Tuesday, 14th April: Get Digitial conference

On Tuesday 14th of April, the last Dice conference “Get Digital” was held in the helix. The closing topic was one of the hottest these days: cloud computing. You probably think you already know a lot about it, but you might be surprised! cloud computing has shown unexpected positive results in different areas, which I will analyse through our speaker’s talks. First, let me introduce you cloud computing… As a start, you must know that if you’re saying “The Cloud” then you are wrong! That’s how Richard Garsthagen, Director for Cloud Business Development in EMEA for Oracle started his speech! Ask yourselves what’s really cloud computing? Only a minority of people can define it right because most people don’t understand it, so here’s for your information:

According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) « Cloud Computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. »

Personally, I wouldn’t have been able to give out such a complicated definition about the term before, so don’t worry if you are surprised by what you just read! In simple words… cloud computing is ” Transforming your business so you can deliver or consume it as a service and support the transformation of the digital world.”(Richard Garsthagen). Cloud computing is intangible, it doesn’t depend on the place you are at or the time it is, and that’s all the magic about it! Cloud computing transforms the way we use technology and Richard even talked about “digital disruption”: change that occurs as new digital technologies or business models that affect value propositions of existing goods, services and market.

Indeed, companies such as Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Amazon etc. are creating new ways of doing business, and we can continue to expect major changes in the future. I would add to that cloud computing has provoked a further evolution. For instance, before if you wanted to read a book you would go to the library and buy one hard copy of it. Now if you want to read a book, you don’t have to move from your cosy house while it’s raining outside! You can just go online and buy your “eBook”. That’s not only it, you can even share it on multiple devices! On the other hand, the negative aspects of it is that small libraries won’t last long because they are loosing a lot of market shares …

Introducing cloud computing in a business tends to be difficult sometimes as it requires companies to broaden their organisation and change the way they think. Oracle is a company that deals with big data and that enables businesses to evolve and work with cloud computing by helping them to understand the concept. Richard was telling us that most IT innovations won’t come from IT departments anymore.

Oracle believes that cloud computing’s positive sides are the following:

  • Simplifies IT
  • Re-engineers the economics of IT spending
  • Accelerates and optimises your business processes
  • Drives innovation
  • And enjoys world-class security and compliance

Besides, cloud computing has also improved education, economic growth and the investment sector. Education Mary Moloney is the CEO of CoderDojo, a free coding clubs for young people. As a mother, she hated to see her 18 year-old child spending all day long playing com puter games. So she decided to send him to a place where children could develop computing skills and enjoy it at the same time: CoderDojo! Over there, children from 8 to 17 are encouraged to be curious and become comfortable with technologies rather than only consuming them.They learn computing, programming and coding but do not necessarily want to become software engineers. CoderDojo even provides them with free computers and the idea is based on volunteering -as much for the children than for the adults teaching them-. The movement is becoming fully global with almost 200 dojos in Ireland and 600 000 active children in the world. Mary is willing to continue expanding and be realistic about what can be achieved through education. She said that her mission is ” to balance between where do we see the true use and were do we see the passive use”. In Pakistan, kids don’t get decent technology education so she decided to start a CoderDojo there. The idea is very successful as some kids have developed amazing ideas through the use of cloud computing with CoderDojo:

  • One kid invented his own coding language, 
  • One nine-year old girl invented a tool to prevent bulling
  • One little boy invented a tool for blind people

Mary also thought that girls had less knowledge about computing, and thus were uncomfortable to learn about it in front of boys. Therefore, she set up a girls-only session in DCU, probably the beginning of many others! As far as I’m concerned, I would love to be able to learn more about programming and coding and I think it is important that girls can also learn about it and be good at it. Consequently, I entirely support CoderDojo and especially the fact that they give children the opportunity to express their gifts younger and flourish their intelligence. Cloud computing might change the whole way people learn and teach. Indeed, according to Ireland’s CompetItIveness & Jobs opportunIty: cloud computIng (Goodbody Economic Consultants), “There is a huge opportunity to leverage the Cloud as a way to share information, share content and to even share class work. It also opens up communication and transparency between parents, students and teachers by increasing access to course ware and content that traditionally has resided in the classroom. ” To sum up, this good use of Cloud Computing has enabled small children to develop computing skills and to change the world with technologies. Beyond this, it is completely changing the way education is delivered and is introducing new ways of learning. Economic growth

