Archive for the ‘business’ Category

The Cool Curve – A hot new concept like the Long Tail or Tipping Point?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I was going to put this into a Fluffy link but think this deserves a full post by itself. Toby Moores gave a presentation on the idea of the cool curve. I got the video via Sizemore.

Moores is the CEO of SleepyDog, makers of the Playstation game amongst other creative projects. In the video he talks about being creative and matching your output and work to an audience and potential clients. He talks about Van Gogh being highly talented but his curve did not align with potential audiences of his time. It’s a fascinating talk and concept and might help people to guide their own work so as to tie into a paying audience. All without becoming a sell out. Worth watching.

The Tuesday Push – July 15th 2008 – 1Time

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Today’s Tuesday Pushee is 1Time.



1time is a web-based time and expense tracking application that allows you to easily keep track of real time project costs. It reduces non-billable time in your company and keeps everyone up to date. Each employee gets their own login and reminders so you don’t have to micro-manage recording timesheets. It is ideally suited to anyone who has a need to record time for billing or project cost analysis.

You can get a 30 day trial with them. It looks like a good and useful product for businesses and those who work for themselves. There’s nothing worse than trying to figure out AFTER the project what you spent on it timewise.

1Time added more features recently allowing you to give your clients access to their timesheets. Which while I’m sure would benefit the clients is probably a passive way of making you actually fill those sheets in and keep you motivated. Well that’s what I’d use it for. 🙂

More features too are on the way. Great to see a working product that is useful to existing businesses. Well done to Derek Organ.

Please spread the word about 1Time and blog about them. If you want your company/product mentioned, please fill in this linked form

Post Measurement Camp – So Ireland is still in the Dark Ages…

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Measurement Camp on Wednesday was inspiring and amazing and other things that end in ing. The great benevolent dictator Will McInnes runs this event and the people that turn up are some very very clued in people. We’re still back in caveman times compared to what’s happening in social media in the UK. When I hear the term social media used in Ireland I cringe as it’s used by so many muppets without any kind of clue, just an urge to empty wallets of dumb companies.

This month’s Measurement Camp was hosted in the lovely offices of Hotwire PR and it was nice to meet some of the people in there including Drew Benvie. Another blog subscribed to!

I was sitting next to Simon Collister who’s blog I had started reading a few days ago and didn’t realise he was the same guy til after. D’oh. This blog post on 10 immutable laws for measuring conversation is great and highlights what can be measured.

Also there was David Jennings of Net, Blogs and Rock and Roll book fame. Yup, that blog subbed to as well.

Chris Applegate from Outside Line and who does the LG Blog was there too. Subbed.

And loads more too. Talent, lots of it.

Running Round [cropped]
Photo owned by Editor B (cc)

Lots and lots of terms and phrases from the 2 hours:
Sizemore, Seesmic, whoofie, goodwill, emotional reactions, spray and pray, net promoter score, The One Number You Need to Grow, Ken Thompson, brand recall, fail fast fail cheap, retrospective metrics, sentiment, prompting, advertising value equivalent, “robots are stupid and people are slow”, territories, buzz monitoring

So yeah Measurement Camp, very educational, very eye-opening, very much worth the trip to London. But I have a lot of study to do.

Eircom web innovation fund winners – HeyStaks, Locle, Playza, TouristR

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Congratulations to HeyStaks, Locle, Playza, TouristR who were this morning announced the winners of the eircom web innovation fund.

From the press release:

The four chosen companies are:

1. HeyStaks – HeyStaks is a new approach to Web search that helps searchers to share their search experiences with friends, colleagues, and other searchers. HeyStaks is a browser plugin that works with Google and provides users with the ability to create so-called “search staks” as a way to organise and share their Google searches. For example, a group of friends planning a holiday abroad might create a “Holiday 2008” search stak. As they individually search for travel, accommodation and entertainment options, their selections will be shared with each other during future searches as specially highlighted search results. In this way all of the friends can see what results have been found to be useful during earlier searches, which may help them during their own searches for that perfect holiday package.

Research shows that HeyStaks can help searchers find information more quickly and in turn allow users to create and share many different types of search staks to reflect different topics of interest. In this way search staks can provide users with access to a form of Web search that is powered by their favourite search engine but customised for a particular topic of interest, based on their own search experiences or the search experiences of others.

The HeyStaks technology has been developed by Prof. Barry Smyth’s research group in University College Dublin and is the first spin-out of the new CLARITY research centre, a €16m Science Foundation Ireland research centre combining researchers from University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the Tyndal National Institute.
2. Locle – Locle is a social mapping application for mobile phones that combines information from your mobile handset address book with social networks such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace to create mapping services that show users where their friends are. Locle is an enhanced mobile web experience that facilitates “here’s where I am, and here’s where my friends are” for social networks and groups.

