Archive for February, 2008

Thanks Anton, Jessica, Microsoft and Digital Media Forum

February 22, 2008

… for another excellent TechLudd event in Limerick last night. Attendance may not quite have hit the highs of Dublin but there was still so many interesting people around that I didn’t get the chance to talk with half of them!

A testimony to the publicity the TechLudd team have generated for these brand new get-togethers is the the number of people I met last night who’d never even heard of OpenCoffee Club!! But they have now and we can expect a few more new faces next time. That’s what it’s all about IMHO – there’s a great synergy between all these events which each seem to hit slightly different groups but with the net effect of an ever widening network.

Pat and Conn broadcast live video from the scene of the action with one particularly funny moment where they focused their cameraphones on each other, almost tearing apart the fabric of space-time.

By the way, I’ve got to say Microsoft’s continued sponsorship of these events is really impressing me, generating a lot of goodwill and making the Blue Monster ever more cuddly.

UPDATE: Anton has posted a great photo album from the night.

UPDATE 2: Anton points out that Digital Media Forum were joint sponsors of the event along with Microsoft.

Ireland’s first job advert for a podcaster?

February 21, 2008

Conn Ó Muíneacháin of Edgecast Media has announced that his pioneering Social Media company is now hiring for the position of Trainee Podcaster, while he wonders if it’s the first such position advertised in Ireland?

"The position involves a good deal of radio production work for traditional broadcast channels, with the added element of digital production and publishing of blogs, podcasts and other forms of internet media."

It seems like only yesterday that Conn used to take a break from his job at Dell to drop into the Clarion with Bernie and myself for Limerick ‘geek meets’  (well before we borrowed the OpenCoffee moniker). Conn used to infect us with his enthusiasm for podcasting and digital media, while in return I used to tease him about the joys of working for yourself. Next thing you know he’d packed in the job, started winning Grand Prix awards and making deals to book out his current capacity! So if you’re a recent graduate in radio production or multimedia with competence in the Irish language you’d be very foolish not to apply.

MaxRoam at Maplins – a disappointing start

February 20, 2008

    Originally uploaded by EirePreneur

Pat Phelan informed us yesterday that MaxRoam has gone on sale at Maplins in Limerick so I popped in today to see what the display unit was like.

When I asked an attendant about it he had to open the package and quickly read the instructions to bluff his way through a spiel about the product’s capabilities. I suppose the fact that it’s just after arriving in store might excuse that to some degree but it was nevertheless disappointing that staff weren’t more informed.

Secondly, as you can see from the photo, the SIM package is placed rather modestly on the new products shelf. I guess this is a temporary resting place before making it over to the communications cabinet but regardless I think the presentation could do with some jazzing up. I don’t know much about retailing but as it is stands now this is an item most people are likely to pass by unless they’re specifically visiting to buy one (in which case they’d surely do so via the website instead). It just doesn’t grab the attention. Pity, because it’s one hell of a product.

TechLudd Limerick is gonna be great – register now!

February 19, 2008

If you haven’t already registered for TechLudd Limerick in the George Hotel this Thursday night, you should! Just look at the list of interesting people coming along – this is going to be a great night out for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

I noticed that Joe Drumgoole of PutPlace is coming down from Dublin and interested in talking with people about ‘getting your company started’. Joe was one of the PaddysValley crew and is one of the best startup bloggers I know so don’t miss the chance to pick his brain.

We’ll have another invader up from the People’s Republic of Cork – Pat Phelan from MaxRoam. Not sure what they do but apparently Scobleizer and TechCrunch have heard of them so it might be worth buying him a drink or two 😉

Another Paddy who went to the Valley is Ger Hartnett of Limerick startup CoClarity and he’ll be at TechLudd to talk about collaboration software, VOIP, accountants and poker!! Heh, I’ve been meeting Ger for months at OpenCoffee Limerick and never realized he was a poker fan… maybe I should bring along a pack of cards!

I’ve been hearing a bit about Ubcam lately so I’m delighted to read that Paul Kinsella is coming along to talk about ‘live broadcasting the revenue generating way’. The Irish digerati have taken to QIK like moths to a flame so it’ll great to learn more about a native company in this space.

Donncha Hughes from the Enterprise Acceleration Center at LIT is coming along to talk about ‘you and your business’, their supports for entrepreneurs at the startup stage such as EnterpriseSTART and the LEAP programme.

But it won’t be all geek talk. Jessica Roy who writes Wedding on a Dime and a natural health blog will be there to give some balance (and hopefully free advice on how to tackle Irritable Bowel Syndrome 😉

But that’s not all – Conn O’Muineachain will be there reporting for Intruders.TV so it could be the perfect opportunity to get your startup on the radar. Don’t miss it.

The dangers of videoconferencing

February 18, 2008

€80k for social entrepreneurs

February 16, 2008

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has opened its 2008 Awards Programme for applications and Niall Larkin has the details

"… funding of €5,000 available for Level 1 Awards and €70,000 – €80,000 available for Level 2 Awards".

I actually started filling out my application yesterday for an idea that’s been brewing for a few years now. More about that later, put please pay a visit to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland website and consider putting into action that idea you’ve had in the back of your mind –

"At Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we believe that new and innovative solutions exist to the myriad social and environmental challenges we face today. We believe that these solutions will be most effective when driven by individuals who adopt a highly entrepreneurial approach to their activities, i.e. by social entrepreneurs. Our aim is to ignite social change by identifying, investing in, and supporting these social entrepreneurs and the organisations they launch."

Will QIK evolve into a live Seesmic?

February 15, 2008

I’ve complained previously about a live video Segala’s Paul Walsh streamed from a pub in England. But I’ve got to hand it to him – he really is a natural at video blogging. Robin Blandford captured the essence of what makes Walsh so good at what he does and it’s the same inquisitive extroversion which makes him a damn entertaining broadcaster.

His colleague Adrian McMahon blogged the latest video stream from Paul’s adventures at 3GSM which he filmed as he was walking through the airport in Barcelona. Comical, entertaining, engaging. And such a breath of fresh air for a CEO. What makes this video really great is the live interaction from the viewers and Paul’s reactions.

It got me wondering – how far away is QIK from allowing those interactions to be other broadcast video streams? And from auto-editing the stream to show the audience the multiplexed conversation? Similar to what Seesmic does but in a live setting. At that stage I don’t see how reality-tv shows are going to compete with the ‘shows’ put out by those people in your social network who have a natural talent for video blogging.

New colour code convention for map of Irish wifi hotspots

February 14, 2008

Will King of GeoData Solutions has kindly reformatted the map of Irish wifi hotspots to bring a new consistency to the colour coding, which distinguishes between BT/eircom zones, FONs and user submitted hotspots. The follow convention now applies –

  • Green = free & open hotspot
  • Yellow = free but login required
  • Red = paid
  • Red circle = FON
  • Red pushpin = BT Openzone or Eircom zone

It would very much appreciated if collaborators could observe that convention from now on. Remember, anyone can submit a hotspot.

UPDATE: The comments below discuss a problem with the 150 markers per page limit of Google Maps. However Will has come up with a way of getting around this – "I’ve merged all the data into one network link kml (ie it will always be updated when somebody adds a marker to this map) file which I’ve hosted at my own site If you want to view all in Google Earth just download that kml file and view on your PC. If you want to view in Google Maps then copy that link into the search box on the map page. Zoom into your area and all markers should load."

New coworking location for Dublin

February 14, 2008

Jason Roe has been beavering away in the background for the last month securing additional coworking locations for Dublin and is now ready to announce a second space in Boombridge Business Centre, Dublin 7.

“I popped up today and was blow away by the attention to detail that has been put into this place. The facility is huge and has been custom fitted with everything needed for your typical office.”

Seems to me like a great deal for €350 per month. Take a look at the specs and spread the word!

Is Search Engine Optimization really bullshit?

February 13, 2008

According to Eoghan McCabe it is. And he used to study, practice and charge for Search Engine Optimization so he should know what he’s talking about.

I don’t know enough about the topic to weigh in but a recent trend in visits to this blog would seem to back up his opinion. It’s only a few weeks since I posted here about the collaborative map of Irish wifi hotspots and already that post it coming out tops for Google searches on ‘Irish wifi‘. Now this blog’s design is as dull as dyke-water and I’ve never even attempted any SEO ‘tricks’ but I’m guessing it was due to the enthusiastic reaction and linking from other bloggers, Twitter and Jaiku users that the post so quickly percolated up to the top.

Eoghan continues, "I genuinely believe that the only reason you need to hire someone specifically for SEO is if your site wasn’t built using best practices in the first place. Relevant page titles, human-friendly urls, accessible alt attributes, title attributes, semantic markup and on-topic content is all part of best web development practices".

I guess my TypePad template takes care of most of that and it’s up to me to ensure the content is on-topic / of interest.