“The opportunities of using powerful computing resources on demand via the web are considered as a possible driver for the growth of the European economy” Ireland’s CompetItIveness & Jobs opportunIty: cloud computIng (Goodbody Economic Consultants). As mentioned before, with cloud computing, opportunities could appear for Ireland’s economy.

Our third speaker, John Massey, is the Business Development Lead EMEA of SAP Ireland. SAP helps software enterprises with business operations and customer relations. Because everything is so instant in cloud computing, SAP needed to rethink how they hired people and reeducated their organisation. A firm called “Vertu studio” invented a new way to meet through a PC. The aim is to meet with the client but everyone stays in their respective offices. To my mind, I think this was already possible and done with Skype. However, now with the creation of LinkedIn – the professional social media- and the fact that SAP hires a lot through universities, their hiring process is changing and so is every companies’ one.

“50% of SAP’s employees are hired through linkedIn.” John Massey

If, at first, there was a lot of uncertainty for SAP’s organisation, a lot of communication and training with experts has been done and now it’s working well. Because they have increased their efficiency in the way the company was organised, they have reduced their expenses and will spend 20 billion on mobile analytics to see how people interact with each other and who are the best people to hire.

This corporation shows that the implementation of cloud computing in companies comes with consequent changes that can be transformed into efficiency.  According to Potential and Impacts of cloud computing Services and Social Network Websites – ResearchGate “Cloud computing is […] increasing the competitiveness of European ICT industries”. Moreover, with cloud computing, companies are able to see how their competitors are doing and are being more innovative because they have a different way to look at things. Moreover, cloud computing could also create more jobs “Cloud Computing Could Contribute up to €250 Billion to EU GDP in 2020 and 3.8 Million Jobs”  IDC Study. Cloud computing will boost the creation of new business and thus create new jobs. According to Ireland’s CompetItIveness & Jobs opportunIty: Cloud ComputIng (Goodbody Economic Consultants), cloud computing could “increase employment in the economy by 11,000″. But is also changing our role and jobs “future jobs don’t match The Economists’ perspectives for jobs” (Shay Garvey). Routine cognitive and manual jobs are risking to disappear in the future. As a conclusion, cloud computing has created a way to boost the economy and raise the rate of employment but changes in companies’s organisations are needed as cloud computing is evolving the way people are hired, the way they interact with others and the way they work.



Shay Garvey is a Partner at Frontline ventures, a venture capital firm. The aim of this business is to fund technological start ups which are developing new ideas for cloud computing. In the last 10 years, huge productivity gains have been made because a SaaS (software as a service) has been invented: cloud computing. Therefore, it has changed the way private sector invests in company. “Giving it a go is cheap” says Shay, and that’s why Frontline Ventures gives just a little amount of money to get the idea up and running and if the concept is definitely good, then they will invest more. eBay has even created an “AngelList” where people can have a look at the company, see who’s in the team and invest if they want.

We live in a global world : all information is available instantaneity everywhere. Thus, to be the more powerful “you need to know 2% of the information first” (Shay Garvey). When you think of it, there are only a few of powerful companies. So cloud computing can be a limit to investment because information goes so fast that we might not have the opportunity to get this information in a reasonable time to make a decision.

To conclude, the key message of this conference was that people need to be more educated about the cloud because that’s the future.  It is not only changing the way we do business, but also changing the way we use technologies, we interact with people, the way we are hired, the way we learn. In other words, it is changing the economy, education and the investment sector among so many other areas. We have seen many goods aspects of cloud computing, however, I personally wonder about the security that it provides. Who controls all our data for instance? Is our content really safe or could it disappear ? But what worries me most is that we are moving towards a very technological and assisted world and I hope that in the future, we will be able to stay as ingenious as we are and not only depend on technology.


