BarCamp Belfast – Business Startup – Java – GIS – Semantic – Internet Marketing presentations

Summary of BarCamp Belfast – on the day presentations about Business Startup – Java – GIS and the Semantic web .

Link to slides for our presentation ‘Java Bites Back’ – what’s bad and good about Enterprise Java, e.g. compared to Ruby.
Barcamp Belfast Logo

Grainne Lennon from Intertrade Ireland talked about the Seedcorn Business Startup competition. More details on the competition are here. Probably good to enter to help knock your business plan into shape, rather than expecting to get the Eur100,000 prize.
Matt Keenan- from OpCode solutions (and one of the Barcamp organisers) – Starting your own tech business. Key points:

  • Cash is King.
  • Have a Business Plan – and don’t forget about your cashflow (spot a theme here?) as well as the usual revenue projects.
  • Remember your exit strategy when talking to investors – they will want their money back!
  • Enterprise Centres in Northern Ireland (38 of them)
  • Subcontract rather than Employees – reduces your exposure / liabilities.
  • Professional Contractors Group – free tax audit insurance , advice for members
Con Hennessy from OpenApp.ie – Open Source GIS (Geographic Information Systems), particularly in the Health sector.

  • (Open Source) Technologies used : Mapserver , PostgreSQL (Database), PostGIS , RProject (Statisical Analysis), GRASS , ZOPE (application framework) and Python
  • GIS Data is very expensive
John Breslin – Cloudlands – Presenting on the Semantic Web as part of Web 2.0.

  • What is Web 2.0 (second generation Web Architecture)
  • Users – Content – Tags – Comments
  • Sematic Web – Meta data (describes things on the web) and Ontologies (Dictionaries explaining the meaning of the meta tags)
  • Freebase – open , shared database of the world’s knowledge.
Colin Turner – Spreading Open Source Software via the Education Community.

  • Not everybody understands or agrees what is Open Software
  • Why isn’t free software used more in Education?
  • People reasons (lose budget , free = bad , software is flakey , where’s my supported)
  • Refuted (e.g. Quality, can get support , using software already)
  • Teach students how to work in distributed teams.
Alastair – Logon.ie

  • Blogs and SEO
  • Ezines – use Feedburner to deliver blog content via email
  • SEO Title Tag – manually set titles
  • URL rewriting
  • RedFly Marketing – PHP script – to test landing page options
  • Use subdomains (e.g. http://blog.firstpartners.net)

LinkedIn Vs Facebook for business networking in Ireland

Tom and James have been writing about LinkedIn and Facebook. Both are social networking tools. Tom reckons LinkedIn is Toast. James reckons we have too many of these sites.

Linked in Logo

I’m a big fan of LinkedIn for business networking and I don’t think it’s going to die just yet.

  1. LinkedIn does one thing (manage your business network) and one thing well.
  2. Facebook tries to do too much – it tries find everybody that I have ever interacted with, and list them as part of my network. I think the ‘look aren’t we cool for being online‘ thing is a little bit 1998.
  3. Anybody that I link to on linked in (a) I have met and (b) I would recommend to a friend. Facebook is more like those people that list everybody they have got a business card from at a long forgotten networking event.
  4. As a developer , an API is great and I’m glad LinkedIn is opening up (albeit under pressure from Facebook and others). 9 months is a long time to wait, but the ‘data is Intel inside’ means that it’s not worth me trying to pull my network over to another site just yet.

If you’ve already met me and want to connect, check out my LinkedIn profile. Scott Allen has more on the LinkedIn API. Pairup is a powerful site showing the value of the API – just enter your travel/event details, and pairup will suggest who in your LinkedIn network (and friends-of-friends) that you can connect with.

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.

500 Irish Bloggers – Will the Irish Blogosphere be banned by Technorati?

You may have heard about the 2000 Bloggers project hosted by Tino Buntic. You may have even got your photo included among the 2000. And you may have pulled the links when Technorati complained about what was going on.

What Technorati (and to some extent Google) didn’t like was this as an attempt to game the system – loads of blogs , with little or nothing in common, all linking to each other and in process seeing a massive increase in their Technorati and Google rankings. Given that 2000 bloggers included photos and nothing else, what’s the difference between this and a sophisticated link farm? Better said on ‘I don’t deserve this Technorati rank and you don’t either‘.

If you’re one of the people nominated for the Irish Blog Awards You’ve probably seen a lot of incoming links from people who have taken the original IBA Nominee List (by Jason Roe) and posted it on their blogs. Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen about 20 links come my way via this method. Out of curiosity, I’d tend to visit people linking to me in this way.

Is this the same idea as 2000 bloggers, an attempt to game the Google / Technorati pagerank system? Will all 500 of us be blacklisted by Google? I don’t think so.

