Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Bank of Ireland Private Banking to lay off “a large chunk” of staff?

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Ask About Money nuked a thread on their site about Bank of Ireland Private Banking laying off some staff. I’ve heard from another source that they are in fact laying off 20-25% of the staff in that section. Bank of Ireland Private website.

I wonder if and when this gets officially announced?

Presentation Zenned, Slided and Camped

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The main reason I was in San Francisco was to attend Presentation Reboot run by Garry Reynolds from Presentation Zen and Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design. Gods amongst those that do presentations in Powerpoint or Keynote or I suppose Google Presentation since some use that. It was a day-long course and yes it was very much worthwhile the 12 hour flight over and back. Well I did get to visit Silicon Valley for a day or two on top of this.

Design and Presentation
Photo owned by Serdal (cc)

Duarte Design is in Mountain View (where Google have their HQ) and is on the same street as: Smug Mug, EyeFi, FriendFeed and Evernote. Walking to the place and seeing all those famous companies was pretty inspiring all in itself. I wonder how many people randomly knock on their door and say thanks for the good work. Maybe I should have? It wasn’t just the trainers too that made the day great. I met some very nice people there. I only googled Sally when I got back which is a massive shame as she’s a hugely impressive figure in California politics. I would have loved to have chatted more. Ric from the Powerpoint Team was there and his colleagues too and he mentioned Presentation Camp SF was happening on Saturday so I signed up for that when I got back to the hotel. More on that in a little while.

Presentation Reboot was very practical in nature with Garr and Nancy tag-teaming during the day. We even got pens and paper and glue out for storyboarding sessions. Yes it’s worth the money and worth the time to go. Get their books if you can’t go and sub to their blogs at the very least. Nancy blogged about the workhops herself here.

So later in the week, the day I was heading back to Ireland in fact, I went along to Presentation Camp San Francisco in the Slideshare HQ. The room names were those of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rocking. The Slideshare staff were wonderfully helpful. They make such a great product too. A great deal and very diverse set of talks during the day. Ones I liked most were the ones from Cliff Atkinson (Cliff blogged about the day here) and Scott Schwertly from Ethos3. Cliff is another presentation God so it was nice to meet him. I must get him to sign a copy of his book when I bump into him next. Oh did I mention I met Seth Godin the other day for a few seconds? Yeah I did. SF rocks. Rashmi from slideshare presented about Slideshare too. Almost meta!

I missed a few presentations because I had to head to the airport, the most talked about one was from Dave McClure, more a presentation about pitching that on presentations. Great content all the same: “How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On)”

And because I have a signed copy of Presentation Zen and Slideology, I’m going to give away the existing copy of each book I have. They are some of the best books on this subject area and should be eaten and ingested. Want to win them and a medium size Slideshare t-shirt? To do so, simply create a presentation saying why you should win them and put it on Slideshare.

Can I be your Summer intern?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Summertime is going to be quiet for me travelwise as many of the groups I work with don’t do training during the Summer months. You can never get everyone together due to good weather or people flying to good weather. I have two web apps that I’ll be working on during this time but I’ve been thinking that I’d love to learn about different types of businesses and what they do. Being chained to my own desk is boring. Sport stars cross-train and learn different disciplines, why not business people? So I’d like to do 4-5 internships, each 5-7 days in duration over the Summer months with some companies. Maybe this idea will work, maybe it won’t. Maybe other businesses should consider doing the same thing?

What I get:
I get to be immersed for a week with a company that is doing interesting things and the people are willing to show me the ropes. I learn new approaches to business and get to grips with the internal natural language of different companies. The more I understand about different businesses, the better I am with working with those business types.

What the company gets:
Me! Someone that can show them how to communicate via blogs, social networks, Twitter, do online marketing, how to do better presentations, do media stuff, tell them how to work with those web kids and encourage them to use more expletives. Ok, maybe not that last one.

Since I’ll still need to operate the dayjob stuff, I’ll need a desk and a net connection to answer a few things that will come in during the working day. Inventing some bogus role where I end up doing no more than licking envelopes ain’t gonna fly. Suit? Not really. I’d need to be a core part of the team/company. Bring the Corkman to meetings, you know?

