Archive for January, 2007

Fancy a Curry 2.0?

admin 30th of January 2007 by admin

I'm heading back to Dublin for an Enterprise Ireland meeting and would like to extend a warm dinner invite (on me) to you.

If you’re interested in chatting about the usual Web and mobile related stuff over a curry and bottle of wine or two, then join me and a few like-minded folk tomorrow night in Dublin village. All are welcome but places are obviously limited.

Venue Jaipur, 41 South Great George’s St, Dublin 2
Date 1st February 2007
Time 19:00
Dress code usual scruffy start-up attire

Get in touch if you’re interested, or leave a comment.

Life after the bubble – Sunday Tribune – Damien Mulley

admin 30th of January 2007 by admin

Damien Mulley has a great piece in the Sunday Tribune

Quotes from Joe and Conor

Some in the tech industry think this money should be invested differently. Joe Drumgoole from start-up PutPlace believes that the funding, while welcome, doesn’t appear to help smaller start-ups.

“The problem with the EI money is that are no constraints and there is no control over where the money goes, nor is there any hope of it going where it is most needed – into early stage start-ups.”

Drumgoole added: “If you took Euro75m of that Euro175m and started to invest it directly in Irish start-ups, you could fund 50 world-class start-ups each with Euro1.5m of seed capital.”

Conor O’Neill from tech start-up LouderVoice, which helps promote website reviews, thinks the money should be spread out even further than Drumgoole suggests.

“The number of technology businesses being set up by those in their early to mid-20s is worryingly low.

We need some way of encouraging them to have a go without feeling they’ll lose the shirt off their back if it fails. Rather than VCs funding maybe 50 companies at Euro3m-Euro6m each, EI could fund over 800 ventures doing this. Maybe one of those 800 becomes the next YouTube or eBay.”

BarCamp Dublin?

admin 30th of January 2007 by admin

Is anyone aware of a BarCamp Dublin being organised? If not, I intend to do one in the near future.

Update: 31/1/07

Just found out that Elly and Joe are organising it. Elly has just asked me to help which is cool as I want to do more of this stuff in Dublin – where the networking scene should be 'happening'!

Thanks for the pointer Keithstrong>

Where’s the Internet heading?

admin 30th of January 2007 by admin

I thoroughly enjoyed the Internet People networking event last night. I ended in a club yet again with Robert and a few others he's a seriously bad influence!

I usually get a little nervous before getting up on stage (which is a good thing) as I don't like 'broadcasting' my views on people, especially when the audience is equally qualified. However, the Semantic Web is something I'm very passionate about, so I found it very easy to talk and only wished I had more than the allocated 2 minutes. That's not to say however, that I was particularly good :)

The only other Irish person there was Nicola Byrne, an Associate from Benchmark Capital. Nicola's pitch was quite close to my heart. She spoke about bringing the Internet to more people. I personally believe this is a very important point that most people forget and I think it's where the Mobile Web will play a big part, mainly because mobile networks are cheaper to roll out than fix lines in developing countries.

As a member of the W3C Semantic Web Education and Outreach special interest group, I loved having the opportunity to talk about Content Labels as I believe they are one of the most compelling use cases of the Semantic Web.

Jemima Kiss from the Guardian covered what each of us had to say very well.

Vodafone to launch open source community portal called Betavine

admin 26th of January 2007 by admin

Update 29/1/07

The title of my post shouldn't say 'open source'. 'The Betavine Portal' is not an open source portal. All application owners will continue to own the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for their applications. The Portal however, will have a section dedicated to open source. Nothing has changed since I wrote my original post and its entire contents remain true.

I would like to apologise if I've caused some confusion.
Vodafone is looking to stimulate the development of new applications in the mobile and internet industry through a new community portal. And I’m lucky enough to be the first to tell people :)

The Portal called Betavine, has been scheduled for a *soft* launch on January 31st 2006 and I've agreed to help seed interest within the community.

I've just posted this on my blog but thought it was worth posting here in case we have some new mobile applications amongst us.

I was lucky enough to take part in a workshop alongside Andy Tiller from Shozu, Hakon Martinsen of m-spatial and Tom Hume, from Future Platforms to help Vodafone put together their requirements. It was interesting to see how they had put most of it together already, demonstrating their understanding of the open source community.

If you want to take a sneak preview and take part in a field trial between now and the 31st (possibly longer), then get in touch and I'll give you login details.

