Tag 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 Outlastnight.com 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 theJournal.ie 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 Opera.ie) 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…

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.

Some Milestones In Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The Penny Black

The idea of a postal system has been around since 2,400 B.C. It took the form of a basic courier system in Egypt and other countries up until 1840. Throughout the intervening years the recipient was the one who paid for the delivery of the parcel or the letter. But when Sir Rowland Hill introduced the idea of prepaid stamps and introduced the Penny Black, the modern postage system was born.

The Pony Express

I remember writing a story in school all about the Pony Express, I was fascinated by  how they co-ordinated the post in the wild west. The idea of men riding at full speed, changing horses and sleeping out on the harsh ranges captured my imagination.

Characters like Pony Bob and William Coady cut their teeth in the wild west delivering mail along dusty roads, pounding by homestaeds. Sadly the combination of a number of factors killed the Pony Express.

  • Only grossing $90, 000 while losing $200,000.
  •  The outbreak of the American Civil War.
  • major advances in the telegraph system.

In 1869, 8 years after it had finished it was the first ‘event’ to be depicted on a U.S. postage stamp.

At the same time the Pony Express was coming to an end  in the U.S. in Europe messengers of very well off people were paid to deliver letters. Manservants and Maids would dutifully wait in the ante-room for an answer from the recipient as ink stained fingers scratched out a reply.

The Telegraph

One of the developments that helped finish off the Pony Express  was the Telegraph. Messages sent using electrical pulses that could travel large distances through connected wires.

Samuel Morse used (amongst other elements) the electromagnet combined with his simple code to send the first message from  the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland. This was on the 24th may 1844. Hover over his picture to read his message.

Cyrus West Field (born on what was to become my birthday) made his money manufacturing Paper in New York during the early 1800s and retired a millionaire in 1853 at the age of 34.

He then threw himself into the business of Telegraphy. Over the next 13 years he was responsible for the laying of cables between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and after a few lost and frayed attempts managed to connect the U.S. to the UK. His Paper Co. went belly up and he died in bankruptcy.

The telephone

In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented

“the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound”.

His invention caught on like wildfire. Within two years the first Telephone Exchange opened in New Haven, Conneticut and another few years pass with every major city in the U.S. opening their own.

1927 saw the first international line between The U.S. and london, a 3 minute call cost $75.

Then in 1963 the first touchtone telephones began to replace the dial.

Bell himself refused to have a telephone installed into his study as he found they distracted from his many other scientific pursuits. Hover over the picture for the first words spoken over the telephone.


Radio would not have been possible without the inventions of the  telephone or the telegraph, all three methods of communication are linked by their processes.

Radio came about primarily because of the efforts of these three men.

Firstly, in the 1860s, a Scottish Physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, introduced the world to the electro-magnetic field, proving that it came in the forms of waves, he also worked out that light was another form of electro-magnetic radiation that also travelled in waves. With these two discoveries under his belt he predicted the existence of radio waves.

Twenty years later, in 1886, a German physicist, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz,  put Maxwell’s theory into practice and calculated and successfully tested the theory that an electric current swinging very rapidly back and forth in a conducting wire would radiate electromagnetic waves into the surrounding space.

But the man most responsible for standing on the shoulders of the last two scientists and actually creating the first radio broadcast was Guglielmo Marconi. Born of Italian and Irish parents Marconi’s interest in the development of the radio signal was backed by his Irish mother, Annie Jameson, when the Italian government refused to take any interest.

In 1895 he sent the first radio transmission in Italy and six years later using Morse code he sent the first transatlantic message.


In 1900 the word ‘television’  was first spoken in public at the International Worlds Fair in Paris. Russian Scientist Constantin Perskyi read a paper on the current developments in electromechanical technologies, he referred to the German inventor Paul Nipkow’s scanning disk which remained popular until 1939.

But the man who is most responsible for the invention of the modern television is John Logie Baird. By 1925 he was able to give various demonstrations of still image projection. In this year another inventor, Charles Francis Jenkins, projected a moving windmill in Maryland, U.S.A. But by January the 26th 1926 Baird was able to transmit what is widely accepted as the first television moving  images accompanied by continuous tonal variation.

The development of the Television signal grew rapidly, in 1927 the first transmission from London to Glasgow and 1928 saw the first transmission between London and New York. This was delivered through the telephone system.

1941 saw the first television advertisement in the United States, it was aired just before a baseball game on the 1st of July. Bulova watchmakers paid $9. Hover over the ad to see what they said.

Communication satellites

The first artificial satellite to be launched from Earth was the Russian Sputnik 1, October 4th 1957, the U.S. followed in 1958 with Project Score. These were very basic satellites with very basic radio and recording devices, most mobile/cell phone technology today is far more advanced (with the exception of  the actual rockets to break through the Earth’s atmosphere!!) .

