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New blog design in progress. Excuse the scaffolding. This is just a short about section where you can describe yourself and your site. You'll want to keep it fairly long because there are some layout issues that arise if the area is below a certain width.

Golden Spider Award for Cul Green

Well done to all the winners at the Eircom Golden Spiders last night. Thanks to Irene from Rehab Bingo for bringing me along as her guest. It was fantastic to see so many of our friends and clients nominated for awards. Congratulations to Cul Green who scoped the award for Best Community & Charity Website. We were delighted to work on the Power Play game earlier this year and it was great to see it showcased last night.

The positive thing I took away was the quality and diversity of projects undertaken in Ireland over the last year, the passion and commitment to driving standards even higher and companies utilizing the internet to promote and grow their business internationally. Onward and upward then for 2010 who knows what the industry will achieve by this time next year.

See the full list of winners here. Well done to one and all.

Mary

| | 20/11/09 03:27 PM

Golden Spider Awards Tonight

As tonight is Eircom Golden Spider Awards night we want to wish all the finalists the very best of luck. We are delighted to see so many of our clients making the shortlist this year. In all 9 clients have been shortlisted for 8 awards and well deserved they are too. We are honoured to work with such amazing people this year.
Drop by and say hello to us tonight. Looking forward to it!

Mary

| | 19/11/09 12:50 PM

Email Workshop for Hotels, B&Bs and Hostels

The reason why email works… is everyone has it!

I am in Navan on Nov 11th giving a 3 hour intensive workshop on using Email Marketing to sell more rooms if you run Hotel.
It will be a very practical walkthrough of the steps needed for a successful long term email campaign.

Learn how to:
Sell more rooms with email marketing
Find and grow subscribers
Engage your readers and bring them back
Design your newsletter to maximum effect
Measure and improve your campaigns for maximum sales
Keep within the law
And
Learn how to do all this with little time and at low cost.

When: Wednesday 11th November 10am – 1pm
Where: Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

Places are limited so book now at http://toddle.eventbrite.com/
Call Alan at 041 9830152 or email info@spoiltchild.com for more details.
Investment €95 per person

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Special Early Bird offer
10% off if booked before Midnight Wednesday 4th

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Book now at http://toddle.eventbrite.com/

| | 01/11/09 06:55 PM

Hard work, trees, and rewards. Spoiltchild Updates.

Sometimes you work so hard you can’t see the wood for the trees. Thankfully, hard work pays off and this week certainly proved it for me. It all began last Thursday as we arrived in Brussels for BizCamp Belgium (more about BizcampBe later). We were greeted with the news that Spoiltcild has been selected for the prestigious Enterprise Ireland internet Growth Acceleration Programme iGap. We are really thrilled and very excited to be selected along with some of the best internet companies in Ireland. We are looking forward to learning lots from the programme and from our peers. We are more than honoured to be given the opportunity to learn, to push ourselves and to grow our business. You can read a bit more about iGap here. We can’t wait to get stuck in and will keep you posted on our progress.

If that wasn’t exciting enough for one week, Lee Munroe’s article ‘Showcase of Web Design in Ireland‘ was published in Smashing Magazine online last Friday. Alan was interviewed along with Ray Doyle, Eoghan McCabe and Sabrina Dent about the state of play of Irish design. It was a lovely article and covered topics like is a college education important for aspiring designers to the quality of work produced by Irish designers. Thanks to Lee and Smashing Magazine for such an informative piece. Keep reading the series on ‘Global Web Design’ as Smashing takes a look at the design industry worldwide. Interesting to see how designers internationally rate their design, quality, output and education in comparison to the Irish design industry.

And so the BizCampBe last Saturday. It was fantastic to discover that the start-up industry is alive and well in Belgium and has lots in common with the Irish community. We met so may amazing people who were more than willing to share their knowledge and share the benefit of their experience with the 150 attendees. Contributors from Belgium, Holland, Spain and the US gave flawless presentations on everything from ‘Partnering with the Big Boys, Marketing your product to my mother, ‘how not to die’ (as a start-up), the benefits of outsourcing, and how to sail round the world for twelve years while running your business. Fantastic talks every one of them and I wished I had the ability of bi-location Thankfully, the organisers have put some of the presentations up on Slideshare so go there now and be inspired.

