Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Social Networking for Business – More details on Conference (Jan 2008)

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Update: Jan 14th. This is still going to happen but later in the year. Leave comments if you are still interested.

The very rough timetable for the Social Networking for Business Conference is below. It’ll be on a weekday, around mid-January in Dublin. I’ve not figured out all the costs yet so not sure of the charge but it looks to be around 200 euros for the day, that’s if I get good sponsors too. I have speakers in mind for most of the slots and most have agreed to do it. However if you are interested or want to recommend people or recommend putting/removing a slot, let me know. I want to make this as useful for people as possible. If you’re interested in coming along, do also let me know.

1000 -1030 Group discussion: What is social networking/how should businesses use them?
1030 -1100 Advertising + Marketing in Social Networks overview
Coffee: 1100-1130

Case studies (From companies that made/make money via working on Social Networks):
1130 -1200 Bebo
1200 -1230 Facebook
1230 -1300 mySpace

1300 – 1400 Lunch

1400 – 1430 Feed Marketing and Widgets
1430 – 1500 Plugging into social networks(making money from building apps, from having apps built)

1500 -1515 Coffee

1515 – 1545 Doing PR on social networks
1545 -1600 Putting it all together: Running a social networking campaign
1600 -1630 Final Panel Discussion with input via questions raised during the day

WTF: Mickey Martin looks like chump as Irish Taxpayer money given to UK companies?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

A seriously What The Fuck moment. So after all the hype from Enterprise Ireland and the Govt and so so many more folks, that investment fund of 175 Million that EI had to dole out to the large VC companies is now being spent on investing in UK companies? Delta got 15 Million of essentially OUR money and stuck it into their own fund and now part of that is being invested in a UK company from what I read from the link above.

I’m sorry but that’s utter bollox. While I don’t like the EI fund anyway for a few conflicting reasons:

1. I’m truely wondering is the handout mentality a good thing for Irish Companies.
2. I really think giving massive sums to VC funds means the money is just another pension fund for the Govt and given the ultra conservative criteria from EI it encourages the VC funds to only invest in sure things. Sure things are not YouTube or Facebook. In my view the 100M should instead be split into tiny pieces and invested for equity in small startups.

I don’t think any Irish money should be invested in anything but Irish companies.

Some quotes:

Making the announcement the Minister said:

“I am delighted to announce the creation of the new €100m Delta Partners fund. This fund will significantly increase the availability of early stage capital for Irish companies. I would like to congratulate Delta Partners on their success in attracting such significant investment in bringing this fund to first closing.”

Ian Paisley, who Micky Martin does a great impression of by the way, will not be happy with the Govt now saying UK companies are actually Irish.

Enterprise Ireland invested €15 million in Delta’s fund as part of the state agency’s new €175 million seed and venture capital scheme.

It has agreed funding deals with a number of venture capital companies, which are expected to announce details of new funds in the coming weeks. The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) is also understood to have invested €15 million in the Delta fund.

The bloody pensions fund us investing it them too, arghhh. In the States they do some clever social justice stuff using pension funds. They will only invest in companies that respect privacy properly, will only invest in companies that promote full equality etc. etc. With the clout of the EI money and the pension fund money, surely it should be invested in Ireland or is this a sign that EI and the Govt believe that Irish companies are just not worth investing in?

Oct 2007 EU Report on broadband – Ireland still not near the EU average

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Report here.

But that won’t stop Evil Eamon Ryan telling more lies or ComReg or eircom or all the rest. Wait for the excuses. “Data is too old” “Data does not take into account 40,000 new mobile connections” “But but our growth rate”. “The Rural broadband tender will solve it all”

Data is from July 2007. Same time period as all the rest.
Mobile broadband so far has been a sham, it’s wireless dialup, not broadband.
Ah yes, growth rate. Here’s the headline girls: ” Proportionally growth was highest in Denmark (7.7 lines per 100 inhabitants), Luxembourg (7.1 per 100) and Ireland (6.7 per 100).”
We’re being outgrown on these rates by two countries already ahead of us and already with fantastic penetration rates.
The Rural Broadband Scheme/National Broadband tender is failure before it starts.

Also, look at the EU penetration rate:

Average penetration (number of subscribers per population) has grown from 14.9% to 18.2%

The EU penetration graph is like an accordion stood on its side. With the top part being stretched up, with less stretching in the middle and feck all at the bottom. The top performers (not us) are actually growing faster than us and away from us. It’s a shame the EU report does not show the growth rate for every country.