Tuesday, February 17th: Get Started conference

On Tuesday, February, 17th, DICE started this second semester on the ground running with it’s first 2015 conference: Get Started, dealing with a widespread topic: Entrepreneurship. 

entrepreneur-quotes-entrepreneurWe live in an era where people have more possibilities and liberties to build their own company, wrought at their image. On that point, it has been shown that Ireland is a great place to develop business, as Dublin is already home to important companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Ebay and many others. Willing to be the « Europe’s silicon valley », Ireland sees its number of investors increasing as the technological potential of the country keeps growing. Apple is one of them, planning to invest 850 million euros near Galway by 2017. Dublin has implemented many means in order to promote and attract entrepreneurship.

First of all, Dublin hosts three innovative universities, among them, DCU. Speakers from the DCU Innovation Panel introduced us to the different mediums set up.

Richard Stokes is the Director of Innovation DCU and CEO of DCU Invent, a company founded by AIB and Enterprise Ireland (which I will talk about later) aiming to work alongside the university’s researchers but also with external companies. Their aim is to encourage innovation and enterprise by helping start-ups, providing them professional advice and support services. The Invent Incubation Center also has flexible and purpose-built office space with high-speed networking. It has deinvent-news-vital-nov-2013veloped many programs such as Tech Venture, for DCU researchers, which had 35 spin out companies. The Invent Center has recently developed partnerships with Queen’s University and Dundalk Institute. Together, they created the « VITAL project » a cross-border project aiming to implement innovative ideas in Northern Ireland but also in the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo. The Invent center offers to participate in the New Frontiers Program, an entrepreneur development program sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, recruiting persons who come up with an innovative idea for new companies.

DCU also has other facilities such as the Innovation Campus, open since May 2014, in the responsibility of Ronan Furlong. It allows entrepreneurs to accelerate their business by accessing research, facilities, talent and funding in the same place. It hosts companies from different countries: United States, Germany, France… and of different types: start-ups and multinationals such as Veolia or Siemens. The criteria to install on this campus are to be a « maker ». This emerging word includes  technological companies producing hardware, wearables, sensors… What surprised me is that the Innovation Campus doesn’t have their own brand, HR, website or marketing. Everything is based on the fame of DCU!


Finally, Eoghan Stack presented DCU’s latest facility for innovation: the DCU Ryan Academy. This is a non-profit joint venture shared between DCU and the Ryan Family (Ryanair). It mixes academia and entrepreneurial techniques. In order to promote innovation and enterprise, they have encouraged programs such as Propeller Venture Accelerator, Female Propeller for High Fliers and UStart, a student accelerator. They provide mentorship to the selected teams, to help them develop their projects.

   Nevertheless, when it comes to developing ideas on its own, funds can often be a problem. 

Niamh Bushnell, who is part of the jury for the UStart competition, who is the CEO of her own start-up and also a Dublin Commissioner for start-ups, explained to us that the Irish Government has created an agency who’s aim is to help Irish businesses’s expansion.  As a Dublin Commissioner, Niamh’s role is to promote Dublin as « a great start-up international », with the trend of massive innovation. She wants to tell and promote the amazing story of Dublin to the world so that when students like us go working internationally, we will be offered interesting opportunities because we come from Dublin, this innovative capital. Events like the Annual Web Summit, which will be held again in Dublin next November, already illustrates the growing influence of Ireland in the technological sector. Niamh also has the role to link memberships, governments collaborations, universities etc… across the board to inform people. « The more we are, the more potential. » Niamh Bushnell

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the growth of Irish enterprises. By providing funds and assistance to start-ups, expansion plans and Research & Development business plans, Enterprise Ireland helps Irish owned companies develop on global markets. Their aim is to support economic growth and employment security.

