This is a general call to all interested in helping to contribute to the social media sector in Ireland though collaborative work. We are inviting you all with an open invite to a kick off session in the Digital Hub on 24th February at from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Please register for free online.
The group has an official set of aims outlined but in truth this sector moves incredibly rapidly and I would really love to hear people views on what they think a grouping of like-minded, motivated and skilled digital people can achieve. In essence the working group is a collective effort and we can achieve more through harnessing each other’s expertise than we can as stand-alone units. No one of us has all the answers.
My experience of these type groups is that if we follow a defined and agreed set of work that it moves quickly from a talking shop to something of real value. We will be asking for time but we will respect it and use it as efficiently as possible. Your expertise may come in the form of peer review of papers/reports we build, speaking at events or face to face meetings to run through work.
Ultimately the Irish Internet Association and the industry in general will benefit from a lot of the work done by the group but this not a selfless task and by giving up time your efforts will be acknowledged.
For my part I am committing a year in chairing the group. I don’t have all the answers and this is not driven by ego but I am passionate about the social media sector and how it changing how we communicate and do business.
At the session on the 24th I will outline some of the work done previously, the work in progress and some thoughts about areas we can make a real impact. I am stepping into big shoes following on from the excellent work by previous chairs Conor Lynch and Brendan Hughes and I would like to thank them and the other members of the group and the IIA staff for the hard work to date.
A note from Roseanne, IIA Membership Manager: While we welcome all to come along to this meeting to hear about the Social Media Working Group plans only fully paid-up members can join the Working Group. You can join online or get in touch with me by email or 01 5424154 to discuss membership with me. I will, of course, be at this meeting if you would like to talk to me then.
In this post I get more than a little ranty about my pet internet peeves and Darren decides to throw in his tuppenceworth too. However, on a positive note, I do share some useful resources and content. I wonder finally is it time to resurrect Feedback Friday?
A tweet I saw from Michele Neylon in Blacknight and another from Ann Donnelly of O’Mahony Donnelly eBusiness reminded me of one of my personal online pet peeves. They were both complaining about sites that did not work if you left out the “www” e.g. iia.ie versus www.iia.ie. It’s a little thing I know but I did title this post as being about my pet online peeves!
Will I go on? Okay a little venting! Another one that drives me a little more bonkers than I am already is Out of Office emails that begin with Re: + my subject line. This means that I have to check them just in case you have replied to my email. Not a problem when it’s an individual one to one email but when you send to a list of over 6000 as we do with the Digital Digest it can become a bit of a chore. I know, I know that not everyone has control over how this works on their email but are you sure you can’t fix it on your email?
On the subject of email, I am asking you now to check your signature and make absolutely sure that you include a contact phone number at the very least after you sign off on every email, even then ones that only say “Grand fine with me.”
Whatever about not including your phone number on every sign-off a registered company in Ireland is required by law to include certain details on their website (See Information Leaflet No.7 on the CRO website). It is best practice to include as much detail in your contact page as possible. We also use Meebo (see on the right) to allow people to contact us live. With the recent news that Google will be including negative/ positive reviews in their search algorithms wouldn’t you prefer that people contact you one to one with their complaint rather than write an online review that is negative about your customer service rather than focussing on your exemplary product? (Thanks Christophe Bernigaud for the link!)
On a slightly more serious note I abhor websites that rip off content. Obviously we’ve all discovered through Google Alerts that some blog somewhere has wholesale copied and pasted our blog content as part of some weird link farming activity (SEO specialists – help me out on this one!) but it’s clear that this is fairly automated and it won’t take long for the host of the free blogging platform to shut them down. What bugs me is when legitimate businesses copy and paste content from other sites, maybe write a prefacing paragraph and sometimes include a link back to the original post. A couple of blogs I have seen recently have done this and I am racking my brain trying to work out if they think this is okay. Yes by all means quote salient points from the content you have read online but please reference and link to it properly. This one particular blog I had ocassion to visit had really good content and I was thinking, “This guy is wasted here: his content is gold!” It was only after day 5 of 5 of top-quality content that a link back to the original article that I realised it was a word for word match. There’s a name for this and it’s copyright infringement and even if the law can’t help you, by Nelly, the internet will. Another give away on a different blog was the fact that the blogging software garbled the pasted text, displaying the HTML code for special characters (eg á). Nobody types that stuff by accident… I presumed the worst and thought, “Poor show, chaps!”
On a more positive note I read a great blog post recently entitled “Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website” which will have food for thought and some actionable items for nearly everyone who is responsible for a website. (Hat Tip to DeepSpin for that one!)
When my colleague Darren, our events & training manager, realised I was writing this post he sent me an email with his pet peeves for your enlightenment. We’re easily ticked off, aren’t we?
Websites that automatically play music or videos. It’s not helpful – I know how to click play! It’s more likely to make me close your page rather than sit and listen to your new song/advertising spiel/video introduction…
Flashy, sparkly, slow-loading homepages. Chances are, I’m just looking for your email address. Don’t make me wait two minutes to see your actual content. Close page, move on.
Websites that don’t actually tell me what the company does. Is it so hard to include a short paragraph telling me what you do? Where’s your About Page?
Pop-up ads. Do I really need to elaborate on this one?
Not knowing the difference between you’re and your.
Typos in generel. Peopel, we live in de age of Splelchek, use it.
Sites that are incompatible with my Mac. This makes me sad and it makes your website useless to me.