Some graphs:
EU broadband report

EU broadband report II

Conference: Social Networking for Business

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Embryo stage right now. January 2008 in Dublin. All-day conference. Structure almost in place. Stay tuned. Yes, I’m looking for sponsors.

it@cork Conference has Hans Rosling and Wikinomics co-author

Friday, October 12th, 2007

The it@cork Technology in Business Conference 2007 has an impressive lineup, as ever. There’s been some great speakers previously like Robert Scoble and Hugh Macleod and this year again, they’ve lined up some impressive people. Two that certainly I want to see are Hans Rosling and Anthony Williams. Rosling is the guy behind Gapminder and his talks at TED are legendary. Here’s his one from this year on poverty, watch it all or if you are busy skip to the end to see his party piece:

Williams is the co-author of the book “Wikinomics“, the book about mass collaboration.

Here’s the blog/website badge for the conference, details on how to add it to your blog are here.
it@cork conference 2007

For Twenty Quid or maybe fifty quid

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

(Nothing to do with the For Nine Pounds blog)
(Nothing to do with Ireland’s most famous blogger and author)

I love the idea of 50 pieces for 50 euros that happens every year with Habitat in Dublin and I love the idea of poundshops or Euro2 stores, as they’re now called, where everything under one roof is a simple set price. So I was wondering about the idea of a website that aggregated offers from Irish companies. Services for a flat fee of 20 euros.

For twenty quid we’ll give you a domain and hosting for a year.
For twenty quid I’ll give you a twenty minute skype consultancy on what you need to change on your website frontpage to rank higher for certain keywords.
For twenty quid I’ll upgrade WordPress for you.
For twenty quid I’ll design a simple logo for you.
For twenty quid I’ll write a press release for you.

This wouldn’t be like the fantastic Bargain Alerts forum on that highlights special offers, but which time out after a while. The forum too concentrates mostly on products of all types. The For Twenty Quid site would offer services as these are social things, in a way since they connect people together. Also too the offer would ideally be there for 6 months or at minimum 3 months.

I’d see it as a way for people with a limited budget to get something quality for a “must be stolen if it’s that low” price and as a foot in the door for those people that want to sell on additional and more in-depth services. Unlike some kind of Buy and Sell listings, there would be quality control so not any auld crap can be offered or useless stuff that isn’t of any use unless you pay for another product or service.

Every offer too would have a feedback option so you can read the reviews of the services that have been offered. Reviews are good.

I’m wondering what people think about such an idea and would they offer their own services on the site and what would they offer for twenty euros?

Is 20 Euros too cheap? Would dealing with 20 euro payments mean too many resources used to cash them? Should it be set at 50 euros to get rid of messers?

The other option is to just do this over a set few weeks every year where all money goes to charity and people are in effect donating their services in exchange for money going to a charity. It would be nice to see a blogger born charity initiative doing the rounds.

Search Engine Marketing discussion gets catty (and entertaining)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

I’m subscribed via RSS to the Enterprise Ireland eBusiness Mailing list and there was a recent kerfuffle about ad campaigns and what to do and who to use. Seems some people took exception when people said let the experts run a campaign and don’t DIY.

Many people who know their stuff recommended Dave Davis and RedFly Marketing if you want to spend some lolly and run ads for whatever your campaign is. Now I’m on record as thinking ads, especially the Google ones are goddamned ugly and people who run them on personal blogs disrespect their readers but at the same time I do recognise there is a need for a company to run ad campaigns to get business. Nowadays it will be rather tough to rank highly for every area your business operates in, unless you are highly niche. Google will allow you to run DIY ads but just like you can build a staircase yourself it doesn’t mean you should. It seems the almost Dave Davis Fanboyism (I hope he reads this and blushes muhaha) irked some people who think what they do themselves can be just as good. Wake the fuck up. Unless you work in the Search Engine Marketing business on a daily basis, you will save money by outsourcing the work to crowds like Redfly for mid and large campaigns. Same goes for SEO. I know a little but I’d spend to earn if I had a commercial site and would bring in the Hearnster. (Aside: I was hearing ads on the radio all week for a bloke called Richard Hearns who lives some of the year in Dublin and some in thailand and who’s an artist and I was thinking, a secret life of an artist, the sly dog. But no. Diff Hearnster.)

Check out some of the comments here.

loving this:

It is an insult to someone’s intelligence if people think that you need to be an expert to get the best from an AdSense campaign.

and this:

This discussion smacks of elitism and a fair amount of back slapping between different parties who seem to share vested interests.

Adsense and Adwords are not incredibly difficult once you take time to read the instructions.

Handbags at dawn, while brain checked into the cloakroom.

Now I have no affiliation with Dave though we have chatted now and then about search engine marketing but I have heard high praise from various quarters about his work. Google being Google and their lack of transparency and shit customer care and feedback means that it really does take a lot of dedication to know all the tricks and methods to maximise both search engine ranking and search engine marketing. I’d leave it to a pro.

This video has nothing to do with nothing.

