Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Blog Awards 2008 Shortlists – They’re out sometime after midday

Monday, February 11th, 2008

They’ll be on the Awards website.

Irish Blogger? Want to hear from PR companies?

Monday, February 11th, 2008

As mentioned previously, I met with a PR company last week and presented to them about blogs and blogging. This particular company are very interested in contacting bloggers and working with them by either sending press releases or getting their feedback on products and services. I told them press releases as such don’t really work but direct contacts would and could benefit both sides. Trouble is that bloggers are grumpy. But that’s only me and a few others, right? Not all of us terrorise PR companies. (Yes they gave me a little shit for that)

Press Releases Must be Euthanized
Photo owned by b_d_solis

So I got thinking that there is no badge (yet) on blogs to spot the ones willing to opt-in to solicitations from PR companies and no real way of doing Google searches for such bloggers. So, with the help of Google Forms (a new Google Spreadsheets feature) I now have a form where Irish bloggers can opt in to receive press releases and products and services to review. Please note to both the PR companies and the bloggers, this is not some kind of pay per post or pay per review agreement.

So if you want to interact with PR firms, fill out the form. It looks like a few PR companies want to come along to the Blog Awards too to meet bloggers which to me is a good thing.

Also don’t forget you can also sign-up if you are interested in doing advertising on your blog.

Want to advertise on your Irish blog?

Friday, February 8th, 2008

train station, florence
Photo owned by michale

I’m getting more and more requests from individual companies and advertising networks about advertising on blogs or sponsoring blogs. Instead of forwarding on the emails to bloggers or pointing the advertisers to a few blogs that might interest them, I thought I’d compile a database of bloggers who are interested in running adverts on their blogs or doing sponsorship on their blogs. I’m not a fan myself of ads on personal blogs but that’s just me.

If you want to be listed as a blogger interested in talking to advertisers then go fill in this form. I’ll also put a page together listing blogs that are interested in advertising. Every part of the form is mandatory and if you want to be listed you have to be willing to share your traffic statistics of your blog.

The Waiting Game wins Best Blog at the Digital Media Awards

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Congrats to Feebee from The Waiting Game for winning Best Blog at the Digital Media Awards.

In Dublin (again)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Up to my neck in meetings. The fluffy links and the torturing of poor souls will return on Friday.

Crowdsourcing Irish Grannies – Send in your recipes

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Via Kieran and via Eoin is a new website that will be used to create a book and some money will go to charity. Mercier press have done Our Grannies Recipes.

The blurb:

A site that gathers together the recipes that have been favourites of Irish families for generations. Using the recipes posted on the site, Mercier Press will publish a book called Our Grannies’ Recipes in October 2008 as a hardback priced at €14.99. For every copy sold Mercier will donate a royalty to Age Action Ireland

Nice idea.

The people assigned to decide Ireland’s Broadband future – International Advisory Forum on Broadband

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

All expenses paid, of course.

So Lieing Ryan has called in the mercenaries. He’s formed the International Advisory Forum on Broadband to talk about the next generation of broadband. Always good to look beyond the horizon, especially if there’s a huge mess around your feet that you don’t want to deal with.

The Forum will be facilitated by Mr. Eddie Molloy, a consultant with Advanced Organisations. The Forum members are:
Mr. H. Brian Thompson, Executive Chairman, Global Telecom & Technology.
Mr. Ken Carter, Senior Consultant, wik-Consult GmbH, Germany.
Mr. Martin Cronin, CEO, Forfás .
Ms. Isolde Goggin, Independent Consultant, Former Chair of ComReg.
Dr. Michael Nelson, Senior Professor, Georgetown University, USA. (and Obama fan)
Dr. Frank Sanda, CEO, Japan Communications Inc..
Mr. Tony Shortall, Economic Advisor, European Commission

ComReg have advisory panels like this too. In fact I think they have one on NGN, no? With the International aspect to it, you can take it for granted that the expenses of these folks will be quite large. I must dig out some FOI’d documents from ComReg but I know one person expensed over 20k for travel and stays when he flew in to attend meetings. Can we expect 100k to be spent to decide on our broadband future? 100k that might have enabled two exchanges for people in the present? Eamon says that availability is sorted.

Here’s the PR spiel from the Minister:

I have established an International Advisory Forum to advise on next challenge ahead – how we can get higher speed broadband at lower costs

Here’s the lie about availability:

The availability of broadband remains an issue for many consumers. The National Broadband Scheme will, in the coming months, begin to address the final piece of the availability issue. The competitive tender process for this Scheme is underway, which will serve the remaining parts of Ireland currently without access to broadband.

More words, more reports, more taxpayer money, more waiting for a lot of people.

When press releases go bad

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Check out this really bad press release I just got which contained all the changes from the original draft. Ouch.

Uhm what?

The eircom Innovation Fund – Redux

Monday, February 4th, 2008

I had a chat last week with Dervilla Mullan from eircom about the eircom Innovation Fund, which I covered last November too. The closing date for this is February 15th. Hopefully there will be a lot of interest in it.