There is also a premium model
Which you can steal! I’m sorry but I’m going to turn down most offers (if I get any) because I’m thinking a few companies in the same area would be interested in this. I actually think that bringing in someone for a few days in a row can work out better than having them come in now and then and consult. Again it’s down to that immersion thing. Some good examples are when you’re onsite and people ask each other advice and you know you have a better way of doing something they already believe they are doing efficiently. Bit like Twitter ain’t it? The conversational subtleties are where the gold is. I won’t be offering this right now though but as a company, if you are one, maybe you should consider doing this or offering this?

Give me a shout if you think your company would be interested in this.

The future of interactive TV and Radio is here and it doesn’t need a big red button

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

And RTE, TV3 and TodayFM don’t have a choice about it

Twitter again and something called Scribble.

Each time Ireland played in the 6 nations, dozens or perhaps hundreds of people got together to shout and roar but together for them was via Twitter as they watched the match wherever they happened to be. They joined a devoted crowd that were connected via twitter. For the France Ireland game, each time they made a comment on the game they added a tag #merde to it.

Patrick Phelan ran graphs on this later on to see the frequency of words in those tagged messages.

Each time the Dragon’s Den in Ireland is watched, online people use the tag #ddire to record their shouts, their sneers, their sincere belief a Dragon is useless.

Big red button
Photo owned by nicolasnova (cc)

Using an online application called Scribble Simon McGarr and others were live-blogging Questions and Answers and the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis and the Green Party Conference. The Greens even put/linked to the live blog from their main website. The last episode of the L Word was liveblogged by the women from Gaelick.

When I was on Primetime the other night there was a surge of Google searches for my name by people watching the show and when people on Twitter were commenting on it live, people started adding me to Twitter.

See, nowadays we don’t just watch TV, we watch TV and we surf the net. Watcht he TV, laptop on knees. Instead of channel hopping, we’re media hopping from one to the other and back again. This is going back to my other blog post about shared experiences and Twitter and all the rest, We can be in our living rooms and on Twitter at the same time, sharing both experiences.

Do you remember the show Mystery Science Threatre 3000 where they comment on movies and make quips? It’s real and distributed online. It’s the director’s commentary but done by the public.

So Sky is there and the Beeb talking about their big red buttons and putting phonelines into the back of them and having people dial home and all that, yet anyone with a banger of a TV on a dodgy signal or even watching online can fully interact once they have some kind of net connection and it’s infrastructure free. Cheap as chips!

So what can the likes of RTE do about this? Tell people where this commentary is happening. Encourage them to go to these places and leave comments and join with the people already there. You know what will happen? Viewerships will go up. Once again the old-style family gatherings will happen but the family might not be in the same room, or city or country. Planet, yeah.

The Red Button
Photo owned by HolgerVaga (cc)

Some are doing it though. Phantom are doing it. Rick on 2FM is doing it and Ray Foley on TodayFM. Then there’s that Hook lad who even did live video.

You want audience reaction? There you have it. Not enough time for the Last Word and the commentators on it? Direct it online. Keep your show and the debate going. JNLR? Fuckit, this is more real. Real people are giving real opinions. No boxes to be installed in a home. Then the brave media folks will join that conversation and work with their audience on building something even better. Tada.

Show and Tell Event: Bloggers play with tech

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Summary: Tech Meet and Greets for bloggers.

I’ve been getting a heck of a lot of invites from PR companies of late to attend various events but when I suggest to them that they ask/invite other bloggers, some freeze or shut down. That’s a step too far. So I’ve started to decline invites to all events unless they were catering to other bloggers at these events too. Yes, that might mean providing wifi too. *shock*

Collision Course, the Fianna Fáil and Green Party conferences, the Bord Gais launch and other events are starting to show that bloggers will come along if you provide them with something interesting, be it giving them the scoop before others, giving them access to people they might not have been able to reach by themselves or good data.

Via Mulley Communications I’m going to start running some events run for bloggers where tech companies or tech distributors can show off their wares in an environment designed for bloggers. Traditional tech press briefing events are mind numbingly boring. We bloggers don’t give a care about your third quarter projections. Don’t speak from a lectern and from a script. Converse with us. Let us fiddle with your stuff. Oooer.

Photo owned by Shi Yali (cc)

What’s in it for bloggers?
We get to see new products and play with them on the evening and use trial gear for a few weeks. We get more content that we can write about and inform our readers with new information and it also means we are a bit more educated on what’s available in the market. It also means meeting as a group in person when we generally just converse over blogs and twitter these days.

