Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

ComReg now resorting to press releasing on a lazy Sunday

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

The IrelandOffline spies are always watching however. I quickly threw together a counter-release to the latest telecoms poodle spin below.

ComReg generally send out press releases last thing in the evening. You can picture them with their finger hovering over the send button and then legging it out of the darkened building which is now empty and all the lights are off. This is the best time to release something if you want it buried and can’t be questioned on it. Nobody home to answer questions. Too late by the next news cycle to then ask questions about it as the world has moved on. Which means you will see quick pieces in the press the next morning but nothing in-depth or investigative.

Releasing on a Sunday is however a new one for ComReg. I’m surprised this wasn’t just released the evening before the budget. My colleague in IrelandOffline refers to a quote from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available [and on display] in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.'”

ComReg are adhering to their obligations to inform the public. Nobody can argue otherwise but gotta love the way they release their reports.

Press release here.

Irish Blog Awards 2007 – Categories finalised/ Sponsorship update

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Irish Blog Awards 21 categories. Maybe it can be expanded further next time but going from 13 to 21 is good enough for this one. I’ve also taken on-board the comments about sponsorship and so will try and be more frugal with the event expenses and so ask for less from sponsors. There will not be a main sponsor.

I’ll be looking for a standard fee for 20 of the categories. I think it will be €200-300 but price will be finalised once I get all costings and it might get down past the 200 euros mark if I get super-mean 🙂 I hope to have an auction for the Best Blog category sponsorship since so many were offering lots of money for that and I want to give a good prize along with the trophy for it. The auction will be slightly different in that the highest bid price will not be the accepted one. The highest bidder (if we have bidders) will pay the second highest bid price. Bids have to be 500 euros or more.

EDIT: The auction for Best Blog sponsorship will be private for obvious reasons. (second highest price goes to top biffer etc) Another post will follow on this auction process.

I want to cover all costs with sponsorship but there will be an entrance fee like last year. All money from the entrance fee will go to charity. Rick O’Shea is a patron of the Brainwave epilepsy charity so I think it should to go them this time. A different charity will be chosen at the next Awards. If we want one.

Best of luck to all going to Le Web 3 – I might see you in a Parisian bar

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

I’m off to Paris myself on Monday for a few days and so might try and escape away to an evening Le Web 3 event if I can. Meanwhile best of luck to those from Ireland presenting there.

EDIT: Congrats on the Electric News coverage and the Sunday Tribune coverage:

A TRIO of Irish online entrepreneurs will demonstrate their internet businesses to over 1,000 delegates at the International Web Expo in Paris this week.

Walter Higgins from Sxoop Technologies, Joe Drumgoole from Putplace. com and Conor O’Neill of Loudervoice. com are all due to present at the event, which is expected to draw an attendance of over 1,000 web entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

The three Irish companies specialise in technology that makes it easier for people to locate, store and publish their own content on the internet…

Fluffy Links – December 8th 2006

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Time on your hands and lots of old monitors gives you this.

Another free to download movie from on bittorrent. The book that this is based on is great.

Make money with your laptop. Have logos etched into it. Might work with macs but not a dull IBM or Dell laptop.

Very Short List. A quick daily email that recommends cool stuff you can buy. Boing Boing for those with an open wallet. I like this idea and I can see an Irish version of this being a success.

Death Star Politics

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (live) again

He remembers forgotten – Interview with the sisters of

Friday, December 8th, 2006

The blog seems to be the rising star of the irish blogging community in the past few months. I asked Aisling would she be interested in doing an email interview and she was happy to do so.

Who are the mystical ladies behind (For those that don’t read the About me page)

(Image above is hotlinked until I get home and host it myself)

Well, we have three contributors: Kirstie, Aphrodite (Kirstie and Aisling McDermott) and Makeup Meg. Kirstie and Aphrodite are just two sisters who love makeup, skincare and cosmetics and we’re sorry but we can’t possibly mess up Makeup Meg’s karma by revealing her real identity.

What’s the story with Why did you set it up? Where did you come from to get started in this area? What are your backgrounds?

We don’t have any background at all in the beauty industry – and that’s what we think makes us trustworthy. We’re not affiliated to any brand or company – when we recommend something it’s because we really love it – and we’re not afraid to say when we don’t! We are just normal lasses who have a bit of the compulsive shopper (particularly online) in them and a love of a bargain. We were fed up with reading about products and treatments that sounded great, but were unavailable in Ireland and websites that promised the earth in terms of cheap products, but failed to deliver to Ireland, or else did so at a prohibitively expensive price. We just set up a blog we’d love to read ourselves.

Kirstie is a web designer and a fanatical reader of blogs. We love the blog format because it’s interactive and more informal. Plus it’s instant and you get instant reaction to posts.