The gist of it is that eircom are giving away €100k to 4 companies, that’s 25k each plus all the help eircom can provide including their seriously powerful marketing machine and a chance to show off your product/webservice at the Golden Spiders as well as eircom using their extensive contacts to help out.

I asked her why they decided to do this, given it seemed to be a departure by eircom and something quite unusual for any Irish company to do. Dervilla explained that it certainly was a new way of doing service creation where traditionally a lot of the work was done internally and/or with big partners but the Web 2.0 area is a whole different environment and eircom are interested in designing the front-end experience while partners do the rest. She pointed out that a lot of people have a lot of great ideas and a lot of time they can’t carry them out because they lack support. eircom would like to partner with the right ones and given the right support both eircom and the company can share in the success.

It also seems that while eircom are the first to do this, other companies might also be starting to use this model.

I brought up the fact that eircom are not looking for equity or some or all of the IP. Dervilla said they consulted some web companies about their fund and it was suggested that they not ask for equity and they’re happy to do that.

In terms of what they are looking for, they’re intererested in all applications both standalone and on website. If the idea is good they can be flexible but obviously something that they can use on their portal or to offer their broadband users would be more interesting to them. They also want to target more niches and are starting to do that with their music store and other offerings and they probably forsee that for the teenager/youth market the existing eircom portal might not be the best place to get their attention.

There will be a judging panel for all submissions which will be comprised of eircom and Enterprise Ireland staff and this will create a shortlist. Those on the shortlist will then present their ideas to the panel. They will be selecting 4 companies in March, though they can be flexible with the numbers too (please god let there be at least 4 very good ideas) and they’ll work with companies to have 6 weeks cycles/goals where they can see how they are getting along and if they need any assistance. They would like to see a product commercially launched in 6 months and in time for the Golden Spiders where the 4 companies will show off their products and they will then work with the companies over the next 6 months helping them to measure performance and making any changes/iterations that are needed.

The innovation fund is not a once off either. They hope to do this every year from now on. It’s up to the web companies now to get applying.

Why not partner with some of the Web folks here if you have an idea but not got the skills to build something yourself? Worth a gamble, right?

Does the Irish Examiner check “facts” for their front page articles at all?

Monday, February 4th, 2008

I already blogged about it in the Fluffy links ages back but I’m still looking into the terribly alarmist piece the Examiner did on the cost of Facebook to Irish businesses.

The headline on the front page of the Irish Examiner on Thursday 24th of January 2008 was “Facebook: Staff use costing firms €700m a year” yet the first few lines contradicted this by saying:

Workers are logging onto sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace for at least 30 minutes a day — which adds up to a minimum of 10 hours a month or three weeks a year, according to figures released by IT security group Global Secure Systems (GSS).

Except that would be UK workers, not Irish workers. Ireland as the Examiner being a Cork paper should know, is not in the United Kingdom. The figures are here. They are based on a survey of 776 UK workers. Not Irish.

I checked with the company. Half of those surveyed were surveyed at Liverpool St. station in London and half via a website. No Irish people surveyed. (I had actually interviewed the guy from GSS about their survey but it never got printed in the end but I might stick up my notes on the blog instead.)

This is from the press release about the UK:

The poll was carried out amongst 776 office workers, who admitted to spending at least 30 minutes a day visiting social networking sites whilst at work, that’s a minimum of 10 hours a month which equates to 3 weeks of every year

It gets better, this is from the Examiner piece:

Facebook is Ireland’s most popular social networking site with close to 100,000 members. It targets people in the 25-35 age category.

Uhm, try Bebo and the million Irish on it. Try Facebook with the 224,820 people on it as of this morning. Even a simple Google search would get you those REAL facts. Actually no, stop, ever heard of the Irish Examiner? Oh that’s you guys, yeah, you reported Facebook had 131k users last October. You do read your own paper, right?

Hang on though, here are the Examiner facts on Bebo:

Bebo is aimed at the 13-24 age group and it has in the region of 60,000 members in Ireland.

Eh no, see where I pointed to above there. Yeah, you know, a million people. You rang Bebo and asked, right. Front page story, you’d be verifying all the facts right? Even a quick Google, no? If you did ENN might help you.

We get more wisdom:

MySpace is aimed at the over 35s.

You emailed Jay Stevens in the mySpace London office and asked him that? No? Want his number? Let me know.

Let’s get to this money issue though:

If we use the totally WRONG 100k figure from the Examiner:
700Million wasted means that the 100k on Facebook cost their companies 7k a year.
They (wrongly) say 30minutes a day. At 5 days a week. 49 weeks a year. (52- 3 weeks hols) gives us 367.5 hours, Edit: I really can’t add. is 122.5 hours minus 9 bank hols (4.5 hours) gives us 118 hours on Facebook per working year.

So that means that the Examiner is saying that we are costing an employer on average €19.28 €59.32 an hour? So 39 hours a week, 52 weeks a year means us Irish that use Facebook are being paid €120k a year. Nice. Some of ye got pay increases. Congrats.

I don’t think I’ve seen such shoddy fact-checking in a long long time. I’d fire my fact-checkers. I’d hire blind and dumb chimps instead. Anything would improve what you have. Even a blogger.

Update: Changed the figures because I can’t add or multiply!