If you own a mobile application this is a great way to get free feedback and exposure.

About the Betavine portal

It's a research and development space run by Vodafone Group R&D. It aims to encourage collaboration in the area of mobile and internet communications.

As a user you can:
* Download and test applications
* Comment and contribute on the forums and blogs

As a developer you can
* Create your own projects and host applications
* Blog about your projects
* Interact with your users and the Betavine community

On the Betavine Portal, interaction between developers and testers provides a testing ground for the latest concepts and technologies. New technologies are tested in real-world conditions, key technologies are identified and winning concepts come to the fore.

It's an open community that self-regulates. You are free to register and contribute to discussion threads and create or comment on blog entries. As a developer you can create a project space to upload your application, showcase your work and engage the Betavine testing community.

For students it's a chance to be involved in developing mobile applications through internships, 'externships' and competitions. Winning projects will be featured on the student page, and taken further through collaboration with the Betavine community.

Like featured projects and applications, the Betavine Web site itself is in continual beta testing by its users. Suggest new Web site features and discuss in the forum thread. Betavine's developers take their lead from the Web site community.

To participate in a beta trial before it's made public on January 31st 2007, get in touch with me.

This is a great opportunity to be one of the first to have an application on the portal.

In the spirit of Web2.0 Job Boards

conor 26th of January 2007 by conor

If every other Web2 site can have a job board then so can we, or a job posting anyway:

Argolon Solutions is looking for an experienced Web developer to drive the future development of the LouderVoice web-site. The team is entirely distributed so there is no requirement to be based in Cork. However we do have a preference for an Irish-based developer. If you are young, ambitious and have the right skills and attitude then we are just as happy to hear from you as from someone with 10 years under their belt.

We are currently using a full outsource model for both the development and design of LouderVoice. We are aiming to change this to a hybrid inhouse/outsource approach as we get closer to full launch.

If you have a strong background in end-to-end web development and you are looking for all the opportunities that being the lead developer in a start-up provides then we want to hear from you. Some of the things we are looking for include:

  • Experience as lead developer of MVC-style web applications
  • Strong background in agile languages, particularly Python
  • Deep knowledge of web frameworks such as TurboGears (which we use), Django, Pylons, Rails, Code Igniter or similar
  • Successful history of working with offshore and distributed development and design teams
  • Expertise in creating high-performance scalable application architectures using MySQL
  • Commitment to XHTML/CSS/Semantic Markup
  • Ajax UIs

This is a permanent position and the salary/benefits package will be commensurate with experience.

Please contact Conor O'Neill at

European VC investment strategies – and web2.0 plans

admin 25th of January 2007 by admin

Barry Maloney, Partner at top VC firm Benchmark [ex-digifone], Irish man, was quoted in a recent FT report on European investment in “web2.0″ space.[original research was from Paul Fisher at First Capital]

Quote: [fixed the bad spelling of Maloney]

Barry Maloney, partner at Benchmark Capital Europe, said recent transactions, such as the sale of Youtube to Google for $1.65bn and the sale of MySpace to News Corp for $580m, have fuelled interest in websites focused on user-generated content, also known as web 2.0 companies.

These companies are also much cheaper to set up than other technology businesses.

It is very difficult to build up a semiconductor company or an enterprise software business. You need to invest $40m to $50m before you know if you have a product that works, Mr Maloney said. With web 2.0 companies you can find out after three or four million dollars whether it will work.

As a result, Mr Maloney said, many European venture capital companies were using a spray and pray strategy, spreading small amounts of investment over dozens of companies in the hopes that two or three would make it. “

Move Over Silicon Valley, Here Come European Start-Ups

admin 25th of January 2007 by admin

Sam at Vecosys picks up on NY Times coverage @ european startups [from an invite only event in Munich – DLD Conference ]

Vecosys coverage
Vecosys – a conversation about European startups

Hacking Mobile: Roam4Free and AllFreeCalls on readwriteweb

admin 24th of January 2007 by admin

Richard covers roam4free and allfreecalls

Check here for coverage: Hacking Mobile: Roam4Free and AllFreeCalls

Tip: Thanks Richard for the link.

PollDaddy and MySpace

admin 24th of January 2007 by admin

Polldaddy [from Infacta], the best web2.0 online polls solution is heading into myspace….

Pete Cashmore has the details on mashable – checkMySpace Polls: PollDaddy Gets MySpace Support – Mashable!