The science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke had written a letter to Wireless World in 1945 outlining the use of orbiting satellites to relay communications twenty years before the Russian’s launched Sputnik 1.

The Internet

During the Second World War Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider did ground breaking work in Psychoacoustics (the psychological and physiological study of sound and music perception). During the Cold War his reputation found him working at the first semi-automated defence systems the U.S. had built.

His work consisted delivery and analysis of data and so he was in contact with the early use of computers. In 1960 he published a paper called Man-Computer Symbiosis in which he described his vision.

“A network of such [computers], connected to one another by wide-band communication lines [which provided] the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and [other] symbiotic functions.”
—J.C.R. Licklider
His theoretical work with Information Techniques Processing Office within the U.S. department of Defence led to his theory of ARPAnet, a way to connect the three computers that made up the department which were located in different parts of the country. He left the project before his theory could be realised.
By 1968 and based on his work Robert Taylor and Larry Roberts set up the first actual ARAPNET link between University of California and Stanford Research Institute. This is what they sent

“We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI …”, Kleinrock … said in an interview: “We typed the L and we asked on the phone,

“Do you see the L?”
“Yes, we see the L,” came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, “Do you see the O.”
“Yes, we see the O.”
Then we typed the G, and the system crashed …

Yet a revolution had begun” .


At about the same time that answering machines were being sold commercially for your telephone (in the 1960’s and 70’s), the first computers that could run two programs simultaneously introduced the Computer network to the world.

In late 1971 a computer engineer called Ray Tomlinson wrote a program and sent it to a remote colleague, it entailed instructions on how to send a file back to him, the first email had been sent. Let the icon below tell a little more.

It took another twenty years for this form of communication to catch on and with the expansion of the Internet email ate into the popularity of the post.

130 years after the first Penny Black was stuck on an envelope the first email sent.

Mobile Phones & texting

In 1973 Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola created the first Mobile (Cell) phone, he used it to call his rival in Joel Engel at AT&T . By 1985 they had entered the market. The Motorola DynaTac 8000x (even the names were chunky) was one of the first models for sale.

Within a few years they had gained a strong foothold over landlines and became smaller and more annoyingly useful.

Texting as a function was introduced in 1992 with the launching of the 2G networks and quickly became more popular than phone manufacturers had first  imagined and won over may forms of mobile internet communication.

 Then mobile phones they grew bigger again to incorporate the power of computers into the tablet devices we have today.

Social media

Twenty five years after that emails were freely available and it seemed like they were here to stay until the launching of Social Networking sites like Bebo, MySpace,  Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr alongside text messages from your phone people are now constantly in touch and leaving or answering voice messages is dying out.

From most populated places in the world we cannot only send messages to our loved ones but send them photographs as easily if they were sitting in the couch beside us using their tablet technology.

Business has been revolutionised. Administration can now now exist in on-line Cloud Computing allowing people to access data as opposed to send it anywhere which means offices have become truly paperless.

The application of these technologies to Health is huge. Smaller hospitals in outlying areas can now send images of their patient’s ailments to more experienced doctors for a second opinion.

Though the speed and integration of all these methods of communication have brought their own perils with cyber terrorists who see the massive networks as Goliath like targets. Identity theft has become much easier through having our lives and our personal devices synched and connected. It is no wonder that the institution ITU was founded by the United Nations.  ITU is responsible for monitoring ICT, identifying and eliminating cyber threats as they arise. They also are looking at ways to integrate ICT in a more environmental vision of the future.

What is the next step?

can anyone predict the future of Comminucations Technology?

Predicting the future is always risky because nobody know what is around the corner. While some people say we have reached the pinnacle of science & technology, I disagree, look at the development of the telephone since Graham Bell  made his first call in 136 years ago, the internet has only been around for the around half a century.

The main way ICT will help us is if it is tailored to our way of life as opposed to us having to adapt to new introductions.

Here are a few current developing technologies. They are in their infancy at the moment but give them a few years and they have the potential make an impact.

SmartHouses have been around for a few years now.  Companies such as https://www.alertme.com are providing services that allow you to activate  the heating on your way home, unlock the door and turn on the lights as you walk up the garden and monitor your energy use from your smart phone. Personally, I want my house to make dinner, clean up and do all my household chores leaving me time to live my life.

Scientists are now attaching sensors to the underside of people’s chins because when we read our brain send signals to our voice-boxes preparing it to speak the written words that we see. These sensors detect the words our voice boxes are ready to say. Even though they have voice impaired people in mind I also see it as the first step in thought activation?

Here is Intel’s six minute vision of how technology could intergrated into our lives in the near future.


I will leave you with this exciting and creepy way that the internet has been used in conjunction with robotics to deliver information in quite a unique way. (which is really a whole other blog!)