Facebook Dublin IT Contractors Group

Lets see if this Facebook thing can be better than LinkedIn for networking and getting new business.

People Around Campfire

As an experiment, we’ve just opened a Dublin IT Contractors Group on Facebook. No matter what the Technology is that you use, you’re welcome to come along and take part.

Dublin Java Conference Announced – November

Update: FirstPort has more information on the Dublin Java Conference.

From Jake, organiser of the Dublin Java User Group.

Subject: Conference Announcement – Call for Speakers

From: Jakub Korab Date: August 15, 2007 06:41 AM R

I am happy to announce what I hope will be the first in a series of major Java events here in Dublin. In conjunction with IrishDev the Dublin JUG will be hosting the Irish Java Technologies Conference in early November. This 2-3 day event aims to bring together the big names in Java right here in Dublin.

We are currently in the process of organizing speakers for the event. If you have any suggestions of technologies/topics that you would like to hear discussed, particular speakers you would like to hear, or would like to present on a topic, please email myself or .

Jake Dublin

JUG Organizer

More details on Jake’s Blog.

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.

Save time – become a Gmail / Outlook / Thunderbird power user

I was asked a question on how to become a more effective user of email , so I thought I’d share what works for me …

Microsoft office Logo
Don’t read your emails first thing, or you’ll spend the rest of the day following somebody elses priorities. Organize your day first, then read your emails.

– When reading emails , try and touch each email only once. Delete it, forward it , respond to it or diary a time to deal with a specific issue.

– If you don’t already have an email address , sign up for Gmail. Not only does it automatically stop a lot of Spam for you, but it allows you to organise your emails by search , pretty much like you do on the web.

– If you’re a small business , you can also switch your email hosting to Gmail (and leave your web site where it is) using ‘Google for your domain‘. You keep your existing emails (e.g. johnmurphy@firstpartners.net) , have the same excellent anti-spam filters and are still able to use Outlook to get your email. While you sacrifice some privacy, it means that your email is available even when your website is not. It also gives you web and mobile access to your email when you are on the road.

– If you own your own webname (domain, e.g. firstpartners.net), setup a ‘catchall’ email address that forwards mail automatically your own email account. This means that you sign up for a new website (e.g. newcars.ie) you can use an email address of newcars@yourdomain.com. Not only does it make it easier to block spam , if they try selling your information to a3rd party, you’ll know straight away.

Get to know RSS (news feeds). They’re integrated into the latest browsers and Google has a version called ‘reader’. You choose when you want to read the ‘latest news’ from websites, instead of newsletters polluting your inbox.

Anybody up for Seedcamp Ireland (Dublin | Belfast | Newry | Dundalk)?

At a recent OpenCoffee Dublin event Brian Cleland of InterTrade Ireland mooted the idea of a Seedcamp Ireland. He’d love to see it be held in Newry or Dundalk (as cross-border networking is really his thing), but is realistic enough to consider other locations.

Seedcamp logo

To quote the main Seedcamp website:

Seedcamp is where Europe’s top young founders can come together in one place.

From securing funding to developing the right network, young entrepreneurs in Europe face challenges in building globally competitive technology businesses. Through the provision of seed capital and a world class network of mentors, we want to provide a catalyst for Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

We might need to use a different name, but would you be interested in an informal meetup of startups and investors? Given the turn in the property market, would investors be ooking to put their money into the startup technology sector? Where would you like to see it held?

Dublin Java Users Group (JUG)

If you’re reading this , you’ve missed the Dublin Java Users Group (previously known as the Dublin Java Meetup). Jakub will have his blog of the event up soon, including his mad take over the world plans.

Update: 

Irish Business Networking – Investnet.ie – better than OpenCoffee, Barcamp or BNI?

Derek Organ left me a comment about the new Investnet site. Investnet run the successful (offline, Dublin based) Wireless Wednesday and First Tuesday networking events. In terms of cold financial payback, the latter is the most successful IT-Business networking event(s) that I’ve taken part in. Now all these networks are available online, in a Facebook / LinkedIn style site.

Good to see an Irish Organisation ‘get’ the networking possibilities that Web2.0 brings.

InvestNet Ireland Logo
Also came up in conversation at Barcamp BelfastBusiness Networking International (BNI). Great if you do lots of little sales – e.g. Accountants, Solicitors, IT shops , as the aim is do to cross referrals between close, but not competing , companies.

I’ll (finally) get to OpenCoffee Dublin tomorrow (Thurs 5th July). Will it be better for networking than Investnet, Barcamp or BNI?

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.