Archive for October, 2008

Tuesday Push 21st October 2008 –

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

This is the Tuesday Push, the idea is that anyone (not just tech companies or bloggers) talk up an Irish technology product service. One that is unique and offers value. We’re not in the business of being a free a marketing team for off-the-shelf products that have been rebadged. Please keep that in mind. If you want to submit your tech product, do so here. If you want to partake, then just watch this space every second Tuesday. Also, feedback, positive or negative once constructive is welcomed. This is about encouragement with eyes open.

Today’s pushee is

Book Meeting Room


Simplify the management of meeting room booking and other shared resource reservations within your office environment quickly and efficiently using No software downloads or additional hardware required, simply use this web service from your web browser. Full self-service capability frees up central administration time. Improves staff efficiency, reduces administration overheads.

And in English: An online booking system for meeting rooms in your organisation. I chatted to Jeremiah about this app and it was built from a need they had themselves for booking meeting rooms in a shared facility they’re in. Real world solution to a real world problem they were encountering.

Try the system out for yourself. It’s very easy to do and cuts down the need for emailing a PA or office manager to book rooms. I’ve seen excel sheet style systems where you could book a room after viewing what rooms were available but only an office manager could make the changes. Then emails had to happen and waiting for replies and all that jazz. removes all that bother.

Get Connected

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

My talk at it@Cork the other day was a jamming together of two topics that don’t really fit well, despite the Sunday Business Post having a section for it: Media and Marketing. Working with the media and getting in the media and Online Marketing aren’t exactly much of the same thing. Anyways a way I themed them together is about being connected.

Media relations is all about connecting to the right people to get your story out and the quality of the existing connection if you know the people already. Sometimes you don’t know them but they know you which can also help. An aspect of online marketing these days is also connecting. Connecting people in a company to people who live and breathe the online lifestyle and then connecting the company to their wallets, if you want to be coarse about it.

Table Cloth Sketch - Wouter
Photo owned by dulk (cc)

Right now because of the Internet, being the most intelligent or the most educated won’t make you the best in business, in marketing, in PR, in many many things. The ability of people now and for a good while to come is how connected they are. Pop culture says it all. Madonna is not the greatest female singing artist in quality or depth but she’s one of the most connected and someone who can reconnect again and again to people by monitoring zeitgeists. That’s why she sells so many records. There are far more talented people who go undiscovered day in day out but they’re not connected/not connected enough.

Were I an employer I’d make sure potential staff are on Bebo, Facebook, LinkedIn and see how many connections they have. Those with loads of connections, I’d be more interested in. Each connection is the metaphorical foot in the door of a business and of an organisation. This is why some investment banks are getting it and getting allowing staff on Facebook: They’re connecting with old college friends and buddies, a foot in the door in other firms. A way of attracting people into their firm perhaps or just to share knowledge.

Siamese Connection (color)
Photo owned by penguinmonkey (cc)

Yesterday I was asked to talk to 4th year multimedia students and some masters students and one of the questions I asked was how many had blogs. Of the 16ish or so people in the room, one eventually said he had a photoblog. One blogger, in a multimedia class. He was also on Twitter. Hey Adam! Only half the class were on Facebook. Fuck me.

My main theme for them too was to get connecting. Via blogs, via social networks, via Twitter. Get out there and build connections. Immerse themselves in the river of digital bits flowing past themselves on all these sites. They don’t have to be edgecases, seeing and being at the point where people congregate and try out every single new web thingymajig but they should get stuck in to the basics, like social networks and blogs. For anyone wanting to work in Web media then they should be on Twitter, connecting to a large enough percentage of the web scene. Go where the crowds are.

Now back to the it@cork event. My argument/plea was for people to get themselves on LinkedIn and get connecting with people on it. Nobody in the room was connected to everyone else in the room. I mentioned Metcalfe’s law. The value of a network goes up as more devices get added:

using the example of fax machines: a single fax machine is useless, but the value of every fax machine increases with the total number of fax machines in the network, because the total number of people with whom each user may send and receive documents increases.

The more people you connect to, the better for you, but the more that they too connect to others, the better for you and them too. The better for all. The old-skoolers in business in Ireland think keeping your cards and your contacts close is good for your business. Yeah, if you’re a monopolist and have a crap product. Open your rolodex. Connect everyone on it together.

