Author Archive

Govt Report: Halt building new Metropolitan Area Networks, many should not have happened

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Quick Summary of the Summary:
1. 5 Metropolitan Area Networks built and still unused.
2. Halt new MANs being built.
3. The planning for MANs was dodgy.
4. Some of the MANs should be shut down but we can’t or we’ll be sued

All in here 93 page PDF doc.

2. This review recommends that the rollout of MANs in those towns for which Phase 2 MANs are planned but which have not yet started work (or have not yet entered legally binding contracts), should be halted pending a formal case by case evaluation.


The review also found that the planning and selection process behind the MANs were less than fully comprehensive. While there was a substantial amount of analysis
behind the concept (analysis that was borne out by the effectiveness of the MANs in certain circumstances), the selection process used in deciding which town would receive a Phase 1 MAN was not sufficiently thorough.

The lack of appropriate baseline data, and the nature of the selection procedure for the Phase 1, and particularly for the Phase 1A, MANs, meant that a number of inappropriate locations were selected.

4. Any future programme should have an open and transparent mechanism by which it can be closed with a minimum of legal and financial implications for the State, even if that involves a mid life termination clause in contracts.

Well Eamon Ryan when he was in opposition called the MANs into question, this report commissioned before he started his Ministerial job seems to back up what he was saying. Handy bit of money saved here. (Though they were already on hold).

Many of the phase 1 and 1a MANs were built for nothing but political gain with the promise it would bring broadband to voters.

Proposal for cash-strapped football clubs

Friday, July 11th, 2008

We’ve already seen a group of fans gettting together and buying a football club. Some of the UK clubs have been hugely innovative deriving more revenue from those that attend matches and making clubs more family friendly. I wonder though (and this goes back to the personal brand thing) about how long before soccer players demand a piece of their strip for their own use? Will the left sleeve be given to Ronaldo to sell his own sponsorship on when he moves clubs as a way of the club paying less for his transfer? How much is the space on his left shoulder worth? 10k a week? A million a year? Will we see kits starting to become like Formula 1 drivers?

RailHawks U23s 2 - 1 Burnley
Photo owned by wjarrettc (cc)

For the ickle clubs it might be a nice way for the players who probably earn a comfortable but not fantastic living to make some money back with local businesses also sponsoring them. A local business might not be able to sponsor the strip, but an individual player, perhaps.

Have a good weekend.

"Me?  Sure!   Where Do I Sign?" - Ottawa 07 08
Photo owned by Mikey G Ottawa (cc)

Join the Muff Diving Club and buy a t-shirt

Friday, July 11th, 2008

It exists. There’s a town called Muff in County Donegal in Ireland. And they have a diving club. They also have t-shirts.

Muff Divers

Don’t forget to Digg this.

Update: While on honeymoon I drove carefully through Muff.

Fluffy Links – Friday July 11th 2008

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The Irish Times Politics Blog. Good to see that Harry is back blogging too.

Nick digs out the iPhone Business packages from o2. No free company to company calls.

Win an iPhone from Carphone Warehouse and SiliconRepublic. You still have to sign a contract with 02 though.

Some nice deadtree coverage of Irish Tech companies.

Give feedback on Ireland’s digital future.

So if you’re in the media and you want to contact someone on about a story, you are no longer (or never were apparently) allowed to message the person or contact them. You must leave a post in the new Media Interaction Forum and then someone else will contact the person and relay your message. Oh and they tell you that you can’t act like a dick.

Via RowanPresentation Revolution on Inigo Montoya.

Fat Pig Chocolate. Great design.

Vincent Browne in Marketing Magazine.

Michael Beirut talks about Mad Men. So I’ve now ordered it from Amazon. Cheap too.

Noah and the Whale – 5 years time

Very Mercenary? The rise of personal brands in business

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

There’s a great post by Todd Defren on PR Squared called “Got Some Personal Branding I Could Borrow?

The idea is that some people have impressive personal brands and are superstars no matter who they work for and as such can move from company to company and still be as followed and impressive. Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang being prime examples. While it generally focuses on PR, marketing, blogging and so forth, it will probably refer to more and more industries as more industry segments become “socialised” and we’ll have less faceless brands and more companies with personalities. How many companies now encourage their staff to become superstars? Most have such heavy rules that it can’t happen. Most companies want homogeneity, shamefully.

I really love this quote though:

We’ve made many more hires than this handful, of course, and expect great things of all of them – but, specific to these “well-known” people and their personal brands? We consider them to be “on loan” to SHIFT for the duration of their tenure. And I expect more and more of our employees (and future employees) will have their own personal brands either well-established or on the rise.

That’s progressive. Many companies know staff will move on but I doubt many say it publicly (or even to the staff) and say it with such respect for their staff. There was a slightly related conversation on Piaras’ blog post on networked PR companies. With PR people on LinkedIn and Facebook, they will still have a highly connected network no matter who they move to next. I don’t think companies can go back to the old days. Many people will bring clients with them when they move but nowadays they’ll bring their fans too and while fans are not clients, they are free evangelists, R&D teams, friends and so much more. I wonder how much weight in the future will a company give to “followers”? – “Great CV, good qualifications oh and he has 1100 blog subscribers and 540 on Twitter and have you seen his LinkedIn?”

