Archive for June, 2008

Beamish discovers the Interweb

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Check out this press release:

Beamish Stout Launches New Digital Marketing Initiative

Thursday, 26th June 2008: Beamish Stout has today announced its first venture into digital marketing with an exclusive promotion on the popular Cork community website, The promotion is part of a new advertising strategy by Beamish Stout, which will ensure the Stout has a presence on the popular website for two weeks from today, 26th June 2008. is an event website that displays all the latest news and entertainment from Cork City and County. To launch its presence on the website, Beamish Stout is offering two lucky visitors to the site, the chance to win a trip to the historic Beamish & Crawford brewery in Cork City. The visitors will be given an exclusive guided tour of the landmark building in South Main Street, which lies in the heart of what was the medieval city.

and if you go to their front page. Not one mention of Beamish.

Beamish-free PROC

Uhm. This is their first venture into digital marketing? Is it so viral that it’s the size of a real virus and is invisible, am I a pawn in their viral marketing game? Oh my god I need a pint of delicious and creamy Beamish Stout. Yummmmm.

[subliminal viral text] Drink Beamish stout or you’ll turn gay, except if you’re a woman cos lesbians already like stout so keep drinking! [/subliminal viral text]

Words don’t come easy – What to blog about?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Probably the most asked question during business blogging training courses is about what to write once the blog is up and running. If you’re generally stuck for words when meeting someone for coffee then you might have a fair point that you have nothing to say but otherwise there’s an infinite amount of material from people. We’re all able to write blog posts. It just takes time. Eventually you’ll get to the moment where you’ll find yourself thinking “I’m blogging this”. Some suggestions:

Tell your story

When Pat Phelan started out with his blog many moons ago he blogged about how he got to where he was. It was great. It was like a mini-series and was done in a great personal way so it was like VH1’s behind the music. People these days expect some personal in a business. They want to connect with people. Blogging “The Story of Us” is a way you could start your blog out and line up the protagonists. There’s loads of backstory in every business and in every blog. Share it.

Current Affairs

It’s your blog, it’s your opinion. Consider yourself one of those commentators on the radio or TV. Journalists interviewing journalists about events. If something is news and is relevant to your business segment, do an opinon piece on it. This shows you know what you’re talking about and oftentimes you can present a different view or take on it.

Report Analysis

How many times do we see official Government reports come out and not have an iota about what it means? Why not use your expertise and ability to convert the GovSpeak or CorpSpeak into plainer english? It’d certainly be a public service.

Quill etc
Photo owned by studentofrhythm (cc)


What’s your business segment, what’s your blogging niche? Why not do a round-up of what blogs in your niche are discussing at the moment? Electric News to a daily “What’s in the papers?” and it’s hugely popular. Why not be the source of the round-ups and be the jumping off point for your niche area?


Isn’t this a guide? Why not use your expertise to write about something which helps others out? Write a guide on how to file taxes online or how to find good developers or how to sort your accounts quickly. Are you a Wine seller? Do a bluffers guide to wine. Guides can become quite long depending on the subject matter so they can always be split into two or three or five parts. There’s five blog posts right there.

Elaborating on comments

Years back my first blog posts were as a result of comments I left on other blog posts or on discussion forums and where I’d go off on a tangent and they were off-topic on the blog post or on the discussion forum. Sometimes a small comment on another blog can turn into a much larger piece of writing on your blog. Go with it.


  • Some see lists as downright lazy and all about linkbaiting.
  • They convey a lot of information in a short space.
  • They’re very easy to write.
  • Example: Top 9 ways to save bank charges.
  • Odd numbered lists are nicer.

Pepper those posts!

Don’t forget to write easy to digest blog posts and to pepper them or break up text with images. Use tools like Jazzbiscuit’s Image Search to add royalty-free images to your posts.

Photo owned by liz_noise (cc)

Solicit for help

Like I’m doing now. Use a blog post to “crowdsource” products and information. Use those that read the blog to be your researchers for you. Ask them to add tips and suggestions to ones you already made. So please add more suggestions on what people can write in their blog posts and techniques to get them to be inspired.

Don’t write about

At MulleyWorld we’ll make sure that all your needs are catered for. Our well-trained staff. Blah de blah. No brochure crap please. No advertorials about how you guys rock. Stop. Remember it’s a conversation and it is meant to engage with people. Will what you write get questions and comments? Do not copy and paste press releases into a blog post. People will never come back with that kind of fodder on the blog. If you’re a business, stick to mostly posts about business with the odd personal flirtation with a hobbyhorse. If you are the only person in the company blogging or you’re the head honcho there’s more leeway for that as you in a way are also a personality. Businesses posting YouTube videos too frequently won’t get the critical mass of people from their niche area hanging around. If you as a business go down the popculture route you might as well blog about Britney and Camel Toes.

