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.

Dec 062010

My wife tells me I’m in danger of becoming binocular obsessed since getting my fantastic Swarovski SLC 10X42HD binoculars. I have to admit she may have a point, but I cant help posting this up here….

Over on their Facebook page Swarovski Optik is raffling three pairs of it’s outstanding binoculars among its fans when their page reaches 3,000 “likes”. At the moment they’re on 2049 and climbing.

The three models they’re raffling off are the fantastic EL 8×32, the EL 10×32 Traveler, and the Pocket 8×20.

Win Swarovski Binoculars on Facebook

Could one of these amazing binoculars be heading your way for Christmas?

For your chance to win, head on over to the Swarovski Optik Facebook Page, Like the page, and submit your details via the “Raffle” tab. It’s that simple.

Good luck!

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Oct 182010
Brilliant idea for keeping USB cables tidy

Fantastic idea for keeping your cables accessible

I’ve been a bit remiss with posting to the blog, and with social media in general over recent months. When the real world gets “interesting”, or at least when it gets full, virtual stuff  has a habit of falling by the wayside.

However, this morning I took a few minutes to flick through Stumbleupon, and up popped this little gem of an idea for keeping all your USB cables neatly accessible. It’s brilliantly simple… and a classic “I wish I’d thought of that” idea.

Hats off to David Rudolf Bakker of the Netherlands for a cheap, effective solution to scrambling around under the desk for dropped cables.

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 192010
A cheesy iphone Ad made by Me.

Image by twenty5pics via Flickr

I don’t own an iPhone… partly because I don’t use my phone enough to warrant paying inflated monthly contracts, but mostly because I don’t like Apple’s restrictive business practice of tying customers to a particular network provider and locking them in to proprietary software and services. But the January sales are starting to change my mind.

Wherever you go in town during the sales you’ll find a particular breed of sorrowful creature: laden with carrier bags, wandering aimlessly outside fitting rooms, trying desperately not to look like a pervert in the lingerie department, and generally milling about on a never-ending quest for non-existent seating.

I’m talking, of course, about the long-suffering shopping-husband… a cross between an over-laden pack mule and a rabbit caught in headlights.

These people are usually so far outside their comfort zone that you’d expect them to be in a constant state of panic. They’re not, because the edge of that panic is dulled by the mind-numbing monotony of trotting from shop-to-shop behind a credit-card wielding spouse. That, and the preoccupation of juggling an ever-growing mountain of shopping bags, combined with the mental anguish of totting up next month’s credit card bill.

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Dec 032009

Amazon.com is now shipping the much vaunted Kindle e-book reader to Ireland… complete with 3G wireless connectivity that lets you purchase and download new books direct from your kindle, wherever you are, and start reading it within a minute.


Here’s what Amazon has to say about shipping the Kindle to Ireland:

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Nov 022009
creative minds

Image by lism. via Flickr

Only four days to go before Understanding Digital: CREATIVE, when Damian Ryan and I will be hosting four leading speakers in the online creative space at the National College of Ireland in Dublin.

The event is on Thursday 05 November at 4pm.

On the agenda we have:

  • Dave Birss, former creative head of Poke London, now Head of Digital with OgilvyOne in London.
  • Nick Suckley, Managing Partner of Agenda21 Digital.
  • Matt Butterworth, former Managing Partner, Founder and Digital Strategist with Folk Creative.
  • Robin Grant, Founder of We Are Social.
  • … and of course the co-authors of Understanding Digital Marketing: me and Damian!

That’s four award-winning digital creative thought-leaders and a couple of widely acclaimed online marketing authors ready to share the secrets of creative online marketing with YOU!

But that’s not all… there’s also a drinks reception afterwards courtesy of Design Week sponsors Bombay Sapphire!

The cost to tap into this extraordinary pool of digital marketing insight, including drinks and a valuable opportunity to network: just €50!

That has to be a bargain in anybody’s book….

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Understanding Digital: CREATIVE site now to secure your place at what promises to be an amazing digital marketing event! And don’t forget to come over and say “hi” :-).

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Aug 122009

Image by J_O_I_D via Flickr

When I was a child I was bullied at school. Hard to believe if you know me today… but back then things were very different.

Tall, gangly and with a chronic lack of self-confidence, I guess I made an easy target. Picking on the "big meek kid" seemed to be the order of the day… and it hurt much more than just the physical pain.

The specifics of individual events elude me now, but I still remember vividly how the taunting and physical bullying made me feel: worthless, insignificant and utterly, irrevocably alone.

It didn’t help that I was getting mixed messages at home. Mum was advocating a "turn the other cheek" approach while Dad was a staunch advocate of a "give them a dose of their own medicine" solution. It left me in limbo.

In the end it turned out that Dad was right, but I was in fifth year at secondary school before I’d finally had enough, faced my demons and turned the tables on the bullies. That’s when it stopped!

Bullying in any form is abhorrent on so many levels, but at least in my day the bullying was a tangible thing. I could see the people who were taunting you: real, flesh and blood boys standing in front of me. But today there’s an altogether more sinister aspect to bullying… a new dimension to an age old menace that’s being facilitated by modern communication technology.

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Jul 212009

Just received this great offer from Pixmania, and thought it was well worth sharing here… €159 for 2TB of Iomega storage is not to be sniffed at.

My 500GB WD MyBook hard drive (also bought from Pixmania) is filling up fast since I got my Nikon D90 in May… so it won’t be long before I need to invest in a bigger drive myself.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for a bigger hard disk to store all your photos, videos and those all important system back-ups then check out the range of hard drives on offer at pixmania. The prices are the best around, and I’ve been very happy with the service when I’ve bought from them in the past.

Mar 192009
Board meeting room
Image via Wikipedia

It’s difficult to think of anything that wastes your precious time more than attending meetings.

Working parents around the country lament the fact that they don’t have enough time to spend with their children. But if you add up how much time those same working parents spend travelling to, waiting for and sitting around in pointless meetings you’d be shocked at the results. A huge chunk of the working population waste days – weeks even – every year sitting in meetings. And for what? To talk about things that could have been discussed on the telephone or online, or to listen to things that don’t really concern them at all. What a waste!

Sometimes in any business you need the face-to-face collaborative communication that only a meeting can provide. But the truth is those occasions are much rarer than you might think. These days days, thanks to the internet and the wonders of digital communications technology, there’s usually an alternative that would work just as well, if not better, would be quicker, and would prevent participants having to travel long distances to attend. Ireland just hasn’t been open to exploring the opportunities. Continue reading »