So fire up LinkedIn. Imagine if everyone in that room at the it@cork event were connected? Imagine if you connected to everyone at every event you attended? People seem to think adding others is wasteful. It’s cheaper to add someone now, learn a bit about them and dump them off your network then missing out on all the opportunities their connection might offer between now and when you realise their value through other means plus you might be of value to them, it’s not all take. Easy to add, easy to cull.

I’m going to start a series of pieces on LinkedIn next week, from the basics, to making the links more valuable, to using groups and answers, to running ads. In the meantime, why not look at your LinkedIn profile again and dust it off if you don’t use it a lot. Or create one if you don’t have one. It’s a very good business tool and a handy way of keeping in touch with old contacts. My LinkedIn details are on the right sidebar of this site.

Playa Maya
Photo owned by striatic (cc)

And a video if all those words were too much.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday October 21st 2008

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

The new and young kids on the blogging block have new domains.
Tommy, Alan and Enda are now all domained up.

Conor is nice about it, I won’t be. No fucking sales pitches at Barcamp. Whore your shit somewhere else. We want people to contribute to overall learning. Buy a paying slot at a conference if that doesn’t suit.

Rummble at FOWA. Our very own Ina is part of the Rummble crew now. So you know, ALL of them can play for Ireland now. Love the giant letters.

New Irish blog (new to me) Peas be with you.

Stu has Arnold. Remixed. Just er, listen.

Who was that white guy on the podium when the Olympians made their Black Panther salute?

Free Linux training notes.

I want a Memory Cloud for the next Web Awards. Deffo.

For all your movie streaming needs – Pirate City.

So Firewire is dead yeah?

Loving these wine bottles. Great design. And these are even better in my view.

Bjork -All IS Full Of Love (Live in Riverside Church NY)

Welcome back, Bloglines readers

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Bloglines has been fecked the past week and a bit so you probably only got my last week’s worth of content yesterday and today. Sorry for the avalanche, nothing I could do. I’m on Bloglines myself and saw a lot of feeds restored yesterday, some showing hundreds of unread blog posts. Since Bloglines is going down the toilet by the looks of it, I think I’ll move to a better reader but not Google Reader, it’s fat and clunky.

Photo owned by neeme (cc)

Cupcake Heaven

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Another of the special surprises at the Web Awards were the amazing cupcakes by Dublin Cupcakes. It was Jason that got on to me about them, suggesting them for the event and knowing I like to have something on the night that was not announced in advance. After being to Interesting in London this year and Moo sponsoring some wonderful cupcakes I thought they’d work well at Irish events too. Who doesn’t like sugar rushes? I then forgot about pursuing the idea.

Here are some pics taken by the folks from Dublin Cupcakes on the night:


Just like the Made in Hollywood people, me blogging about this was not part of the deal, this is me big upping them because I’m so happy with what they brought to the Awards and the great service. I’ll happily use them again for other events. If you want to chat to them you can get them at: cupcakes [ AT ] or on 087-9629293

Barcamp Cork is back and on November 1st

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Game on. Going back to the roots yeah? 🙂 I’m meant to be involved in this but I’ve been very very lax about it. Sorry everyone!

So what’s a Barcamp? It’s an informal and free conference where the topics and talks are chosen on the day by the people there. Have an idea about a talk? Ask for one to be run or run it yourself. Barcamps are meant to be unconferences where it isn’t one person at a podium talking but the whole audience participating. A bit like Questions and Answers without the panelists and John Bowman guiding the conversation. Different and we’re going to try this time to do that!

Here’s who are going so far. This is also the manifesto:

  • Insisting that slideware sessions to be kept to a minimum and limited to 20 mins
  • Running an Ignite session for pure slideware (5 minutes, 20 slides)
  • Focussing relentlessly on facilitiating discussions with active participants rather that talking at passive listeners. No more talk + Q&A. It should be all Q&A with “presenters” as moderators.
  • Asking questions, not making statements
  • Running a “build a webapp in a day” session for the entire day (details to follow)
  • Offering your problems/challenges to your audience to solve (”How do I…?”)
  • Setting up hands-on technical tutorial sessions (e.g. how to use Sketchup to model buildings and cities, under the hood of WordPress etc)
  • Insisting on absolutely no branding or commercial pitching during sessions
  • Highlighting technology as a tool to achieve useful ends, not as an end in itself
  • Looking at ways of using technology to enable creativity
  • Pulling in as many non-tech people as possible – media, art, education, finance, energy, entertainment, charity

I’m going to give a few talks, though, I think more I’ll kick off a few interactive sessions with people. There should deffo be one on funding for companies and where to get it with someone taking notes and putting them online.

