Last Wednesday over 100 delegates attended the Net Imperative Roadshow in which the IIA were delighted to participate as a partner with Net Imperative. It was a free event chock full of information and many of the presentations with lots of interesting facts and figures can be found on the Net Imperative website (scroll right to the bottom after the list of attendees… also rather interesting reading )
Alan O’Rourke from IIA Member company Spoiltchild uploaded his presentation Vimeo which includes audio and is well worth a look.
I also finally had the pleasure of meeting Fred and Facundo from Channelship.ie, one of the IIA’s newest members. Fred said something to me on Wednesday that really resonated with me and I think it’s worth repeating. The recession, of course, came up in conversation, and Fred said something like, “You know, it’s at times like this that a good website can be a real important business resource. A good website is like having an extra sales, marketing or communications executive on the team. The only difference is that they work 24/7 for you!” Fred and Facundo really made the most of their day in the Guinness Storehouse, including this short video with the above mentioned, Alan O’Rourke of Spoiltchild.ie.
I met Romans and Gita of Agile Technologies at the Innovate Media Event organised by the Digital Media Forum and Media Cube in Dun Laoghaire last December. Since then I’m delighted to say that they joined the IIA and they are very interested in meeting you and helping you to streamline your business processes through the use of technology. (Yep all to do with my magnetic personality nothing to do with the boring old benefits of being a member of the IIA ) Agile Technologies have been in web 2.0 since 2003. They offer a unique mix of software development services to help companies achieve better sales and operational efficiency by leveraging their eBusiness capabilities.
They also have a number of existing software components which they distribute as open source.
Managing Director, Romans Malinovskis, told me about the new service they have launched in 2009. It is ”business process optimisation” using IT and is directed towards small and medium enterprises. All the software they write is based on MVC framework (Agile Toolkit) and is deployed as web 2.0 application – even if it’s internal company software.
Okay not strictly true But I have something free from RocketJobs, one of the IIA’s first new members of 2009.
RocketJobs is an industry-wide job site with the focus on removing as much clutter as possible and keeping the focus on making search quick and easy. Launched in December, our list of jobs and clients is growing rapidly. Following RecruitIreland’s recent good example, RocketJobs has gone one step further and is offering three free posts to any employer in Ireland. Check out their own blog post about this.
For any additional roles over and above these free postings we are offering 30% extra roles free to all IIA members.
The following guest post is written by Leon Quinn of Reverb Studios Multimedia & Web Design. Reverb Studios recently rejoined the IIA which I was really glad to see. Leon Quinn, the company owner, had been on my radar through twitter and had made some valuable input to the Social Media Working Group’s recent blogging workshop through the live twittering (You’ll hear me passing on his inputs in the podcast where I mistakenly say that he is based in Co. Clare when he’s actually in lovely Leitrim – my bad!)
I ask all new members what prompted them to join the IIA. Leon told me that “Good key worded anchor links from a site like the IIA’s with a Google page rank of 6/10 and Alexa rank of 135,562 should help promote my web site so I guess you could say I’m mainly using the IIA site for link backs but in return you should get some useful content via my 2 blogs through your excellent RSS feature.”
Over to Leon:
The dominant mood in the current economic climate amongst the general public and businesses especially is to cut costs, save money and look for deals. Bearing this in mind, and if you run a business looking to increase your sales leads, now might be a good time to look at your marketing methods and spend.
‘Old fashioned’ marketing methods such as Print, Radio, TV, Brochures, etc.. remain effective at least in a local context but they also remain very expensive. If you are a business manager who has managed to avoid going down the online route to find leads until now then you should realise that according to recent statistics more and more people are using the internet to find services and purchase products online and you may not be able to afford to ignore this fact for much longer.
Web Design companies, if they have morals! will realise that companies may turn to the net in the current crisis to service their sales needs and therefore will hopefully lower their prices in the face of greater competition so hiring a web development company should no longer break the bank like it used to.
So what are the benefits of having a web presence over traditional marketing means?
- The web has a much greater reach, anyone with a PC and internet connection, anywhere in the world can find your site and potentially do business with you.
- The web never sleeps. Your website will not keep normal business hours but will continue to sell your services 24/7.
- It’s easier and quicker to find a product or service on the web thanks to excellent search engines such as Google therefore people will use this method to find companies much more.
- You can say more and sell yourself better on a web site than any other media. Consider the cost of an ad in something like the yellow pages and what you get for that price as opposed to a web site on which you can have text, photos, audio, video, news and as many pages as you like!
- The ongoing cost of a web site is quite small compared to other media. If you are managing the site yourself then the only repetitive costs will be your domain name and hosting and these should be reasonable.
- Spending money on something like Google Adwords to get people to your site is a much more efficient way of spending your marketing budget and you can monitor the effects of a campaign much more closely.
- You can use Google Analytics on your web site for free and gain very useful information about the type of people visiting your site and what they looked at most while there. This information can allow you to optimise your site to maximise the amount of people who actually contact you and give you a valuable sales lead.
Article by Leon Quinn
Reverb Studios Multimedia Design, Leitrim
First up are SpunOut.ie and coming from the community and voluntary sector I have been aware of the work SpunOut have been doing for some years. They are a National Youth Organisation Charity promoting positive personal and social change. Considering the manner in which young people use technology, offering them support and advice online is a no-brainer. I always think that initiatives aimed at young people make their first mistake when they mention the word “cool”. The approach of the SpunOut team undermines all previous “cool” efforts. I saw the SpunOut crew at the Irish Web Awards and I don’t think they care whether they’re cool or not. I wonder would they dress like that for the Net Visionary Awards
Foran Enterprise is as they say themselves “a professional company specialising in business design and training solutions.” They are based in Killarney, Co, Kerry and not only do they look after your electronic marketing but also print based marketing too.
