Author Archive

Ouchies – IIA’s WordPress powered blog gets spam hacked

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Justin Mason did the sleuthing. Will we have to download weekly patches soon?

Yahoo! to Microsoft: Google just bought us a gimp suit, what you got?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Or is it more Good Wil Hunting. How about them Googles?

Via John Furrier.

And via Washington Post too:

Yahoo Inc. is close to announcing that it plans to carry search advertising from Google Inc. as part of a test that could lead to a broader partnership, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ok it’s a short-term limited test but with Google making more per search than Yahoo! or Microsoft it’s worth looking at to boost the coffers of Yahoo! There’ll be more than a single chair flung over this. Waiting to see the Microsoft reaction. Wonder would they really be evil and sign a long-term binding contract. Yahoo! have always been a media company so maybe it is time to just give up on search and advertising?

Obsessive much?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

I’m giving the last of my free Business Blogging Training Sessions this Saturday at the Irish Computer Society in Dublin. (After that he charges – DM’s biz manager) A big thank you to the ICS for hosting this and providing all the computers for it. This weekend I shall be wearing something additional during my presentations. My shiny new “Obsessive” badge with thanks to Castle Tuppenceworth. I was beknighted or whatever that word for the thing that gives you the thing is. I was given it for my obsession with broadband in Ireland. That old gem. I’d like to thank Dialup “Noel” Dempsey and my bud Eamon Ryan as without them this wouldn’t have been possible. Oh god I’m getting emotional here now. Choking. Up.

Thanks to Fergal and Simon for this. Keep obsessing people. It gets to John Waters and Eoghan Harris. That’s enough isn’t it?


Fluffy Links – Wednesday April 9th 2008

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

TJ has a nice piece on search engines and your data.

Via Michael James Brown, legend.

Good post by JP about Edges. Read and you’ll see.

Heard about this on Phantom. For all those that want to self-publish in Ireland.

I like this. Image shack will now download and store torrents for you for free. 15gb download limit a month, 15gb storage. You can download direct via http.

Why can’t the Food and Drink section on the Indo site have a feed?

Broadband speeds in the UK.

No money in gossip? Valleywag pay cut.

Blog Awards 2009 – Rule change – Should past winners be eligible?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

At the Blog Awards this year Twenty Major and Sinéad Gleeson pulled off a three in a row each and have said they will not enter into the Awards next year. There are other blogs too that could do a three in a row in 2009. Now there’s the idea of giving other people a chance at winning a category but there’s also the idea that talent is talent, repeat or not. The IIA Netvisonary Awards have a rule that if you’ve won in a category before you are not eligible for it again.

I’d like your views about whether a rule like this should be implemented for the next Blog Awards. Win it one year, not eligible ever again or just not eligible for the follow-on year? Or keep it as it is, no changes? If you win in a category one year, can you be entered in other categories though?

Once I go over all the feedback hopefully I can make an informed decision then.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday April 8th 2008

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

We’ve had Fluffy badges, so how does one go about getting a Filthy badge? Talk to Midget Wrangler.

Alan has a good post on Randy Pausch’s last lecture. What would be yours?

Linkmap tells us the Taste Festival is coming to Cork.

The blog of Cristian Roman, a food blogger and journalist from Romania who’s just moved to Dublin.

You happy with our transport Minister?

Michael Moynihan, a sports journo from the Examiner is blogging, or rather copying and pasting existing articles and sticking them on a blog. Original content would be nice.

Fox News/Bill O’Reilly get Goatse’d.

Via Adam Maguire: 4 min unedited fight sequence. Some lame bits but really good still. Read the notes that went with it.

Confirmed: Digiweb buy Novara’s hosting business and are on lookout to acquire more

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Cash deal. Makes Digiweb second biggest hoster in Ireland. Looking at more hosting and telco acquisitions. When are they going to buy that other Wireles company eh?

