Tag Archives: Blogging

Why blog?

I uploaded the presentation I gave at the IWTC conference last week to SlideShare.net.

The talk is entitled “Why Blog?” – and is aimed at helping educate companies on the potential advantages of blogging to their business.

I have embedded a copy below -

ISA and IWTC conferences next week

I’m speaking at both the ISA and the IWTC conferences next week!

At the ISA conference, the topic title is “Local companies, Global Successes” and I’m on at 12:40 on the Thursday (Feb 28th).

At the IWTC conference I am speaking on the Friday (Feb 29th) at 11am on the advantages of blogging for businesses.

Then the following week I have the BlogTalk 2008 conference and the it@cork Green IT event!

Busy, busy!

Conferences can be fun!

I am back in Cork after the Eventoblog conference in Seville over the weekend.

Now I am helping with last-minute preparations for the it@cork conference. It is on this coming Wednesday and it is going to be a real ‘wow!’ event. Apart from the incredible speakers that are lined up, the delegate list is like a who’s who of the techosphere in Ireland. The networking opportunities are going to be superb.

If you plan on going and you haven’t registered yet, do it asap in case you unwittingly miss out!

The Eventoblog conference was great. I didn’t understand most of the talks (my excuse is that they were in Spanish!!!) but I had a fantastic time meeting the Spanish blogging community and the social events which were laid on were excellent.

I’m slightly less terrified about moving to Spain now!

[Disclosure - I'm the Chair of the it@cork conference organising committee]

My Web 2.0 Expo Keynote presentation on reducing our carbon footprint

I’m back in Cork after giving one of the keynote addresses at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin on Wednesday and speaking on a blogging panel at Microsoft’s TechEd in Barcelona on Thursday.

I didn’t create any formal presentation for the blogging panel in Barcelona but for anyone who might be interested, I uploaded my Web 2.0 Expo Keynote presentation to SlideShare:

Monster threaten legal action and ask me to blame someone else!

I was going to hold off on blogging this but since Damien has already mentioned it I thought I’d add my experience.

I received two emails directly from Monster’s Business Development Manager John Burns today. In the emails John said

i want you to delete my name from your blog that is open to the public….

He went on to add

You are putting my name at risk and my character on your blog, remove it ASAP or i will proceed with the legal advice i was given.

You have already damaged my name and caused great embarresment to me.

Please take this very seriously.

John Burns
Business Development Manager

I received several other emails from John where he tried to recall the spam he sent out yesterday but as Michele noted, that only works with Microsoft Exchange within an organisation.

To make matters even worse, incredibly, in the recall efforts John once again exposed everyone’s email addresses by not using the bcc field.

The real kicker for me though was when John left me a voicemail on the one hand threatening me with legal action, and then on the other hand asking me to

take down what you have put up about me, remove my name and replace it with somebody else’s immediately… I will definitely be taking this forward

Remove his name and replace it with somebody else’s? Just who’s name would John have me use instead?

I’m sorry but does this guy have no sense of responsibility for his actions at all. Not once, at any point did he apologise for spamming me, not once did he apologise for harvesting the data from the it@cork members’ directory and then he asks me to put someone else in the frame while he threatens me with legal action? Unbelievable.

I’m sure John is a nice guy but if he had only put his hands up, accepted he was wrong and asked how he could right what he had done, this would never have become the growing embarrassment it is to Monster’s already poor reputation.

UPDATE – Daithi has created an hilarious re-mix of the voicemail – check it out

Donncha in Photo exhibition

Mallow Camera Club are holding an exhibition of photographs in Mallow Town Library for charity for the next three weeks and fellow blogger, photo blogger and WordPress lead developer, Donncha O’Caoimh will have one of his photos in the exhibition for sale – well done Donncha.

Head along if you get a chance, it is for a good cause.

Adblock – love it or hate it?

I wrote a post the other day talking about a blogger who stopped all Firefox users from visiting his site because they may have the Adblock plugin installed!

Adblock is a plug-in for Firefox which allows you to view sites on the Internet but avoid seeing the ads they display.

I am a big fan of Adblock (as I have mentioned several times on this blog) and so was surprised that in the comments of my previous post, several people I respect came our strongly against Adblock saying things like:

I can understand how he feels if his business revenue depends on ads

I do get irritated when I see people using AdBlock. As a web-developer I see it as part of the contract of using a website. We give you free content and you get to see some adverts

and

I’m very much against Adblock myself. I installed it once and it provided one of the worst web expierences ever. Adblock was presenting white areas where there would be ads, a lot of webpages looked very naked as Adblocked skwed the natural appearance of the site.

