Category Archives: Social Media

The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too! By Wayne Denner – Book Review

In his book, “The Student’s Guide to an Epic Online Reputation …And Parents Too!”, Wayne Denner argues that no matter what age you are or whether you are/are not active on Social Media/the Internet that you already have an online reputation which needs managing.

Wayne Denner - Digital Ninja!

Wayne Denner – Digital Ninja!


Who is Wayne Denner and why should we listen to him?

In the 1990s when I started to interact with people on internet based communities like Geocities (before there was a word for Social Media) Wayne Denner was way ahead of me and had set up his own community based in the UK & Ireland. It was called which would showcase pictures from events and nights out. This was pre Myspace, Bebo, Facebook & Twitter. So much before its time that Wayne could not source funding to keep it going. Since then he has maintained a professional interest in the rise of the different Social Media sites and investigated the ways that they can be used for and against your reputation.

Wayne’s book is primarily aimed at teenagers and their parent’s but I would argue that everybody would benefit from giving it a read.

Wayne is not just active on multiple social media platforms but he speaks regularly on the topic of Online Reputation in schools and with organisations throughout Ireland, the UK and the Middle East.

His book is packed with juicy statistics from HR and recruitment about the rise and ease of online background checks being carried out today. These warnings are backed up with short and chilling case studies of people who have shot their own reputations in the foot with a few thoughtless keystrokes. But this book is not just about these horror stories. Wayne guides any teenager (or adult) through a solid foundation upon which to build (or rebuild) a positive online reputation.

The only shortcoming I can see is that he tends to be a little repetitive with some of his information but you do have to remember that it is primarily aimed at teenagers and the facts he repeats are the important ones. Nevertheless the message he delivers is significant. Its importance will only grow as the years go by as we see the Internet and Social Media mature.

Follow Wayne on twitter @waynedenner

You can get his book from his website here.

Lovin’ Social Media

This week Niall Harbison blogged his way into a corner when he published this stereotypical and tired Southside view of those who live in Dublin’s Inner City.


This passage has since been deleted from the article.

(see end of blog for further links).

The flippant tone that got him to where he is today (Co-Founder of the highly successful Simply Zesty, Co-Founder of PRSlides and Fonder of Lovin’ Dublin) has turned on him and damaged but not killed his online street cred.

From politicians to celebrities, there are many examples of people wounding themselves on-line but what sets Mr. Harbison’s case apart from theirs is that his accomplishments in business were achieved through the power of Social Media.  Perhaps he should have known better.

Social Media is still finding its feet, like that giant toddler in Honey I Blew up the Kid, it is a marvel to watch it grow so rapidly but anyone in its path can be crushed under its weight. This week’s events in Dublin prove that even the leading users of social media need to watch their step.

While all businesses need to take calculated risks to survive (the act of setting up a business is a risk in itself), there is a difference between a risk taker and an unchecked ego. Certainly an ego is something you need in the boardroom but it is a different matter when it comes to dealing with the public. It is even more and vitally important to keep that ego in check to avoid ending up stuck to the dirty shoes of the toddler that is Social Media. Every day those shoes are getting crustier.

The fact that Mr. Harbison did not have the wisdom and self-awareness to re-read and delete that offending sentence does not just mean that that he misjudged his audience it also proves the importance of business experience. He has taught himself a lesson in caution, one that another of an older generation with a few more years’ knowledge of content creation might have avoided.

Individuals with huge online presences, (blogs, twitter or Facebook accounts) are akin to celebrities with massive fan bases. They need to remember that this reach comes with a certain amount of responsibility and this will become more important in the future.

Still, I don’t think that Lovin’ Dublin nor Niall Harbison have dealt themselves any kind of mortal injury. Why? The demographics of Social Media are such that they will be forgiven in the long run. Many of the older generations will see his fault as unforgivable (some have openly distanced themselves from the site). The younger generation (growing up with Social media and who are making their own online faux pas) may just see this as a rite of passage.

This issue might provoke private conversations from GenX and older people about the death of online journalism and how different marketing has become while the Millennials may end up talking about mistakes they have made on their own accounts.

Lastly Lovin’ Dublin will survive if they adapt to the storm in this particular canal; the giant toddler of Social Media has a short attention span. We won’t have to wait too long for the next online uproar or maybe a cute video of a kitten licking a mouse will be enough to distract everyone.

Mr. Harbison may have made this error in judgement but he is showing enough Social Media experience by ‘sacking’ himself from writing further blogs on the site (see his apology below) and the Lovin’ Dublin team are dealing with the issue using good Social Media backlash practices. (see below as well).

So if you are working in online marketing and want to continue Lovin’ Social Media remember to pack your bag with experience, calculated risks, a filter with no holes bigger than your ego and understand who your audience is today and who they will become tomorrow (pack a kitten just in case).