Anyone got other suggestions? A previous post on procrastination might be useful too.

National Broadband Scheme map is bollox – says DCMNR to EU (kinda)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Gotta love FOI requests.
Via this FOI (PDF)

So the takeaway points this time round:

1. The Dept of Comms told the EU they didn’t believe a word about future rollouts by broadband providers.
2. They suggested to the EU that the National Broadband Tender should address either (a) areas where providers said they wouldn’t go to AND areas where they said they would (but where the Dept of Comms thought they were telling porkies) or (b) address the definite no go areas first, give the providers a cooling off period and then push the tender to these areas six months later.
3. The EU agreed with the Dept of Comms to go with option (b).
4. Why has the Department of Comms never told us of the cooling off period part of their plan? Is it still part of their plan because the utterings from Minister Eamon Ryan seem to suggest these “blue” or “grey” areas are not being addressed.
5. Is the Dept delaying the NBS because they can’t afford to cover all the bad areas and are delaying til they have the cash and til more of the “blue” areas turn out to have broadband?

This is the Department of Communications talking to the EU about the National Broadband Scheme and the map of areas without broadband. This was 2007:

Page 9:

To identify where broadband services are not being provided by the market the NBS team, comprised of members of the DCMNR and ComReg undertook the following comprehensive mapping process:

Step One
The DCMNR and ComReg contacted service providers and requested details of their current and planned broadband coverage. Representaive samples of the following categories of service providers were contacted:

Licensed fixed service providers
licensed wireless service providers
known licensed exempt wireless service providers
mobile service providers
GBS service providers

Step Two
The data received from service providers was inserted on a broadband coverage map. In order to achieve as complete and accurate map as possible, the NBS team then consulted with the Irish Regional Authorities to ask that they confirm as far as possible, the broadband coverage information provided in the maps and that the list of all service providers included in the mapping process was comprehensive. The Regional Authorities were requested to provide any additional information on service providers in their specific areas.

Step Three
The additional service providers identified by the Regional Authorities were contacted by the DCMNR and details of the service providers current and future coverage plans were requested and included in the map.

Step Four
A number of geographic areas are excluded from the scope of the NBS as the DCMNR has determined that existing coverage is adequate and/or there are already serveral service providers in the area. As a consequence, the NBS will not address the following areas:

The 5 largest cities in the State (Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Waterford)
Areas within which telephone exchanges have been enabled for DSL, subject to a service radius of 4.5km
Areas served by wireless broadband provision, subject to (where appropriate) the service radius defined by licence requirements and having regard to topographical effects on wireless coverage.

The Indicative Map
The resulting broadband coverage map is the “indicative map”, please see Appendix C for the latest version of the map…

“grey areas” are currently unserved by broadband, but where service providers have indicated that they plan to provide broadband services in these regions in the foreseeable future

However they also tell the EU that they don’t believe a word about the rollout of broadband by these providers:

Pg 16

The DCMNR wishes to address the grey areas as it is, in its view, unlikely that service providers planned coverage will materialise. The DCMNR has grave concerns that, in some instances, where service providers have indicated that they will roll out afforable broadband services in a region, there is no evidence that such claims are based on commercial reality.

Now, next doc (pdf)

The Grey areas are now Blue areas it seems:

pg 8

According to the Irish authorities, consumers and businesses in the “green” and “blue” areas are still lacking access to broadband services since they first became generally available in Ireland approximately 5 years ago. In order to remedy this situation the DCENR has informed operators of its approach for dealing with “blue” areas: services providers will be given a reasonable timefreame to roll out broadband services to these areas, after which any unserved areas at that time will be supported by the NBS. The DCENR considers this approach to be reasonable and proportionate and one that balances the needs of consumers against those of service providers.

The “blue” areas will, therefore, be included in the scope of the NBS from the outset and the NBS procurement will seek to keep an option to address these areas. However, the provision of broadband to the “blue” areas via the NBS contract will not take place until the beginning of Q3 2008. Up to the end of Q2 2008, where the DCENR is presented with clear evidence that a “live broadband service” is being provided to users in blue areas, the service provider’s particular service footprint will be removed from the NBS coverage requirements. The Irish authorities have put in place a notification mechanism for operators to inform them about updated service footprints, i.e. the geographic areas where there they roll out broadband. A mechanism to give effect to this approach will also be built into the NBS procurement process and service contract.