The IIA Membership have seen many of their members scoop awards this year in all sorts of industry awards and new member Impact Media, based in Galway, can count themselves among those who helped bring home the piece for the mantel. Their clients FRS Recruitment won Best Recruitment Agency in the National Recruitment Federation (NRF) awards recently. Nice!
I was delighted to see Gorta joining towards the end of October especially when I looked at their brand spanking new website. It makes it very easy to make donations to assist them in their valuable work in making hunger history. The navigation allows all types of browser to find the required information quickly. They also include Field Blogs which is a great use of social media technology giving a real, up-to-the-minute view of what there volunteers are doing all over the world.
A big welcome also to the Web Office of my alma mater, Trinity College Dublin. Their representative Maura Horan is already getting stuck right in as she has agreed to chair the User Experience Working Group for 2009.
XennaNET.ie are also another welcome addition to the IIA. They availed of one of the special offers I made on Twitter a while ago and joined. While their website is currently in the minimalist phase I can tell you that I know that their claim to be “purveyors of fine web apps” is true. They are responsible for URL.ie which is indeed a fine, comprehensive URL shortening tool which I use regularly. It allows you to paste in a big long URL, shorten it and then share it via a number of different social networking and bookmarking tools. There is also a link for your browser toolbar and you can even generate a QR Code which while I see the potential value in is even getting a bit techie and geeky for me Sweet though!
A big IIA welcome to Luxury Dublin Apartments. I’m sorry to say that I personally will probably never have the need for their service seeing as I hail from Rathmines which is the location of the beautifully appointed Luxury Dublin Apartments. However, having many family and friends scattered all over the globe it’s nice to know that there is a flexible option like this available in the area. As their local amenities page attests there is plenty to see and do in the area and it’s not far from Dublin city centre.
If you are thinking that it’s about time you snazzed up the office a bit you could do worse than Newform Office Interiors who joined the IIA recently. They are “a company who specialise in providing complete interior fit-out services to the Retail, Corporate and Commercial Sectors. With over 20 years experience, Newform give a complete turnkey fit-out service providing everything from office furniture, walls, partitioning, flooring.” Ever the geeky magpie I was particularly attracted to their Audio Visual Multimedia Wall. Shiny!
A big IIA welcome to Spicendipity a company who facilitate one of my favourite things in the whole world: baking. I have sampled Spicendipity’s brownies and I hate to say it but they are better than mine. Deborah Hadley, the woman behind Spicendipity, was also recently shortlisted in the Net Visionary Awards for Best Business Blogger. A quick gander at her blog will tell you why she was nominated and then chosen by the judges. I also had the luck to hear Deborah presenting at PodCampIreland in September and was very impressed by her approach to setting up Spicendipity. Social Media has been very much at the core of her business plan. She also made very good use of her market research as a starting point for her future email communications which I thought was a very clever approach. If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak, take it.
The subtitle of one of the IIA’s newest members Squire is contagious creativity and I really hope it is because I’m feeling in need of some creative contagion lately! But enough about me. Squire’s services include website design and development, flash development and animation, video & audio editing, dvd & interactive cd-rom production, flash banner ads and online advertising. So they’re not only creative but multi-talented. A great addition to the association.
A big IIA welcome to Bariant Systems who develop and deliver Jobscan.ie. Jobscan is a job management and cost control system which streamlines the management of jobs from enquiries to delivery. I’d be really interested if it did the jobs as well The Jobscan site explains more clearly for whom and for what the system is intended and promises to “allow you to effectively manage your business and gain the competitive edge. ” Not a bad offering in these times of cost cutting.
Considering the gloomiest budget ever was announced yesterday it’s nice to know that the people who know more about money than the rest of us are joining the Irish Internet Association. The IIA are delighted to welcome Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon into the association and sincerely hope they have some hot tips to share with the rest of us. If they do tell us to get on our bikes they are not being rude: as far as I can make out us cyclists seem to be the only people who will be getting money back from the Government. Barry Meehan, owner of Worldwidecycles.com will be happy today!
But I digress. To quote themselves, Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon have a lot to offer those in need of Accounting and Business Consultancy:
With substantial experience in both the public and private sectors, Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon offers a comprehensive range of Accounting and Business Consultancy services to our clients across the island of Ireland.
In all areas of the practice, we provide partner clients with pragmatic, expert led, personalised advice and insights that help them succeed, grow and prosper.
And they do indeed have some information about yesterday’s budget of course. You can download their perspective on it from their site as a PDF.
A big IIA welcome to Patchcom Services who joined the IIA recently. Patchcom Services, established in 2002 provides IT Services to growing businesses throughout Ireland. Their experience spans a broad range of technologies with a focus on IT to support work and home life. I also had the pleasure of meeting the main man in Patchcom recently, Patrick O’Connor, at the last OpenCoffeeClub in the Digital Depot. It was clear from chatting to him and listening to him answering other OpenCoffeeClubbers’ questions about hardware and systems that he knows what he’s talking about. Also, interestingly and because I know my fellow countryfolk love the whole connections thing, Patrick has recently taken a city centre desk in the new co-working space set up in Dublin’s South William St. I have written about this before because one of our other members, Eamon Leonard of EchoLibre set up this space. It seems to me to be perfect synergy: all your technology needs in the one space!