An Article from about the Offending article

The Apology

The Mop up

The Waterford Whispers News Retort


Is Social Media the Fifth Wall of Theatre? #OnlyInMahagonny

Indulge me.

I would like to introduce you to two men.

Paul Gallagher


Kurt Furey


Paul is a travel blogger who has recently returned from South America and has been employed by Threepenny Travel. You can follow him on twitter @paulgallagher92 here and read his blog here.

His first assignment is to track down the enigmatic Kurt Furey.

Kurt is no ordinary man as his twitter handle suggests @kurtthefurey and he has recently been posting some very odd ‘Commandments’ through twitter and his youtube account.

Here is an example.

If you are on twitter I suggest that you give them a follow because if (when) Paul manages to track down Kurt I get the feeling that there will be more than sparks.

Paul and Kurt only exist on social media and they both have a one way ticket to the fictitious city of Mahagonny (pronounced Ma-Ha-Gonny). Mahagonny itself is a city which sprang forth from the mind of Bertholt Brecht and the music of Kurt Weill when they wrote the Opera “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny”.


Mahagonny stood for everything that is wrong about capitalism as Brecht and Weill saw in 1930s Germany. It is a city that develops initially to provide people with goods but ends up reducing everything to a commodity. A live current which touches many people living in Ireland today.

Over the next ten days you can follow Paul Gallagher as he meets Kurt the Furey who will lead us deep into the corrupt, hedonistic heart of Mahagonny. On the thirteenth of June the fusion of opera, jazz and cabaret that is “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” (produced by Rough Magic Theatre Company and will be start a short run in the Olympia Theatre.


This production is reflecting the 4th wall breaking tendency of Brecht who dared to connect straight to his audience and promises to be an almost interactive theatrical experience. The social media skills of Maverick TV have created what you might call a fifth wall of theatre by drawing the online audience into the world of Mahagonny before the run in the theatre begins.

I feel that Brecht would have approved.

Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I love the idea.

The concept was a winner of the Sky Arts Ignition Award

Keep an eye on the hashtag #onlyinmahagonny and enter the city here if you dare…

Tidying Up The World – Litterati

“Keep your country tidy”, I first remember seeing these words from a phase of chewing Juicy Fruit gum. On a family trip to the UK when I was not yet ten, I dropped the yellow Wrigley’s packaging on the ground and when my Mother asked me why I did it I told her “This isn’t my country”. It wasn’t funny the second time, I learned a lesson about littering and humour on that holiday.


We Humans are not instinctively a tidy lot. We have to teach children to get into the habit of cleaning up after themselves. Otherwise they will leave litter all over the place. But some people are not taught this while others don’t care or refuse to comply. This is why we have public litter bins which are sadly neglected and often overlooked.


Cleaning up after other people is not an instinct we enjoy (my family and friends who are parents know this more than most). I remember, as a child, the indignation of the accusation, when one of your parents would tell you to put something away that you had not used?

Litterati is a unique website that uses social media to help us clean up after others while making it entertaining. Their aim is to create a global digital landfill by cleaning up our planet one piece at a time.

Their rules are four

1) Find a piece of litter

2) Photograph it with Instagram

3) Hashtag your photo with #Litterati

4) Throw away, recycle or compost the litter

If you scroll through their digital landfill you will find arty, sad, funny, poignant and even amorous photographs of litter. We like to be entertained and when we can get involved, sure, there is no limit to human creativity and on top of all that the planet will thank you!!

Have a look yourself.


Their Global Impact (world map of Litterati sites)

Their Global Landfill (photos)

Follow them on Facebook or Twitter

Why I am on Twitter & my week curating @ireland


Twitter is like “The Matrix”; very difficult to describe in theory and full of people with funny names.

But I will give it a shot.

I was introduced to the concept of connecting with people on the internet in 1997 at a time when various internet chat-rooms were available; each room had a topic, Film, Literature, Education, Politics etc.

I found it somewhat addictive and enjoyed quite a few conversations with these faceless voices. Eventually I was put off by the disconnected nature of these sporadic on-line relationships. It did not help that, no matter which room you chose, a large amount of people turned out to be lonely warped sex addicts or other voices only looking for an argument.

A decade later, when Twitter came along, I found the concept of one massive self- moderated chat-room very appealing.

Twitter is about starting or taking part in conversations, it is about sharing information and having a laugh, it is a unique way to meet new people with similar or even different viewpoints, it is about keeping up with any interest you may have on a real time basis, it is all these things and more.  Twitter is whatever you want it to be.

But above all Twitter is about being transparent, everything you do and say on Twitter can be used for and against you.

Curating @ireland Twitter Account

@ireland had just over 10,500 followers when I was handed the reins for a week in November 2012. It is taken over by a different person (curator) each week.


Tweeting from my own account ( at the time 1,000+ followers), when I am not just being cheesy, I have to put a good deal of thought into getting a required response but with @ireland when I tweeted an innocuous question I received anything from 10 to 20+ replies.