Platforms: Interested in building apps on the platform?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

[Disclaimer: I was meant to do a little talk at this so my travel and hotel expenses are being covered by SalesForce. I am not being paid to blog this.]

With Facebook making “platforms” sexy and fun, more and more developers are starting to make entertaining and sometimes useful applications for the Facebook platform as well as the OpenSocial platform. Platforms are certainly in. If you’re interested in widgets and building apps on web platforms then maybe the SalesForce roadshow on Monday June 30th in Dublin would be of interest. I’d love to see some of the talented people who make apps for Facebook actually making money by doing the same on by building useful apps for businesses. also has some nice tie-ins with Google Apps too. Details on their Google Data APIs toolkit.

The breakout session I’m most interested in (as someone who’s trying to get a few apps built) is:

Entreprenuers & ISV Partners:
1:30 PM – Secrets to SaaS Startup Success
2:45 PM – Become a ISV Partner

I’ve not seen a lot of coverage about this event, though maybe I’m not looking hard enough. If you think some developers or business people you know would be interested in going, please send them a link to the sign-up page.

Oxshott platform
Photo owned by satguru (cc)

I’d mention the Darklight Festival

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

if it wasn’t for the constant fucking spam they send me on a daily basis and the fact I was signed up to their newsletter and mailing lists without permission. So fuck em. I’ll still attend the discussion panel on privacy they asked me to be on though where I’m sure I’ll mention how spamming me invaded mine.

The fantastic work of…

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Eolai. Remember his art sale? This is one of the ones I picked up. Beautiful.

Eolai's work

Fluffy Links – Wednesday 25th June 2008

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Get em while they’re fresh. Sign up to PutPlace now and mind your media.

A letter to Rachel.

iGaelige – An blag nua ag Concubhar Ó Liatháin.

Rowan chats to Ryan about getting that elusive pay rise.

Well there are a few games left – Euro2008 coverage by Fustar.

Niall Kitson is a-blogging.

Reporter on murders turns out to be murderer. That’ll be a film so. He even had a bad relationship with his mother.

Weezer and 200 of their fans sing Radiohead.

Karl Lagerfield on his first day as a lorry (pronounced lurry) driver.

I want. Or Wantsies.

Via Fabulist:

Via Robin:

Cowen’s Downfall

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Oh sweet jesus this is good. So good it had to be blogged right away. We’ve all seen these mashes before but never as a cabinet meeting:

Saving Irish companies from Social Media Crooks

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I think the IIA Social Media Working Group which has just been formed has come out just in the nick of time. “Social media” is the new hot thing (despite being around for a few years) and just like in every gold rush you get the devious, duplicitous, defrauding, dodgy types who will tell you and sell you any lie they can in order to remove you from your money, “social media” already seems to have the scammer types in this new field. This probably won’t be the main remit but I do think this group will stop SMEs and larger companies from being ripped off and conned just by existing. Thank the gods. Imagine if we had such a group when SEO and Search Marketing started off. Or blogging? Maybe less people would have gotten screwed on blog installs?

The lineup of people in the group is impressive too with a good deal of people (most in fact) talking the talk walking the walk (edit: apologies, I meant walking!) and they are blogging, podcasting, twittering, facebooking and friendfeeding. This is exactly what’s needed. A group that’s already immersed.

Some of the folks on the Social Media Working Group are:
Krishna De, Bernie Goldbach, Niall Devine, Fred Herrera, Brendan Hughes, Gordon Jenkinson, Mike Kelly, Fintan Lonergan, Philip MacCartney, John McGuinness, Aisling McMahon, Kieran Murphy, Bartley O’Connor, Kieran O’Hea, Joy Redmond, Keith Shirley, and Roseanne Smith.

Thieves Ladder
Photo owned by unusualimage (cc)

I’m sure the IIA will bring out their whitepapers in time but here’s a short list of things I’d suggest in order to spot the clueless “consultants” who are pitching to you:

  • If people tell you creating a skinned mySpace profile or Bebo profile is social media “engagement”, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you stuff on social networks can’t be measured, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you to create a company “personality” as a profile on Facebook and add people to it then shoot them in the face. FB will crucify you for this.
  • If their only suggestion about social networks is to buy banner ads, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you set your blog up on or, don’t hire them and tell me where they live.
  • If they tell you that you can buy links for your site, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you to ghostwrite your blog, don’t hire them.

That list could go on and on.

Anyway, three cheers for this IIA Working Group.

Are these helpful members of the Garda Siochana?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Found here and stuck on youtube now. They seem to admit they’re detectives. Sound is out of synch. I too think returning the trolley is the most important thing.

Edit: *waves to the Gardai visiting from the computer network*