The difference between this and the 2000 Bloggers is:

  • All the links have a connection (they’re Irish Bloggers, or bloggers with some connection to Ireland).
  • More information is provided on the links – not just a photo , but what they blog about.
  • There is a quality screening going on (i.e. you have to be nominated) not just first come first served.

Just to prove the point, the list of nominees is below. And if you haven’t voted already, drop over and vote for us (FirstPartners.net / Technology in Plain English).

Best Designed Blog

Best Blog

Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog

Best Political Blog

Best Group Blog

Best Contribution to the Irish Bloggersphere

Best News/Current Affairs Blog

Most Humorous Post

Best Newcomer

Best Blog Post

Best Arts and Culture Blog

Best Personal Blog

Best Sport & Recreation Blog

Best Photo Blog

Best Specialist Blog

Best Music Blog

Best Podcaster

Best Podcast

Irish Blog Award Bribery Shocker

In a shock turn to the Irish Blog awards, Damien Mulley has been revealed (allegedly) to be in receipt of a pint for his efforts in the ‘increase your subscribers on feedburner‘ award. Anonymous sources detailled his use of the Irish Blog Award feed (which increased it’s readers 32 times) to win this prestigious award, which is the premier alcohol based award in the Irish Blogosphere.

We didn’t bother asking Damien for a quote about these allegations, prefering instead just to make it all up buy him the pint. In the interests of fairness, Runners up Richard Hearne (offering free Search Engine Optimisation) and Eoghan McCabe (offering 2000 Euro worth of his time) were also not asked to comment.

Organiser of the competition , Paul Browne, is understood to be lining up a round 3 to give away goodies donated by Feedburner themselves, once the libel action with Damien is settled.

Final results for round 2 are below, and also many thanks to Ken, Conor, Aidan, James, Robin, Tom, Thomas and Damian for taking part. If you put your name down for round 3, I’ll be touch once I figured out the best way to give away the Feedburner stuff, and more importantly, how to do it to help your figures 🙂

free-pint-winners.PNG

Vote for us at the Irish Blog Awards and get loads of money

Only one bit of that headline is true. And it’s not the loads of money bit. There is a good reason why we do business technology and not politics. However , if you’ve enjoyed this blog we would appreciate your vote.

We’re up for 2 Irish Blog Awards – Best Business Blogger and Best Technology Blogger. I could say something about the competition (below) being very very good (true) , but we’d also like your vote. We’re on the ballot as FirstPartners / Technology in Plain English.

Irish Blog Awards

Best Business Blog – Sponsored by logic+intuition

Best Technology Blog/Blogger – Sponsored by Bitbuzz


Barcamp Dublin is Go on the 21st April

The announcement on the official BarCamp Dublin Blog is here.

Barcamp Dublin Logo

To quote what is barcamp?

[Barcamp] is an informal gathering of people from technical and business backgrounds, where information and experiences are exchanged. The event is geared towards sharing knowledge and learning from others and there is a policy of encouraging active participation in all discussions.

So if you’ve never been to one before, and not sure about attending. Just Go. You’ll be glad that you did.

Update: Paul asked me to change the order of links so that the ‘official’ site came first (previously I had his blog listed top). The original links are below.

Paul Walsh has announced the date of Barcamp Dublin on his Blog. It’s Saturday 21st April in the Digital Hub Dublin. Paul is organising the Event , along with EllyBabes and Joe Drumgoole.

Update 2: I’d forgotten to mention Keith Bohanna’s post about the upcoming Barcamps. Anybody else up for organising a Barcamp north of Dublin (in Drogheda, Dundalk or Newry)?

Free Drinks at the Irish Blog Awards

Final Results for Round 2 of this challenge are now here.

In a recent challenge , Ken McGuire crushed all opposition by reaching 100 subscribers on Feedburner before anybody else could roll out a shameless self publicity campaign.

So , to give everybody a chance, we’re going for another round. You can join in at any point (leave a comment below to get included).

The rules are simple : The person who gets the biggest % increase in FeedBurner subscribers (that’s the number on the top right of the blog) between now and the Irish Blog Awards wins. Prize is a pint. And yes, all is fair in Love, War and trying to up your Blog numbers.

To subscribe to this blog (we really can’t afford to lose twice in a row, the price of drink in Dublin being so high), click on the Orange XML icon on the top right of this page. If you’re not automatically asked to subscribe , you may want to sign up to a service such as Bloglines. Subscribing means that you’ll automatically be updated on who is in the lead.

Due to popular demand (and the fact Damien will have 17 Squintillion subscribers before next Tuesday) we’ll probably have a round 3 after this one. If you want in , leave a comment. Remember, it’s all about the percent increase, so it’s an advantage to start small.