A Chris Brogan quote was also included:

“The age of half-owned brands is upon us,” Chris writes, citing Robert Scoble as the impetus for this trend. “…Is Jeremiah Owyang about Forrester, or is he a half-owned brand that Forrester can claim for the time being?”

Rockstar singing on stage...
Photo owned by giango (cc)

I still haven’t fully gotten my head around this concept but to me it’s fascinating. How does a company attract these “personal brands” and how do they have them fit into their existing structure and then how do they work when these brands move on? Soccer clubs seem to manage well enough, though they get transfer fee. Todd shares the Shift manifesto here.

In Engerland

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I’m in Engerland at the moment. Sans laptop. I know I know. I’ll survive. I’m at MeasurementCamp.

Back soon:
Engerland 025
Photo owned by surprise truck (cc)

Meanwhile, via Jason, check out this Foxrock SUV luvvies docu (mp3)

Dipping your toes in the business blogging water

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

So you’ve decided to get your blog up and running on your business website. What now?

Olive Store
Photo owned by indigoprime (cc)

Here’s what I’d advise:

Before you even set up your blog you should actively be reading blogs. Blogs that talk about your business area, Irish Business Blogs, general and respected business blogs and anything you find fun. Make sure there’s an entertaining mix. See how the masters do it and see how general bloggers write blog posts.

Leave constructive comments on the blogs you’re reading. Share links with the bloggers. If you like a blog post than tell the author. Feedback is good. You’d want the same on your blog right?

Set up and go private:
When you have your blog installed, consider making it private to start with and give a few people access to it and have them evaluate your writing. Ask some of the bloggers who you subscribe to to participate in this private evaluation of your blogging style. Take their advise and amend your blogging while still remaining comfortable on what you’re doing. If you feel this new style is not you, don’t do it. The private option is a nice baby step too before going totally live on the big bad web and for some is a better and less nerve-wracking way to start.

If you want, wipe your first few test blog posts where you got private feedback and launch with a new blog post announcing who you are and what the purpose of your blog is. Add your favourite bloggers to the blogroll/link list of your blog. Don’t go asking for a link or asking for a link exchange, you’re too new to ask for a link when the blog is but a day old.

Talk it up:
Ask those who were giving you private feedback to introduce you to the world though they’ll probably do it anyway. You have an address book. Email those on it telling them about the new blog. Without spamming people. Change your email signature and add in the blog address. Announce the blog on the front page of your website. When leaving comments on blogs, use your blog address as your website address. Don’t leave comments on blogs announcing your blog. That’s cheap and old-school. Add your blog feed to your Facebook profile. Add your blog address to your LinkedIn profile.

Listen to the comments from the public and take in their feedback too. Appreciate their feedback. Set up Google Alerts or Google Blogsearch alerts for your blog address and blog name. See what others are saying about it.

Have fun:
Enjoy what you are doing.

Photo owned by SideLong (cc)

Fluffy Links – Tuesday July 8th 2008

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

In Dublin on Thursday, want to go to a mobile networking event?

New blog – The Green Capitalist. Good post about Ulster Bank and their green incentives for mortgages.

Ghost Estates in Ireland. Interesting Google mashups.

A judge riffs on pringles. I kid you not. has upgraded. Hooray!

Conor Pope does not like bluetooth marketing. Does anyone else dislike them?

SEO tips for more blog traffic.

Want your stuff to be in an art gallery?

Great post from JP.

Fun with Google Images type stuff.

What the F**k is Social Media?

Be the last person on the Internet to see this:

At last, an alternative to Ray D’Arcy in the mornings

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Thanking Jim for the reminder. Rick O’Shea is covering for Gerry Ryan from next week until August 15th. There really was only one choice for me in the mornings and that was “down with that sort of thing” D’Arcy. Now we have Rick and I’ll tune into 2fm much earlier in the day as a result. Everyone else should too. Tell everyone too. Not that it would impact but wouldn’t it be nice if the ratings for 2fm on that time slot went up for those few weeks?

O’Shea or Ryan in the mornings, wish we could decide on that future…

Fluffy Links – Monday July 7th 2008

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Wear Che Guevara t-shirts?

Ryanair Irish Court Case on screen scraping.

James Dyson, the great marketer and maker of shitty vacuum cleaners doesn’t get the iPhone.

But I really wanted to like the iPhone because it’s thin—one of the clever things about it—thinner than any other phone, and fits easily in your pocket

Someone in Kinsale likes Daniel Craig.

Hunter S. Thomson and procrastination.

Imagine the green is red.

Reach out and touch faith.

Don’t forget to tell the Oireachtas what you think of their sites.

New blog (to me) – Stuart Lawler.

New travel blog.

SligoIT media students need to chat to Jim Corr: