Naughty or nice? – Budget 2016

October 14, 2015 · Posted in Budget 2016 · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

Joan Mulvihill’s response to Budget 2016.

40 Pre-Budget Submissions, one meeting.  The ROI of time spent lobbying government is questionable when you are left asking yourself if they didn’t understand the problem much less the proposed solution.

The budget comes around like Christmas every year and this was like a not-so-secret Santa Christmas.  Everyone knew what they were getting and what they were getting was socks.  It was a great budget for those who needed socks.  It was a pretty okay budget for those who didn’t need socks but believe that you can never have too many pairs.  But for the rest it was disappointing.  The innovating entrepreneurs got socks but that were so ill-fitting we wonder if they’d bother to check for size.  Did they really just give us the FDI pattern socks in the traditional entrepreneur’s size with a stretchy fabric in the hope we wouldn’t notice?

I deliberately use the term ‘innovating entrepreneurs’ to reflect the parlance of the Department of Finance.  In their own recognition of the difference between traditional business entrepreneurs and those developing disruptive, innovative businesses and business models we’d hoped they’d understood our different needs.

Our socks are just too small!  A reduction in CGT from 33% to 20% falls short on two counts.  Firstly, it only applies to a maximum of €1million over a lifetime and secondly it’s still nowhere near the 10% in the UK.

Our socks have holes in them!   The government’s failure to address the shortcomings of the longwinded and overly complex EIIS scheme makes us less attractive as a place to start a business.  The government have not addressed the very specific request for support in access to early stage investment.  Budget 2016 allows you to raise €5million in a year instead of €2.5million.  Big deal!  The problem is the Small Deal!  For early stage funding they could have provided better income relief for people willing to invest small amounts and furthermore they should have simplified the process.    The uptake of the scheme in its current form is pitifully low.  This budget will not change that.  This hole in our socks is going to lead to leakage of more and more start-ups to set up in the UK where they can access the finance they need.

Our socks keep falling down!  Innovating entrepreneurs need people to work for them.  They need employees who are willing to forgo better paid jobs in FDI companies, who are willing to risk their own financial security to work in a start-up and with that risk should come some reward.  Where are their share option schemes that recognise employee’s roles in supporting an innovative entrepreneurial economy?  Certainly nowhere in Budget 2016.   This government talks the talk on a global war for talent but when it comes to walking the walk they should try these socks for size and tell me that they’d do it!

I’ve run out of sock analogies!  At a stretch I’d say that if the Emperor’s New Clothes included a pair of socks they would be presented to him in a Knowledge Box.  That is to say, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.  The Knowledge Box will offer the opportunity to further reduce your corporation tax from a generous 12.5% to 6.25% for profits directly derived from ‘qualifying R&D’ carried out in this jurisdiction.  It’s yet unclear as to what is going to qualify as ‘qualifying R&D’.  And until they sort out the R&D tax credits timing issues it will all be too little too late for the start-up.

This is painful for me to write.  I had such high hopes.  We wrote our list and posted it to the North Pole, Kildare Street back in July.  Ministers have come out for every Web Summit sleigh ride, Start-Up Gathering grotto and Awards night turkey dinner.  But behind their jolly smiles and ho ho hos they were just the fake Santa’s you see on every street and at every party.  Let’s hope we have enough spirit left to try again next year. “I do believe, I do believe”….

Colm Lyon announced as overall 2015 Net Visionary Award by the Irish Internet Association

October 13, 2015 · Posted in events, IIA Dot Ie Net Visionary Awards 2014, IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards 2015, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

Dublin 9th October 2015; Colm Lyon, Realex Payments’ founder was honoured with the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) 2015 Overall Net Visionary Winner at the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.

In addition 17 other winners in other categories were announced following a stringent process involving judges and a public vote. The awards now in their 17th year took place in the RDS’s main Concert Hall with over 300 attendees comprised of a wide variety or sectors from technology to Agriculture.

The awards are possible with the support of the IEDR, who have been the headline sponsors for the past five years and will  host the ICANN 2015 Global Conference being held in Dublin on the week of October 19th.

L-R David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited, Colm Lyon,

“The IIA membership represents over 40,000 people working in technology nationwide.  It is the largest, non-profit and independent voice with the singular focus of technology in Ireland.   As a non-profit, the proceeds from these awards all go back to the community to provide these supports. The categories are reviewed each year by the IIA and reflect a real understanding for the changing nature of the technology industry and the innovation it has brought to Education, Healthcare, Finance, Agriculture and Food,” said Joan Mulvihill, CEO IIA. “We wanted to show the pace and breadth of innovation across Irish industry and to show how technology is the catalyst for this.  Technology is not just an industry vertical.  It is for all industries, all sectors. We predict we will see the next generation of Net Visionaries come from sectors completely unrelated to the traditechnology in the coming years.”

Inaugural IIA Hall of Fame

At the awards ceremony, the IIA also launched its Hall of Fame to recognise their long history and internet visionaries whose contribution to the Irish technology community over the last two decades enabled Ireland to establish its global reputation. Every year, new names will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that the judging panel believes reflects the vision and contribution ethos of these first 10 Net Visionaries.

The First Ten Inductees To The IIA Hall Of Fame:
Colm Lyon – founder of Realex Payments – founder of Fire Financial Services. Winner of IIA Overall Net Visionary 2015.  Colm is a role model entrepreneur for non-venture backed scaled international businesses, a voice for the industry and outstanding chair of the IIA for many years. Colm Grealy – Adforce – one of the founders of the IIA, the founder of,,  He is currently the CEO of Adforce which he has expanded to the US and works with over 800 neswpapers across the state of New York.
Ray Nolan – Entrepreneur, Investor, winner of Overall Net Visionary award 2006 with HostelWorld. Following the sale of HostelWorld, Ray has invested in many other Irish tech start-ups including most recently of note, Storyful, as well as continuing to build web-based brands, launching XSellco and Ultimate Rugby. Michele Neylon – founder of  Blacknight, Ireland’s largest domain registrar and hosting provider.  Winner of the 2013 Overall Net Visionary Award for his outstanding contribution to the industry in Ireland but also his international presence as the Chair of the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group and the Eurid Registrar Advisor Board.
Pat Phelan – Entrepreneur, winner of Overall Net Visionary in 2008 with Maxroam and ‘One to Watch’ start-up category winner with Trustev in 2013. Pat is a serial entrepreneur and mentor to many, international tech companies.  He is a well-known advocate for technology start-ups and a mentor for many national and international start-up programmes. Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe – Founders of Silicon Republic – reporting on technology in Ireland since the start and amongst the greatest champions of Irish Tech success.  Founders of InspireFest that attracted 1300 delegates in June 2015, a conference boasting 75% remarkable woman speakers, turning the tables on international tech events.
Jerry Kennelly – Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tweak, revolutionising access to high quality design for SMBs.  Winner of Overall Net Visionary Award in 2011, Jerry was previously founder of Stockbyte which he sold to Getty Images.  He is also founder of Junior Entrepreneur Programme and Young Entrepreneur Programme for primary and secondary schoolkids, with over 20,000 combined alumni. Fergal O’Byrne – former IIA CEO –Fergal transformed a voluntary organisation into a viable, sustainable trade association, grew the membership and created a platform for the industry to have a voice.  He was an early investor in Sonru and subsequent CEO.  He serves on the board of the IEDR as well as having served on IGOpeope, WINC, and CCD.
Eamon Leonard – founder, angel investor and community organiser.  Winner of the Overall Net Visionary Award in 2012, founder of Orchestra which he subsequently sold to EngineYard.  Although now working on his new start-up, Cohort, Eamon continues to support the sector as a community organiser and voice for the industry. Brian Caulfield – Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Partner at Draper Esprit – a key spokesman for the industry with government on key entrepreneur/investment related issues.  He is the founder of a number of successful technology businesses, Exceptis Technologies and Similarity Systems.  He sits on a number of boards (Movidius, DataHug) and is currently the Chariman of the Irish Venture Capital Association.

David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited commented: The IE Domain Registry is delighted to be the headline sponsor for this year’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.  Now in its 17th year, the standard of the shortlisted businesses for the Awards continues to increase annually.  The level of innovation, originality and creativity bodes well for the future of the Irish technology community.  For the winners, it is a wonderful accolade to be recognised by their peers in the Internet community, as being the ‘best of the best.”

 Back Row L-R David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited, Co

Mulvihill concluded, “How delighted we are to be able to honour Colm Lyon in this way.  Notwithstanding his incredible success as an entrepreneur, his contribution as the chair of the IIA for many years is immeasurable.  Its people like Colm, like those inducted to the Hall of Fame that make you see what it means to have a real community.   It’s the support and generosity of these 10 that makes Ireland such a great place to be and we are very proud of the fact that the IIA has been part of the journey for so many of them.”



  • Best Website – joyous to look at and splendid to useSponsored by Blacknight WINNER – IDEA – Bloom in the Park
  • Best Web Development AgencySponsored by Microsoft - WINNER -CKSK 
  • Best Cloud Service for SMEs – Sponsored by PSG Plus – WINNER – Magnet Networks 
  • Best Mobile Application – indispensable to its user – Sponsored by Register 365 WINNER – Qstream Ltd 
  • Best International Scaling Irish Business – Sponsored by Silicon Valley BankWINNER  – 
  • Best Start-Up – the one to watch for 2016 – Sponsored by Arekibo – WINNER – Webdoctor 
  • Best Ecommerce Execution by a Retailer – Sponsored by AIB Merchant Services – WINNER – Life Style Sports
  • Best International Newcomer–“Welcome to the  neighbourhood” Sponsored by The Digital Hub – WINNER – 
  • Best Brand Marketing – Sponsored by Irish Times Training  – WINNER – CKSK For Coors Light Great Rocky Mountain gaming app
  • Best Use of Video for Digital Marketing – Sponsored by Magnet – WINNER – Javelin for Aviva / Focus Ireland – Cub Reporter campaign
  • Best Use of Technology for Social Good –  Sponsored by Electric Ireland – WINNER – 
  • Best Innovation for Financial Service – Sponsored by Telecity - WINNER – Juggle
  • Best Innovation for Health   – Sponsored by BDO – WINNER – Restored Hearing 
  • Best Innovation for Agri/Food Sector – Sponsored by Dimension Data / Alcaltel Lucent – WINNER – Herdwatch 
  • Best Innovation for Education Services - Sponsored by PWC – WINNER – PIXELSOUP
  • Best in Universal Design – Supported by the National Disability Authority WINNER – Arekibo For Electric Ireland


IIA Toolshed – Influencer Tools

September 10, 2015 · Posted in IIA Digital Toolshed, social media, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #5

Influencer Tools


Tooler’s Choice?  Buzzsumo is an online tool that tracks content on all social networking sites and ranks them based on the number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. It allows you to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. You can input search criteria and find out what content is already working in your area so you can identify some quick wins for social content production. Buzzsumo allows you to set up keyword alerts, so you are updated when content is posted or updated.  Knowing what content is working on social for your competitors or other publishers in your industry is very helpful. Buzzsumo is a great way to find top content around specific keywords, phrases or topics which is a very useful tool when turning a content plan or strategy into a content calendar of topics. Be careful when using Buzzsumo that you don’t fall into the comfort zone of writing about what is already doing well instead of finding new topics that haven’t been written about yet but combined with other tools Buzzsumo is an excellent tool in the social or content marketers toolkit. You can also track social influencers by keyword and sector. Overall it is very powerful for social content but the free version is limited.

General Information
IIA Toolshed

IIA Toolshed















followerwonk - 120




What Is ItSocial search and analytics tool. A search engine for Twitter. It keeps an index of tweets dating back to 2006. Purchased by Apple in 2013, the toolshed found the tool to be largely undeveloped since then not offering much additional value than Twitter search. Very limited analytics in the free version.Social intelligence platform. Lets you monitor, report, find influencers, analyticsSearch tool that tracks content on all social networking sites and ranks them based on the number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and PinterestFollowerwonk is a Moz App that allows users to search Twitter Bios, analyse twitter profiles and benchmark your account with your competitors.Website with real time search of twitter for influencers within Twitter. Search by company name, keyword or #hashtag. Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score", which is a numerical value between 1 and 100
What's It Like To Use?At time of assessment, we found the tool to be slow and buggy.Easy on the eye. you can search for influencers in certain segments (eg food or music) and by country (ie. Ireland), it gives you lists (which include some randomers) and then it's quite manual to add these influencers to your lists.Free version very limited. 14 day free trial of Pro is good. Fairly user friendly. Good webinars to get started. No need to enter credit card details to trial :)Easy (ish) to use and find Twitter Bios. However in order to get best results, you must have a handle on basic Boolean Logic. Eg. (Dublin|Wicklow|Kildare|Cork|Mayo). Easy to filter results by number of followers and/or Social Authority. It is also very easy to benchmark your Twitter handle with other Twitter accounts.Each to use. Authenticate via your twitter account and go search. Throws up the top 25 influencers who you can sort by different options. The influencer is defined by the the number of followers which can have distortions (2x number of followers doesn't mean 2x influence) but its not bad.Very easy to use - sign in with multiple social accounts. Great UI, good dashboard that shows all your accounts, gives you a feed that you can use to create (and schedule) engaging posts. You can set what topic you want to be known for, and it gives you your score based on that. The mobile app can be a bit buggy and it works better on Chrome rather than IE browser.
Is There Anything I Should Know?It's easy to use but functionality is limited. It was bought by Apple a few years ago and it feels as if not much development has been put into the tool since's very expensive for what it is! And we don't trust the results!Finds content that is most shared across Social, Find influencers by topic, you can set up key alerts by keywords, brands etc & you can track competitors.Followerwork has some nice functions if you have a paid Moz Account ($99 per month). Functions include being able to Analyze and track Twitter accounts. However my favourite paid feature is the ability to export your Twitter bio search results into a CSV/Excel file. A brilliant option for Twitter advertising campaigns. Finally if this interests you, but you don't have $99 a month.....Grab the FREE 30 day trial and start seraching and exporting Twitter lists.Not bad (and its free). Used it to on a number of different categories then used it to search the #fennelly hashtag from 1st September and gave me a reasonably good list of results. Its not been updated in a while and not clear who runs it or who pays for it. Algorithim works purely by number of followers.Score is based upon a algorithm that crunches variables like your follower size and relevance but is heavily influnced by engagement RT and @ replies. The score is more a measure of impact and possibly influence. The Chrome plugin for Klout is very handy. Hootsuite users can also search by Klout score so big credit to Hootsuite for incorporating this functionality.
Who would you recommend it for?Useful for searching a URL and seeing who has mentioned it on Twitter even if they didn't mention you. Useful for analysis competitors and generic terms.Brand managers with lots of budget and time on their hands!Anyone trying to effectively listen to the market, keep track of competitors, and get key insights into who to followAnyone trying to build up a targeted following on Twitter. Anyone looking to find potential influencers in their industry. A company that is looking to build targeted twitter list and advertising campaigns. Its free so its something that you can use with ease. If you know something quite well you may not get much out of it e.g. the #digitaltransformation tag gave me mostly a list of people I have on a list which means its accurate and adds a little but too much. But its free so no harm to try and see if it adds value. Anyone looking to have a presence on social for a particular reason; its good to help you maintain a focus, but is limited as Klout will fall down if you are someone who publishes multiple types of content e.g. a news agency. Not for multiple users. Very useful for bench marking against other influncers or competitors and setting targets. Handy for quick checking of influencer before outreach.
CostFREE. There is a pro version. $12k pa per user$99 up to $600 per month Free, Pro, Agency& Enterprise price plans are available. $99 per month for Pro, $299 per month for agency. Enterprise pricing is available upon request. Going from free to $99 per month seems a bit of a leap and the trial period is short at only 14 days.Great functionality with the FREE version. $99 if you want to export results and benefit from additional features. FreeFree
General Criteria (Out Of 4)
Ease Of Use323343
Mobile compatible?423233
Tablet compatible?333330
Specific Criteria (Out of 4)
Search by topic4133* (only searches Twitter Bios)33
Competitive Evaluation233212
Trends over Time200002
Regional/Geographical Search013402
Influencer Search Ability
Saved Search Ability043000
Total Score212329242226

What’s next from the IIA Toolshed? Marketing Automation

IIA Toolshed – Social Media Design Tools

August 13, 2015 · Posted in Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #4

Social Media Design Tools


Tooler’s Choice? 

We looked at four social media Design Tools, no one is the winner because they are all very different and serve different needs.

General Information

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers who took part this month are:

Product Namecanva- 120piktochart - 120venngage 120pic monkey 120makeagif - 120drawio - 120
What Is ItIt is an online image creation and editing tool. Has been hailed as "The easiest to use design program in the world”
– The Webby
Web based infographic software. Works best at creating visuals using your data sets. Not recommended for creating a simple visual. It is an online infographic makerA very powerful image creation and editing tool for markers who are not Graphic Designers. Great for editing images, creating logos and even infographics. Its an online GIF making site, where you can very quickly make a give from images, videos or even youtube (formerly Diagramly) is free online diagram software that can be used as a flowchart maker, network diagram software but also a handy editing and design tool.
What's It Like To Use?Very quick and easy. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals.It can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.Very quick to get started, easy drag and drop feature allows you to build presentation or infographic quickly. Good selection of templates.It is a simple platform to use for creating infographics. It has a number sample templates to get inspiration from. However, the majority of templates are only available for paid subscribers. Easy drag and drop interface allows rapid infographic building with elements such as charts, maps, pictograms, icons, text, images and more.It can be a little intimidating and even fiddly to use initially. There are so many features and options that you can use. However once you get the hang of PicMonkey you can edit and design images in minutes.It's very easy to use, very straightforward UI, but its sole use is for making GIF's.The user interface initially appears intimidating as there is a lot of functionality and each session begins with a blank canvas. There is no registration and you literally start to design from scratch but the process is fairly intuitive. You can import images, add text with lots of export options and formats.
Is There Anything I Should Know?Social-media and technology expert Guy Kawasaki joined the company as chief evangelist in April 2014. When you pay for an image, you only have rights for 24 hours. Good news - you only pay for what you use. Bad news - users might get an unpleasant surprise if they need to re-purchase an image. This is not made super clear in the interface.It takes quite a while (marginal few extra seconds) to save, even when you haven't edited anything : (In order to unlock all the features you'll need to subscribe for a premium version ($15/month). With the Premium version you are able to export the infographics into PDF and PNG formats. The product was created by Eugene Woo who is also the founder of which is an infographic maker for resumes.PicMonkey has a free version, but images fonts and functionality are limited. I would strongly recommend upgrading to the paid version (known as Royale Membership). It is inexpensive - $33 a year, billed annually or $4.99 a month. The paid version gives an unbelievable number of image overlays and design templates. One downside of PicMonkey is it does not allow you to re-edit images or even save a "work in progress" for a later date. One big downfall with PicMonkey is that it is desktop only. A Mobile App would be really useful.There is no need to sign in/register to make a GIF, but having a profile gives you more flexibility (there is a limit to the lenght of the gif you can make without signing in). Also before signing in, Youtube gifs seem to not work properly. Registration is free, and very quick and easy. Once you are registered you can remove the watermark. They have an chrome extension which seems to work pretty well and is easy to use. Its also possible to share to your social profiles (in many different ways) from within the app. Note there is a limit to the video upload size ( MB). There is virtually no editing of videos - it is just a GIF maker.This tools is really designed for rapid building of flow charts but could also be used for enhancing, editing and producing good graphics for social media output. There are limited stock graphics available in the search bar - mainly icon style but currently it is a free tool with future licensing planned.
Who would you recommend it for?Creating images for use on social networks, in presentations or for print.Any small business currently outsourcing design work.For businesses wishing to create quality infographics without the cost of in-house designersAny business that wants to create great looking images for their marketing materials and social media posts without the cost of a graphic designer. Creating GIFs quickly from photos, videos, webcam or youtube. Especially useful for companies with lots of related images and willing to experiment in visual story telling.Creating images and assets with flow chart elements or basic editing of images
CostFree unless you purchase images. It would be preferable if you could arrange to view images by Free/Paid. Payment mechanism is cr card only (no PayPal). You have rights for 24 hours to edit imagery. £1 or €1 only."Free" but with watermark. Starts at $15/month. Templates, icons, 100MB download (no watermark?) Moves to $29/month (everything)Two plans: Free and Premium ($15/month)There is a Free option, but it is limited. I would strongly recommend upgrading to the paid version (known as Royale Membership). It is inexpensive - $33 a year, billed annually or $4.99 a month. The paid version gives an unbelievabile number of image overlays and design templates.FreeFree but with future licensing planned.
Specific Criteria (Out of 4)
Size formats for various social platforms4 -Yes, it has pre-set up templates for Twitter header, FB cover, and all the main social channel image post sizes.3 - Yes you can change the canvas size.3 - the canvas size is customisable4 - There are plenty of size templates and you can customise your image or design to any size.1 - no not really, its an embedded link when sharing on Facebook/Twitter, but this is probably the right way for it to be sharedSize is pretty much determined by the edited size of the canvas.
Purchase images4 - Yes, it has a range of free and priced images that you can search for from within the tool. You only pay when you publish the image - before publish you can use but they are watermarked.You can also upload your own images from your computer or Facebookor drag them from your desktop.0 - You cannot purchse images although there is an extensive libriary3 - free and for purchase images available. You can also upload own images2 - Once you have the paid version there are amazing templates, images and designs you can use. However you will most likely need to bring your own images to the PicMonkey table.0 - not relevant to this platform0. Some free icon style images available in search bar.
Add transparencies
4 - yes you can edit the transparency of layers.0 - no0 - no4 - Yes it is really easy to isolate images and add transparency of layers.0 - no editing capability0 - you can move images to background but no transparency
Add layers
Yes, and you can easily move them back and forth - easier to use layers in this than it is in photoshop.2 - You can basic layers1 - you can add layers4 - Yes - very easy to layer images, text and photos. 0 - no editing capability3 - Yes. Simple basic layering
Editing capability443 - Fine3 - Once you create an image on PicMonkey you cannot re-edit it. However there is great editing features available when editing a picture. 0 - no editing capability3 - Fine
Add text & edit fonts4 - yes and good range of fonts4 - some really good fonts3 - fine, but could be more variety4 - loads of fonts and you can even import and use additional fonts on your pc.0 - no editing capability3 - Simply start typing. Can change text fonts etc
Save templates3 - Yes although they are not called templates, you can save designs and copy designs to use them as templates for future designs.34 - Yes0 - Once you have created an image on PicMonkey you need to save it to your pc. They do not store your images, (This may be a good thing)0 - no editing capability3 - Yes
Good range of export formats
3 - presentation formats don't export to ppt compatible3 - limited to pdf formats and image formats. Will not export to ppt2 - pdf and png 4 - Dermot - export to Google Docs etc3 - Good format options.2 - GIF and MP4. Its more impressive that you can create a give in a few ways4 - wide range of drop down menu options of fromats and saving options from Google Drive, Dropbox to Browser.
What did you love?4 -ease of use and the pre defined templates for social and ads.3 - SurveyMonkey Integration was great and really easy and quick to use and get started.3 - easy and quick to build infographics4 - Once I got used to it. It made me feel like a Photshop wizard without even going near the complexities of Photoshop.It does what it says on the tin, no unnecessary frillsAlthough built for flowcharts it offers lots of functionality for creative use. Easy to play around with.
What did you hate?3 - Very little. Can't believe there is no mobile option. Not even mobile optimised site.3 - Felt a bit like WordArt at times, limited shapes. Slight time delay can be annoying.1 - no keyboard shortcuts copy/paste like ctrl+c or ctrl+v, instead of clicking on delete button you need to use venngage interface button to delete items.3 - Only complaint is the inability to save and re-edit images. And the lack of a mobile app.Inability to do ANY editing (even to flip the images around, which would be handy for videos taken on a phone). To get around this, upload the video to Youtube first. Initial blank canvas and early learning curve.
Are you going to continue using it?3 - Yes3 - Yes, good for reporting3 - Yes3 - Yes4 - Yes

What’s next from the IIA Toolshed? Customer Service Tools

IIA Toolshed – Social Media Monitoring

June 22, 2015 · Posted in IIA Toolshed, new technology, social media, Social Media Monitoring, Social Media Working Group, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #3

Social Media Monitoring


Tooler’s Choice? 

We looked at four social media monitoring tools, no one is the winner because they are all very different and serve different needs.

  • Market leader Radian6 from salesforce is powerful and provides all you need for monitoring and listening, but it is truly an enterprise solution and requires a hefty investment. For enterprise, Radian6 is one of the best there is.
  • Mention is accessibly priced tool for medium sized companies, with budget, who have reasonably large web and social search monitoring needs and wish to centralised the management of these.  Ideal for those who have report generating needs and wish to involve large teams.
  • New Irish offering, Olytico is an interesting software and a service tool. You tell Olytico what keywords you want to track, they set up the searches for you, and you use the tool to view results. It neatly overcomes the problem that many face with social media monitoring tools of only being as good as your search terms, but this at times can be a bit limiting. We decided that Olytico is the perfect tool for agencies who need to report back on how far their client’s brand travelled across the social media spaces.
  • Social Bakers is probably best suited to SME’s, although it only really monitors what’s being said about your own social media, rather than listening widely about broader conversations. It serves a purpose for bringing reporting together and does that very well, providing benchmark industry data.
General Information

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers who took part this month are:

Toolshed meeting - 17.06.2015 - 500








Product Nameradian6 - 150mention 150Olytico 140social bakers - 150
Website Bakers
What Is It?Radian6 is a Social Media listening and monitoring tool owned by It is heavily integrated with other Salesforce products (Buddy Media) and features. Very often used as part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud package. They are repackaging Radian6 with new features under a new name called Social Studio - is a online social media monitoring tool that searches the main social media channels and incorporates alerts, responding capability, task assignment, reporting and analysis.Software AND a service! It's a hybrid between self service and managed. You tell Olytico what you want to track, they set it up for you, and you can then do the monitoring yourselfOnline, Self Service, Social Media Measurement Tool. Very good for competitive analysis & industry benchmark. Super basic for Free. Social Bakers Statistics = free. Marketing Suite = paid. Additional upgrade features = Analytics (customised reporting, benchmarking etc), Builder (Plan, publish, measure from single place), Advertising (plugin to FB & Twitter ads), Listening.
What’s It Like To Use?Simple to use. Set up automated searches by keywords and/or company name. Search by location for better results. One of the best things about Radian6 is its ability to turn searches into really digestible reports. Within seconds I can search, measure and identify business opportunities. It is great for analysing sentiment, monitoring competitors and identifying influencers and brand advocates.Reasonably simple set up. Does a very broad search and generates good reports. Allows you to respond to mentions or allocate to team members.Simple to use. It's all set up for you. Can view activity by day, and assign content to team members. Cannot track whether they have actually done something with it or not. It trawls all the main social platforms (FB pages plus open groups, not profiles), Flickr, Insta, not that strong on Pinterest, plus forums, and news sites. It's easy to use at basic level. Free Trial offered for 2 weeks. Heavily focused on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. May be more customisation possible but not obvious.
Does it give meaningful results for Ireland?Yes - easy to limit results to Ireland onlyYes. Strong on Twitter especially when hashtagedYes. Strong on Ireland as you'd expect from an Irish tool.Yes, as strong as any other country
Is There Anything I Should Know?Salesforce seem very cloak and dagger in giving anyone access to it unless they are a large multinational and already using the Salesforce platform. Very difficult to get a price list from them.
They can penalise organisations when high volumes of data.
Range of functionality appears limited for the price. Much of the functionality could be achieved with free tools like google alerts and topsy/social mention. Low threshold on number of mentions means upgrade for busy accounts.Workflow exists in that you can tick the box and assign content to team members. Team collaboration is coming, where you can mark it as done or dealt with. Good support function.Ideally you should set up more than one business for benchmarking, so ideally you're monitoring you and your competition. I like the presentation format exportable reports. Love reports about which types of posts perform best, which times of day, and days of week, also industry benchmarks
Who would you recommend it for?Organisations already using the platform. Great for big companies with a sizable budget and a large community to monitor and listen to. Possibly a good tool for Digital Agencies who want to offer listening and monitoring services to their clients. Enterprise.Medium to large organisations with budget who wish to utilise the team collaboration features. Suitable for disparate enterprises centralising brand/company mentions who appear over a wide variety of online sites.Agencies needing to track client mentions. Or brands/businesses who are being talked about widely and not just on FB and TW. Good example given was Jameson Film Festival, who were talked about widely for a month. No annual contract means they can sign up and use the tool just for the month.Medium size businesses who are
Cost inc VATExpensive - Pricing in Feb 2013 - The good folks at Radian6 got back to me and it turns out that they have changed their pricing model. There are now two different models:

Business Model: $600 / month for up to 10,000 mentions
Agency Model: $950 / month for up to 1 million mentions
Historical Data: $100 / month going back to 2008 (except Twitter that goes back to 2010) Source - Some hidden charges especially when there are peaks in activity, which seems counter intuitive
Starter $29, Growth $99, Company $299, Enterprise $799 (per month)€700 per month, without limitation on keywords or Results or seat/user. If you want separate feeds per channel, €200 per additional channel. Single chanel is good 2-3 clients.."Free Trial for 2 weeks. $120 per month thereafter. I believe there are other more tiered products, but v difficult to get access, and default is to 120 per month. Social Bakers Statistics = free. Marketing Suite = paid. Additional
upgrade features = Analytics (customised reporting, benchmarking etc),
Builder (Plan, publish, measure from single place), Advertising (plugin
to FB & Twitter ads), Listening."
General Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Name of Tool: Radian6 Mention Olytico  Social Bakers
Ease of Use 3 3 4  4
Price 1  2  3  2
Documentation 3  2  2  3
 3 3 3  4
 3  3  3  3
Specific Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Social Media Platforms It Monitors                 3  3  4 2
Sentiment analysis  3  2  0  0
Reporting 2 2 1  2
Unique Insights 2  2  2  2
Analytics? 3  2  1  3
Any Restrictions? Gotchas? Some hidden charges especially when there are peaks in activity, which seems counter intuitive  You can’t experiment with searches  No API integration
Customisable dashboard 3  3  1  2
Product Intuitiveness / UI 3  2  4 3
Team Collaboration Features? 3  3  2  1
Are we going to continue using it?  0 0  2  3
Total Score 35 32  32  34

What’s next from the IIA Toolshed? Social Media Design Tools in July.


IIA Toolshed – Social Media Publishing Tools

May 5, 2015 · Posted in IIA Digital Toolshed, social media, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #2

Social Media Publishing Tools


Tooler’s Choice? Hootsuite 

Check out the detailed review below including Buffer, SproutSocial, and SocialOomph.

General Information

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers are:

IIA Toolshed meeting

Product Namebuffer 130hootsuite 130Social oomph 130Sprout Social 130
What Is ItOnline scheduling tool that publishes to TW, FB, LI, G+ and now Pinterest. Ronseal!A Social Media scheduling and reporting platform.
You can schedule and manage content from your Facebook (Personal and Business), Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Wordpress accounts. It also has 100s of additional apps that gives your monitoring and commenting abilities on other sites including Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Social media productivity tool which allows you to
publish and monitor social media activity
Sprout Social is an online social media management, reporting and engagement tool that enables publishing (incorporating analytics's) to various social media platforms.
What’s It Like To Use?Pretty easy and seamless. No real learning. Support was a bit generic. Dashboard intuitive - easy to remove accounts. When you move stuff around or change times, it caused a few problems.Easy to set up and use. Just go to and sign up. Easy to add Social Media accounts and search for add on apps. Its dashboard is easy to navigate, search social networks and see previous scheduled posts. Hootsuite has a mobile app that allows you to manage your activity on the go. However - would recommend that you do the bulk of your Hootsuite scheduling and reporting from the Desktop dashboard.When it comes to giving access to another user, they must create a social oomph account, it's time consuming. The interface appears to be very poor but it does have some good functionality. Cons: It is not intuitive and learning to use it takes some time. The design is hard to navigate.
Pros: It has feature called Queue Reservoir which helps to drip feed updates to selected social profiles. The Posting section does have a number of features such as creating and managing updates, creating updates from RSS feeds, and creating updates via email. The Following section facilitates follow-back and auto-welcome on Twitter as well as finding new people to follow function. The Monitoring section allows to set up regular email alerts for monitoring particular keywords found on Twitter. Other stats like mentions, retweets and following are also available.
Set up on a free trial was painless with minimum effort and adding social media profiles was generally a 2-3 click process to add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Feedly. It also incorporates google analytics and operates using a classic dashboard. Posting to different social profiles was just a matter of adding the content and clicking the profiles with the optional inbuilt scheduler allowing flexibility on when it would appear. The dashboard in general was intuitive with rapid report generation and useful exploring and search tools. (EY) No option to upload video or multiple images to Twitter via the Scheduling App. Reporting option is great, with the option to sort Facebook posts per engagement particularly useful. Overall, it has many of the features needed under one dashboard (scheduling, reports, assign tasks, Twitter Advanced Search), which makes it extremely useful.
Is There Anything I Should Know?Nothing compelling to upgrade. Auto shortens links to, but you can override. Time zone of scheduler is confusing. If you've already scheduled a post to publish, you cannot change the distribution e.g. just add in G+ after scheduled - instead set up new post :(Hootsuite has a cool bookmarker called Hootlet that allows you to schedule content directly from your web browser. Hootsuite also supports RSS feeds so you can ensure you latest blog is automatically distributed to Social Media as soon as it’s published. It also offers suggested content - which is similar in nature to the content you share and allows you add it to your publishing schedule (hit and miss at present). Hootsuite integrates with Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook Insights and can create Social Media reports in seconds. Pro account holders are allowed create a number of reports for free, otherwise they come at an additional cost. Hootsuite allows you to add 100s of apps to your dashboard. E.g. Pocket and Feedly from Hootsuite and even manage YouTube Account. Finally - the only issue with Hootsuite at present is that it does not (currently) display visuals properly when posting from to Twitter, it posts as a link. And if you're posting a link, it posts 2 links if it's got an image in it.45 mins to integrate a FB account. Not a good UI. Can schedule. Can bulk upload. Can integrate a account and create a unique URL shortener. Very basic posting functions. Can create a Reservoir - can create a schedule to post at different times. Monitoring is basic - just mentions, and RT's. CLUNKY. Needs training. UGLY. Basic version can only add Twitter. 7 day trial you can add other accounts, big learning curve to learn it in 1 week. Support was quick enough, help section is descriptive - good - but it's a big time investment.Follow up mails including offers of phone support from a dedicated person gave a nice personal touch to the experience. Sprout Social really comes into its own when you are managing teams with a powerful task manager and is very suited to larger organisations with disparate teams and multiple profiles. Its mobile version works well with similar functionality. One of the draw backs is the relatively low number of social profiles it connects to and would expect instagram etc.
Who would you recommend it for?"An organisation (doesn't matter the size) who is already running its own publishing schedule, who wants to supplement with shared content. Yes,
it's probably not as sophisticated as some, but definitely a great scheduling tool, and a lot of functionality comes for free."
My favourite of all the platforms, but currently has a few issues with posting images (in particular to Twitter). Would recommend a PRO account that allows you to manage up to 100 accounts. I would use it to post to multiple LinkedIn and Facebook Groups.We wouldn't!A large organisation with multiple profiles and team members
Cost inc VAT$10 per month Awesome (up to 100 posts and tweets + 10 social profiles per month) Freemium model. Free package is pretty good to get started. "Awesome package” has some analytics with export functionality, you can have more multiple admins on an account, and allows you to schedule more posts in advance. Awesome plan is $102 per year, Small Business Plan is $50/mth which is pricey. Discount for non-profits is nice touch.Free account for up to 5 Social Networks. Hootsuite Pro (recommended) $9.99 per month (free 30 day trial available) - allows you to collaborate with up to 10 team members, manage 100 accounts and access free Social Media reports. There is a further paid option - Hootsuite Enterprise for larger organisiations. €12.58 every fortnight, €27.26 monthy, €81.77 quarterly, €327 annually.59 (USD) for Delux, 99 (USD) for premium and 500 (USD) for team version per month


General Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Name of Tool: Buffer Hootsuite Social Oomph  Sprout Social
Ease of Use 4 4 1  4
Price 2  4  2  4
Documentation 3  4  3  2
 4 4 0  3
 4  4  0  3
Specific Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Social Media Platforms it posts                       2  4  2 4
Schedules image posts?  4  3  2  4
Schedules videos post? 3 3 0  1
Sentiment Analysis? 2  2  0  1
Analytics?  3  4  1  3
Any Restrictions? Gotchas? 3 3  1  3
Customisable dashboard 2  3  0  1
Product Intuitiveness / UI 3  3  1 3
Team Collaboration Features? 4  3  1  2
Are we going to continue using it?  1 4  0  4
Total Score 44 52  14  42

One to watch: echobox – This new scheduling app might suit large publishers,
enabling them to curate ALL the content on their site to send to social. It forecasts ideal post times and layouts, AB testing each post. The range of features includes forecasting Page Views (which is the publisher’s bread and butter) and the algorithm learns what works and what doesn’t. One key aspect is you can flick a switch, and ultimately let it publish for you. Someone may be out of a job soon.

What’s next from the IIA Toolshed?
 Social Media Monitoring in June.

Summary: Hootsuite won, but Buffer closely followed. SproutSocial if you’re an enterprise. Avoid SocialOomph.

IIA Toolshed – Screencasting Tools

March 30, 2015 · Posted in IIA Toolshed, new technology, news, Uncategorized · Posted by iiatoolshed · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #1

Screencasting Tools


Tooler’s Choice? Camtasia because of the range of functionality, ease of use, support and additional use for easy video editing.

General Information

And we’re off! We’re delighted to welcome you to the inaugural post from the IIA Toolshed!

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers are:

TOPIC 1: Screencasting Tools First up to test were a range of screencasting tools! What is Screencasting, you ask?? Screencasting is a really neat process of recording what’s happening on your screen as you do it. You can include narration as part of the recording, to explain exactly what you’re doing on screen, all from your own computer or laptop. Screencasting software is often used for short “how-to” videos and online tutorials. It can be a really helpful way to show a customer how to do something technical, as if you’re by their side! Here’s what we found about the four tools we reviewed:


Product Namescreenflowcamtasia logoscreencast makerjing.jpg
WebsiteScreenflow 5CamtasiaScreencast MakerJing
What Is It?Screen capture for SpielbergsAn easy-to-use screen recorder that acts as powerful video editor by recording your voice and on screen actions. It also allow the easy import of additional media and advanced editing functions.A low cost easy to use screen capture tool for the Mac.Entry level screencasting & screen capture tool
What’s It Like To Use?
Easy to use. Simple to install. Free product. It's got a lot of functionality that make it too advanced for the average Joe.Intuitive and very flexible piece of software. Good tutorials. Trial download with only an email address required and full functionality for 30 days. Designed to have you up and running with projects very quickly. Lots of functionality and export options.Screencast Maker allows you to record your entire screen or just part of it. It also allows to narrate audio and even allows you to include video from your webcam. Output, easy to download, you can record activity you carry out on your screen, to share with others, including recording narration for additional explanation. Output in swf format and png for images
Is There Anything I Should Know?
If you are an Apple app store maker and you want to make videos to sell your product, this is the tool for you.Camtasia has restrictions but its core abilities of creating professional screencasts is more than enough. Navigation and editing were easy with good ‘undo’ and keyboard shortcuts meaning you don't to start from scratch with mistakes. Transitions, inserting text, adding pointer arrows and animation are simple with drag and drop. Editing and cutting out sections was fast and less fiddly than other software.
Export as an MP4 was simple along with other sharing options for YouTube etc al.
As an MP4 it was simple to upload natively to other platforms and to insert on websites.
It took approximately 4 hours to go from first open to a reasonably polished looking screen cast.
There is a free trial available at where you can create screencasts of 2 minutes or less, but €4.99 will get you the full version. Screencast Maker is great for start ups and SMEs on a shoe string budget.Videos limited to 5 mins, output to swf makes videos hard to share on FB, YouTube etc. No editing capability.
Cost inc VAT€93.24€85.14 for a single license.€4.99FREE


General Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Ease of Use 4 4 4  3
Price 3  3  5  4
Documentation 1  4  2  3
 4 3 3  1
 4  3  4  1
Specific Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Captures Images? 1  4  4 4
Captures Video?  4  4  4  4
Edits Images? 1 3 0  3
Video Time Limit 4  4  5  1
Entire Desktop 4 4  4  4
Element of Desktop 1  4  4  4
Watermark 1  4 N/A  N/A 4
Conversion Formats 3  3  2  1
Total Score 35 47  40  37
Other Reference Points & Reviews

What’s next from the IIA Toolshed?
Well stay tuned, because every 6 weeks we’ll be reviewing another set of tools. Next up, we’re reviewing Social Media Publishing tools. Which ones?  Well you’ll have to come back to find out… all will be revealed in early May!

Summary: Overall, it’s fair to say that Camtasia is the standard that most people expect, and around the table it was commonly agreed that it had the best feature set. Thereafter Screencastmaker is a good option for those who are a bit more cash-strapped, but keen to get going. The other tools are more likely to be used for those getting started, or for internal communications.

Mark Little announced as Overall Net Visionary 2014 by Irish Internet Association

September 29, 2014 · Posted in IIA Dot Ie Net Visionary Awards 2014 · Posted by Blog Administrator · 2 Comments 
Mark Little, Storyful, Overall Net Visionary 2014

David Kerr, IIA Chair, Mark Little, Storyful, David Curtin, IEDR, Joan Mulvihill, IIA CEO.

– 14 Category Winners announced in the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards –

Friday, 26th of September, 2014: The Irish Internet Association (“IIA”) this evening announced Mark Little, founder of Storyful as the Overall Net Visionary Winner at the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.  Also announced this evening were the winners in 14 individual categories, decided by a combined judges and public vote and two special recognition awards.  The Awards, now in their 16th year took place in the Banquet Hall of the Smock Alley Theatre – a dramatic backdrop befitting these most creative of industry awards.

Joan Mulvihill, CEO of the Irish Internet Association commented: “This has been a great year for the IIA’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.   By refreshing the award categories each year, it allows us to showcase new businesses, innovations and talent.  All of the winning businesses are worthy title holders and we carefully craft these award titles to reflect the essence of excellence in that category.”

She added: “Mark Little is a truly worthy winner of the 2014 Overall Net Visionary Award.  He epitomises the defining qualities of exceptional visionaries. Mark is a courageous innovator and disruptor. It’s not every day that someone decides to take on the international media and change forever how they collect, collate and curate the news. He set out with a global vision and stayed the course in the face of international giants and indeed some cliff-hanger days.  His openness in sharing his story has made him a phenomenal role model for emerging entrepreneurs, a true visionary and a world class technology innovator.  It is with great pride that we have the opportunity to honour him this evening.”

David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited commented: The IE Domain Registry is delighted to be the headline sponsor for this year’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.  Now in its 16th year, the standard of the shortlisted websites for the Awards continues to increase year-on-year.  The level of innovation, originality and creativity, not to mention the power and functionality of the underlying website applications, continues to impress.  For the winners, it is a wonderful accolade to be recognised by their peers in the Internet community, as being the ‘best of the best’. These websites and innovations will provide a quality benchmark for others to rank and improve their own online offerings.”

David Kerr of and Chair of the Irish Internet Association commented: “Each year we are challenged with identifying the single person that we believe uniquely embodies the term Visionary.   Mark Little is a local hero and the standard bearer for innovation. If you want to see the power of the cloud, social media, big data and mobile then Storyful is the outstanding exemplar of that. His fearless determination in bringing his vision to life makes him a most deserving winner indeed”.

The IIA are committed to delivering change through collaboration with members and across industry bodies.   2014 saw a focus on eCommerce and exports.  Have successfully delivered a series of International eCommerce seminars, Digital Marketing and Cloud Computing training and events, the IIA continues to work across all industries to position Ireland as a leading web enabled economy.  With headline sponsor in IE Domain Registry Limited (“IEDR”), a select number of key categories, the most challenging judging structure, another stunning and original new venue and a record number of entries, these awards are the perfect way to start the season.

– Ends –

IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Winners 2014

Overall Net Visionary Winner – 2014 – Sponsored by IEDR

WINNER – Mark Little, Storyful

“Best All About Online” B2C eCommerce Retailer” – Sponsored by Hosting Ireland


Most Creative Use of Social Media for compelling customer engagement” – Sponsored by Eircom
WINNER – Javelin for Universal Pictures Ireland

Best Scaling “new heights and territories” International Internet Business” – Sponsored by Grant Thornton

WINNER – Teamwork

This is the “Rising Star” start-up of the year – Sponsored by Paypal

WINNER – Kitman Labs

The Best Web Designer of discernment and user friendly  functionality” – Sponsored by Hailo

WINNER – Pixel Design for “”

The Best Web Developer for ingenious engineering and  meticulous delivery” – Sponsored by Blacknight

WINNER – Software Design

Best Multi-Channel Retailer – all things to all people” – Sponsored by AIB

WINNER – Kilkenny Shop

The Most Indispensable Cloud Service for SMEs – Sponsored by Telecity

WINNER – Eventbrite

“Best Digital Marketing Brand Campaign – Sponsored by Irish Times Training

WINNER – Electric Ireland for Electric Picnic

Best Mobile Service or App for Fast Moving People (B2C)” – Sponsored by RTE Digital

WINNER – WholeWorldBand

Best Mobile Service or App for Fast Moving Businesses (B2B)” Sponsored by The Digital Hub

WINNER – Medical eGuides by Maithú  IT Solutions

Most Interesting Internet Innovation” – Sponsored by RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

WINNER – Kitman Labs

Very Best Place to be – Accelerator | Incubator | Space” – Sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank

WINNER – The Digital Hub

“You Did Good” – Best Use of the Internet for Social Good – Sponsored by Electric Ireland


“Award for Excellence – The Next Generation”

WINNERLauren Boyle, Cool Kids Studio

Outstanding Contribution from an IIA Member

WINNER – Ann O’Dea, Silicon Republic


What You Should Know About Running A Creative Tech Event

June 19, 2014 · Posted in Brand, events, marketing, new technology, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · 3 Comments 

Guest post by IIA Member, Sebastian Boppert, Eventbrite

While technophiles spend a lot of their time online, there is a tangible benefit tobuilding relationships offline to strengthen professional networks and to learn from peers. A great way to facilitate these offline meetings are creative, hands-on events like hackathons or game jams, where like minded people get
together make their latest ideas a reality within a couple of hours. We talked to London based Fadie Hannona from the MakersAcademy, Andrea Magnorsky from Gamecraft in Dublin and Fay Cowan from Decoded Fashion in London, who routinely bring the tech community together, and asked them to share their tips on how to organise a successful tech event.

Q:First off, for the uninitiated, what exactly is a hackathon or gamejam and how does it differ from other kinds of events?

Fadie Hannona, Marketing, MakersAcademy says: If you’re unfamiliar, you’ll probably imagine a hackathon to be a competition where people break and enter into systems. This isn’t what it is.

To put it simply, a hackathon is an event where people come together to express themselves creatively through technology. The aim is to turn an idea into a product prototype, in the form of a website or app within a short time frame (usually anywhere between a day or three.) It’s a team game where labour is divided according to the player’s strengths.

There are many types of hackathons and they’re either competitive or communal. They can be aimed at start-ups, developing open source projects, they can be aimed at serving a specific community or brand or even to explore the possibilities of a new product. But one thing holds for all hackathons – they are about building things.

Andrea Magnorsky, Founder, Gamecraft says: The premise of game jams like Gamecraft is that people come together to create a game. Jams are quite different to hackathons in that their nature is collaborative rather than competitive. You don’t necessarily need to know how to code either, because to develop a game you also need people with different backgrounds like designers and storytellers.