As this was the first BizCamp in Belgium everyone was in agreement that it was a great success. Everyone I spoke to really took on board the spirit of the day, sharing, networking, learning and listening. The fact that the organisers had a small shortfall in sponsorship to cover the costs wasn’t a problem. Attendees gave generously and it was covered by the end of the day.

Alan and I were really proud to be a part of the day. It goes to prove that a good idea and the willingness to help others transcends country boundaries and languages and connects us all together. The BizCamp format has as much relevance and is as necessary in Belgium as it is here in Ireland. At start-up stage, no matter where you locate any advice no matter how small can have a major impact. To get this kind of information form those who have gone a similar path is better than gold.

I learned lots and arrived home with new friends and a penchant for Belgian beer! Hopefully, we can extend the welcome to our Belgian colleagues next year at BizCamp Dublin. Well done BizCamp Be team I will certainly be back for the next one.

To top it all of we arrived back to the office on Tuesday to the news that or long time client Rehab Bingo have been shortlisted for a Golden Spider for best entertainment and games related website. We are thrilled for Irene and all the Rehab Bingo team. These guys are a treasure to work with and deserve to be finalists. Their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication are really inspiring. Fingers crossed for Rehab Bingo at the Golden Spiders on the 19th. See the full list of finalists here. It will be a fantastic night.

So to sum up. It is lovely when things come together and when hard work pays of. Even better it is inspiring to share these positive experiences with others. Lots of management theorists tell us at the end of a project it is important to celebrate success, smell the roses so to speak. So smell the roses today and congratulate yourself on a job well done. To take a point from one presentation in BizCampBe, celebrate the fact that you ‘did not die’ in business this year and that you are here to learn and to share even more next month.
Happy Halloween everyone!

Mary

BizCamp Dublin Reflections

Now that I have come down form the BizCamp high I thought I’d put together the things I liked and learned the most from the day.
Unlike all the organisers who beavered away for months, I jumped in on the morning to help with registration and generally be an extra pair of hands.

I was really conscious about the kind of year most people are having. I presumed there would be many attending that were looking for a fresh start and a new beginning. I really wanted this day not to fail them or their expectations. I wanted BizCamp to be a positive experience and for everyone to leave the Guinness Storehouse with a lighter step and a belief that things will get better.

I met some really amazing people and I was truly honoured to help out and give advice. One man I met wanted to set up a new firm and looking at the mass of talks on the schedule turned to me almost in desperation. I know that feeling. Sometimes when you are at the beginning of something and you have so much to learn you don’t know where to start. Between the both of us we made a list of talks that were industry specific to his needs. As he walked away, I realised just how beneficial BizCamp is for anyone starting up. We all need to know how to run a business, file returns, be tax compliant, market ourselves and bring home the bacon each month. With knowledge gained from the presentations and with new connections made on the day, hopefully his dream is one step closer to reality after BizCamp.

It’s good to dream and to be surrounded by pragmatic dreamers who are crazy enough to set up a business and to encourage others to do the same. By the end of the day I was elated. I enjoyed the after party and counted a stack of business cards in my wallet. Many of these new connections gave me some great advice and helped me out on the day.

As for the top three things I learned at BizCamp, here they are:

1. Cashflow is more important than your mother – Steve Gotz
2. Fire the gobshites – Jerry Kennelly
3. Don’t forget to adjust for churn* on your projections – Caelen King of WhatClinic

  • A certain numbers of users drop off each month, some people even die, so expect 20 -30% churn rate. Note to self, put this in the business plan now!

To everyone who came, listened, gave a talk, helped others, gave advice, networked and enjoyed themselves, thanks a million. I can’t wait for the next one.

See all the presentations and the reviews of the day here.

Mary

| | 08/10/09 01:59 PM

Irish Web Awards Finalists 2009

We are delighted to announce that four of our websites have been shortlisted for this years Realex-Payments Irish Web Awards receiving six nominations in total.

