Archive for the ‘business’ Category

BarCamp talk: The Famous Raffle. Wanna be on TV?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The list of talks (so far) people have suggested for BarCamp Cork II on November 1st. I’m going to do two, if we have the time and space.

The second one is top secret though some know what it is, it’ll be revealed on the day. It’s a bit of fun and troublemaking. And the first: The Famous Raffle: An open discussion (chaired by me) where one person is picked out of a hat and we figure out how to make them famous nationally

Photo owned by Banalities (cc)

Vulgar, brash and tabloidesque it maybe but .. actually there are no buts. Allof the above. Applicants put their name on a piece of paper and all pieces are put into a hat. We then pick out one from the hat, bring the person to the front of the room, they explain who they are and why they want to get fame and then we as a group figure out the best way to get them into the national consciousness (without them doing anything criminal). Someone can take notes, or the group can and that can be used as their media plan. They will also win one of the very exclusive Mediawhore badges as commissioned by Mulley Communications.

You in? Sign up to BarCamp Cork now.

No video or audio recording or transmission will be allowed at either session.

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.

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

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.

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.

Innovation Vouchers: 802 issued, 110 redeemed so far

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I did an FOI about Innovation Vouchers recently and Enterprise Ireland subsequently decided it would make sense to publish the stats on their website and so they have. You can now see the knowledge providers who have done projects for companies and the companies themselves.

For me this shows takeup is great but once companies have the vouchers the issue is either lack of vision or else inability to find a knowledge provider to do the work. Some companies I know definitely have no idea how to use them despite some orgs really wanting the custom and willing to suggest things to them but I know other orgs have laughed a company out of it for their “puny” 5k. The stats are interesting too as Carlow is out on top so far yet you’d think a Dublin institution would be getting most trade.

Maybe EI needs to actually give some case studies or the knowledge providers themselves? How many have open days like the NCI?

The Business Post has an article about the numbers here.

For those that are unaware, Innovation Vouchers give limited companies 5k in voucher format that can be redeemed at a College, IT or group for research or development of something that can be used by the company. They’re a great idea.

I trust more, I don’t trust as much

Saturday, October 18th, 2008
  • Companies that have personalities and a team that adds humanity to their business both online and offline.
  • Companies who care enough to monitor what blogs are saying and react, even when people have negative issues.
  • Companies who contribute to online discussions and mailing lists without pimping their solutions and help even when the topic matter isn’t in-synch with their business area.
  • Companies that ask for help, contributions, feedback.

And then

  • Businesses that use domain names to describe what they do instead of using a company name.
  • Business people that leave comments on blog posts with their keywordladen website name and not their name and surname.
  • Businesses that write blog posts and internally link to their services in every blog post, again laden with keywords.
  • Businesses that write blog posts that are neither interesting nor useful but instead are dressed up brochures.
  • Businesses that write blog posts that do nothing more than block quote someone else’s blog post and then add one line of commentary.
  • Businesses that use Adwords on their business blogs.
  • Businesses that don’t name who they are on their About page.

Made in Hollywood – Props for the Web Awards props!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Fran Hollywood via David got in contact with me before the Web Awards, wondering could he help out in any way. Now Ireland is scattered with mini-Ws and a few large ones are about the place too for example:

Rick and the gang at the Web Awards

Muzu TV and Web Awards

Rick and Ws

Now that we’ve used these props this year, we’re going to have to outdo ourselves at both the Blog Awards and the Web Awards 09. Fran doesn’t make props as his main business, it’s a sideline to show what he can do with expanded polystyrene foam, a lot of what he does is for builders and architects that want to create various shapes which can’t be done with wood or might be too heavy for concrete.

I think we’ll have Fran blogging soon enough, right? Meanwhile check out Made in Hollywood and if you need things made in 3D, they might be the crowd for you. and mySpace – Irish Artists can sell to 100M+ on mySpace

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Thanks to the latest widgety goodness from, artists that sell via can now offer their musical wares direct from their mySpace profiles. That’s certainly upping the game. Well done lads!