Personally I think holidays should be sacred but some people just can’t switch off. It did occur to me lately that being freelance might mean less of the free as I no longer have a team of colleagues to support me. This infographic caught my eye however as it details how employees circumvent security measure to make their mobile lives easier. So while an employer might be hearted by the 45% increase in productivity offered by mobile devices the $5.5m quoted as the average cost of a data breach might have them lashing around the office snapping up tablets and phones like a crazed Christmas Eve shopper.
Beo don Nollaig
Here’s my article for the December edition of Beo! In this article I give a few tips for your Christmas shopping. While it may be a little late to buy from international sites many of the Irish sites listed below might still be able to get your gifts to you in time. I also share a few ideas for virtual gifts: for example did you know that you can gift iPhone/ iPad apps and also check out others’ Amazon wishlists and gift them vouchers for a specific gift? Well now you do!
Tá an Nollaig buailte linn agus tá margaí le fáil ar líne. Tá margaí ó thaobh bronntanais agus do gach aon ní don bhféile idir bhia agus dheoch ar fáil. Is fiú go mór súil a chaitheamh ar roinnt suíomhannamiondíola Éireannacha chun na margaí sin a bhaint amach fiú chomhdéanach leis an 22 lá Nollaig. (Féach www.curiouscupcakes.com mar shampla, a dúirt liom ar líne le déanaí go mbeidh siad ag bácáil isag dáileadh leo go dtí sin.)
Ar ndóigh is féidir bréagáin a cheannach ar líne ach n’fheadar an bhfaca tú riamh rogha chomh leathan is atá ag www.mimitoys.ie? Dontuismistheoir nach féidir leo tabhairt faoi na siopaí ar chor ar bith, tá catagóir líonmhar stocaí acu fiú amháin le hainmhithe beaga, cniotálaífrancaise, ábhar ealaíne, liathróidí lonracha, téada scipeála aguscleasanna beaga eolaíochta. Rud eile gur mór liom faoin raon atá ag MimiToys ná easpa a leithéidí Lightning McQueen is Peppa Pig orthu!
Ach ar ndóigh, ní do na gasúir amháin í an Nollaig. Ach don ghasúr atá ionainn ar fad tá http://www.pressieport.ie agus www.GiftGenies.com. Is suíomhanna Éireannacha an péire seo agus tá neart spéisiúil le feiceáil orthu. Mar shampla, nach é do mhuintir bun agus barr na Nollag? Sin a chreidimse féin agus is breá liom an fráma pictiúir seo a ligeadh don úinéir an chlann ar fad a thaispeáint lena chéile ar bhealach tarraingteach: www.pressieport.ie/products/Minimix-Frame.html
Lucht Coimeádta na mBronntanas
An rud sainiúil faoi People Love Presents ná go mbailíonn an bheirt bhan a chruthaigh an suíomh na bronntanais is fearr ó gach cearn denidirlíon: d’fhéadfá coimeádaithe na mbronntanas a thabhairt orthu!Sheol siad feidhmchláirín don iPhone le déanaí a ligean duit anfaighteoir a shainiú ionas go mbeidh an cláirín in ann an bronntanas is oiriúnaí a roghnú duit. Ná habair liom nach mbeadh sé sin ina chabhair mhór duit i gceann coicíse! Féach, cuirim i gcás, ar son do leannáin:People Love Presents – cá háit eile a bhfaighfeá bronntanas chomh speisialta sin?
Tá péire bronntanais ceannaithe agam cheana ar www.gruupy.com ach ní féidir liom scríobh an iomarca fúthu ar eagla go léadh an faighteoir faoi anseo. Is múnla gnó spéisiúil é Gruupy: cuireann siad margadh ar fáil chuile lá ar an tuiscint go mbeidh a dhóthain daoine ann chun a margadh a chomhlíonadh. Bhí iPad ar fáil ar €400.00, fágaim, a fhad isa bhí cúigear déag sásta ceann an duine a cheannach. Bhí an lá sin.
Is ag caint ar iPadanna is ar iFóineanna, nó iGhutháin, n’fheadar an raibh fhios agat gur féidir feidhmchláirín a bhronnadh ar duine eile? San AppStore é féin, roghnaigh an cláirín a bhfuil fonn ort é a bhronnadh; gabh síos go bun an scáileáin agus feicfidh tú cnaipe “Gift this App” a ligfeas duit r-phost a sheoladh leis na sonraí ar fad ann. Thar cinn don té atá ag súil le iPhone sa stoca maidin Lá Nollag! Is féidiréarlais iTunes Store a bhronnadh ar an mbealach céanna freisin agus ligfear don bhfaighteoir ceol, cláirín nó scannáin a cheannach.
