Sep 252012
 

Like Irelands Wildlife on FacebookWoohoo! The Ireland’s Wildlife page I manage on Facebook sailed past the 4,000 “likes” mark some time last week, and continues to grow apace. It’s great to see the level of engagement on the page continue to grow, and is a good sign for the overall level of enthusiasm and engagement for wildlife and nature in Ireland.

The website is also growing steadily, and I’m trying to add content as regularly as I can to keep the momentum going. Part of what I’m hoping to achieve with the Ireland’s Wildlife website is to encourage more engagement with and empathy for nature and wildlife in Ireland. It also serves as a handy general interest hub of Irish wildlife content on the web, and offers a jumping off point to some of the great niche wildlife and nature resources out on the web.

I’m in the process of approaching potential advertisers to sponsor / advertise on the site — starting with leading optics manufacturers who have submitted products for review. My goal is to attract advertising that’s useful and relevant to Ireland’s Wildlife readers, connect advertisers with a highly targeted audience with an interest in wildlife and nature and get the site to start paying its way so that I can spend more time developing its content and features.

It’s early days yet… but I’m pretty hopeful that Ireland’s Wildlife has value, and that it will ultimately pay its own way, allowing me to develop it into the outstanding resource I know it can be.

For now though, it’s great to see the numbers continue to grow… and to look forward to a time when I can legitimately go out with a pair of binoculars and call it “work”!

If you don’t already “Like” Ireland’s Wildlife on Facebook, what are you waiting for? And don’t forget to check out the Ireland’s Wildlife website while you’re at it!

May 052011
 

Wow… just discovered that the amazing “Genesis” theme framework for WordPress and ALL Genesis CHILD THEMES are available for the staggeringly low one off payment of just US$249.95.

Genesis from Studiopress -- the best WordPress themes on the planet

It’s called the Genesis Pro Plus Package – and until 11 May Studiopress – which is part of Copyblogger Media – is offering this comprehensive set of WordPress Premium Developer Themes for more than $600 less than purchasing the framework and 36 child themes separately.

PLUS you’ll automatically get access to all future Genesis child themes they create as part of the bundle. Bargain!

A must for WordPress web designers, online marketers and bloggers rolling their own sites

How much is having some of the world’s best professional WordPress templates at your fingertips worth? More than US$250 that’s for sure! One project and it’s more than paid for itself!

If you’re a web designer building sites using WordPress day-in, day-out, and you’re not already using Genesis, then you’d be crazy to pass this offer up. It’s an incredible deal.

Likewise if you’re an online marketer or affiliate and create your own sites to promote online products – Genesis gives you all the tools you need, saving you time and money.

Even if you just maintain your own WordPress blog, and create occasional sites for for family, friends or colleagues it makes sense just for the time it will save you.

I’ve used the Genesis framework on a few client websites now, and just built my own pet project the Ireland’s Wildlife website using it. It really is wonderfully easy to work with, simple to customise, highly flexible and stable… it just ticks all the boxes. I guess that’s why it’s used by some of the world’s highest profile bloggers – like CopyBlogger Brian Clark, ProBlogger Darren Rowse, and the inimitable Chris Brogan at Chrisbrogan.com

Support, when it’s needed (which isn’t often), is available via a dedicated online forum on the Studiopress site, and the answer to every question I’ve had so far has been there already… a quick search and the solution’s at hand.

Check out the Genesis Pro-Plus Package if you’re into WordPress… I’d highly recommend it.

May 042011
 

After much deliberation and procrastination I’ve finally set the Ireland’s Wildlife Website free into the wilds of cyberspace.

image

It’s still very early days, and it’s a bit thin on content (I’m working on it… so please bear with me), but I think there’s a great foundation to build an online wildlife hub and resource for everyone who’s interested in Ireland’s wildlife, the places they live, and the people who work with the,

Take a look, and let me have your feedback, thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

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Mar 122010
 

imageI’ve made a few changes over on the CJ Writing website to more accurately reflect the SEO copywriting and web content consultancy work I’m doing with businesses these days.

I’ve also included a business related, web-content focussed blog as part of the site re-vamp, and will be posting business related missives there, rather than here, from now on.

This will remain, as always, a personal blog that I’ll use to post all sorts of whimsical bits and pieces that cross my mind, and of course the occasional bout of spleen-venting when the Irish system gets even more frustrating than usual.

The business blog will have a much more practical focus, with hints, tips and suggestions on how to make your web content work harder for your business. I’m also experimenting with a pre-pay Web Content Audit service, and pre-pay Web Content Consultancy packages.

The idea is to help small to medium businesses to fine-tune their web content and keep control of their costs by pre-purchasing the advice and help they need… eliminating the spectre of looming invoices when cash-flow is tight. Of course it also means I get to spend more of my time helping my clients rather than chasing payments.

I think it’s a system that could work well for all concerned. I guess time will tell whether it will catch on or not.