The entertaining followers of @ireland want to chat. I found them to be Irish people living at home and abroad as well as foreigners with Irish roots or people who are interested in Twitter engagement.  So I answered or acknowledged as many of the followers as I could.  I had to come up with different topics to talk about throughout the week. We covered literature, movies and various topics relating to Ireland. I also posted up links I thought would inform and amuse.

If you are chosen to curate @ireland you must be aware that it is partly because you are an individual and partly because you are Irish. As well as talking about subjects you enjoy yourself you are also representing your country and must be aware of the pulse of the particular week when you are in charge.

Halfway through my week the tragedy of Savita Halappanavar’s death broke in the world’s media. Even though I had decided to stay away from political issues; it was a serious and sensitive topic which I could not ignore.

This made the week important and poignant as well as incredibly interesting, enlightening, challenging, discursive and surprisingly exhausting.

I was honoured that a percentage of the people I had interacted with throughout out the week followed me back to my own account.

As for Twitter being like “The Matrix”?

I’ll take the red pill every time.

If you are interested in curating @ireland you will find all about it here.

CoderDojo: Free Computer Classes for Children

What is CoderDojo?

A free and non-profit club that gives children a taste of working with computer languages and develop the growing skills of children who already have taken their first steps in an organic environment; something that our education system has yet to address.


It’s Co-founder, Corkonian, James Whelton (Entrepreneur & a Social Media Connoisseur) began coding in his bedroom when he was 9 where he created some basic websites. He shot to fame at 17 when (out of boredom) he hacked into the iPod nano, put his findings up on the web and the story sprouted legs, wings, and jet propulsion, within hours he was on the subject of some of the world’s most prestigious tech blogs.

James is the sort of person who seems somewhat anti-establishment but is already reshaping what establishment means in the world of programming.

Last year James (still only 18) teamed up with Bill Liao, the Australian Social Networking pioneer,  author, speaker, and philanthropist and together they came of with the concept of CoderDojo.

Like James, Bill is a self taught Computer Programmer.

Importance of CoderDojo

Bill Liao explains why CoderDojo is so important; if you ask somebody how the computers work, beyond surfing the net, Word, Excel or Powerpoint etc. a surprising amount of people do not have the first notion.

Since last year these coding classes for children which deal with HTML, CSS, Javascript and a host of other languages that create websites and online games have literally gone viral with the count now at 130 around the ever decreasing globe.

The first CoderDojo conference was held at Limerick Institute of Technology on Saturday 13th October 2012.

The atmosphere of the classes was reflected the conference, the only rule of CoderDojo is “One Rule, Be Cool”. James, Bill and a host of other Dojo Mentors, facilitators and children explained how these CoderDojos worked.

The Dojos encourage children to work together on projects as they find the synergy more effective. If a child is stuck on a particular piece of code they are encouraged firstly to google the answer, secondly to ask one of their fellow club  members before, thirdly, approaching a Mentor.

Where many children started off on their bedrooms, like James, CoderDojos have made computer programming a social event. Within the year many of the club members have become mentors themselves. In fact earlier on this year a group of kid mentors visited Leinster House and gave a CoderDojo class to irish Politicians.

Adults can also take part in the clubs but they must be accompanied by a child.

To find out more, or even better, start your own local CoderDojo please click here.

Find you local Coderdojo here.

Oh and one last thing thank you to Bill Liao for introducing me to Bubble Tea.

James Whelton

Bill Liao

Limerick Institute of Technology

Blog it Forward

Now you may have just opened this page out of curiosity and are now thinking that I have been stricken with a sudden dose of ego-itis.

Do not be alarmed, my ego remains chained in the attic on a sparse diet of online likes and witty comments. If unchained I fear it will bring the apocalypse upon us even sooner than the Mayans predicted.

But I could not let this one piece of flattery go by unchecked.

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog by Acid Free Pulp, in it he described a pay it forward sort of blogging idea, here are the rules.

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
  • Inform the Bloggers of their nomination.
  • Share 7 random things about yourself.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award picture on your blog post.

Here is a short and honest opinion of them by one of the participants.

After  read these rules I saw my name in the list of bloggers below (can you hear the chains rattling in the attic?).

Thank you Acid Free Pulp, here are my list of bloggers who I have recently encountered.

Again Thanks to Acid Free Pulp for the nomination.


I share a birthday with Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift.

While watching Opportunity Knocks (a weird, early and basic X Factor TV show) I learned I could achieve the Lotus position without using my hands.

When I was a child, I met Richard Kiel (Jaws from the Roger Moore oo7 films) when he was in Dublin for the Boat Show, He shook my hand and when I asked him for his autograph  he couldn’t hear me because I was so small.

So far my life has been a string of highs, lows and mysteries.

I prefer boxer shorts.

I have dubious celebrity crushes in the forms of Halle Berry and Cheryl Cole.

I (not-now-so) secretly want to change my star sign.

Happy 2012