How much work are you putting into this daily? It seems like quite a lot of work. Do you expect a return in investment? Do you fear burnout? What’s the secret to staying focused and pumping out the blog

Good questions. It is lots of work but we really love what we’re writing about and we’re not that worried about burnout for a few reasons. Firstly the reaction we’re getting is a great buzz and it seems as though people really want to read our stuff. Secondly, the readers themselves are coming up with more and more ideas for things they’d like to see us cover – things we wouldn’t have really considered ourselves. Finally, we have a really broad topic area – we can write about anything related to that takes our fancy – books, films, celebrities, products…

Are Irish people more into beauty these days and spending more time and money on personal appearance? Is this a good thing?

Definitely! People like to look good, it makes them feel better about themselves. Not to get too heavy here, but it’s one of the most positive things you can do for yourself. And it can cost a fortune if you want it to, but it most certainly doesn’t have to. We’ve had a great response to our DIY and Cheaper Cosmetics posts for that reason.

We all know women have been looking after themselves for centuries but nowadays men seem to be getting more into the act as well and in the last ten years men are admitting to actually using moisturiser! It seemed to start with gay men and 1then metrosexuals, do you think even the tough as nailsover-macho man will start massaging in the Clinique m-lotion?

Those tough as nails men ARE doing it – they’re just not admitting it! Gay men are just much more open about it and so they do lead the way. But call it what you will, men are definitely realising it’s not a sissy thing to slap a bit of moisturiser/aftershave balm/lotion on your face after shaving. And you hit the spot there with the Clinique M-Lotion – it’s one of the best. We get quite a lot of questions from those so called hard men who ask us not to reveal their names, in case their rugby team/football mates ever get to hear that they wrote to us. We’re delighted to help and of course everything remains anonymous!

If you could give just give two bits of advice to men when it comes to looking after themselves, what would they be?

  1. Learn how to shave properly, it’s the best thing you can do for your skin. So many men don’t do it properly and butcher their faces. Razor bumps, ingrown hairs, dry skin… Read the tips on our site and you’ll be delighted!
  2. Moisturise. Unless you LIKE to look like a weathered turnip!

Now that wasn’t hard was it?!

John Ryan recently sold his VIP Glamour blog, what’s your price?

We’ve never even thought of it to be honest!

What’s your first port of call when you log on in the morning/afternoon?

Comments and email definitely. We love to see what people have been saying. And then we start posting!

How goes the media exposure? November was an impressive month for you guys. You’ve been getting a lot of recent attention. Well done. Are there any publications/media that you’ve love to see mentioned in?

Apart from Damien Mulley of course, we’d love more radio – it’s great fun! And it gets an instant reaction. But any publicity is good, that’s our motto! We’re going to be featured in Prudence next month so watch out for that!

What’s the traffic like these days? You getting a lot of visitors and return visitors? How big can you grow the site, do you think? Room for expansion? What are the plans for 2007 for Will this be merely the first step in a blogging empire?

Yeah we’ve been really impressed by the reaction, our visitor numbers are growing daily. Right now I’d say we’re averaging over 7,000 unique visitors a week (tens of thousands of page impressions) – which is pretty good for just over two months out I think? The numbers are growing in leaps and bounds though so it’s increasing all the time. Loads of repeat visitors yes, which is brilliant, they add so much to the site with their comments and observations (usually hilarious).

Plans for an empire hmmmm? God knows what will happen! We’d love to do something for men all right though. For 2007 we just want to have more of everything, more advice more tips, more bargains and expand the areas we haven’t developed fully (e.g. male grooming, organic and natural cosmetics, Irish products and producers). Visitor reaction and comments have given us a good idea of where to go. We have a hair expert on board already, we’re bringing in a beautician and a male grooming expert next year and we want to bring our visitors more promotions, freebies and competitions.

If there is anything else you want to add or let your public know, pass it on!

Yes! Keep reading – tell your friends. Post your comments on the blog – we love to get them. In 2007 will be getting better and better!

this little piggy went Wii Wii Wii all the way home

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Baz has a Nintendo fanboy site. He covers the Wii and the DS and other stuff too I suppose. I don’t get a free Wii for pimping his site. (Mean git!) So check it out here:

Blogging lesson for Brightspark Consulting: Tis hard to stop a “robust discussion” once you start it

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Brightspark has a post about being bugged at the Netvisonary Awards. Bernie also mentions it on his blog here.

I called out Bernie on his comments and he responded to them, my reply to that has not been allowed through or comments from others I would guess but instead there is a comment from Brightspark, part of which states:

There has been quite a lot of interest in this post. However, the comments are tending towards the personal, between old rivalries with particular axes to grind. Thank you for your interest in this post, but I think that Brightspark’s blog is not the forum for continuing with this discussion

What old rivalaries are they on about? Who has an axe to grind? It seems from the reading of the post that people could come to the wrong conclusion. Guys, once you start any kind of controversial discussion, you can’t really decide to end it when you want it to end. It doesn’t work that way with blogs.

I wonder are things like this covered in the growing number of blog training courses? How does one try and stop a shitstorm once it starts, though this is far from a shit storm. I guess you could also include that in the guides for viral marketing. You can’t stop the virus once it gets out.

