Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

PR and Media training for Irish Tech companies / startups

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The three biggest threats to a company that want to get media coverage are these:

Copy and paste

The Control (or command) key, the C key and the V key. In other words copying and pasting.

Forget the idea about some journalist wearing down shoe leather, wearing a hat with a press card on it and beating down doors trying to find your companyjust because it’s amazing. Journalists these days have much more to do than ever before and have press releases clogging up their inboxes twenty four hours a day. Look at the amount of downsizing in newsrooms and the increasing reliance on syndication.

If you are a startup and you are run by geniuses, you still need to market yourself and you still need to get the attention of the press to aid in the marketing of your company. Why should a journalist give you coverage if you sit in your office and expect them to find you via some magic journalistic yellow pages?

With that in mind and via repeated suggestions from a few parties :), I’m going to run a half-day paid workshop on dealing with the media/doing PR from a Tech company perspective. If there’s interest of course. Maximum of 11 per session. Minimum of 9.

We’ll go through how Irish media works (from my perspective), how to approach journalists and build a working relationship with them, what makes good press copy, how to run a combined media campaign and some basic interview skills training for print and radio.

Interested? Then leave a comment or send me an email with a preference for Cork or Dublin.

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 – Splogging by any other name

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Edit: Guy Kawasaki has stated I am the only person EVER to ask to be removed from AllTop.

So what’s AllTop? It’s one of those messy links directory except for blog posts from bloggers. It’ll display your latest posts under your blog name on a page with a few dozen more blogs. has an Ireland section, and for some reason, and got added to their listings. You are encouraged to add your blog to Alltop as it will bring you traffic and then you are encouraged to link to Free traffic for you right?

Except what you’ll find is that Alltop and the way it’s structured will mean that it will have more inbound links and so eventually a higher Google ranking than your blog which results in Alltop being higher on Google for your posts than your own blog. Look at your website stats and you’ll see most of your visits will come via Google on a given day. Not as much now. They’ll start going to Alltop which promises you traffic. So you won’t get Google traffic but they’ll get to you eventually, right? Except now when a person goes to that Alltop page, they’ll be shown a page with 100s of links and dozens of blogs to choose from. There’s going to be a dropoff rate of traffic in the long term. Probably more noticeable for the smaller blogs that have a much poorer Google ranking than AllTop.

Alltop could have switched this off so you’d get the rankings but why do that? There are ads on eachsome of their sections. They want the Google traffic. To me Alltop is on a par with splogs, spam blogs that take your content and redistribute it with ads plastered all over it.

I’m really surprised at the lack of cop-on by those that think adding their site to this site will help them. It’s Web 0.5 thinking.

Heute gabs Spam
Photo owned by sonnenbrand (cc)

Now many might think I’m being hypocritical as I own two aggregators –, the Irish Politics aggregator and, the Irish Food and Drink aggregator. Except both aggregators don’t attract Google to the summaries that are on these sites, they send you direct to the actual blogs and give them link love. used to do this at the start too so that your blog post would be a few places below summary of your post. That was annoying. They fixed it.

I don’t mind being linked to or even being aggregated but I do mind my work being used to step on me to place better in Google for my own content. Even if it’s just the title of my blog post.

Without any verification my blogs were added to Alltop and when I had to send an email (where’s the online form to ask to be removed? This is 2008) there was again no verification. G’wan, send an email and ask for a blog to be removed. See what happens.

Wanna have fun?
Meanwhile, if you want to have fun with AllTop, why not use this script from Donncha which will redirect the AllTop robots?

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.

Govt Report: Halt building new Metropolitan Area Networks, many should not have happened

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Quick Summary of the Summary:
1. 5 Metropolitan Area Networks built and still unused.
2. Halt new MANs being built.
3. The planning for MANs was dodgy.
4. Some of the MANs should be shut down but we can’t or we’ll be sued

All in here 93 page PDF doc.

2. This review recommends that the rollout of MANs in those towns for which Phase 2 MANs are planned but which have not yet started work (or have not yet entered legally binding contracts), should be halted pending a formal case by case evaluation.


