will actually impair proper networking. Would you turn down potential business deals because you pledge your soul just to Facebook? Being on Facebook-only means you will.

Two immediate things to make Facebook a proper business tool
Facebook can do at least two things to fix that. One: They can first create a business filter option to cut out all the shiny shiny bells and whistles, a filterwhich will also just provide on first view, a LinkedIn type look where it has your college experience, business experience and what kind of networking and business you want and all the rest is hidden away though accessible. We can look at your cat pics another time, ta very much.

Two: They can also provide a way of taking all messages from people so they can be imported into GMail or Outlook and that would also include some kind of export to VCard option so you can import this into your own traditional enterprise communications system.

Yes, every business should join Facebook
Every single business that wants to do business with online citizens should get themselves a Facebook, like they should get a Bebo and should get a mySpace. Stick company details up on it. Link with people. Import your blog into Facebook, create widgets if needs be, have the Meebo widget on the profile too so people can message you. My own blog is now on my Facebook profile and I have Meebo too on it. If people aren’t coming to my website and are staying on Facebook then I want that audience to read my blog, so I bring it to them. Likewise, if they don’t want to message me on my blog, they can do so on my Facebook. There’s a massive, talkative and excited audience on Facebook now and it is a market businesses should make themselves accessible to but as I keep saying, realise that this excitable audience will be somewhere else in six months and you’ll need to be ready for that but in return you might reap business benefits.

Fluffy links – Tuesday 17th July 2007

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Via John CollisonPony!

Japan bans websites for the election. Imagine that happening here?

Another moon lifting pic, this one more local.

Very very tempting to install Ubuntu now.

For one I agree with Seth Godin and his views on farmers markets becoming mainstream.

A visual way (using maps) of planning your flights. This would definitely be worth sticking on flight websites.

Escape from those damned plastic handcuffs.

Feck. Via Ben Hammersly, ice skaters doing the OK Go! song and the commentators soooo they don’t get where this is from:

Via Derek Byrne:

Bertie on the Gays – If they stop suing, I’ll allow dem to be equal

Monday, July 16th, 2007


“Taking into account the Options Paper prepared by the Colley Group, and the pending Supreme Court case, we will legislate for Civil Partnerships at the earliest possible date in the lifetime of this Government,” he added.

He was using the same shit with the Mahon Tribunal: “Looking forward to testifying and clearing my name. Can’t say more now til then. Ta. Move along.” Then today he tries to stop the Tribunal. So now the Katherine and Louise case is what is stopping him from doing anything? Please. Bit is a shame that the very many gay people that work in the Civil Service just let this go on, yet arrogantly brag how they are the real power in the country.

Swasticow Uber Alles

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Main trailer:

Alternative trailer:

The Damien Lifestream

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Simon made me finally understand Tumblr. (What a great name for Simon’s page)

Another day, another fad. Thanks to Tumblr, I now have a single URL where you can read blog posts from,, Twitter,, my delicious feed and my Facebook status feed. It can also take in new content from YouTube and Flickr.

Check out

eircom – Breaking up is hard to do

Monday, July 16th, 2007

A thread on covers the to and fro about the eircom strike. Seems eircom wants the staff to sign new terms and conditions of employment which will mean staff cannot object to any eircom business units being sold off. eircom’s owners are Babcock and Brown who traditionally are an infrastructure investment company. They don’t like retail arms. No siree.

The new programme for Government talks about encouraging eircom to be split into a wholesale and a retail arm. “encourage”. Heh.

Also consider that eircom will be launching “eircom mobile” soon which will work almost like an MVNO. Perhaps they’ll turn it into a full MVNO (virtual mobile network piggybacking off Meteor or maybe Voda?) and then sell off Meteor too, once they have the 3G network up and going. One thing is for sure, the debts they have for eircom since the purchase are considerable and I’m sure they’d like to get rid of some of them.

Firefox takes 38.6% marketshare in Ireland

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Via Mozilla Links A survey from Xiti Monitor has shown that Firefox usage in Ireland is growing at an impressive rate and that Ireland is one of the top users of Firefox in the EU behind the top users of Slovenia, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Croatia. At 38.6% usage, it is a comfortable 10 points above the 28% European average. The actual growth rate of 55% is the highest this quarter for all of Europe too.

Pity there’s not better stats for Nintendo.

So why are so many Irish people moving over to Firefox?

What are your site stats for Firefox?

Fluffy Links – Monday July 16th 2007

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Red Mum’s guide to bus traveling etiquette.

Glad the One Laptop Per Child crowd and Intel followed my advice and put away their differences. I’m sure it was my influence really that did it.

So yeah, Japan is set to get 300Mbps over 3g, but then check out this old lady in Sweden who is getting 40 Gbps.

Una. Rocks. Nail. Head. Oxegen. Society. Life.

any problems at Oxegen are not Oxegen problems, they are social problems. On Saturday night, we got the bus back into town from the festival and arrived on O’Connell bridge at around 3am. And as Neil remarked, the only difference from the behaviour of the people at Oxegen and the people on O’Connell bridge was the mud.

Kinda linked. This guy chose heritage and culture over a few billion dollars.

Murphy’s did the ice cream for the McManus wedding. Love the blog post title.

I got this book too. I’ll leave Adrian do the review.

The moon is easy to lift. Heavy hearts weigh more.

To be in heaven or hell. All the same people, all the same jobs, all different roles.

Seriously! Flip flops are bad enough, now with L.E.D.s?

I think this is one of my favourite music videos ever ever ever:

A different kind of hart. Muir dar.

Auctomatic gets more attention, Roam4Free has grown up a LOT

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Congrats to the Auctomatic crew for the Mashable and Venturebeat coverage.

Chatted to Pat Phelan last night and he showed me and others the next version of Roam4Free. I had some doubts about version 1 of Roam4Free and version 2 removes all doubts and then some. This could be a very big thing in my view. I can’t wait until they officially launch this and then there are all the other projects Pat has up his sleeve, which I can’t talk about but again, they’ve impressed me.