If the discussion about the rudeness of recording someone without their permission wants to continue over here, I am happy to facilitate it. Naturally anything deemed libelous will be removed.


Mary apparently doesn’t like the title of this post and says: I don’t like the title, it smacks of someone who’s been blogging a very long time and thinks they know it all. I would point out that I’ve been blogging 1 month longer than Damo, so I don’t need lessons in how to manage my blog

(Her highlighting of that particular sentence, not mine)

I left a comment on this latest post but I’ll echo it here. Mary keeps suggesting her blog is about running a business yet the discussion about being bugged at a table was started by her on her blog. Was it an error in judgement to blog about it on her blog? Next, I want clarification about the original comment I highlighted above and here: the comments are tending towards the personal, between old rivalries with particular axes to grind

Can she clarify was it me or Adam she is referring to, or does she mean both of us?

Fluffy Links – December 7th 2006 – The possession of anything begins in the mind

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Via Stunned comes news that MAKE magazine’s people are coming to Dublin. Go see them if you are a fan of MAKE.

Make a gif of your RSS feed. I’m still lost as to why this is useful.

“Evil Twin” Wifi hotspot interception. Creating a fake hotspot next to a commercial hotspot in order to get login details.

Nice gift wrapping.

Unschooling. The new latest thing always has “un” in it, doesn’t it? Some of the principles of this idea seem sound though.

A beginners guide to freelancing.

Overclock your brain – 22 ways. Isn’t it curious how to get the attention of those that zealously use and their ilk, you have to dress everything up in tech terms?

DJ Shadow – Six Days

So very blonde.

BSkyB gets jiggy with Google – Branded GMail, Video sharing, VoIP and more

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Via James Enck. Really getting it on.

VoIP, User generated video portal site, search and branded GMail. Seems to be for Sky Broadband customers. Not Ireland then 🙁

Sky and Google will collaborate in three key areas:


Sky will launch a multi-platform User Generated Video (UGV) portal powered by
the first global deployment of Google’s syndicated video content tools. The site
will allow users to edit, upload and share their own video content, including
the facility to upload and download from a mobile phone. The UGV portal will
form part of a content-rich experience for Sky Broadband customers that will
enhance the appeal of Sky’s broadband services, build community and promote Sky
content to online audiences.


Sky Broadband customers will enjoy access to a comprehensive online
communications platform. This will include a fully customised version of
Google’s email product, ‘Google Mail’, which will use the popular ‘’
email address. Powered by Google with a user interface and functionality
customised to Sky’s unique specifications, the platform will also offer access
to key communications applications that attract and deepen relationships with
internet users, such as contacts, calendar and instant messaging. In addition,
Sky will explore opportunities to provide further services such as Google’s VoIP
(voice over internet protocol) telephony services, enhanced storage and future
product developments.

Search and advertising

Google will provide its industry leading search tools and targeted search
advertising across Sky’s portfolio of online sites. The two companies will also
explore future forms of web, TV and mobile advertising. Revenue generated by
click-throughs on sponsored links will be shared between Sky and Google,
increasing Sky’s exposure to the fastest growing segment of the UK’s advertising

Oxfam Ireland promote Christmas shop via YouTube

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Clever. Oxfam got the students of the FÃ?S Television and Video Course in Tralee to make a video and have now stuck it on YouTube. Here it is:

This is in order to promote their Christmas offerings. Oxfam emailed Irish bloggers and asked us to spread the news as part of a viral push. I wouldn’t however class this as viral and even getting bloggers to put it on their blogs (like I’m doing) isn’t viral. The Viral tips I linked to yesterday would give a better idea on how to make this viral. I’m sure there is a little reward to the person in spreading the video but is it enough? Does it cause enough of a reaction from the viewer to get them to send it on to more people?

I do like the page which allows you to pick a banner to support them, which gives a nice choice and makes it easy by including the HTML for the banners.

James has also blogged about Oxfam and included the video. Like him, and as I said, I don’t think it is viral. So, an example of viral? Viral is the Threshers Offer that Hugh Macleod pushed out. Now that has some great viral elements.

  • Easy to spread: Just email, IM, blog the link to the voucher or the voucher itself.
  • Snowball effect: The more Threshers is selling out of stuff, the more attention the offer is getting, the more it spreads…
  • Reward/Ego/Power:
    You have that little bit of power over your friends by being the one to get them the discount by forwarding the link to them.
    In turn, your friends then too want to feel this power and send it on to their friends.
    You get that little kick of “getting one over on the man” since it looks like a “big business didn’t want you to have it but now they can’t stop it” type feel to it.
    You are in a special group since not everyone knows about the offer, for a little while you a more important that the general populace.

The Oxfam video has the easy to spread bit but the reward/ego/power part is quite weak. Still, I’m sure a charity viral is hard to do and you can’t be spreading something that helps getting one over on the starving kids. I guess what you’d need for a charity viral is build up some story and have a twist at the end that upsets/shocks/causes emotion, so much so that the viewer sends it on so their targets in order for them to experience what they just experienced.