Damien Mulley is the number one threat to Irish Productivity

Forget inflation, overpaid government ministers or a still bubbling Irish property market. The hot news (coming an inside contact) is that according to Webmarshal and Websense (Net nanny type products that many Corporates use to restrict access to certain websites), the biggest threat to Irish Economic Success is ….

DamienMulleyBlocked

Damien Mulley (Warning: site may contain opinions on Irish Broadband and Comreg dangerous to corporate web filters).Paul Watson has more on his Websense issues.
Yes, who would have thought it. Apparently Damien, organizer of the Irish Blog awards and PR Guru by day, is actually a dangerous left wing subversive determined to undermine the economic foundations of the Irish state. Think a Cork version of Che Guevara. Or maybe I’m just jealous that this blog isn’t important enough to get banned. Well, it did get Frankie goes to Hollywood to number one in the UK Charts.

What is strange is that there are several other ‘higher profile’ sites that are not blocked. ‘Higher Profile’ includes one that is valued in Billion Dollar range. In general, the site of banned sites is ‘bought in’ from WebMarshals centrally maintained list , so I would expect this ban to have a substantial (but not crippling) effect on Damiens Google Analytics Stats. And that’s before we get into the ethics of not trusting well paid employees to manage their own time.

Do I have a better suggestion on how corporates can manage their web access? Yes; let all employees access any website. Then publish the web-surfing records (everything is recorded you know) on the company intranet. Amazing how much productivity will improve. As it is, any intelligent employee could find their way around the current set of net filters.

And the 19th Best Irish Blog (by incoming Links) is …

According to Justin Mason’s List, it’s this blog (People and Technology). We’re number 19 by incoming links, number 22 by bookmarks and number 45 by Technorati rank. No , I don’t understand the numbers either – just happy to be in the top 100.

Given that Tom is off to Spain, Grandad has Retired (allegedly) and Donncha’s page rank is being pummeled by Google, all I need is for Lucky the Laughing Assassin (of Twenty Major fame) to bump off both John and Michele and I’ll be well on my way to the top 10.

How much does it cost, Twenty?

MyBlogLog is Toast (since Yahoo took it over)

Sorry folks, but if you’re used to seeing your photo pop up on the right hand side of this blog (courtesy of myBlogLog) – you’ve been dumped. Nothing personal, but you weren’t really coming here to see your photo, were you?
MyBlogLog Logo

Main reason for dumping myBlogLog is that it now uses the Yahoo single sign in. Spent 5 mins trying to link it to myBlogLog account, then gave up (I’ve better things to do). It just shows you how a big company (Yahoo) can buy a startup (myBlogLog) for it’s user base, then have them all run away elsewhere with just one clunky move.

One-Hundred-Thousand (100,000) Visits on Google Analytics: New Look , Paul Loses the Tie

It’s been inching towards the milestone for the last month , but Google Analytics is finally reporting that this site has finally passed the one hundred thousand visitor mark. That’s visits (as in people) and not just page impressions.
Google100000

To celebrate, the site has got a little bit of a makeover – an evolution of the last theme, more whitespace and less orange. I’ve also followed Krishna De’s advice and lost the tie.

There have also been savage cuts to the blogroll (on the righthand side). To be fair, it was a bit mad at 212 entries.

Update: The 212 blogs have been cut back to 38.

If you blog about Ireland, Technology or Business and think you should be listed, then leave a comment, Drop me a line or use the standard FirstPartners.net net ‘contact us’ form to get in touch.

SEO for Blogs – help Google find your older content

Richard Hearne writes (a bit) about Search Engine Optimisation for Bloggers. One point that he made in his review of Pat Phelan’s (Roam4Free) site was how to help Google find your older content. Taking this advice, I’ve installed the WordPress Page Navigation Plugin on this blog – it’s the widget giving the ‘Page 1..2..3..end’ at the top of this site.

Blog Page Views

Without this plugin , all wordpress gives you by default is a single ‘previous page’ link. A user (or Google) might have to follow 15 or so links to get all your articles. Now it is all linked from the home page of your blog.

Almost as important as the number of visitors to the site, is what they do when they get there. You can see from the Google Analytics above , that the average visitor reads one and half pages on this site. (Is this Good? Is this Bad? – let me know) This could be multiple articles (there are about 20 per page), but the number isn’t really moving over time. I’m hoping the plugin can shift these numbers (up) even a little bit.

(Almost) Related Update and links (via Damien) : If you want to know more about SEO optimisation for WordPress, Matt Cutts of Google had a very interesting talk. A transcript of the video and a summary are also available.

Blog Name Change – Technology and People

From the ‘If-Tom-Raftery-can-do-it-so-can-I‘ school of marketing, the name of this blog has changed from Technology in Plain English to Technology and People. Justin has also done a name change, so maybe it’s something in the water (or is going to happen to everybody once they’ve been blogging long enough). On the other hand, Grandad’s Name change ended up getting voted down.

Reason for the change is that the new name explains better/shorter what I’ve tended to write about. Not just the technology (go to the wiki for a real dose of that) , but how people use the technology. It’s still all shameless self-publicity.

Url and feed address remain unchanged.