Here is a map created by Startup Ireland, summarizing all the facilities available for start-ups around Dublin. 

I personally think it’s great that Ireland is able to offer such opportunities to start-ups. However, the Collison brothers’ success story is an example that there are still some faults in the way finance is distributed. If Enterprise Ireland had believed in the potential of the Collison’s project “Schuppa” and supported it, despite their young age and their lack of experience, Ireland would have benefited from their success. Instead it is the Sillicon Valley which today, takes all the credit and that is a pity!

   Yet, building a company is not easy and not everyone can become the owner of a successful startup !

Java Republic is a good example of an Irish success story ! The founder and CEO of the company, David McKernan, explained to us what it takes to create your own business.

He started off his presentation with a little anecdote and a lesson for us all… «  When starting the business, I wanted to call it “Java Republic“ and everybody said no because republic was a common word at that time. I went against people’s opinion and here I am today ! ». Java Republic now has 20% shares of the Irish market coffee. But it wasn’t done alone…  David had to work for 18 months on the project before he was able to set up the business. « It is tough and you need to be brutal» he said. The first obstacle he met was funding, and due to the economic crisis of 2008, it hasn’t become easier. Indeed, Banks are reluctant to lend money so start-ups have to find new ways of raising money and attracting investors such as:

  • crowd funding
  • Angels investors
  • venture capital
  • family

David has a preference for Angels investors as they only ask for a minority share in the company and are the less demanding investors. He had the chance to benefit from an Angel investor who gave him 100 000 euros which represented 20% of the company. The Angel investor did it because he believed David created a life-style company. This would probably not have happened if David hadn’t aimed to set up a very ethical coffee enterprise. Indeed, Java Republic has important core values such as conscientiousness. Most entrepreneurs today set up a start-up to make money but not only, they are also motivated by the will to make a better world. And that’s what more and more incubators promote, such as Y combinator in San Francisco.

Despite having a lot of money and fighting for a good cause, you could fail in setting up your business if you don’t have the profile of a leader. So what are the characteristic of a successful entrepreneur?

Here are examples of famous entrepreneurs today and the different personalities behind the brands.


According to David McKernan, a good entrepreneur needs to:

Be trustworthy and humble, have personality, be hardworking, learn to delegate, be a confident decision maker, look after himself and be brave. He also needs to have a fluent intelligence: have the ability to change direction, to learn from failure and to find solutions but also to be good during interviews: know about the business, have good story to tell, be motivated and not only by money.

« The key to a successful future is to keep innovating and stay relevant. » David McKernan

Be innovative, that’s what Kealan Lennon, CEO of Cleverbug, managed to do when launching an App’ creating and printing greeting cards from your phone. CleverCards-WOOFipedia_Thank-YouContrary to David McKernan, his business was set up in 4 months ! The idea is to stop forgetting important events such as your family’s birthdays by collecting Facebook pictures and making cards from them. The concept is in tune with the success of social medias.

«  There are many things that Amazon has, but it doesn’t have your birthday .» Kealan Lennon

According to Kealan, it’s all about the team! You have to surround yourself with the good persons when entering into such an adventure. You need to be competitive, ambitious and passionate but also have realistic objectives.

Seán Ahern is the creator of ThankFrank. He developed a way for people to express their opinion online by clicking on “thanks“ if they liked something. They are rewarded with shopping vouchers or money for instance. Despite its good will, I find the idea unusual and may have difficulties to succeed because it requires a lot of funds. Nevertheless Seán shared his experience with us and gave us important tips and tricks:

  1. You need to be able to explain your business simply and after it will be easier to explain it to potential investors and buyers. Learn how to say it simply in thirty seconds max. Don’t keep ideas to yourself because it’s worth nothing until it’s executed. Other people’s opinion will help you see if this idea will work or not.
  2. Lear from failure. It might screw up.
  3. You need a good team around you. Fill the gap, hire people with different abilities and skills. If you have a great team with great people then you will work together brilliantly and you will succeed.