Some details from the press release:

· Novara’s customers include high profile organisations such as Jurys Doyle, EBS Building Society, An Bord Pleanala, A-Wear and The Department of Justice

· The deal will involve Novara’s 15,600 customers gradually moving to Digiweb’s technical infrastructure while all of Novara’s web hosting staff will join Digiweb’s hosting team. This combined hosting and managed services team will turnover in excess of €7.2m in the coming year for Digiweb and is projected to create an additional 25 highly qualified network and systems jobs in this area over the next three years.

· Though detailed terms of the transaction are undisclosed, the consideration was all cash in nature and represented a significant 7-figure sum.

· On foot of this acquisition Digiweb will become the second largest hosting company in the Irish shared hosting and domains market. On the higher value datacentre services side due to being one of few providers with new datacentre space now readily available Digiweb is also experiencing exponential growth in those services.

· Digiweb will continue to operate the highly successful brands of and

· Digiweb has been growing strongly organically in recent years, recording in excess of 100% growth many years, due particularly to high levels of referral from existing customers, and to an expanding range of products, services and national reach.

· Digiweb is now seeking to build on this organic growth through selective acquisition of complementary businesses in the Irish and UK voice, hosting and broadband industry. The company currently has a number of acquisitions under active consideration, with a view to achieving the company’s stated objective of achieving number one position in the fragmented Irish telecoms and ISP market.

Some nice customers being added to the Digiweb stable which includes one of the busiest websites in Ireland.

Fake Blogging, Ghost Blogging and your Business blog

Monday, April 7th, 2008

As a follow-up to the Blog Crisis Management post and where I offered to chat to Thinkhouse PR (they accepted btw and we chatted on Friday, nice people but I think they still hate me 🙂 ) I wanted to write my views on the idea of fake blogging, ghost blogging and so forth.

These are mostly my own opinions but I think a good deal of bloggers feel the same or roundabout the same way.

Photo owned by Todd Huffman (cc)

Blogs are about people, not faceless entities

When you read a blog you are, in a way, connecting with a person. Both smaller blogs and even the bigger blogs like BoingBoing, you are connecting with a personality and someone you can identify. Due to the high traffic of the bigger blogs and the fact that traffic = more trolls, many just block comments but the more local blogs allow you to actually converse and give feedback to the blogger and blog readers love that. I don’t have stats to back it up but I’m of the opinion that regular readers of blogs trust the bloggers more as they are conversing with a person or at least reading a human being who is willing to converse with them and respond to their feedback. As a result blog readers allow themselves to to be influenced more as the opinions they read are respected more since they respect the person.

Perhaps they are like Facebook friends to them? This is great but when a new blog comes along, talking itself up as a blog yet only allowing positive comments through and hiding behind some secret veil while promoting a specific brand, alarm bells will ring. That’s the danger for business blogs and corporate blogs. To step into the blogging arena, you have to give something up. Tell your story and who you are so the people know something about you when you join the community. Perhaps like an AA meeting. Bloggers themselves like nothing better than to blog about blogging but when they see a new blog starting or a company press releasing that they have a blog and the first entry on the blog is the press release, they get annoyed. When follow-up posts are in the same “voice” as their press release and comments or blocked or very limited, then they get angry. It’s like someone is polluting. Still, you are free to do what you wish with this blog but you could have 100s of supporters instead of knockers

From my view, if I see such a blog come along I’m thinking:

Here’s this blog, obviously promoting something yet not sharing with us anything more than how great they say their product is and when we leave comments, they’re nuked. Is there a person behind this or a team of people, why are they only broadcasting and not conversing? This is a door to door salesperson sticking their shoe into the door of our sociable meeting place.

I’m quite convinced too that most bloggers don’t care if you are a commercial entity trying to build your brand or pimp your product once you have a story to tell or want to talk about why your product rocks. Once you’re not a spammer and are interested in … word of the day! Conversing. Stormhoek, Murphy’s Ice Cream, English Cut, hell even Will it Blend? are all pimping products but they are also very entertaining.