Fay Cowan, Event Director, Decoded Fashion says: In general terms, a hackathon is an overnight competition in which programmers, entrepreneurs, graphic designers and industry experts build a tech in a very short timeframe. The Decoded Fashion Hackathon asks participants to create apps answering to the problems and needs of the fashion and retail industry.
We are looking for viable apps that can be put to use!

Q: What would be your advice to a first time hackathon/gamejam attendee for getting the most out of it?

Fadie Hannona: It is good practice to formulate an idea in advance and make sure you’ve done a bit of research. This saves you time and allows you attract a passionate team.

Remember to think tactically as you walk through the doors. Firstly, accustom yourself with the crowd and learn who does what. Once you have your team in place, keep the time schedule of the event at the back of your mind so you can plan your moves efficiently.

Always remember to manage your expectations as it’s very unlikely that you’ll have a fully developed version 1 of your product and instead work on the most essential features you’d like to see in your prototype and build on that. Last but not least, never forget that the main thing is to have fun and learn!

Andrea Magnorsky: Come prepared! Have all programs you need to participate already installed on your machine so you won’t lose too much time setting up on the day. And be prepared for complete chaos! Fun, creative chaos, that is.

Fay Cowan: Come with an open mind, try and network a lot, have fun and don’t worry about the tech!

Q: Do you feel the number of this type of event is growing?

Fay Cowan: Yes, everything is speeding up in London it’s how the city and technology can learn to adapt to the changing market. There is a hunger and need for it all these hackathons!

Andrea Magnorsky: Absolutely. People have started to realise that if they want something done, while they need to first do it
themselves, they also need to collaborate to improve faster. There are great synergies to be had from coming together and doing more.

Q: What are the elements that make for a successful hackathon?

Fadie Hannona: The attendee list is as important as the theme or prize itself. A crowd that has a good ratio of developers and non-developers with complementary skill sets will make for a great hackathon.

A common complaint at hackathons is that there are too many ‘ideas people’ and not enough people who can actually build products. This is something we’re actively trying to avoid at our hackathon by offering free spots to developers, and charging non-developers.

Andrea Magnorsky: The most important factor is to have a positive attitude towards people. Make sure there is a good environment. As an organiser you need to avoid people having a bad time because that would dampen
the entire atmosphere. There will be problems, no doubt, and it is up to you to solve them. Reassure your attendees and help them where you can. If they struggle with completing their goal on the day, make an effort to integrate them in someone else’s effort. Keep it positive. If your event is longer than eight hours, you should definitely provide some form of food and drinks. It
allows people to stay engaged with the event without getting distracted. Think about offering a little present at the end. It’s the little things that add up to a great experience.

Fay Cowan: Good food, great mentors, and strong wifi!

Q: How do you stand out from other hackathons?

Fadie Hannona: There are a tonne of ways to stand out from other hackathons… Firstly, getting a good balance of complementary skillsets amongst attendees is a must, as are a strong group of inspiring judges to give feedback at the end of the event. Being a gracious host by taking care of the basics like food and drinks is a given, and having an alluring prize for the winner can really make your hackathon stand out from the crowd.

Andrea Magnorsky: With Gamecraft, we try and organise as many events in as many places as we can. We’ve recently turned Gamecraft into a not for profit to encourage more people to join us and help it grow. Non-competitiveness is key for us.

Fay Cowan: The DeCoded Fashion Hackathon is kicked-off by a panel of top fashion designers and executives, we are listening to what the problems of the fashion industry are and the solutions they crave. Top mentors will be on hand to help guide and support teams through the 24 hours, before each group gets to present their results in quick demos in front of a panel of esteemed judges. Our top 3 hacks will be taken through to pitch at our London Summit to a top panel of fashion judges!

Leaving your mark – How to maximise the potential of your brand online

July 15, 2013 · Posted in Brand, Business Guides, employer branding, online, Trade Mark · Posted by Blog Administrator · 1 Comment 

Securing trade mark registration for your brands is now more important than ever. Brian Johnston
looks at the difficulties faced by those who failed to register their brands early and how registering can maximise your brand identity online

Businesses often assume that a social media name (such as a Twitter handle or Facebook username), a business or company name or a domain name will be enough to protect their brand name. It isn’t. The only way to be sure that you have exclusive rights to your trading identity is to register the mark, logo, colour, slogan and so on as a trade mark. A trade mark registration offers brand owners a robust, frontline defence to prevent impersonation, dilution and
exploitation of their most valuable intangible asset – their brand.

What could happen to my brand if I haven’t protected it?

Nowadays, businesses are facing threats from fake websites passing themselves off as the real thing, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts and the sale of counterfeit goods on websites such as eBay. If they’re not policed properly, these threats
will directly affect the brand image and business of an organisation and they can drive away existing and potential customers.

Having a registered trade mark will not stop others trying to impersonate or exploit it, but it will make it much easier and cheaper to stop them from doing so. Many social media websites, online auction sites, hosting providers and other website operators have what are known as ‘notice and takedown’ policies. These policies set out when a service provider will respond to a request to remove content, branding or goods. Demonstrating the existence and infringement of a trade mark registration is often a necessary requirement for ensuring that swift action will be taken to protect your brand online. For example, generally on Twitter impersonation is not enough to require an account to be deactivated unless an element of deliberate confusion or deception is present. However, action will be taken to deal with an account that infringes a trade mark.

A trade mark registration also provides for more direct enforcement and policing of your brand. It can form the basis of a ‘cease and desist’ letter and litigation against those trying to exploit your brand, if it should come to that. While other legal routes exist to protect against the misuse of a word or a logo – such as an action for ‘passing off’ – none is as effective, both in
terms of time and cost, as being able to rely on infringement of a registered trade mark.

What if I just wait until my brand has really taken off before trying to protect it?

There are many examples of businesses (particularly start-ups) failing to register their brand due to considerations of time, cost and so on: just ask Twitter itself. The social media giant was founded in March 2006 and rapidly gained popularity. Despite this, steps weren’t taken until 2007 to register the trade mark ‘Twitter’ and it wasn’t until 2009 that it tried to register the now-familiar ‘t’ logo and the trade marks ‘Tweet’ and ‘Retweet’.

Because it didn’t invest in its growing brand by registering trade marks early, Twitter had no straightforward, cost-effective way of preventing others from using ‘Twitter’ or similar variations in an attempt to free-ride on the popularity of Twitter. Predictably, lengthy and avoidable litigation ensued. Twitter also incurred further expense in subsequently having to take steps to secure the rights to its brand by having to block numerous applications in the USA to register trade marks for Twitter,, Tweetmarks and others.

The lessons learned from Twitter’s trade mark difficulties do not just apply to large organisations; small and medium-sized businesses also need to take steps at an early stage to protect their brand.

The bottom line

The bottom line for any business is this: if you think, hope or dream that one day your business and your brand will be worth something, then you cannot risk not taking the necessary steps now to secure the rights to it – for a fraction of the effort and cost of doing so later.

For further information, please contact Brian Johnston ( Matthews (),Á
or Deirdre Kilroy ( of our Intellectual Property and Technology Unit.


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