Being an entrepreneur also has negatives sides:

  • It’s tough to be in a start-up.entrepreneurship
  • Money is going to be a big problem. Expect to be broken.  You will spend a lot.
  • Think of your personal life, family, friends…. It will take more than 6 months, even though some succeed in a few  months. Plan for 3 or 4 years.
  • It will fill daily all your thoughts.
  • Expect to have really bad times and to encounter some failure

One of our speakers, Paul Kerley, investor and entrepreneur, launched his own company and faced some spectacular failures. He then understood that there was a big difference between an idea and a business. But he learned from his mistakes and tried not to repeat them. So to this list of bad sides, he would add:

  • You will fire good people.
  • You might have to go to court.

« Life is a series of choices. If you want to choose to go there, keep going. You might not arrive where you thought you would, but believe in yourself. » Seán Ahern.

All speakers, who were entrepreneurs, agreed on the fact that you need to want to do what you’re doing and be really passionate because it’s going to be hard! Although they all encouraged us to give life to our ideas, because in the best-case scenario, it will be an incredible experience; they also told us not to do it thoughtlessly but creating a start-up is something serious that will need a lot of resources, so it is a decision that needs much reflection.    

I am presently working on a start-up project myself so I found this conference particularly inspiring and encouraging. All the speakers gave me a precise idea of the risks and benefits of being an entrepreneur and what kind of person you need to be. What I have retained from this presentation is that starting your own business may be tough but worth it in the end. Dublin is a great strategic place to develop innovative ideas and to launch a start-up as it offers many opportunities to the leaders of tomorrow to “get started”, wether is through its university courses, enterprise programs, funding or support services.

Tuesday, November 11th: Get mobile becomes get discussing !

On Tuesday November 11th we had our second DICE Conference. This time, the topic was “Get Mobile”; 6 speakers, one at a time, talked about the subject. But to make this report more interactive, I deliberately chose to turn this conference in a discussion, using the opinions of one another, including mine. Enjoy!

Alex Meisi: 

What is a mobile phone? Most of the people forget the real use of mobile phones and no one seems to really know what it is … Is it a phone, a phablet, a tablet, regarding the size?  It’s not just about the screen size but about the context of how people experience on their device.

Dr. Lynn:

check phone when waking upPeople are always connected when they’re awake. Did you know that 90% of the Irish phone owners check their phone when they wake up and 90% have an access to Facebook on their mobile?

Alex Meisi: 

1/3 of the English interviewed for a survey would rather give up sex than smartphones.

Dr. Lynn: 

56% of the Irish phone owners use their mobile on the toilet (especially women…) !

Alex Meisi: 

1/3 of the English interviewed for a survey would rather give up alcohol than smartphones.                                                                                                    Ownership of mobile phones are getting younger and younger. More 5 years old children know how to use smartphones than tie their laces!

Dr. Lynn: 

96% of the Irish people between 18 and 35 years old, own a smartphone.


I know we live in a different world. Yet, I find those statistics chocking…

Dr. Lynn: 

Our phone is increasingly our constant companion. So, not only counts the experience we have with the device; we are also sensitive to the shape of our phone and its intuition. Nowadays, technology is more and more human.

Dr. Gurrin: 

A mobile is a sensing technology. This means that they understand when we drive, sit, walk, run, talk…                                                                                   Mobile devices are cheaper (35 euros for an Android tablet in china) and have more and more potential. For instance, the iPhone 5 is 60 thousand times more powerful than the computer that guided the appollo II astronauts on the moon.

Eoin Cruise:

Microsoft bought all the Nokia device business. Since then, they changed their strategy: to adapt to this new developing market, they want to offer affordable phones for 59-69 euros that contains all the basic functions.

Alex Meisi: 926749-st-peters-2013

Generation Y’s mobile expectations are higher. 61% of mobile phone users will quickly go to another site if they don’t find straight away what there are looking for.

Dr. Lynn: 

Mobile requires to rethink marketing.

Alex Meisi:

P&G «  our mobile strategy is very simple » reducing their marketing budget but focus on mobile on social.