Tip o
Photo owned by Thomas Frederick (cc)

What not to do when starting a corporate or branding blog:

  • Start a blog and be a nameless entity. Admin1 is a no no if you want to build trust. If it’s a fictional character that’s fair enough or a nom de plume but if you are a corporate, people expect a name if they are to build trust with you.
  • Blog and not allow comments. Many will think “Something to hide?”. Allow comments. This does not mean you must allow free reign or put up with repeat assholes.
  • Start a blog and not have some kind of visible comments policy. Tied to the above. Full pre-moderation ain’t great either but showing you have a policy is good if you are a company/brand.
  • Be seen to allow comments and then kill them because they were offtopic. Example:

    Comments come in telling you it’s not a real blog, and wondering if Glenda Gilson deserves any more publicity. They go up, but they’re taken down again.

  • Create a fake “person” and have them blog. A fictional character is fine – Think MR. Tayto but John QPublic of Company Ltd is a no if John doesn’t exist.
  • Hiring a copywriter who pretends to be the CEO and does it all. See, the truth will out. You will get caught eventually and then people will feel burned. The supporters you have will become your biggest attackers. Like Eoghan Harris when he jumped away from the IRA and then from Marxism and then… etc.

Photo owned by Rustybuckets (cc)

Things to do:

  • Remember you are joining a community, behave as such.
  • Before you launch, solicit opinions from a cross-section of bloggers. Mark the blog as private and give some bloggers access. Get their opinions and guidance.
  • Get a staff member to blog if you find someone passionate enough. They do not need to be the CEO.
  • Company full of mumblers? Hire a passionate outsider but explicitly state that’s what they are. Let them work as the community manager.
  • It’s fine to edit and clean the writing of an employee or CEO. Sub-editors are fine. Ghost writers are not. Know the difference.
  • Allow comments but don’t allow a free for all.
  • Guide the comments. If a comment is off-topic, say so and bring people back to what the comment is. Try and answer the off-topic comment elsewhere like via email.
  • Visit other blogs and leave comments.

Ghost Dogs
Photo owned by Terminalnomad Photography (cc)

More on Ghostblogging:
It’s done and it seems some crowds in Ireland offer it as a service. If you’re a company and you hire someone to do this then what does it say about your company? It just shows that you only want a blog because you were told it was good for business without understanding why or there are more priorities in the company than passionately talking about it. I’d be more concerned with the company and where it’s going if that’s the case. Forget a blog. As I said earlier, hiring a community manager type of thing is fine as that person will eventually find some good natural bloggers in your org and he or she is just tarting up the story you dictate anyway. These are evangelists. Also they are going to be good at self-regulating themselves if they have half a clue. If they end up just writing ficiton they too will be found out and that’s their rep ruined in a very public way. Nobody will trust a community manager that suffers from Stockholm syndrome. The BBC has a bit more on this.

There are dozen more tips that I’m sure people could provide too. These were some of mine.

Take Enda With You – Stats Update

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Good enough traffic being sent to the Enda site. Over 140 members of the Bertie, Take Enda With You Facebook group and it’s growing. Will we have 300 members by the end of the week?

Cheers Greeny!
Take Enda

Update 2:
Want a “Take Enda With You” badge? 30 to give away. Link to the site if you want to avail.

Fluffy Links – Monday 7th April 2008

Monday, April 7th, 2008

John Smyth has moved blog address to Check out this amazing photo.

He read it so we don’t have to. (Una’s started something) World By Storm deconstructs Eoghan Harris in HotPress.

I bet the editor put that title in. The article is tame. Indo on us unruly bloggers and Bertie.

Meanwhile Harris again on how we were like Bertie’s murderers.

This Esquire investigative piece on a black-ops mercenary will really grab you.

I thought they did this anyway? Stanford starts a venture fund. If they did this 15 years ago…

Michael Gartenberg adds his wisdom to the TechCrunch v Demo kerfuffle: Why not skip both?

you’re better off finding a slow news week (there are plenty) when journalists and analysts are looking for something interesting to write about. Some of the best products and companies have launched this way and gotten better press, attention and overall buzz.

Gary Busey talks about snorting coke off of…

11 innovation tips from Blizzard, the World of Warcraft people.

Fred Phelps almost bankrupt. Shame.

Via Neil Gaiman – Cities at night (Narrators voice is annoying. Sounds like yer man from Dark City)