Locle is a combination of a web service and downloadable mobile phone software. When the Locle mobile client is activated, it identifies the user’s location and presents the location of “friends” who also use the application. Friends can be both contacts from your mobile phone address book or contacts from your social networks. As well as letting you know where your “friends” are, Locle can also keep you up to date on relevant information to your location such as local events, news, weather and provide details on local restaurants, cinemas and ATM machines etc.
Locle is a Business Expansion Scheme qualified investment.
3. Playza – With most popular online games focused squarely at the adult gaming market, Playza is a new social gaming proposition for “Digital Natives” – our 12 to 24 year olds who have grown up in a digital media environment where mobile phones, social networking, multiplayer online gaming, and music downloading have always been the norm.

Playza is made up of a series of connected mini games in which players complete tasks and earn points. Online game players are encouraged to bring their gaming colleagues to Playza and social networkers can invite their online friends to join. The main objective of the game is to form and control player groups. By getting new members into their group, players will increase their standing and capabilities within the games. Playza users can also create their own page to host their game account and mini games. Within their page, users can create their own game groups, receive feedback and messages and post the game to their other sites or blogs such as MySpace or Facebook.

Playza combines the addictive nature of online gaming with the community features of a social networking portal.
4. TouristR – TouristR is an integrated full-service trip-planning advisor, which cuts out the online information overload and minimises planning problems. It not only helps the traveller to plan a more complex travel itinerary – such as a trip with multiple destinations on a fixed budget and timeline – but it also draws on content submitted by a community of users which will help the traveller to decide on a destination by getting a sense of the type of experience available at their chosen destination.

A new breed of unique Web 2.0 travel service, TouristR will feature stories, adventures and photographs of destinations submitted by users as well as aid the traveller who needs to factor in multiple elements to their trip such as budgetary, geographical, temporal and other personal preferences and restrictions.

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)

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)

Minister Eamon Ryan’s Broadband Promises

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

In summary, the ten Government commitments are:

1. Government will target capital investment of €435m to address the digital divide
2. Universal broadband coverage in Ireland by late 2009 / early 2010
3. 100 Mbits per second broadband connectivity to be introduced to secondary schools on a phased basis
4. Future investment will be determined in accordance with value for money review of the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs)
5. Ensure Ireland’s continued high level of international connectivity
6. Major public infrastructure projects will have to install ducting at the construction phase. Government will establish a one stop shop to provide service providers with flexible and open access to existing and future ducting infrastructure
7. New premises will be required to install open access fibre connections where practicable
8. Maintenance of the regulatory framework necessary for fair and transparent competition across a range of platforms. Allocation of spectrum to encourage trialling and development of flexible new mobile technologies
9. Use of Government purchasing power in order to stimulate demand, create economies of scale and better public services
10. Establishment of a specialised research programme to monitor developments

1. Let’s see how much is really spent, sounds to be like fantastic number playing going on here. Is this their annual telecoms spend being used?
2. Universal Satellite Coverage is what they mean. Half the schools in this country are on satellite. Proper wired or wireless broadband is not going to be ubiquitous in 5 years let alone this ambition. And even then it won’t be the broadband the rest of the OECD has. It’s mobile dialup people have these days and the Government call it mobile broadband.
3. A few schools are already connected to the Metropolitan Area Networks. Fantastic. BUT half the schools in the country are on satellite (as above), how are they going to even get close to a MAN to get those connections. D4 and private schools can rejoice. Rural schools… tough. Show me the plan on how this will be done.
4. A waste of time looking into this. The Govt are not going to slam their own investments.
5. That’s paying the fucking bills Minister That’s like saying we’ll continue to have the lights turned on because we put 50p in the meter.
6. Brilliant. Brilliant. Well done. When does this start?
7. Again brilliant.
8. The regulator is a mess, it needs to be replaced with a regime that gives a damn about consumers and business and not keeping the large telcos happy. Oh and not take every issue as being a personal attack. Bring in ofcom.
9. Brilliant. Well done. Go team Eamo.
10. You mean a PR FUD team? Have we not enough?

The Irish Web Awards – October 11th 2008, Dublin

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

The Irish Web Awards are a go. Contract signed with the Radisson SAS in Dublin for October 11th. Rick O’Shea will be the MC. You may have heard of him. Same informalities as the Blog Awards: no bland meal, no tux requirements, no having to pay to nominate a website, no paying 200 quid to attend. Also judging criteria will be public. It will not be a popularity contest so the site or people with the most friends will not win for anything other than having the best site out there.

080516 trophies
Photo owned by Dan4th (cc)

There’s a pending announcement of the critera for the Web Awards (you can still contribute here) and the 20 or so categories for the Awards will be announced in two weeks.

I’ll be looking for sponsorship and require one headline sponsor and a sponsor for each category too. Like the Blog Awards, for category sponsorship I’d prefer to see smaller businesses with the intent that they will get as much from the Awards as those nominated. Now here’s a shocker. If you sponsor the overall event or any category then you CANNOT be nominated in any category.

If you’re interested in sponsorship (I don’t have prices worked out yet) then give me a bell on