I would love to see Adblock and other ad blocking extensions illegalised but it’s never going to happen.

My attitude is quite different.

I read hundreds of websites per day. The majority of these sites I read through my RSS reader so even if they are displaying ads, I don’t see them. To the commenters, if you truly believe that people should only view your content if they also read your ads, you need to either stop publishing RSS feeds or start publishing ads in your feed.

As to the point that his business revenue may depend on Ads – if so, then stopping all viewers who use Firefox is only going to hurt his revenue, not help it. Firefox users are, in general, more tech literate and therefore are more likely to link to your site. Banning them from your site will only reduce inward linkage, drop you in search engine results and decimate your ad revenue.

As for the point of making Adblock illegal because it affects how sites are rendered, I think I can safely ignore that one :P

Ads (especially Flash based ads or graphical ones) slow down the loading of sites and therefore waste my time without adding any benefit to me (I haven’t blocked Google Ads as they are non-intrusive, text based ads).

I have never clicked on an ad on a website and I have seen plenty of them (non-blocked Google Ads and when I use browsers other than Firefox).

According to Google Analytics, Search Engines account for 73% of traffic to this site. The majority of people who do click on ads are, I suspect, one off visitors to a site who land there from a search. This demographic doesn’t use Firefox, doesn’t use RSS and has never heard of Adblock.

For people who use the web all day, every day Adblock is a boon. It vastly speeds up your browsing experience, eliminates distractions (think flashing blinking ads) and cleans up the content on the page.

For ad publishers, Adblock makes you site far more palatable to the small demographic of users who know how to deploy it. This demographic wouldn’t click on the ads on your site in any case. And this user, is far more likely to promote your site for you, thereby driving traffic to it.

What do you think?

Site owner blocks Firefox users!

I saw this story on Techmeme this morning and I simply couldn’t believe it – but it is true!

A guy called Danny Carlton has decided to block ALL Firefox users from his site because:

The Mozilla Foundation and its Commercial arm, the Mozilla Corporation, has allowed and endorsed Ad Block Plus, a plug-in that blocks advertisement on web sites and also prevents site owners from blocking people using it. Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers. Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing. Millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software

Now, you will be aware that not all Firefox owners have installed Adblock but no matter, Danny is blocking them too. As he says himself:

If you are offended by the Mozilla Corporation’s endorsement of dishonesty please contact the Mozilla Foundation and ask them to stop empowering internet theft.

This is so silly as to be laughable. Either the guy is trolling looking for links (you won’t find any here Danny) or he really is a tad challenged!

In the first place, as Mike Arrington notes

I wonder why he continues to provide a full content feed, sans ads, at jacklewis.net/weblog/atom.xml (and it has been reposted here). Those users are “stealing” his content, too. What about them? Perhaps he’ll now turn his attention to the evils of RSS.

and in the second place, there are adblocking plugins available for Internet Explorer, as well as Firefox.

Will Danny now block Internet Explorer users from accessing his site too?

Google Reader quick comments

I have now completely moved over to using Google Reader as my primary RSS reader. And it appears I am in good company!

I started using it regularly while on holidays on my phone and I grew to like it – particularly the ability to Star and Share posts.

Now I’m using it full-time, not only for these features, but also because I can use it on my Vaio, my MacBook Pro and my mobile phone (I still read and Share many items on the phone at home).

There is really cool trending software in Google Reader as well to help you figure out which blogs update regularly (with a one-click option to unsubscribe from ones which don’t), which blogs you Star and/or Share and it charts your reading activity by day (and by time of day).

The only thing which annoys me about it is that the list of unread items my phone displays differs from the list my computers display. I don’t know why this is, they are running from the same account, reading the same subscription list. Has anyone else noticed this?

If you’d like to follow the items I’m Sharing from my subscription list (i.e. follow what I am recommending) you can:

BlogTalk 2008 to be held in Cork?

BlogTalk is a big international conference around the Social Media space.

The last BlogTalk conference was in Vienna and featured speakers such as Danah Boyd, Suw Charman, and Matt Mullenweg.

Thomas Burg, John Breslin and I are going to see if we can organise the next BlogTalk conference for Early March 2008 in Cork.

All in favour say “Aye!”