I’ve just published this week’s Events Alert which naturally lists our upcoming events (namely Twitter & Facebook for Business on April 12th, Open for Business: the IIA Annual Conference on May 12th and Digitise the Nation May 9th – 13th).
I also included a poll about possible Diploma Courses the Irish Internet Association might run in the future to help you with your professional development.
Our Diploma in Digital Marketing has proved very successful in the last 6 months and we thought that you might be interested in other diploma courses on other topics run one evening a week over 6 – 12 weeks. We might also consider running them as bootcamps i.e. intensive week-long full-day training courses.
I thought it was no harm to throw the net wider and replicate that poll here on the blog.
We have a few suggestions below but we have also added a field to allow you to make suggestions too. We’d love to hear what would interest you but if there is anything else you would like to say on the topic please have at ye in the comments below!
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.
Just a super quick post to wish you all the best in 2010! A couple of things were brought to my attention while I was on leave and I thought the quickest thing would be to share them with you all here.
- Firstly IIA member Pixel Design thought some of you might be interested in Dublin County Enterprise Board’s search for Irish Digital Talent to represent Ireland at a Campus Party Europa Event in Spain in April.
- Secondly I thought it was worth reminding you that one of our members is conducting research about social networking for a masters thesis. Please complete her survey if you have a few minutes to spare.
- And there should be a thirdly. Ah yes! If you are an IIA Member, your membership is now due for renewal. We are doing a special 10% for members who renew online by credit card. Email me at members at iia dot ie for the voucher code.
Photo right owned by Valeriana Solaris (cc)
Earlier this week I posted a blog post about our upcoming Board Elections. Unfortunately I mistyped the email address for nominations in the HTML (not onscreen) which caused some difficulties. I’m sorry about this and it was corrected as soon as it was pointed out to us. The correct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are being accepted until 5pm today so you still have just over an hour to get involved. All valid nominations will be published on Friday 17th July.
Between 12pm and 1pm today the main IIA.ie website will be unavailable for a period. We are adding a new module to the site that affects the functionality and the design of some aspects of the site. Although we have tested it in a live-like environment we would prefer to bash it about a bit in a live environment before releasing it completely. We hope you understand. We appreciate your patience.
You can check out our twitter feed for updates although I will of course be busy testing the new module!
UPDATE 17.21 24/06/2009: Most of you should be seeing the IIA site again. However if you are not seeing content that you would expect to see, or you are having issues logging in or you are not seeing the site could you please let me know? Either IM me using the Meebo widget on the right, email me at members at iia dot ie or ring 01 5424154. Thanks!
UPDATE 13.03 24/06/2009: The main IIA Site may not be visible briefly as its new location propagates (i.e. as your server learns where our new server is when you type iia.ie into your browser). This is very unfortunate as we sent the Digital Digest today and we know some people can’t access further information. Again we are sorry for any inconvenience and would be much obliged if you could be patient. The site will reappear shortly.
UPDATE 11.45am, 24/06/2009: We are experiencing some small issues with logging into the main IIA website. We are working to resolve it and will let you know as soon as it has been sorted. This affects only members. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
We are moving the IIA website (bar this blog) to a new server this afternoon. This might mean some service interruption on the main IIA site (www.iia.ie) between 4pm and 7pm GMT today. That means if you are a member and you are planning to post some info to the site please do it now or after 7pm. Even if the site is visible and available please do NOT post info between 4pm and 7pm. Thanks!
Basically we are moving the site to new server which should result in a zippier experience for everyone. While we have tested the site on the new server if you do notice anything unusual PLEASE let me know by emailing members @ iia dot ie. Thanks!
This month’s Digital Digest is now available. It includes:
- A reminder that nominations close TOMORROW for the 2009 Net Visionary Awards. Nominate your Net Visionary now or regret it later!
- Details about Congress 09 and a reminder to book your ticket at special Early Bird prices.