Paul Davey:

Creating a truly engaging mobile experience involves far more than building a great mobile app. You need to build a mobile app that supports a range of devices, easy to use and looking really cool; then increase speed to market to deploy capabilities; rapidly innovate to keep enhancing experience; protect mobile access o enterprise data; scale elastically to deliver responsiveness and integrate mobile activities with the rest of your business.

Alex Meisi: 

Apps are the future !

wakey wakey: Oscar mayer: bacon smell as an alarm

Tweet pee app


I must say that I’m pretty cynical about this invention; the best way to change a nappy remains the traditional, normal way. We don’t need an app for it.

Paul Davey:

The app you create represents your brand so you have to be very careful and make sure that it brings value to your consumer.”We need an app!” This new effect is similar to when websites were created.

Alex Meisi: 

Engage your customer. Starbucks sat up the Mobile payments: no need cash anymore! You just have to top up your Starbucks app with your credit card and then pay by scanning a bar code. Tesco also invented a new shopping trend: scan the product’s bar code from your phone, add it to your online basket and it’s delivered!

If you download the app, you can also get special offers when you come in their stores. A survey showed that 66% of shopper said in-store messages would influence their product purchasing decisions.


Can’t we call that manipulation in a certain way…? Is it the end of retailers then?

Alex Meisi: 

People think retailers are screwed. It’s false! The sensory, social, serendipity and spontaneous aspect of shopping, as well as the quality of the in store service can’t be replaced by an app. App are a complement to in store shopping if  you get the way consumers work but the problem is that most CMO’s aren’t comfortable with data explosion, social media etc… 49% of showroomers started a purchase journey online and completed it in-store.

Dr. Lynn: 

Shopping queries are 2 times more likely to be in store. We can link our marketing to mobile search.

Alex Meisi: 

40% of mobile search is related to location.

Dr. Lynn: 

Mobile searches are strongly tied to specific contexts, 77% occurs at home or at work. Our phones are clever, they interact between the retailer and the consumer.


Here is an example that I find very clever of how to use our mobile search (especially for girls…!), invented by Digifeye.

Mark Hughes:

big01If you are looking for a red dress you saw on someone, you will probably never find it because on google there is many results. Digifeye stores images and allow you to buy it afterwards. But it’s not always easy …You have to train machine to look at an image and understand the content or recognize the semantic gap associated to each image. They also try to advise you on your style using your data. The more and more data they have, the better they can get to personalize your style.

Alex Meisi: 

Mobile leader are using data and insights to create more targeted, effective, and personalized arguments.

Dr. Gurrin: 

New technology doesn’t forget so let’s not only analyze the information but keep it!  In the future, there will be a massive organization that will know everything about everyone. “Lifelogs” will create hundreds of terabytes of data about ourselves. This is a huge opportunity for historical memory researchers to use past user’s experiences. This organization will build a complete record of you, a personal search engine to understand yourself and optimize your life. For instance, it will tell you that you had too much coffee today; it will calculate the time you spent in the office, on the computer, with people, analyze your stressful periods so that you can be self aware etc… What’s more, this external memory could be very useful for people affected by Alzheimer and the scientific searchers.

DCU’s Insight centre is a big DATA container that has started working on this project under the name of EyeAware.


To my mind, this is pretty dangerous and reminds me of big brother…. What if someone pirates those information and uses it in a bad way? It’s like if we were machines, where is the human side of this? And hat is the point, except the fact that we can better understands our lives? Do we really need this to understand it?

Here is another example of the use of our data.

Paul Davey:

IBM invested in a projet called “Watson”. It’s a cognitive computing system that has human abilities and does what we do best by using our data!

What kind of future for mobiles?

Paul Davey:

IBM invented the first smartphone.

Dr. Gurrin: 

Mobiles are mobile and wearable… But it wasn’t always this way and it will surely change in the future 3-5 years time: we will look our ancient phone as we used to look the first nokia phones.

