Archive | August, 2008
August 31, 2008

Coolsites.ie Finally Live

I have an annoying habit of grabbing domain names on whim and then promptly forgetting why I bought them.

Coolsites.ie was one of those domain names that I grabbed  a few months ago, as I knew instinctively that I would find a good use for it, I just wasn't 100% sure what...

Months later I came across a very tasty MT template called "Mid Century", which has been released under the GPL.

It's a simply gorgeous template and combines a lot of features that I felt were ideal for a site like CoolSites.ie, so I'd have been rather silly not to make use of it.

It's now live!

I plan on posting a site every day if I can, so if you know of any nice, cool or simply interesting sites that I should mention please let me know via email to submissions@coolsites.ie. I'd strongly recommend that you use the subject line "coolsites.ie submission", as it will get lost in my inbox otherwise.

(Please bear in mind that I do not use Windows, so if a site requires IE6 or 7 to render properly I won't be able to see it)

I'll also be asking a few other people to do guest posts, as I think spreading the subjectivity might not be a bad idea! (If that makes any sense)

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August 31, 2008

Princess Diana Anniversary

The Alma tunnel in Paris, where Princess Diana...

Image via Wikipedia

It's amazing how quickly time flies. 11 years ago today Princess Diana died in the tunnel in Paris.

I was living in Madrid at the time and remember following the story on TVE as the day progressed.

While I remember her marriage to Prince Charles quite clearly, even though I was very young at the time, I don't remember a lot about the woman after that. It was only in the period after her death that I came to realise how much work she'd been doing in the realm of human rights.

I guess we'll never really know all the facts of what went on in the lead up to her death.

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August 30, 2008

Google Rapid Inclusion Tool?

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Getting your site listed in Google is one thing, getting traffic to your site is another.

What's the difference?

Well basically Google pretty much lists every single webpage on the planet, so getting listed or included isn't really that big a deal.

What you really want is people to go to your site and buy your product or service (or take whatever action you want / need).

Now this is where it gets interesting and complicated.

If someone does a search in Google for my name they'll probably end up here pretty quickly. This has very little to do with SEO. It's basically because I have an odd first name and a rather uncommon surname, so most of the results in Google will refer to me.

With me so far?

Ok, so that shows that searching for something very specific is probably going to take you to it. It might not, but it's more likely.

But what if you are running an online business?

Are people going to look for your business by name?

While that might happen eventually it's highly unlikely that it's going to happen when your site first goes live, or even after that.
What's a lot more likely to happen is that people are going to look for a solution to a problem.

For example, if I want to read a review of the Babylon AD (a film released this week) I have a couple of options.
I could go to a site such as entertainment.ie, filmreviews.ie or movies.ie to see if they've got any reviews OR I could simply do a search on Google for "babylon ad". Since I'm interested in a review of the film I might append that to my search query, so it becomes "babylon ad review".

This isn't rocket science.

However if you deal with small business owners on a regular basis you soon realise one thing. A lot of them don't really understand how to use search engines.
They don't understand the difference between their browser's navigation bar and Google.

What this means in practical terms is that people can get duped by promises of "rapid inclusion" or "top ranking" etc., etc.

If someone promises you "free traffic" how are you meant to understand that?

Will you know that the only traffic you can possibly get from Google from a new site is going to be a spider ie. a bit of computer software that isn't going to buy anything

The devil is in the details, though anyone dealing with small business should be very clear about what exactly they are offering.

Damien wrote up a nice piece covering some of this based on what was being discussed on the Enterprise Ireland Ebusiness mailing list. It's worth reading the comments by the way!

James took the entire fluffy link / Google rapid submission tool idea and threw a quick site together

It all gets quite inane yet amusing, doesn't it?

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August 29, 2008

IIA Afraid To Follow?

Graphic representation of a minute fraction of...

Image via Wikipedia

It really irks me to see organisations like the IIA (the Irish Internet Association) knowingly setting all links in comments on its blog to be "nofollow.

The "nofollow" attribute sucks. Sure, there are *some* circumstances where it can be useful eg. linking to a competitor for example, but if you moderate comments on a blog then nofollow is just inane and dumb.

This blog quite happily "follows" people who take the time to share their opinion via a comment. In fact all the blogs I run or post to use the normal link attributes.

So what the hell is up with the IIA?

They're supposed to be promoting the internet sector in Ireland etc., etc.,

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August 29, 2008

Podcamp Ireland 2008

podcamp-ireland-2008.gif

Although last year's trip to PodCamp in Kilkenny was a little more eventful than I would have liked, I've put myself down for it again this year.

Events like PodCamp are a great way to "put faces to names" or simply catch up with a bunch of people who you normally wouldn't be able to see. As it's being held in Kilkenny I really don't have any excuse for not going, though I could probably think of one if I really put my mind to it!

This year's line up looks interesting, though I usually get more of a kick from the chats over coffee in the hallways (I tend to fidget when I'm not meant to, so sitting in a session no matter how relaxed probably isn't really my cup of tea)

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August 28, 2008

Jaiku Back Online

jaikulogo.pngAfter an extended period of downtime, while it was moved onto the Google infrastructure, Jaiku is back online.

Ciaran was following the migration's progress over on Jaiku Invites.

They seem to have opened up the invitations, presumably because they're on a much bigger platform than before and can manage the load, but whether the service will "take off" or not is hard to say.

Twitter, even if it has a horrible UI, is still a lot more popular.

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August 27, 2008

Apple iPhone Ad Banned in UK

Apple's marketing team have always like to upsell the virtues of their products, which is only to be expected. What may have come as a surprise to them was when one of their adverts was banned by the UK advertising watchdog for making misleading claims.

Full story on the Guardian site

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August 27, 2008

IrishBlogs.info – Offline Temporarily

IrishBlogs.info is currently offline, as it has developed a rather annoying bug ie. the main page won't load and just gives me an unhelpful MySQL error.

Hopefully I'll be able to get it up and running again soon, but I thought it best to take it offline for the moment...

Please don't ask me when it will be back online, as I honestly don't know. The best answer I can give you is a rather vague "as soon as I can fix it"

Its sister site, IrishBlogs.com, is still online, though it obviously doesn't do the same thing.

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August 25, 2008

Tag Heuer Watch At Last

I took delivery of my Tag Heuer watch earlier today.

Here's a photo:

tag-heur-watch.jpg

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August 24, 2008

Feedburner – No More Support?

Image representing FeedBurner as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

After posting about my issues with Adsense < > Feedburner issues I finally found the Google group for Feedburner.

While the old Feedburner forums used to be active and Feedburner staff used to regularly post replies to people's queries the opposite seems to be the case now.

While there are plenty of people posting about their issues there seems to be a deathly silence from the Google / Feedburner side of the house.

I've been critical of Google's total lack of customer service in the past, but in that instance I was addressing a free service.

Feedburner does have a revenue stream for Google. I've no idea of course how big that revenue stream is in the grand scheme of things, but can any company afford to totally ignore their clients in this manner?

If they didn't want to provide any avenues for customer support it would be one thing, but what is the point of providing an avenue of support if you have no intention of actually engaging with the users?

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