- A call for expressions of interest in developing an Integrated online accounting and membership management system for the IIA
- Details about upcoming IIA events
- Member vacancies
- New member listing
- Loads of member news and events
- And much more besides
This quarter’s State of the Net (PDF, 805K, opens in a new window) includes information about:
- the launch of The Ideas Campaign;
- the uptake of Broadband in Ireland compared to our EU neighbours;
- the number of Irish tweeters on Twitter.com;
- statistics about Internet use in Ireland;
- business use of the internet and eBusiness application;
- information from the Data Protection Commissioner about spam in Ireland;
- and child safety online
State of the Net is a quarterly publication produced by Amas for IIA Members and Irish businesses to help them keep abreast of key Internet trends and statistics. You can access all previous editions here.
I know it’s hard to believe but recently I was feeling a little down. All the doom and gloom was getting to me and no matter what I did to try and cheer myself up my natural optimism was flagging. I felt that if I read one more news item online, in a newspaper or heard another radio or tv item or ad that started with the phrase [Insert your least favourite there's-a-recession-on phrase here] I was going to go nuts!
By last Saturday evening much of that feeling was dispelled thanks to all of those who participated as speakers and attendees at Bizcamp Dublin in the Digital Hub. The mood was upbeat and, dare I say it, indomitable.
Bizcamp Limerick will be taking place on 21st March and I would strongly recommend that anyone involved in business in Ireland get along if only to re-ignite your passion, do some networking and hear some stories from others who know what you are going through.
Throughout the day attendees could choose between three strands taking place in the venue and sometimes it was a very tough choice. Camps being a little less formal do allow for more movement than many events. However the sessions I went to were all so good that I couldn’t bear to leave them to catch the end of others!
I kicked off the day at Aidan Kenny’s presentation on Servitizing your Business which certainly gave me a lot to think about. However I sometimes think we could do with a stern talk about productizing our business
I also attended a session give by two representatives of our member companies, Paul McKeever of Front, and Andrew Tobin of T2. This session focused on making the most of your web strategy. If you were there and you liked what you heard and you want more, Paul McKeever and Paul May of Front are both presenting IIA events this quarter.
I also attended a session by Niall Harbison on how he has used social media to grow his business, LookandTaste.com. The funding panel was very well moderated by Patricia O’Sullivan, who ran the M50 incubator program for 6 years and who is currently starting up her own business. The Panel comprised five entrepreneurs who all spoke about their experience of raising funds for their businesses, what helped, and what didn’t, but mostly what helped!
- Caelen King of Reva Health (www.RevaHealth.com) – raised €1.25 million
- Niall Harbison of Look & Taste (formerly iFoods as seen on BBC’s Dragons Den) www.lookandtaste.com – raised €400k
- Campbell Scott of IGOPeople (www.igopeople.com) – raised €750k
- Ciaran Crean of MicksGarage (www.micksgarage.com) – raised €560k
- Keith Bohanna of dbTwang (www.dbtwang.com) – raised €110k
This sesssion also included the perspective of Enterprise Ireland, representatives explaining the different schemes that exist, the benefits and possible obstacles and the future direction of the schemes. Enterprise Ireland were well represented on the day and there was plenty of opportunity to speak with them about business ideas.
For me the most enjoyable session of the day was Robin Blandford’s Battle of the Biz. Basically we were divided into two teams and we have 25 minutes to pull together a credible business and present it to a panel of judges. Our team, Digital Finance, won. It must have been the TV advert that swung it…
At one point during the day I was interviewed for Nuacht RTÉ/ TG4 (Dia Dhuit token Gaeilgeoir!) and the interviewer asked me what I thought was the biggest challenge facing entreprenuers today. I replied that I felt it was not so much the economic situation but the potential of that situation to divert the focus required to start a business in Ireland today. This response is a little facile but it is a danger. I think Bizcamp re-energised people, reminded them of their focus and their reason for starting out on their own.
If you would like to capture this kind of energy, head along to Bizcamp Limerick. I heard, Stephen Kinsella, one of the Limerick organisers speak in Dublin about businesses partnering with third level and if he brings half as much energy to Bizcamp Limerick, you’ll be flying!
The end of 2008 is looming and we are doing a bit of navel gazing here in IIA HQ. Navels are all very well for gazing at but they’re a bit low on useful information. All of you however have lots of information about our events in your pretty little noggins and we want it!
We’ve prepared a survey about our events where we ask you about what you liked about last year’s events, what you didn’t like, what kind of events you would like to see next year and we also ask your opinion on some specific aspects of our programme. So fill out the survey please – it’ll only take five minutes!