The review also found that the planning and selection process behind the MANs were less than fully comprehensive. While there was a substantial amount of analysis
behind the concept (analysis that was borne out by the effectiveness of the MANs in certain circumstances), the selection process used in deciding which town would receive a Phase 1 MAN was not sufficiently thorough.

The lack of appropriate baseline data, and the nature of the selection procedure for the Phase 1, and particularly for the Phase 1A, MANs, meant that a number of inappropriate locations were selected.

4. Any future programme should have an open and transparent mechanism by which it can be closed with a minimum of legal and financial implications for the State, even if that involves a mid life termination clause in contracts.

Well Eamon Ryan when he was in opposition called the MANs into question, this report commissioned before he started his Ministerial job seems to back up what he was saying. Handy bit of money saved here. (Though they were already on hold).

Many of the phase 1 and 1a MANs were built for nothing but political gain with the promise it would bring broadband to voters.

My Top Ten Sites as per the Google Spy Machine

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Despite disabling it years ago, Google Web History was kind enough to log all my searches since October 2005. I’d advise seeing what they opted you in to without permission or due to “bugs”.

Anyways, it seems these are the sites I use most after doing searches:
Top sites

I use Facebook 10 times more than I use Bebo so I dunno where that came from.

This site: is the one I apparently clicked 5th most in 2.5 years. Uhm, I’ve never been to this site until I saw it in my history.

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

That PutPlace feeling

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008


This is the first of the companies to be covered on The Tuesday Push. PutPlace, as their blurb states does this: “secure, organize and share your digital life”. Think about all the media that you have all over the place: On cameras, iPods, memory cards, portable drives, that old battered laptop you’ve kept as there are some docs on it that you might use someday…

So imagine all of that data was nuked/wiped/drowned. Well PutPlace allows you firstly to see what you have, then sort it, then back it up. Then if you want to push that stuff to another place, you can do that.

That PutPlace feeling is knowing all those digital bits and bobs are sorted. I do like the case studies part of the site. PutPlace is currently in Beta so it’s free to use. They recently opened up to public beta so are looking for testers. So you’ll get 2 gigs of unlimited space (during beta) to back up all your digital pieces and they’ll be backed up in a sensible way, not you just mass uploading stuff from folders.

Please consider trying out and reviewing PutPlace or talk it up on your blog.

The Tuesday Push – Getting word out in a co-ordinated way

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Cheerleaders?  For real?
Photo owned by Micah Sittig (cc)

Shopped this around to a few folks in the Web/Tech scene in Ireland and they liked the idea, so we’re going ahead with it. The Tuesday Push is a way for the small but growing tech community in Ireland to make some noise about ourselves by picking a good example of an Irish Tech Company and highlighting their product(s) every second Tuesday. This co-ordinated way of highlighting our abilities will hopefully get tech companies heard a bit more and also foster more community spirit as we help each other out by getting everyone greater attention. We’ll need as much help from those in the tech scene in Ireland to work with us on this so please tune into participating blogs. Hopefully there’ll be a dedicated space for this project soon as well as a Twitter alert.

The premise is that everyone talks up a company (if they think it deserves to be) on a particular date. Every second Tuesday at it happens. Everyone tech and non tech alike are encouraged to talk about the company so that hopefully a tipping point is reached and a potential investor or journalist or partner hears/reads about the company.

If you want your company/product mentioned, please fill in this linked form. If you have a product announcement too, better again. You might consider timing it for a Tuesday Push. If you do partake please realise that you are encouraged to highlight the company of the week too, not just yourself. The more talking each other up, the better.

Today’s company is PutPlace. A blog post on them shall follow.

Fun in the morning at Darklight

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Please do come along to Darklight in the morning. I’m going and I’m going to get my book signed by the guy who wrote it. Niall of the Larkins will be on the panel (and he’s the one who gave me the book! .6 degrees of these days) and Legs-a-Jimbo from the Times. I promise I’ll make my contributions tense, edgy and darkly funny. Then y’all can also attend the Web 3.0 talk right after.

[Disclaimer: I received the platinum status appearance fee (€8,327.24) to be on this panel. This post is very much paid for]

Lines of Communication
Photo owned by Martin Kingsley (cc)

[or maybe not]