Blogging for Charity – should improve their Google page rank

I’ve been tagged by Ken to carry on Gavin’s blogging for charity idea. I’ve twisted the idea a little as rather than repeat an ever expanding list, I’ll add two of my own and highlight two on Ken’s List:

To continue the flow , I tag the following people:

What's better than a blog for getting more visitors to your site? A Wiki

Regular readers know that there are three parts to this site:

  • The blog (the part you are now reading) – aimed at business people with a passing interest in technology.
  • A wiki (more later) – undiluted techiness, and a scratchpad for various projects in progress.
  • The ‘corporate‘ site – the usual ‘happy people in front of PC site’, with standard ‘about us’ , ‘contact us’ and ‘what we do sections’. This is the part that thankfully, Eoghan is working to update.

If you don’t know already, a wiki is an easy to update website that almost anybody can edit. The most famous is Wikipedia, we use the same software , Mediawiki, on our site. It’s good / free /open software, and if you’re able to setup a blog , you should be able to get this working with little of no problems.

Looking at the stats for the last 18 months , I’ve noticed the following:

  • At the moment , traphic to these is split roughly 60-30-10 (should keep all you MBA types out there happy). 60% goes to the blog, 30% to the wiki and 10% to the corporate site.
  • Visitors to each section are looking for very different things – people tend to hit the blog via cross posting and general search terms (e.g. Java Dublin). People come to the wiki looking for very specific terms (e.g. Apache Lucene Exception). People come to the ‘corporate’ site, either after personal contact, or reading my CV from other channels.
  • The writing styles in each are very different. The wiki gets updated most , but is often a series of technical notes in various stages of completion. The blog is updated (on average) 2-3 times a week , with more composed items. The corporate site get’s updated roughly every 3-6 months and has a much ‘dryer’ official style.

All of which brings us back to why a wiki is even better than a blog for getting people to your site.

  1. The current wiki has only been working 7 months (since our last web hosts big crash) and already (without any serious promotion) is getting half as many hits as the (heavily promoted) blog. This is before we get into implementing Richard’s Search Engine Optimisation tips. From previous experierence, I would expect to get 4 times as many hits without too much effort.
  2. Wiki’s are updated even more often then blogs. Google loves frequent updates. Therefore wiki’s are even better than blogs for SEO.

Pings for everybody that we met at the Irish Blog Awards

People we met at the pre-blog meetup

  • Eddie from McGarr Solictors; Keep up the good work – yes at least one non-legal reader can follow your blog, and I suspect that there are many more.
  • EllyBabes. I’ve volunteered to help organize Barcamp Dublin. I don’t even have the excuse of being drunk. And now I’ve gone and put it in writing , so I’ll really have to help.
  • Tom and Damien, and ended up stuffing things into paper bags (I’m sure that wasn’t on the original invitation).
  • Antoin from Eire.com , busy handing out fon.com cards (and he has me almost sold on the concept).
  • GrannyMar. She’s a lovely lady, and was very graceful about my confusing her with Grandad’s wife.
  • Eoin O’Dell – cearta.ie, who wasn’t able to stay for the rest of the evening

Irish Blog Awards Logo

At the Awards themselves (mainly beside the bar, take from that what you will)

and pings for the people that we didn’t meet …

  • Brian Honan couldn’t make it (he was nominated for best business blog), but lost out in the end to the Ice Cream guys.
  • Ken McGuire, who I still owe a pint (unless he can come up with a ‘double or quits’ scheme).
  • Kieran from Ice Cream Ireland. He must have been surrounded by frozen food groupies 🙂
  • Lar from IQ Content – almost got talking a couple of times, but generally one or other of us got sidetracked.

Who will we be handing the 'Best Contribution' award to?

It seems like we’re handing out prizes every day of the week.

We’re (as in FirstPartners.net) sponsoring the Best Contribution to the Irish Blogosphere at the Irish Blog Awards. If this was Rock’n’roll, this award would be given for ‘lifetime achievement’ and Keith Richards, Bono or Burt Bacharach would be accepting it.
Irish Blog Awards Logo

So who will we be handing the award to on Saturday night? Who is the blogging equivalent of Keith, Bono or Burt? Will it be ….

  • Bernie Goldbach , from Irish Eyes. I want Bernie to win as he was generous with his time 2 years ago at Techcamp to a wet-behind the ears blogger.
  • Donncha from Holy Schmoly. I want Donncha to win for his contribution to WordPress – one of the best pieces of web software there is (and we use a lot of them , so we should know).
  • Tom from Tom Raftery IT. I want Tom to win as like Bernie , he’s been very generous with his advice over the years. His new tagline is ‘Highest ranked blog in ireland’ so you can’t argue with that.
  • Simon from Irish Election. Simon’s is the only blog that I wasn’t previously aware of. I still want him to win because anything that injects a bit more democracy to the current Irish political system is a good thing.
  • Rick from the Breakfast blog. I want Rick to win as he’s one of the better 2FM DJ’s (damning with faint praise), but as one of the first mainstream bloggers, he’s done a lot to raise the profile of blogging in Ireland.

So good luck all , and I’ll be speaking to you on the night.