I’ve just published this week’s Events Alert which naturally lists our upcoming events (namely Twitter & Facebook for Business on April 12th, Open for Business: the IIA Annual Conference on May 12th and Digitise the Nation May 9th – 13th).
I also included a poll about possible Diploma Courses the Irish Internet Association might run in the future to help you with your professional development.
Our Diploma in Digital Marketing has proved very successful in the last 6 months and we thought that you might be interested in other diploma courses on other topics run one evening a week over 6 – 12 weeks. We might also consider running them as bootcamps i.e. intensive week-long full-day training courses.
I thought it was no harm to throw the net wider and replicate that poll here on the blog.
We have a few suggestions below but we have also added a field to allow you to make suggestions too. We’d love to hear what would interest you but if there is anything else you would like to say on the topic please have at ye in the comments below!
In this post I get more than a little ranty about my pet internet peeves and Darren decides to throw in his tuppenceworth too. However, on a positive note, I do share some useful resources and content. I wonder finally is it time to resurrect Feedback Friday?
A tweet I saw from Michele Neylon in Blacknight and another from Ann Donnelly of O’Mahony Donnelly eBusiness reminded me of one of my personal online pet peeves. They were both complaining about sites that did not work if you left out the “www” e.g. iia.ie versus www.iia.ie. It’s a little thing I know but I did title this post as being about my pet online peeves!
Will I go on? Okay a little venting! Another one that drives me a little more bonkers than I am already is Out of Office emails that begin with Re: + my subject line. This means that I have to check them just in case you have replied to my email. Not a problem when it’s an individual one to one email but when you send to a list of over 6000 as we do with the Digital Digest it can become a bit of a chore. I know, I know that not everyone has control over how this works on their email but are you sure you can’t fix it on your email?
On the subject of email, I am asking you now to check your signature and make absolutely sure that you include a contact phone number at the very least after you sign off on every email, even then ones that only say “Grand fine with me.”
Whatever about not including your phone number on every sign-off a registered company in Ireland is required by law to include certain details on their website (See Information Leaflet No.7 on the CRO website). It is best practice to include as much detail in your contact page as possible. We also use Meebo (see on the right) to allow people to contact us live. With the recent news that Google will be including negative/ positive reviews in their search algorithms wouldn’t you prefer that people contact you one to one with their complaint rather than write an online review that is negative about your customer service rather than focussing on your exemplary product? (Thanks Christophe Bernigaud for the link!)
On a slightly more serious note I abhor websites that rip off content. Obviously we’ve all discovered through Google Alerts that some blog somewhere has wholesale copied and pasted our blog content as part of some weird link farming activity (SEO specialists – help me out on this one!) but it’s clear that this is fairly automated and it won’t take long for the host of the free blogging platform to shut them down. What bugs me is when legitimate businesses copy and paste content from other sites, maybe write a prefacing paragraph and sometimes include a link back to the original post. A couple of blogs I have seen recently have done this and I am racking my brain trying to work out if they think this is okay. Yes by all means quote salient points from the content you have read online but please reference and link to it properly. This one particular blog I had ocassion to visit had really good content and I was thinking, “This guy is wasted here: his content is gold!” It was only after day 5 of 5 of top-quality content that a link back to the original article that I realised it was a word for word match. There’s a name for this and it’s copyright infringement and even if the law can’t help you, by Nelly, the internet will. Another give away on a different blog was the fact that the blogging software garbled the pasted text, displaying the HTML code for special characters (eg á). Nobody types that stuff by accident… I presumed the worst and thought, “Poor show, chaps!”
On a more positive note I read a great blog post recently entitled “Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website” which will have food for thought and some actionable items for nearly everyone who is responsible for a website. (Hat Tip to DeepSpin for that one!)
When my colleague Darren, our events & training manager, realised I was writing this post he sent me an email with his pet peeves for your enlightenment. We’re easily ticked off, aren’t we?
Websites that automatically play music or videos. It’s not helpful – I know how to click play! It’s more likely to make me close your page rather than sit and listen to your new song/advertising spiel/video introduction…
Flashy, sparkly, slow-loading homepages. Chances are, I’m just looking for your email address. Don’t make me wait two minutes to see your actual content. Close page, move on.