Thanks to all of you who nominated us and thanks to the judges for shortlisting us.

Best Radio Website – sponsored by IGOPeople
RTE Doc On One

Best Government and Council Website
Weigh2Live

Toddle has been shortlisted for three awards:
Most Beautiful Website in Ireland – Sponsored by Beaut.ie
Best eCommerce / Services Website – sponsored by Cybercom
and Most Innovative Website – Sponsored by iQ content

Finetuna has also been nominated for
Most Beautiful Website in Ireland – Sponsored by Beaut.ie

We are honoured to be among such fantastic company and best of luck to all the finalists.

We have had the pleasure of working with some of the most creative people in Ireland this year who have vision and a passion for what they do each day. To the Doc on One team and all at Weigh2Live we will be there on the night cheering you on.

We are especially pleased that Finetuna and Toddle has made the shortlist. These sites have been a labour of love over the last number of years. Lovely to see hard work paying off.

Looking forward to awards night in the Radisson on October 10th and thanks to the organisers for putting in such a huge effort.

Mary

| | 29/09/09 04:22 PM

We Love Games

We’ve had a gaming summer here at Spoiltchild with the launch of two new games for Rehab Bingo and Cúl Green.

Back to School has just been launched on Rehab Bingo, featuring some naughty students, an exploding rocket and a little graffiti, this game combines photo realism with some beautiful animation. It’s fun to play and may bring you back to your school days!

We are also thrilled that our feature game Pharaoh’s Fortune was the most popular game on the site over the summer. You can try them out here.

Over at Cúl Kids, Spoiltchild created the Power Play game especially for junior GAA fans. Cúl Green is a fantastic joint initiative between the GAA and the ESB to make Croke Park a carbon-neutral stadium. Users can show their support by changing their behaviour and becoming more energy conscious. Play here and see how fast you can save energy around your home. Spoiltchild is proud to be part of this great initiative. Hopefully this campaign will inspire all of us to reduce our own carbon footprint. Now any tips for the All Ireland anyone?

| | 09/09/09 03:14 PM

LinkedIn Randomers

I have been using LinkedIn for a while now and find it really useful. And the thing I really love about it is its randomness. You never know who will link to you, answer your question or give you good advice. Over the last few months I have met some amazing people who have helped in the writing of articles, in research for papers and generally given good advice or tips on just about every subject.

Before I had a car I spent lots of time on public transport and loved the fact that intresting people could cross my path at any moment. And they did. So much so, that my stories usually beginning with “guess what, you never know who I met today”, was followed by eyes rolling to heaven or “Mary you’re such a randomer!”

Now that these types of opportunities are not as frequent as before, LinkedIn provides the same type of buzz and connection for me, albeit on a professional level.

Actors always talk about the possibilities, the possibility of having a relationship with another character , the possibility of being open to feelings, and emotions with another person you have to get to know in a very short space of time. Most crucially for actors, their emotions and their performances must contain a truthfulness that we the audience believe and can relate to.

I often think of LinkedIn in this way. For it to be a success you must be open to the possibilities of meeting people from all over the world, for having beliefs or opinions similar or different to your own. They may not like what you have the say or maybe they will on occasion.

Being open is not easy at first, putting your work and your opinion on display. But if you push against it and put yourself out there you will be amazed who you might meet and what they may do for your business.

Image thanks to Erica_Marshall

Free email marketing course - by email!

Did you know email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment in online marketing?
Well from next Monday (13th July), Toddle.com is running a free four week email marketing course to show you how to get the best from it. Four emails over four weeks covering all the basics.

You can sign up here.

Image cc David Erickson

| | 06/07/09 10:48 PM

A couple of new ad designs

We are known for a quite clean, crisp style of design so it was a lot of fun recently to break from that for a few design projects.
Michele over at Blacknight posted a few of his new magazine adverts today. One for Total Film magazine and the other for SFX.
I especially had fun with the movie one :)

Click to view larger.


| | 06/07/09 10:20 PM

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