Caithfidh mé a rá gur fearr liom i bhfad dearbhán bronntanais leictreonach mar seo mar is é mo bharúil go mbíonn sé i bhfad níos éasca nasc a cliceáil i rphost ná cinntiú go bhfuil an dearbhán i do phóca is tú ag tabhairt faoin mbaile mór. Rud níos deise fós faoi dearbhán ó Asos.com, ná nach ngearrfar an t-airgead archárta creidmheasa an bhronntóra go dtí go gcaitheann an faighteoir an dearbhán. Rud eile a thug mé faoi deara ná gur féidir dearbhán a roghnú do bhronntanas ar leith ar Amazon. Luíonn sé seo isteach go deas leis an tseirbhís mhianliosta atá acu. Nuair atá tú ag brabhsáil ar Amazon ar do ghuthán nó ar do ríomhaire, is féidir táirgí a chur le liosta do mhianta. Is féidir an liosta seo a dhéanamh poiblí nó príobháideach. Má bhíonn sé poiblí, is féidir le haon duine teacht air trí chuardach agus bronntanas a roghnú as do mhianliosta féin ansin. Agus má tá mianliosta agat féin, is féidir cnaipe a chur ar do bhrabhsálaí a ligfidh duit tairgí ar shuíomh ar bith a chur leis an mianliosta, (rud atá an-spéisiúil domhiondíoltóirí idirlín). Ní bhfaighidh tú geansaí Nollag riamh arís. Ach ab é go dtiocfaidh d’aintín ar an suíomh seo: http://www.gammychristmasjumpers.com/
Is é an Duine an t-Léine
Is ag caint ar éadaí, má bhíonn tú ag smaoineamh orthu mar bhronntanas caith súil ar ayearoftees.com*,togra álainn ina bhfuil fear darbh ainm Keith Walsh ag dearadh t-léine in aghaidh an lae. Tá siad monachróim ach tá roinnt díbh go gleoite, roinnt díbh greannmhar, roinnt meonach, ach tá siad go léiruathúil. Más fearr le sprioc do bhronntanais níos mó dathanna, caith súil ar lafraise.com. Ní suíomh Éireannach é, admhaím, ach tá sé Eorpach ar a laghad! Do na mná i do shaol, tá neart le fáil ar doo-lally.com a chuirfeadh gliondar ar a gcroí!
*I gather that as this project is finished the tee-shirts are no longer for sale. Boohoo!
Tá neart búistéirí ar líne (rud a fuair mé amach le déanaí is a chuir íonadh orm!) agus tá duais Gradam Gréasáin na hÉireann is Eircom Spider buaite le déanaí ag James Whelan Butchershttp://www.jameswhelanbutchers.com/ – glacaim leis go mbeidh cearc fhrancach is liamháis le fáil uaidh.Má tá fíon uait le gabháil leis an bhféasta seo, molaim féin www.curiouswines.com – tá siad sásta a gcuid saineolais a roinnt leat ar an nguthán, ar r-phost, ar Facebook nó ar Twitter is tú ag roinnt an fhíona fhoirfe don bhféasta.
Má tá tuilleadh eolais uait faoi shiopaí Éireannacha atá ag díol ar líne, tabhair cuairt ar an mbunachar atá cruthaithe ag Damien Mulley ina bhfuil dátaí deireanacha seachadta liostáilte ag na miondíoltóirí chomh maith le roinnt lascainí. http://bit.ly/9jV331
Mar fhocal scoir, muna bhfuil do dhóthain ansin duit, tabhair cuairt ar I Love Shopping, suíomh atá curtha ar fáil ag An Post ina bhfuil beagnach gach miondíoltóir Éireannach ar líne luaite.
Nollaig Shona daoibh go léir!
The title of this post is a little clichéd for my liking but it’s right. A blogger based in Ireland called Sabrina Dent has called us all out in relation to conferencing and the dirth of women speaking at them. She pointed out that the particular conference that got her thinking about this had a particularly bad track record in relation to gender balance regardless of the location of their event.* In other words that although the pool might be limited in Ireland the same can not be said of the British and North American locations of other events that have been organised by this group.
Her commenters responded posing questions and opinions about whether it was not just representative of the actual gender balance in IT, whether it would not be worse just to ask women to speak just because they are women, whether it’s the fault of the conference organisers or is society/ the education system/ wussy women/ childcare/ macho macho men to blame? (I added the last three myself because I’m a helpful person.)
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot since Sabrina posed it. *Not least because she pointed out to me (very nicely in a private message) that she thought that my place of work, the Irish Internet Association, didn’t have a good track record in this area either. My only defence on behalf of the IIA is that we have a strong line-up of women on the staff and board and amongst our speakers but we generally try to get the most expert person in the field and not think about gender at all. Also when you are listing presenters at an event you don’t generally list those who turned you down for obvious reasons! Anyway I don’t want to blog about work here!
So I thought about this question from a personal point of view. I’ve only ever been asked to speak at one event on a topic remotely related to this sector. I presumed that this was because I worked for the IIA and it never crossed my mind for a single moment that they might be trying to gender balance their event. Maybe they were. Had I found out by some crazy mishap that this had been the case how would I have felt about it? Would I be as enraged if I found out that they hadn’t considered me because I am a woman? Is it very different to just being asked because I was the only IIA staff member available? If they had asked for my boss would I have said “Ahem excuse me have you considered the gender balance of your panel? Do you not think you should ask one of the women involved with the IIA to speak?” No I would not because I would presume they were asking him because of his specific expertise.