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
 
bad-cyberbully

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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Aug 062009
 
Feed Icon Bl-Or

Image via Wikipedia

I noticed last night that my RSS feeds had stopped working. Disaster!

Well, OK, not quite, but a problem nonetheless. Now solved by getting my web host to alter a technical behind-the-scenes whojamawhatsit.

If you suddenly stopped getting posts from this blog in your reader, apologies, everything should be working again now (if not please leave a comment below to let me  know).

And of course, if you fecked off unsubscribed in the meantime please, please, please re-subscribe by clicking on the big feed icon in the sidebar :-).

If you’re wondering what an RSS feed is check out this video, then subscribe to receive new content direct to your chosen reader:

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Jul 102009
 

Ireland's Wildlife Facebook page, onlne Irish wildlife and nature resource If you’re on Facebook, check out my new page on Ireland’s Wildlife – and pass it on to all your friends. The page, and the twitter account on @wildireland, are the first steps in building an online community of wildlife enthusiasts in Ireland.

As time (and budget) allows I’m also working on an Ireland’s Wildlife website, sort of an online “hub” for all things wild in Ireland – a jumping off point, if you like, for Irish wildlife information, resources, links and discussion.

Wanted: wildlife content!

Core to the site will be the 200 or so species profiles I’ve written for the back page of Ireland’s Own over the years. I’m also on the look-out for potential regular contributors to the new site – so if you have relevant interests or expertise in any aspect of Irish wildlife and would like to volunteer your services / allow use of your content then please leave a note in the comments below, or drop me a line.

You can stay tuned here for updates by subscribing to the RSS Feed, become a fan of Ireland’s Wildlife on Facebook and/or follow Ireland’s Wildlife on Twitter.

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Jan 182009
 
Transparent version of :Image:Nintendo DS Lite...
Image via Wikipedia

“What are you doing girls?” I asked the twins.

“Shhh Dad, we’re connecting,” came the distracted reply.

They were sitting in the living room heads burried in the Nintendo DS consoles they’d got for Christmas, playing the same game, together but apart. On one level the remote interaction, using portable electronic devices to communicate and collaborate in real time, is a really important skill for them to develop — on another it’s worryingly antisocial and all consuming. Trying to get their attention while they’re immersed in a game or engrossed in a wireless instant messaging chat with each other (even though they’re in the same room) is disturbingly difficult.

It’s a sign of the times… technology is bringing us closer together, but at the same time its pushing us further apart,  diluting the need for real human contact.

Via the internet it’s now easier than ever to connect, share and communicate via media that by their very nature transcend physical barriers like geography and time zones. Always on, high speed access to the internet is fundamentally changing the way a whole generation of people do everything, from Christmas shopping to chatting with their grandma on the other side of the world.

The rise of the internet to become a dominant force in practically all of our lives is unprecedented. According to Internet World Stats in June 2008 there were a staggering 1.46 billion people online. That’s 21% of the human population — and it’s still growing at a phenomenal rate! Even if you don’t own a computer, have never sent an e-mail, and never want to, the influence of the internet in your life is profound. How so?
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Jan 102009
 
Internet Addict
Image by husin.sani via Flickr

Always on internet should come with a Government Health Warning.

No, seriously, it should!

I’m sitting here at daft o’ clock in the morning writing this blog post wondering where the time went to.

My wife is away for a couple of nights, the kids went to bed almost eight hours ago and are sound asleep, and I should be too… but I’m not.

Why? Because we have always on internet, that’s why. I’m not going to call it broadband… because to do so would give it delusions of grandeur, but it is, demonstrably, always on.

And that means I’m always on. On the laptop, on the netbook, on the WiFi enabled mobile.

…must sleep. Kids will wake up early regardless and I won’t be able to cope if I don’t get four or five hours in. Will finish up tomorrow :-)

Rightmorning all!

Woken up at 7:30 by the little one. Don’t even want to reflect on how little sleep I’ve actually had. Looks like I’m running on caffeine today folks!

Now… where was I… oh yes, always on internet.

It’s like heroin… only worse, because while getting your fix online might make you look a bit geeky, it doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it as hard narcotics. At least not yet. But it is addictive, and if it’s suddenly taken away you do go into a kind of withdrawal.

But wait, you cry, while it might be an insidious habit, unlike a drug addiction it won’t lead you down a spiral of deceit and criminal activity to get your next virtual-hit, will it? I’m not so sure. Hands up how many people out there have casually hooked up to a conveniently unsecured wireless network “just to check e-mail”, or a profile page, or twitter or whatever?

It’s a slippery slope.

So, I’m thinking of starting a new group — perhaps on facebook (lol) — welcome to Internet Addicts Anonymous (IAA). To kick things off, I’ll go first:

My name is Calvin Jones and I’m a always-on-internet-oholic.

Admitting it is the hardest part — go on, try it for yourself in the comments below, it’s cathartic. I feel better already :-).

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