I’m done (for now)
Regular readers of this blog will remember a feature I ran on a Friday for a good while called Feedback Friday. It was intended to help companies get some ideas about areas in their sites (their own or clients’) that needed improvement. Well Darren reckons it’s time we resurrected this feature. So if you are a member of the IIA and you would like some constructive feedback about your website or an element of your site or a client’s site please email details to me and we’ll kick off again.
Calling all business bloggers! If you blog for your business, no matter what size, we want to hear more about your experience. We would like to gauge the effectiveness of blogging for business, start collecting data about trends, the costs involved, your target audiences and the benefits. We look forward to sharing the anonymised results of this survey and analysis of the data with you in due course.
This is an initiative of the Irish Internet Association’s Social Media Working Group to gather information about blogging for business in Ireland. This survey was run last year (results available online) and formed part of the data for the guide “Join the Conversation: A Guide to Blogging for Business” Your response will be completely anonymous and the survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Did you complete the survey last year? Please take the time to complete it again; it will help us gauge developing trends in blogging for businesses in Ireland.
I’ve been blogging since 2003 (not here on my personal blog) and much of that blogging was, I presumed, never read by anyone. But every once in a while someone would mention my blog to me in conversation or I would receive a comment and it would all click into place and inspire me to keep going. As more people use social media tools and more of those tools help us broadcast our content (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed) and help us collect, sort, digest and engage with others’ content there will be less blogging in the dark. Some fear that there will be just less blogging and I understand this fear. However I think that a blog should be the backbone of your social media presence, allowing you to expand on the ideas that attract people to you (and your brand if you’re representing a business) in other social media. It also allows you to develop ideas and conversations in your own space.
However reading about Disqus, “a real time comment system”, makes me realise that services like this will give commenters just as much control and ownership of their content as the bloggers who inspired the comment. This acknowledges the importance of commenting and rightly so. It’s been a while since I used a comment management system. I tried one maybe two years ago and it was very clunky but I must give this a go again.
Anyway over to Seth and Tom!
Many of the delegates at IIA Congress 2009 shared their impressions, notes and photos of the Congress and now I’d like to share them with you! Please leave a comment if I have missed your review, photos or other media about the event and I would be delighted to add it.
Krishna De shares some really evocative photos of both the Congress and the Net Visionary Awards - have a gander you may see yourself there! Speaking of which you might like to check out the “official” IIA shots on Pix.ie
Keith Shirley gives a very measured review of the two days and his feedback is appreciated. He was involved in our breakout sessions as a members of the Social Media Working Group and he also stepped up as a Social Media mentor on Day 2 so big thanks to him!
Gita of Agile Technologies includes reviews of the 3 breakout sessions she attended and are well worth a look.
Fred from Channelship managed to interview two of the plenary speakers from the Congress and I’m including the vids below for you. You can hear the complete speeches from Colm Lyon, Realex Payments, Trey Harvin, dotMobi, Ronan Harris, Google and Colm Long, Facebook as MP3s on the IIA site.
Continuing the Social Media Working Group’s series of case studies is Michelle Daly from Paddypower was the second of our two case studies at the launch of “Join the Conversation: A Guide to Blogging for Business” Please find her presentation below. Thanks to Brendan Hughes, FBD.ie and chair of the IIA Social Media Working Group for recording and preparing the slide show below.
Big thanks to Ann, Dorothy and Ivan who all entered our recent blogging competition. I thought their entries were all great: Ann’s had a lovely personal touch, Dorothy’s was creative and fun and Ivan’s was totally on message for his blog as well as sharing some great reasons with his readers about why they should come along to Congress.
In light of this and the fact there was only three entries AND because it’s Friday and I am feeling magnanimous I would like to give each of the entrants one ticket rather than award a pair to any one winner. It’s my compo and I’ll make up the rules as I go if I want to
Congratulations and see the three of you next Thursday!
This week’s case study is the slideshow presented by Aedan Ryan at the launch of “Join the Conversation: The Guide to Blogging for Business” in April.
A short aside – Making an audio recording is a handy tactic if you would like to reuse your presentations on your company blog. You can easily attach a good quality digital voice recorder to a sound desk to record your voice. (I have an Olympus DS 30 with a Sony ECM-MS907 Mic) You can go even simpler and just record straight to your recorder. I noticed Alan O’Rourke of Spoiltchild using iTalk on his iPhone at an event recently – this app is free. If you are doing the presentation at an external event make sure you have the permission of the organisation for whom you are presenting before posting the presentation on your blog.
I know many of you have attended far more IIA Congresses than I have. In fact you could probably describe it better than I ever could.
So I thought, “Hey why not share those descriptions with a wider audience?” Tell us in a blog post about your experiences at a previous Congress and link back to this post (so I know about your post and can read it!) We will award a pair of tickets for the two day event to the best blog post on this topic.
Your post can be about benefits you or your company got from attending a previous Congress, interesting/ inspiring people you met at Congress, something funny that happened on the way to, from or at Congress, photographs (with HIlar-i-ous captions of course ), video, audio, or video mash-up indeed. Whatever you fancy!
The competition is open until May 13th and the winner will be announced on May 15th.
I also have another competition coming up tomorrow that might be more to your taste so please stay tuned (or better still subscribe to the blog feed.)
Thanks to Emmet Ryan of Villa81 who made this video which sums up the launch yesterday of “Join the Conversation: The Guide to Blogging for Business“.