Websites that don’t actually tell me what the company does. Is it so hard to include a short paragraph telling me what you do? Where’s your About Page?
Pop-up ads. Do I really need to elaborate on this one?
Not knowing the difference between you’re and your.
Typos in generel. Peopel, we live in de age of Splelchek, use it.
Sites that are incompatible with my Mac. This makes me sad and it makes your website useless to me.
I’m done (for now)
Regular readers of this blog will remember a feature I ran on a Friday for a good while called Feedback Friday. It was intended to help companies get some ideas about areas in their sites (their own or clients’) that needed improvement. Well Darren reckons it’s time we resurrected this feature. So if you are a member of the IIA and you would like some constructive feedback about your website or an element of your site or a client’s site please email details to me and we’ll kick off again.
Members of the IIA can add information to the IIA website easily. This content is considered for inclusion in the IIA’s monthly Digital Digest (more information about deadlines below). It really helps if you get the style and format correct first time.
Using your username and password, log in to www.iia.ie (Click the turquoise blue box in the centre above. It will turn orange when you have successfully logged in). The primary user in each company must request additional logins by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you are logged in you will be taken to your company profile. If not click on "Member Network" on the left hand side of the navy navigation panel.
Here you will see a list on the left hand side.
Click on "Add Company News".
Remember to tag your information to help other users find it with ease.
Here are some general tips when adding news to the IIA site:
- If you are copying text from a word processing package like MS Word please ensure that you clean the text of all proprietary formatting by copying, pasting it into a text editor like Notepad and then pasting into the textbox.
You can apply formatting effects to your Content. The following options are available:
– Formatting: Bold, Underline, Italic, Strike-through; Alignment: – Left align, Center align and Right align;
– Extras: Create Links, Remove Links, Undo changes, Redo changes
- Please write in a formal, press release style using the 3rd person plural where appropriate e.g. "Company A recently launched their new service." This avoids readers confusing your company’s news with IIA organisational news.
- Please include links where possible. This will allow people to visit your site. It will help with your search engine optimisation. The "Add company News" interface allows this. Select your text to hyperlink, click the link icon second from right and choose either http:// or mailto: depending on whether you are linking to a site or email address respectively. You are encouraged, for the purposes of accessibility, to complete all fields in the link dialogue box.
- Basic punctuation and grammar is expected. If in doubt check an online grammar guide. Please also run a spell check before publishing.
Hope this information helps but please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com if you experience any difficulties.
The IIA’s monthly newsletter, the Digital Digest, goes out to 5,500+ subscribers, usually on the last Wednesday of every month. In 2009 it had an average open rate of 20% so if there’s ever anything you want to include, please publish to your company profile on IIA.ie by 5pm on the preceding Friday. All content added to member company profiles is considered for publication in the Digest.
The schedule for the Digests for 2010 follows and is subject to change based on Association needs.
The deadline for each edition is 5pm on the preceding Friday.
Just a super quick post to wish you all the best in 2010! A couple of things were brought to my attention while I was on leave and I thought the quickest thing would be to share them with you all here.
- Firstly IIA member Pixel Design thought some of you might be interested in Dublin County Enterprise Board’s search for Irish Digital Talent to represent Ireland at a Campus Party Europa Event in Spain in April.
- Secondly I thought it was worth reminding you that one of our members is conducting research about social networking for a masters thesis. Please complete her survey if you have a few minutes to spare.
- And there should be a thirdly. Ah yes! If you are an IIA Member, your membership is now due for renewal. We are doing a special 10% for members who renew online by credit card. Email me at members at iia dot ie for the voucher code.
Mulvihill took up her position this week. Speaking about her appointment she said, “I’m delighted to be joining the IIA at this critical time. As Ireland aspires to a Smart Economy, it’s vital that the necessary supports are available to business owners, in terms of infrastructure, investment and expertise. Already, we have some fantastic Irish success stories of internet businesses across a range of sectors; financial services, leisure and travel, retail and media. The internet brings so much opportunity for cost saving, process efficiency and customer care – way beyond simply having a website. As a Smart Economy, Irish businesses can and will be at the forefront of innovation and optimisation of internet usage. The IIA is a member based association and so my vision for the IIA is to see our members, Irish businesses, leading the way in the development and application of internet capability and in doing so growing new markets in Ireland and abroad”.