There’s also a meal the night before in Cork too. Come along!

GREEN IT: Reduce CO2, Raise Profits Conference – Nov 26

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The 2008 it@cork conference has been announced and the title is: GREEN IT: Reduce CO2, Raise Profits Conference

Pretty obvious what it’ll be about from that! There are a whole load of really speakers lined up for this and the full schedule is here. George Lee is opening it. Last week I had great fun watching Catherine and Alison from it@cork getting their photos taken for the press for this. One giant postcard and a green postbox. I ended up being official handbag holder/guarder while they stood around the South Mall.

Have a look at the enviromentally friendly initiatives for the conference too. I’m on the organising committee for this conference and ont he steering committee for it@cork too.

Fluffy Links – Monday October 20th 2008

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I can blog it now. Congrats Sarah, she’s now writing for the Irish Times. Send Johnny Waters our love!

Nialler made IGIF. G’wan!

Check out the graph by Rob on o2 iPhone data costs.

Finetuna is getting some fine mentions these days. Well done Alan and crew.

No landing gear? Yes problem. Mattresses might not work well.

Horse feathers are playing this side of the Atlantic. Shame they’re not coming to Ireland. Well worth a listen to.

Congrats to Simon Collister on his new job.

Robert Francis Wine doing videos now. Yay.

Someone years back put Steve Jobs in his place.

The CAO is a private business? Is this not anti-competitive? Never seen a tender to run the CAO.

What a fab piece of art.

Sam Sethi has a blog type thingymajig going now. Eh oh Sam!

If you’ve read the Frank Miller Batman graphic novels you’ll appreciate it more. Text from Miller’s Batman put on to the camp 60s show screenshots.

How to fix the Firefox 2 second video issue. (It’s actually a flash issue) Doesn’t work for me.

Go NY Times. API to campaign finance data. I wish an Irish news org would do something like this.

Bjork – Human Behaviour (live)

Want to Beta Test a booking engine?

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Got this in my mail a while back from Visrez but had no time to blog it.

Well it’s a standalone booking engine system that can be used to sell accommodation online. You can also use the same system to sell events as well but at the moment, we want to test the booking engine side of things. We’re just coming into the beta testing phase and we’re looking for people who are interested in being beta testers and submitting feedback about the usability of the system.

The 3 types of accommodation we’re hoping to test are B&Bs/Guesthouses, Apartments who sell short term accommodation (1 month or less) and hotels who can allocate 10 – 60 rooms to the beta system.

It’s commission-free, no set up costs and no long term contracts. The incentive for beta testers is that they can have the use of the booking engine on their website for 3 months for free once we launch the product.

DSC223865, Silver Legacy Casino Hotel, Reno, Nevada, USA
Photo owned by jimg944 (cc)

Anyone who’s interested can sign up here.

The only requirement is that they have to have a website already and they give Visrez feedback. If you need a booking engine urgently, this isn’t really for you as best testing might go on until 2009.

Neither Fine Gael nor Labour were willing to comment

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

on the case — due to the fact that many of their TDs and senators also employ family members in their offices.

John McGuinness’s son is on 43k per year after being appointed his personal secretary. He is also a councillor with Kilkenny Town Council so he gets a salary on top of the 43k too.

Also of note:

Earlier this year, it emerged that one in five TDs and senators is employing a relative at taxpayers’ expense. Some 31 TDs and 11 senators currently employ family relatives, including wives, husbands, sons and daughters, out of a total of 226 politicians in the Dail and Seanad.www

The posts are not publicly advertised and carry salaries of up to €45,000.

As I stated last week, they’re all the same when it comes to things like the above or when it comes to the yearly reporting of expenses they bled from taxpayers. None of the parties will complain or speak out.