I think those who say it’s hard to gender balance speaker panels in the IT sector have a point to a certain extent. However I have not always worked in the IT sector and sadly it seems to be a similar breakdown in the other sectors I worked in, Irish Language and more generally, the charity and voluntary sector both of which are top heavy with male staff and bottom heavy with female staff based on my eyeballing them at conferences.
I also think those who say would you prefer that a woman was asked just because she’s a woman are being fallacious. You’d lose your event organising job pretty damn quick if you operated on those lines. However sites like GeekSpeakr will give event organisers a chance to find women who are willing to speak in the IT sector worldwide. I haven’t signed up to it myself because I wouldn’t consider myself an expert and because Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void is totally putting me off!
I remember when I was in school one of my best friends was really into debating. She went on to college and did well for one of the college debating societies in at least two languages. She is one of the few women I know well who speaks at high end specialist conferences regularly. I remember back in the day when we were in secondary school she would complain about the shrinking violets who wouldn’t get involved in debating but equally we found it difficult to compete in debates. I wonder whether our experience then and the grandstanding approach to competition doesn’t continue into adulthood. Maybe debating didn’t suit us and maybe the traditional conference with speaker as *ahem* rock star doesn’t suit women.
I actually met Sabrina Dent for the first time at my first unconference, PodCampIreland, (it’s been a year of firsts!) where both of us had volunteered to speak: she in her inimitable style about pimping your website; me about Twitter. In fact many of the presenters who spoke were women. The underlying approach at an unconference or camp like this is the participative nature; the emphasis on starting conversation. Maybe I’m going to finish on a stereotype but I wonder does this approach suit women’s style of information sharing. Is it fair to say that women share information through conversation and possibly prefer this mode?
And that’s exactly the kind of generalisation I hate! So maybe it is down to education so I will continue to play my part here at home and continue to ask my boys “Why is it a girl’s toy? Because it’s pink? Pink’s a girl’s colour? What makes it a girl’s colour? A colour isn’t a boy or girl etc.” They’re only little – I’ll develop on the theme as they get older.
Music and social media
As you may have noticed I’ve been bigging my little sister up a lot lately on this blog but I’ve also been talking to her on and off about the ways she can use social media to market her business which is, of course, making and sharing music. I really believe canny use of new media will increase her audience and inevitably her sales. We’ve been planning a proper sit-down to discuss strategy and it occurred to me that if I got the two brothers on Skype (and other musos too – let me know if you’re interested) and talked to them about what they’re doing, what’s working, what’s not etc. it might make for a more interesting session. I also hope to record and therefore share it. I’ll keep you posted.
Just about managing
As you know I have recently moved jobs. Himself was slagging me when I told him that I would be writing and managing the IIA’s newsletter as this was something I did in An Chomhdháil as well. In fact I worked on An Chomhdháil’s two newsletters and digest service from inception, during that time moving one of them from one platform to another. I love writing newsletters, I love to get them and I still think a well written and presented newsletter is the digital communication most likely to see results. I’ve seen the results. To many the cost of setting them up may seem prohibitive, but the return on investment, once you have a good writer/ editor is immeasurable. If you are thinking about starting a newsletter, a good place for advice that I go back to again and again is E-mail Universe. Now while there was some virtual guffawing among the Irish Twitterati last week in relation to email marketing, I still try to have time for ezines that matter.
However sometimes I don’t have enough time. I love RSS for this reason* and my Google Reader in particular which, although it’s currently groaning from overzealous subscribing, allows me to zip through lots of content especially on my phone. This I love because no matter where I am (in Ireland) I always have something to read.
But what I would really love and maybe it already exists is a similar thang for managing all my ezine subscriptions. I hate unsubbing because having been at the receiving end I know a little bit of one dies inside when a subscriber is lost. I used to email them and ask them every so nicely why they were choosing to unsub and thankfully it was never because of something I did. They were moving jobs, going on ma leave or had changed accounts. What conscientious people! Unlike those reams of Hotmailers (I am also guilty although I retain mine for IM purposes) whose newsletters are probably still bouncing around the ether. So dear Lazyweb, as Conor O’Neill of LouderVoice would say, is there a web service out there that will help me manage all my newsletters to all my various accounts? Wouldn’t that be great? I might even be able to go back and correct my past transgressions and unsub all those I used my hotmail account for. The other thing I would love to be able to do and, I would, as a newsletter producer, love people to be able to do, is to suspend newsletters while on leave by entering the exact dates of that leave. Or just a better way of recognising newsletters from real people. But sure therein lies the holy grail of email.
* Yes I am painfully aware of the fact that my own RSS is not working. I’ve tried to fix it. I’m too dim obviously. This is what happens when you are a self-hosted blog pioneer. I’ve been at this lark since 2003 folks when you all thought RSS was a snake with a lisp.