What’s in it for the tech companies?
Coverage. Right now coverage is limited to the Business Post, PC Live and Gadget Republic when it comes to tech reviews. However, online coverage is all well and good but a possibly more important point is these bloggers and Twitterers are the communications hub of their networks both online and off. We are the ones that get asked for mobile phone recommendations building up to birthdays and Christmas, we are the ones asked about laptops and what are the best ones to get, we’re the ones who are asked for recommendations.

Very importantly, you get honest, non-pressured feedback from people who will call a spade a spade and who are telling all their friends this anyway about products that they like and don’t like. Ignore this feedback at your peril.

Think about the average person that Googles for information, they’ll still ask those in their peer group and those in their peer grop are the ones who’ll influence them more. A more educated bunch these are, the better they can inform. The only risk is that your stuff isn’t godawful.

I know for a fact that some companies will weigh up the cost of giving loaner gear to blogger and will think it’s not worth it despite the fact that having an informed group of influencers will seriously impact sales. However for every tech company that declines, an edgier one will take your place and they’ll reap the rewards. There actually is the case in Ireland where billion euro companies give out a single piece of kit that’s the village bicycle of tech: every journalist gets to have a bash for two weeks before it’s passed to someone else. Yeah, no. This is not the event you are looking for.

Reboot 2
Photo owned by gfscott (cc)

What’s in it for me?
Mulley Communications will have more case studies that this lark actually works and experience doing it. Unfortunately in Ireland we lack a hell of a lot of case studies on blogging, online marketing and social networking engagements.

How do you sign up?
If you’re a blogger leave a comment, link to a blog post where you’ve talked tech (if you have), say where you are as these are not just going to be in Dublin and tell us what your favourite piece of tech is. Bonus points if you go really retro!

If you’re a PR firm, tech company/manufacturer/distributor then email damien < at > for what the requirements are to take part

Blackout Ireland Day – ISP Association of Ireland yet to say a thing

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Why has there been silence from the representative group of Irish ISPs? The ISPAI has yet to say a thing about the eircom/IRMA deal. Does this mean they are not against it? Others have been very vocal about this horrible deal. Silence does nothing. Silence in times of adversity is bad. Speak up and speak out ISPAI, you are quick enough to ring the bells when it comes to the Data Retention laws and get coverage from your friends in the Irish Times.

More on Blackout Ireland.

Via the Pin:

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Silence is Golden

HP-Upline is shutting down, move your HP backups to Putplace, get discount

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Via the Putplace blog:

We are putting together a discount plan for HP-Upline users. In the meantime you can user the invitation code “joe” to get started with a free plan for three months.

Sign up.

Almost almost

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Still not back to normal. Right after the Blog Awards I’ve had to travel for work to far flung places like Dublin, Galway and Cork. Should be back to normal sometime Thursday.

Meanwhile grab an amazing chance to hear one of Obama’s Online strategists talk in Dublin today.

The business case for freedom of speech

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

As the Business Post and Metro newspaper mention, eircom are now going to block websites, starting with The Pirate Bay. Case by case basis from here on in. Once IRMA go to Court asking for a site to be blocked, eircom will not challenge it.

So first they’ll start with the Pirate Bay. Then comes Mininova, IsoHunt, then comes YouTube (they have dodgy stuff, right?), how long before we have because someone quoted a newspaper article or a section of a book? And don’t think they’ll stop there too, any site that links to The Pirate Bay and the others on the hate list will probably be added to the list too. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

This is bad on many accounts. 99% of people are being punished for what a tiny percentage of people are doing. Sometimes this can be justified. Handgun bans etc. I don’t think a website is a loaded weapon though.

Pirate Finger Puppet (from Logan)
Photo owned by _cck_ (cc)

I’m sure the business case for eircom was they didn’t want any more costly High Court actions with McDowell biting at their legs on the command of the music industry but this is going to open up a can of worms with IRMA demanding more and more attacks on how people surf the net, this is what it is in my view an attack on our freedom to read, our freedom to write, our freedom to move around the web. All so a very rich but rapidly becoming poor group of luddites can feel better for seeing the future and trying to fight it.

And of course the costs of communications with IRMA and of the filtering is going to be passed on to the consumer. The cost of blocking a single site will be almost nothing I suppose but as more sites get added and as the arms race between the pirates and the ISPs escalates, then it’ll become complicated and complicated costs more. So again the majority get to pay for the inability of the music industry to work with the modern world and the pirates who want to bring all digital content to the masses without any technological or monetary restrictions.

I really don’t like the idea that I can’t be trusted to surf the Internet unsupervised. I hope the other ISPs fight this.