“The Irish Internet Association is unique among Irish business associations in that it offers all companies the opportunity to network beyond and across sectors and scale. Membership of any association must bring value for money, value to the bottom line. IIA members benefit from excellent networking and business development opportunities. seminars, training and our Net Visionary Awards programme. Members also have the opportunity to participate in our working groups which provide a platform for policy and best practice development”.
Mulvihill has a strong background within the Irish SME sector having previously held the position as Senior Manager for Family Business Advisory Services at BDO Simpson Xavier. Mulvihill also has extensive retail experience having spent eight years in London and Amsterdam with the Kingfisher Group. She was at the forefront of managing one of the first transitions of a major UK retailer from high street to online and has also worked as a consultant to a number of new business start-ups.
Photo right owned by Valeriana Solaris (cc)
Earlier this week I posted a blog post about our upcoming Board Elections. Unfortunately I mistyped the email address for nominations in the HTML (not onscreen) which caused some difficulties. I’m sorry about this and it was corrected as soon as it was pointed out to us. The correct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are being accepted until 5pm today so you still have just over an hour to get involved. All valid nominations will be published on Friday 17th July.
Between 12pm and 1pm today the main IIA.ie website will be unavailable for a period. We are adding a new module to the site that affects the functionality and the design of some aspects of the site. Although we have tested it in a live-like environment we would prefer to bash it about a bit in a live environment before releasing it completely. We hope you understand. We appreciate your patience.
You can check out our twitter feed for updates although I will of course be busy testing the new module!
UPDATE 17.21 24/06/2009: Most of you should be seeing the IIA site again. However if you are not seeing content that you would expect to see, or you are having issues logging in or you are not seeing the site could you please let me know? Either IM me using the Meebo widget on the right, email me at members at iia dot ie or ring 01 5424154. Thanks!
UPDATE 13.03 24/06/2009: The main IIA Site may not be visible briefly as its new location propagates (i.e. as your server learns where our new server is when you type iia.ie into your browser). This is very unfortunate as we sent the Digital Digest today and we know some people can’t access further information. Again we are sorry for any inconvenience and would be much obliged if you could be patient. The site will reappear shortly.
UPDATE 11.45am, 24/06/2009: We are experiencing some small issues with logging into the main IIA website. We are working to resolve it and will let you know as soon as it has been sorted. This affects only members. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
We are moving the IIA website (bar this blog) to a new server this afternoon. This might mean some service interruption on the main IIA site (www.iia.ie) between 4pm and 7pm GMT today. That means if you are a member and you are planning to post some info to the site please do it now or after 7pm. Even if the site is visible and available please do NOT post info between 4pm and 7pm. Thanks!
Basically we are moving the site to new server which should result in a zippier experience for everyone. While we have tested the site on the new server if you do notice anything unusual PLEASE let me know by emailing members @ iia dot ie. Thanks!
A working group established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is at present examining if changes in data protection law are necessary to deal with such data breaches.
In the public sector, recent guidance from the Department of Finance on data security advises departments and agencies to report data breaches immediately to this Office. The guidance issued today by the Commissioner recommends that the same approach be followed by all organisations.
Commenting on the Guidelines, the Commissioner said: "we have seen a welcome trend towards organisations seeking our advice when they suffer a data breach. Our main focus is on preventing such loss of personal data and the distress it can cause to individuals. But we recognise that mistakes do happen and it is vital that organisations are ready to react. That means having plans in place to trace and secure the data that has been compromised, to prevent further security breaches and to warn those affected by the data security breach. It means allocating responsibility for the key decisions that have to be made in such circumstances. By these means organisations will prevent a bad situation from deteriorating further."
This month’s Digital Digest is now available. It includes:
- A reminder that nominations close TOMORROW for the 2009 Net Visionary Awards. Nominate your Net Visionary now or regret it later!
- Details about Congress 09 and a reminder to book your ticket at special Early Bird prices.
- A call for expressions of interest in developing an Integrated online accounting and membership management system for the IIA
- Details about upcoming IIA events
- Member vacancies
- New member listing
- Loads of member news and events
- And much more besides