And the Contenders are …


Blog Start Current
Ken McGuire Creative Imaginations 103 Ken Feedburner Stat
Conor O’Neill- Louder Voice
44 Conor Louder voice stats
Aidan Finn AidanF.net 84 AidenF
  James Corbett – Eirepreneur 480 James Corbett Feed
Robin Blandford – ByteSurgery 42 Robin Blandford Feed
Tom Raftery – IT views 751 Tom Raftery Feed
Paul Browne – Technology in Plain English 96
  Richard Hearne – Red Cardinal 85 Richard Hearne Blog
Thomas Holmes – YClickIt 113 Thomas Feedburner
Eoghan McCage – Naive by Design 35 Feedburner
  Damien Mulley – Blog AwardsHonorary Lifetime Member –
1200% increase in first 24 hours
6
  Damian O’Broin- Ask Direct 23

Older News1):The most Recent entrant is Richard Hearne of Red Cardinal. With the SEO Ninja tricks this man has up his sleeve, he’s going to be a fairly strong contender.2): Mon Dieu! Thomas Holmes has entered. Almost certain to use a 2 language blogging strategy to take the title, how will the other competitors react?3): Eoghan is in. Damien and Damian may be in. Are there going to be any other last minute entries?

4) In a shock last minute move:

Damien Mulley forgoes his 400+ base and opts to start again with the Irish Blog Awards feed (6 readers). Rumour has it that we may as well buy the man a pint now, while the rest of us scrap it out for second place (prize – diet coke with ice). We did say almost anything was fair game … 🙂

5) In another shock first day wipeout: Damien Mulley has increased his total by 1200% using a little known site called the Irish Blog Awards. I’ll check the small change down the back of the sofa , buy Damien the pint, and the rest of us mere mortals can continue on to see who gets pint number 3.

Alternative nominations – 2007 Irish Blog Awards

For the consideration of the Academy , here are our Irish Blog Award nominations. We may or may not vote for them (!), but I’d like the Irish Blogging public to consider some of the alternatives to the usual big A-List bloggers (who are fairly safe to get nominated anyway :-). Also pretty sure to be nominated are last years award winners. Now , if only I can figure out how to work the award nomination form ….

Blog Awards Logo

  • Best Blog Post – David McWilliams on something even more important than blogging (!) the impending property market crash.
  • Most Humorous Post – Bifsnif. For having the best cartoons available on the web , of which this is only one sample.
  • Best Photo Blog – Ireland from a Polish perspective. Not a dedicated photo blog, but the images are as good as any that I’ve seen on the web.
  • Best Blog – Red Cardinal. He’s angling for the ‘Best Newcomer’ spot, but I think he’s worthy of ‘Best Blog’ consideration (a) Because he’s got good content and style and (b) He blogs about something relevant to all bloggers – how to get noticed by Google.
  • Best Political Blog – Dominic Hannigan. You may or may not agree with his politics (Labour), but he’s one of earliest politicians to blog, and deserves kudos for his suggestion to mail dog s**t to the Meath county manager.
  • Best Group Blog – IQ content who have just been accepted into the 9Rules network (a sure sign of blog quality if ever there was one)
  • Best Personal Blog – The Swearing Lady. But only because I’m afraid of her.
  • Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog2 Years in a row for Conn? , even if an lionra has just ended. Damien has just told me that you can’t both sponsor and be up to win the award. I suppose it would be a bit awkward for the photo’s.
  • Best Contribution to the Irish BloggersphereDamien Mulley. He stuck his neck out and organised the 2006 Irish blog awards when nobody was sure it was going to take off. Despite the huge increase in workload, He’s organising the 2007 awards.
  • Best Technology Blog/Blogger (you mean, apart from ourselves 🙂 Justin Mason. A one man anti-Spam fighting machine. Kudos for his work on Spam Assasin ,but he’s also quite a good technical writer.
  • Best Designed Blog – Ken McGuire(Creative Imaginations). A very visually appealing blog, andmanages to get a lot of information and content across without appearing cluttered. AFAIK Ken doesn’t do freelance word press work , but if he did , you’d want him to design your blog for you.
  • Best Specialist Blog – Brian Honan, Security Watch. You mightn’t know it from his blog, but Brian does have a personality :-). A single minded dedication to security makes his blog a ‘must read’ for anybody who uses a PC.
  • Best Newcomer – A lot of the people that are newcomers , don’t look like newcomers (i.e. the quality of the blog is so good you thing they’ve been blogging forever). Perhaps this list might give you a few suggestions. My vote goes to Pat at Roam4Free.
  • Best Business Blog – McGarr Solicitors. Maybe not the best business blog, but worthy of your consideration as one of the first traditional (i.e. non tech business) bloggers out there.

We’re not nominating Best Music / Best Podcast / Best Podcaster / Best Videocast / Best Arts and Culture blogs. Maybe we should get out more.

More Posts on the Irish Blog Awards.

Update: With Conn out of the way perhaps Blunt Cogs could be the surprise Entrant. No, somebody else is going to have to nominate them.