Google buys Jaiku, please let them make use of it

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Congrats to Jyri and the gang in Jaiku, the better microblogging service out there. Announced on his Jaiku, Jyri told the world that Google now owns Jaiku. Let’s hope they won’t fuck it up as much as they fucked up Dodgeball and all the rest. I don’t want a valuable service like that ruined but it will be interesting to see what they will do now when they have Google resources behind them. Another part of the Google social networking service? More details on their blog.

In the age of social objects and one to one conversations, broadcast is back

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Mobile, Email, IM, Bebo, LinkedIn, Facebook, even Twitter. Technology allowed us to connect with more people outside our traditional social groupings and allowed us to stay connected with all these new people. The bonds might not be as strong as those bonds with close friends and associates but each connection still taxes our time. Now we connect with people via email and IM and we’re adding more and more to those lists. MSN for years had an upper-limit of 150 people you could add. If you wanted to add anymore than that you had to cull your list. They got rid of that a few years ago and I think I have about 250 on my MSN list now with another 250 on Yahoo! IM and AIM. If I sign into Meebo now (which manages all my Instant Messaging accounts) I get a few messages from people straight away, sometimes I could have 20+ conversation windows open.

The trouble with many of these services, especially email and IM are they have to be answered, right? It’s rude not to respond to a text or an email or an IM and then there’s the guilt. Blackberrys have made this worse. They are evil. They create more email and just continue on the ping pong game instead of solving it. Programmes like Getting Things Done create new artificial rules on how to deal with the email onslaught but all they are really are new ways of filing the emails. You still need to deal with them and when you answer one email, you’ll get another. That’s why lots of people declare email bankruptcy. Same goes for blogs. As the numbers of visitors to blogs grow and the numbers of comments grow, the more you see people turn comments completely off as they just cannot manage and moderate all the comments. This happens especially once the trolls move in or what you discuss is in some way controversial.

There’s a number called the Dunbar Number which is derived from a theory that we as humans can form about 150 proper friendships or relationships with people and our brains can’t handle more than that. From the Wiki entry:

Dunbar’s number, which is 150, represents a theoretical maximum number of individuals with whom a set of people can maintain a social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person. Group sizes larger than this generally require more restricted rules, laws, and enforced policies and regulations to maintain a stable cohesion

Accidental or otherwise, features in the same technologies that are overloading us might help us out with this overload too. Status messages in GMail chat and MSN IM mean we can put quotes, song titles or statuses in that space. MSN is the one that really promoted this and you could actually get a summary of what people were up to without having to message them. It really was just a social hack but it worked well.

Broadcast is back. In the age of “conversation” and “markets are conversations” and “social objects”, where blogging is about a personal communication with people, it seems that because technology increased our native Dunbar number, we are failing to keep the relationships going and so services like Jaiku and Twitter are working on the status broadcast idea: In 140 characters or less, tell your collective contacts what you are doing or up to. It’s a broadcast and there is zero expectation for a reply.

Twitter status

Facebook too has a status, which Bebo also adopted. The status is probably one of the most useful things about Facebook and allows you a very very quick summary of what your friends are up to or are thinking. Facebook too gives the voyeur like “News Feed” which allows you to see what those connected to you are doing on Facebook. New photos, statuses, comments they leave n other profiles, new blog posts etc. etc.

This is the News Feed from my profile, just for statuses:
Facebook feed

I think these type of newsfeeds will become standard on most social networking sites and we might see them also become features on other communication services. There doesn’t seem to be another way of managing connections so well, without directly messaging people and starting the overload once again. I’ve gotten messages over my status and I’ve read the status of some people and digested the information. I know about what they are up to or their thoughts on the match last night without having to start an email or an IM. I do it at my pace and they announce at their pace. Of course another easier method to handle all of this is to just cull all your contacts. As a communications addict, I’m not sure can I do that.

Monster Ireland spam Irish people, follow it up with legal threats

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

It seems the mess after employee John Burns, Monster’s Business Development Manager in Ireland, spammed IT@Cork members is getting better. Now Monster has apparently threatened legal action against Michele Neylon for blogging about it. Also, someone from a Monster IP address is going around the place defending spamming and personally attacking anyone that talks about Monster. Heya Monster. Guess what? Also those bloggers who are talking about this all have good Google rankings. If more people link to Michele or Tom’s posts with “Monster Ireland”, oh, I dunno, that would be even worse PR for Monster, would it not? Spamming Tom or Michele is bad, but both of them? Oh dear. That’ll be bothersome.

Also, I submitted Michele’s post to Digg, if you want to bring it to the attention of that hoarde of nerds. 🙂 Climbing up the DIGG ranks too.

Update: Now with audio and more twists!

Welcome to the Internet and people that don’t take shit.

Update: They’ll be writing songs about it next. Oh yeah, they have.

Update: And now there’s a music version of the Voicemail.