Feb 212011

Marketing visionary Seth Godin talks about how marketing is evolving to be less about peddling a message to the masses, and more about harnessing and channelling the power of “Tribes” through effective leadership.

Got to love TED… especially the TED Mobile iPhone app – perhaps the ultimate antidote to TK Max!

Seth’s book “Tribes” is still sitting in my to-read list – must fast-track it to the top.

May 252010

I’m loving the iPhone. It’s an amazing piece of technology.

I use it all the time for looking up quick things online, to catch up with the feeds in my RSS reader, to make productive use of time spent waiting, to organise my calendar and to-do lists, to listen to music and podcasts.

Just occasionally I even use it as a phone ;-).

There are apps for practically everything under the sun… lots of them available for free from the app store. In the short time I’ve had the iPhone it’s become an indespensible tool that makes life easier in lots of different ways.

One thing I never really expected to be doing on the iPhone though was writing blog posts… but guess what… there’s an app for that!

WordPress for iPhone is an intuitive little app from the lovely people at WordPress.org. It makes managing comments, responding to them and even creating and editing posts and pages easy, any time, anywhere.

I’ve only just installed it but so far so good.

Update: There’s also a WordPress for Android, for those of you using Android smartphones.

May 182010
Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

My mobile is banjaxed.

If you follow me on Twitter you already know that I’ve been wrestling with the decision of whether to get an iPhone 3Gs or an HTC Desire Android handset. I asked the question on Twitter and, predictably, I got a flood of recommendations both ways.

Both phones have a similar price tag, on pretty much the same mobile tariffs on the Irish networks that carry them both, and by and large, for what I need, both will do the same job.

My inner geek was screaming “Android” – because there’s a part of me that loves the open ethos of the Android operating system and rails against the closed corporate policies of Apple Inc.

Then again, there’s another part of me that values the polished sleekness of the iPhone’s design, and the absolutely top-notch user interface of the iPhoneOS. Both phones were was neck and neck in terms of recommendations: most of my techie contacts and friends recommended the Android phone, while non-techie business connections and friends came in firmly behind the iPhone.

In the end I think it was the maturity of Apple’s app-store compared to the Android marketplace that swung me towards the iPhone. There seem to be issues with buying apps from the Android Marketplace in Ireland – something that I guess curtails the scope of Android devices, at least in the short term.

So I’ve gone for the iPhone on Vodafone, and will be picking it up in Clonakilty on Thursday.

Ultimately there was little separating the two devices, and to be honest even with the app-store thing I can’t really put my finger on why exactly I chose the iPhone over the HTC. It was more of a gut feeling, an instinct, than anything else. Getting the iPhone just feels “right” for some reason.

Whether it turns out to be the right decision, I guess time will tell.

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Jan 212009
Skype Limited

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve noticed lots of people around the web having trouble installing Skype on their Linux based Acer Aspire One netbook computers.

Advice on the net varies, but tends to involve going to the terminal and typing on the command line to install the Skype distribution for Linux, then manually editing XML files to add the Skype icon to the Apire One’s uber-simple desktop.

This is do-able, but daunting for Linux newbies, myself included :-).

So, I thought, surely there has to be an easier way… and there is!

1. Go to www.acer.com/aspireone/updates on your Acer Aspire One


2. Click on the “Skype” link and then click on “download Skype” to download the file Skype.sh.zip to your machine’s hard drive.

3. Navigate to your downloads folder (or wherever you saved the file) and double click on it to open up the ZIP file in Xarchiver.

4. Click on “Extract” and select “Extract All” to copy the contents of the ZIP file to a new folder in your Downloads directory.

5. Navigate to the resulting folder and double click on the file skype.sh

6. Click OK to confirm you want to install the update patch.

That’s it – the next time you reboot you’ll find a Skype icon sitting in your connect menu. Just launch it, log in and use Skype as usual. Simple

You’ll find a selection of other popular open source software titles like the Gimp image editor, FileZilla FTP client and lots more under the Connect, Work, Fun and Files categories.

I found this totally by accident while browsing the Aspire One site. Why Acer don’t do more to publicise this for Aspire One owners I’ll never know (and why they don’t have Skype installed on the Aspire One by default is another mystery).

The Acer Aspire One is a superb little machine… and with the addition of some of these extra software titles it will help you to be even more productive on the go.


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Nov 192008


I Like: Sleek design, intuitive interface, ease of use, WiFi, third party applications, price.

I Don’t Like: Slightly ropey video, mediocre camera (but hey, this is telephone), doesn’t charge through the USB connector.

Verdict: A very capable business phone ideal for busy people who still believe cameras are the best tools for taking photographs.

I finally did it: I upgraded my phone….

After bricking my HP iPAQ by putting it through the washing machine (my fault… allegedly… for not emptying my pockets :-(), I decided to use a back-up phone (… trust me, you don’t want to know) until my contract with O2 ran out.

My plan: to switch to Meteor and avail of the great offer they had on the Nokia N95 8GB.

In the end the switch from O2 to Meteor was a painless, even pleasant experience… which I guess is something of of a novelty when you’re dealing with a mobile phone operator. If the service so far from Meteor is anything to go by it’s a switch I should have made a long time ago.

But enough about networks… this is a phone review.

Anyway – after uhmming and ahing about the Nokia N95 8GB for what seemed an eternity, I finally decided that I didn’t really need to pay a premium for all that memory and a fancy camera, when all I really wanted was something with WiFi that would run third party business applications, could access the internet and e-mail. I also wanted something that’s often overlooked when examining the whiz-bang feature sets of contemporary phones: a unit that would work well as an ordinary telephone.

So I opted for the N51 – a smartphone running the same Symbian operating system as the N95, but just… wait for it… €49 on Meteor’s cheapest €20/month contract.

It’s a sleek, slim phone with a metal chassis that feels solid and business like in your hands. It seems to do pretty much everything an N95 can do, just without the huge memory (soon remedied by slipping the MicroSD card from the dead HP iPaq into my new phone), and the 5 Megapixal camera (but, hey, I have a camera for taking photographs).

To date the phone has been superb, performing everything I’ve asked of it admirably. For me the killer feature has to be the ability to take Skype calls over WiFi using Fring (I use a SkypeIn number for business calls, and can now pick them up even when I’m not on my computer).

I also love the fact I can monitor and update my Twitter account from the phone either on the web, or, much more user friendly, via an assortment of mobile apps… my current favourite being Twibble.

All in all the E51 is a streamlined business phone that still offers plenty of bells and whistles in a really sleek and compact package. Crucially, it performs the fundamentals extremely well, and the Symbian operating system seems a lot more stable than Windows Mobile 6, which was running on the HP iPaq.

Would I recommend this phone… you bet I would!

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Mar 122008

I’ve just posted a piece about “Reality Mining” on my digital marketing blog. From a marketing perspective it opens up all sorts of options. From a consumer and privacy point of view, I don’t know….

I’m not really comfortable with the concept that my phone will be better than my friends and family at diagnosing depression.

How about the fact that using data from your mobile analysts will be able to predict exactly who you’re going to meet, and even on which day of the week you’re going to meet them.