Friday, October 29, 2010

Arthur Guinness Fund: 1,400 Computers For Reuse In Education

Diageo have just announced that Camara Education will be one of the companies to benefit from the Arthur Guinness Fund. Similarly to last year, the fund will be used to recognise the work of social entrepreneurs from all over Ireland. The aim being to highlight the positive and sustainable impact that these people are having on Irish communities.

For Camara Education the fund will be sourcing 1,400 used computers from all areas of Diageo business in Ireland to be reused by the company for educational use in disadvantaged areas both at home and in Africa. The machines, which had reached the end of their lives from a Diageo business perspective, will be cleaned and reconditioned with educational software before being shipped to African countries including Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Uganda.

Earlier this year, €1 million was awarded by the Arthur Guinness Fund in Ireland and in 2011 funding of up to €1 million will again be made available as well as a comprehensive two year support programme for the awardees. The support programme includes additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network.

Applications are now sought for this second phase of the Arthur Guinness Fund and will remain open until Wednesday, 10th November, 2010. Interested applicants can download an application form here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kamchatka: Twitter As Your Website

I would have assumed that folks had seen this (or at least heard about it) but following a conversation with some people on Friday on the options for doing a 'website that's not a website', I found out that not everyone has.

Below is the promo vid for Argentinian digital agency Kamchatka's new website which is based entirely around Twitter. The company setup different profiles to represent different sections of their site and Tweets as the content. It's a brilliant idea and definitely way 'out there'. However, from a practicality point of view I'm just not convinced - especially when you consider Twitter's 4 Day Search Window.

Anyway, have a gander and judge for yourself...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smirnoff 'Be There' - Nightlife Exchange Project

This evening I was extremely lucky to be invited to pop along to the Clarendon Bar for the next steps in the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. This evening Smirnoff not only announced which cities had been paired up but also revealed a host of customised Smirnoff Mule cocktails for each location.

The big news is....... Dublin has been sistered with Argentina!

So, on the 27th November 2010, at The Wright Venue Swords, Ireland will receive the best of Argentinian nightlife as selected by the people of Argentina and curated by DJ Ale Lacroix. In exchange, the people of Argentina (Buenos Aires) will be sent the Shane O'Driscoll customised crate, which will be filled with the best of Irish Nightlife.

Of course we're now all wondering what is the best of Irish Nightlife?

Well, thanks to a community of over 40,000 people who made more than 500 suggestions, we can now confirm that the best of Irish Nightlife is...

  • To start with there'll be an entertainment extravaganza from DJ Dave DeValera
  • Irish food served up in the setting of a traditional Irish pub
  • and, a very specially mixed Smirnoff Mule featuring Red Lemonade - a truly Irish phenomenon
Of course the Irish curator, Siobhan O'Dowd, will be putting her expertise into action to ensure that everything that goes into the crate and is shipped to our Argentinian friends will be top notch. Without doubt the South Americans are in for a wild night!

For more information on the crate, and for a chance to win a trip to Argentina to 'Be There', just pop over to the Smirnoff Ireland Facebook Fanpage and get your details in!

The other countries in the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project were sistered as follows:
Australia (Sydney) - Brazil (Sáo Paulo & Rio)
Canada (Toronto) - India (Mumbai)
Great Britain (London) - USA (Miami)
Germany (Berlin) - South Africa (Cape Town)
Lebanon (Beirut) - Thailand (Bangkok)
Poland (Warsaw) - Venezuela (Caracas)

I'll also get a full list up of all the delicious, customised Smirnoff Mule recipes in the next couple of days. Until then, start brushing up on your Spanish!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have You Claimed Your Place?

The following is a blog post that I wrote for the Betapond Blog. I wouldn't usually cross-share posts but in this case I think it's worth it. Hope you enjoy.

Have You Claimed Your Place?

Every now and again one of the ‘big players’ does something, well, big. Remember when Apple launched the iPhone? Or when Twitter redesigned its layout. Unless you’ve been living under a rock I can’t imagine the latest ‘big’ thing has passed you by – Facebook launched Facebook Places. The world’s biggest social media platform gave us their take on location-based social media, but unfortunately it’s not available to everyone just yet. Or is it?

A quick search of the interweb will reveal that beyond the US and UK, where Facebook Places is up and running fully, the rest of us don’t have to wait for our countries to get placed. By signing up to one of the many free, or paid, VPN (virtual private network) services out there, you can make Facebook think you are in the US or UK and use Facebook Places from any location.

In fact, as it turned out our team here at Betapond, while being based in Ireland (not a location currently placed), were able to develop two of the first Facebook Places Applications with our ‘I Spy Places’ and ‘LoyaltyBuilder’ Apps. So clearly those of us that want to explore this new location-based service from Facebook can.

What we quickly noticed though was that there weren’t any places on Places. Although Facebook has signed agreements with existing geo-location services like Gowalla and Foursquare, there are probably no places showing up in your location if it hasn’t been officially placed. Of course that’s no obstacle, it just means you needed to add places yourself.

