Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Techludd and MIcrosoft Website Spark Launch

Last week I made it to the TechLudd Relaunch/Microsoft WebsiteSpark progamme launch. Organised by Anton Mannering (TechLudd). WebsiteSpark (part of the Bizspark programme). WebsiteSpark is for small companies developing web apps at the coalface in ASP and, surprisingly also PHP. It's great that Microsoft recognises and embrace developers who develop on PHP too - and are offering support to them to help building web applications and systems on the stronger and richer enterprise environment offered by Visual Studio Professional editions.

Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to small Irish IT companies. The costs of enterprise development software and web server applications can very high. The new WebSiteSpark programme offers support as well as 3 years free licences of Visual Studio Professional Expression 3.0, and Microsoft Web Server 2008 as well as the stunningly powerful SQL server 2008 Web Edition. These licenses can be very expensive on their own. Their is a US$100 fee when the company exits the programme (optionally or after 3 years) - which frankly really is peanuts for the 3 years development usage afforded under the programme. But you can read more about it yourself.

The launch was a brilliant event and I got to meet some great people from Microsoft, as well as the iia and Anton himself. Plenty of Guinness (it was held at the Guinness Storehouse) and lovely finger food abound.

I also got to meet Ruairi Browne, of Galway website development company, Kro IT, who also provide custom software. Ruairi has signed up to the programme and I look forward to meeting him Galway soon.

I stayed at the Jurys Inn, which was very handy being in town but quite dear for parking and breakfast and booked it via Dublin Hotels.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wimax - Google It - from Imagine

It's interesting to see Imagine's new billboard ads for "WiMax", in which consumers are invited to Google "Wimax" to learn more, rather than giving a URL, as is the way in probably 99.99% of cases. This makes sense from the point of view that most newbies (to the web) don't even know what an address bar or address URL is - and use Google search to find sites they already know of.

WiMax is a huge term and Imagine don't rank it for organically. Instead, Wikipedia, Intel and are listed on the home page, so ranking for it is quite hard. So Imagine are using an AdWords campaign to make sure they come up. I find this understandable but its given me something to think about.

It's an interesting phenomenon. Some of clients even have to use AdWords with their own brandname to prevent competitors from outbidding them with their domain name. Google AdWords has this this facility, which I find a bit odd, whereby I can advertise one URL but visitors are sent to an entirely different name.

For example, I could have an ad that lists the URL as "" but users are actually forwarded to, say, "". This is obviously hugely devious and underhanded but for whatever reason, Google not only allows it, it also allows you to remove your competitors listing by using their domain publicly and your domain as the real destination - as long as you're willing to pay more for it.

You would think Imagine would try to rank for it, even from "Pages from Ireland" but clearly paying for each visit they plan to get via their national advertising campaign seems more logical, for some reason....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Microsoft Website Spark Launch with TechLudd - 20 October 2010

Event Date: 20th October 2010
Where: 7 PM at The Guinness Store House, Dublin

Techludd have announced they are relaunching their website and will co-ordinate the launch with the announcement of the Microsoft WebsiteSpark programme, which will also coincide with the anniversary of the BizSpark Programme.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tidi Signs up with Gifts And Vouchers

I'm really delighted to see long time client of mine, Tidi (web: have signed up with gifts and vouchers site,

Tidi, based in Shannon, Ireland, have been a great client over the years, and are a new Irish company that have already made massive strides into the Irish retail sector. Their state of the art product design and development studio is giving birth to lots of new and innovative products.

By signing up with, they instantly added an online e-commerce presence in just an hour. To have their new online store with us is really cool but it's doubly great as the first product, the non-slip hanger, sold 7 units in the first day.