Something happened in the last week, however, and I suddenly found that the number of places showing up increased massively. Even while up in Drogheda at the weekend I found that there are now hundreds upon hundreds of Irish entries on Facebook Places. So what you ask? Well for one this is interesting as it may point to an Irish launch of Facebook Places far ahead of the New Year timeline that Facebook previously, candidly outlined. More importantly though it puts the ball suddenly into every Irish business’s court to claim their Facebook Place.

Whether you have one premises or many, each physical location can be claimed as a Facebook Place. Using Betapond as an example, we have two office locations and both have been claimed. We can now use them in the same way as a Fanpage, including the addition of customised tabs (see above). The advantage, before you ask, is that as soon as Facebook Places does go live in Ireland we will be in full control of our properties and could have promotions, competitions or other location-based activities up and running.

So, as I initially said, have you claimed your place?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Digital Ketchup

In their latest advertising campaign to promote the world's favourite ketchup, Heinz have opted to seriously integrate digital into the heart of their activities. The whole campaign is centred on the idea of Heinz Tomato Ketchup as a key (and secret) ingredient in a whole host of classic recipes. The flagship brand of the company's famous fifty seven varieties has developed several video assets that are being pushed through a newly created Facebook Page, and on top of this their is also a campaign microsite. Offline this is being supported by the changing of the name of the sauce on its bottles to "Your Secret Ingredient".

To lend a level of credibility to the idea of the ketchup as an integral part of your cooking, the campaign has drafted in Paul Rankin as the frontman. Paul is the presented in all the videos and ads demonstrating how Heinz Ketchup is part of his favourite recipes. Paul backs this up with a regular blog featuring more recipes and ideas. The microsite is also running a competition challenging mums to discover "The Secret Ingredient", while also providing a number of interactive recipes that allow fans to cook along with the celebrity chef.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The World Is Full Of Interesting Things...

I spotted this over on Neil Perkin's blog Only Dead Fish. It got a lot of Twitter love last Friday but just in case you missed it, and because I think it's pretty special, here it is for you.

This is the updated 119 slide version of the Google Creative Labs presentation all about recent creative ideas and web campaigns covering everything from advertising to art, and politics to literature. This was put together by Tom Uglow and while it is viewable right here, just as Neil suggested, you should have a look at it on Google Docs for the full effect. This is simply brilliant.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where Good Ideas Come From

Watch first, then I'll do some rambling...

I absolutely love this video. Not only is the whole style compelling and engaging, but it's simple. There's no difficulty understanding the concept that Steven Johnson is discussing. And it's a concept that I firmly believe in. I've always considered myself an ideas person - I'm good at thinking on my feet and I don't have difficulty with creative solutions. The thing is, I'm also a firm believer in team work and the power of the group, and it's this part of Steven Johnson's video that grabbed me. I suddenly realised just how many times I've had an idea that has sat simmering in the back of my mind until I've shared it with someone and they've added to it to take it that next step. I also then realised that this has almost always been in private discussions with friends over a drink or some food.

What if there was a place such as the 'Age of Enlightenment's Coffee Houses' or the 'Parisian Salons of Modernism' that people could go to specifically to share ideas with a group and get some input and feedback and possible collaboration? Not just a physical place as such but an actual regular 'event'. As far as I am aware nothing like this exists in Dublin, certainly not within the fields I am interested. I'm not even sure how to describe what this would be similar to, perhaps a think tank of sorts?? All I know is that I think I've found myself a new project. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Smirnoff 'Be There' - Nightlife Exchange Project Next Steps

Almost a month ago I wrote about Smirnoff's latest project, the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. Today saw the first taste of what the project with the public unveiling of the Nightlife Crate by artist Shane O’Driscoll. Shane was in charge of designing the crate that will carry an Irish night out to whoever our sister country turns out to be. Shane was on hand at Stephen's Green today with models Karen Fitzpatrick and Sarah Mc Govern.

As yet the contents of the box are still to be decided, and that's where the public comes in. Your ideas of what the vital ingredients of our nightlife can be submitted through the Smirnoff Ireland Facebook Page. Here you can also find out more information on what will be happening with the overall project. The ingredients will then be revealed on October 22nd. After that all that's left will be to enjoy the November 27th party from whichever country we're sistered with.

Overall the goal of the project is to show Smirnoff's belief in doing things differently. Smirnoff say, "that when you overturn convention or simply change one of the ingredients of a night out, you can create something special, something extraordinary – a night you look back on and are proud to say, I was there".

About Shane O’Driscoll
Shane O’Driscoll was born in Cork and studied Visual Communications at Cork Institute of Technology. Shane is a member of Cork Printmakers and is also a director of “For the Love Of”, a series of Art & Design exhibitions that bring both emerging and established Irish Creative talents together in an accessible and contemporary environment. He has recently featured his work at various music festivals in Ireland.

Shane has been with Gallery Number One for the last two years and his reputation as one of Ireland’s brightest young screen printers and creatives has gone from strength to strength. The Gibson Hotel, owned by Dublin entrepreneur Harry Crosby, recently purchased a number of his works for the hotel’s common areas.

Shane will undertake his first major solo show in Gallery Number One this coming November.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Diesel Kick Ass Sneakers Countryside

Diesel have released their new Fall / Winter 2010 Sneakers range. Their tag is simple - "Not made for running. Great for kicking asses." This is their ad.... brilliant!