Dr. Lynn: 

Google Glass is an opportunity in a glass, a mainstream type of technology that enables us to access to information all the time. Today, Google Glass is 1 or 2 % in the market and 40% of the market is interested by the smart watches, but those numbers will surely increase in the future.

Dr. Gurrin: 

Google Glass enables new services as it can see like I see and hear like i hear. For instance: location, activity, environment and social awareness. This mobile device use the user’s context to make him understand what he is doing, why he is here etc… They know more about him than he does. They understand the user’s environment thanks to a computer vision and an artificial intelligence. This new way of interaction with the wearer displays content in a complete different way to people.


To conclude, mobiles have taken a more and more important place in our lives and are changing our habits. To keep up with our new ways of living, retailers and companies had to improve their approach to consumers and rethink their marketing strategies. Apps are a solution to it, but we saw that they had to develop an interaction with the costumer. So wearables might be the next mobile as they develop a strong link with the users and contain many more services.

Tuesday, October 14th 2014: Get Social conference


Tom Lynn led off the conference turning a famous social media: Twitter in an academic subject. Have you ever asked yourself why were you commenting this event more than another one? Who influenced you and why? How can we turn social medias problem in a business?

Let’s start off with some relevant facts…                        v65oai7fxn47qv9nectx

Who would expect a meerkat to be more influent than Ireland’s first prime minister?

  • Enda Kenny: 22,5K followers
  • The meeerkat Alexandr Orlov: 67,4K followers

Which death was more retweeted? Paul Walker’s or Nelson Mandela’s?

  • Paul walker’s: 400 000 retweets 
  • Nelson Mandela’s: only 77 000 retweets

1. And the social medias were created…

Eric Weaver made a point: When the social medias first appeared in 2006, they were seen as something foreign (like most of the new inventions), then interesting, cool, known, and finally normal. But what about now?

More and more people are using social medias so how brands deal with this new way of communication?

Lucy Campbell made us notice that according to RTE, Irish people watch less and less TV but keep themselves informed by other communication devices… Now, 89% of the adults have access  to a mobile device, which actually makes reaching an audience more and more complex because they are different platforms and different devices.

How do we use our mobile device?        RTE_Logo

  • 69% at home
  • 22% at workspace
  • 18% outside

Did you know that « 53% of the 16-30 years old would rather lose their sense of smell than give up the technology that keeps them socially connected »?

RTE always optimised their content with the new technological releases to reinforce the leadership of their products and services (2003: launch of their first mobile device, 2008: launch of their first mobile app…). They had to, because: «  61% of the mobile users are likely to move onto a competitors site if the page they landed on isn’t mobile optimised » and now over 73% of RTE traffic comes from Mobile Services. These improvements turned RTE into the first news app in Ireland and enabled them to reach another audience out of Ireland « 37% online users are outside Ireland » and led them to a growth of 6.4% of their followers. 

  So brands are dealing pretty well with this new media but in order to turn it into an advantage, they first have to understand what consumers expect from them.

2. Analysing the consumer’s behaviour, his feelings and desires…

« The audience demands Great Content. It’s not the content that’s rare. It’s finding the good stuff that is » Lucy Campbell

  • The World Cup made a major change with « 70% increase in live streaming ».
  • Before the 1st episode of the Love Hate 5 Series, RTE used twitter to advertise for their program: 976 thousands viewers and about 543 thousands shares!

Tom Lynn explained us that a DCU computing student, Adam Bermingham, invented « SentiSense »: a sentiment analysis that enables brands to determine which opinion is more valuable than an other by social medias users, using:

  • Data mining
  • Natural language processing
  • Custom ontologies such as brand, components, functions, features or opinions.

He combined 3 ways to understand how people feel and why do they feel this way?

The first way is manual: Intuitive annotation and interface with active learning; The second way is automated: Novel multi-domain machine learning and the last one is crowdsourced: Proprietary qualify control and ramification system. Thus, he gets to analyze better the consumer’s behaviors on the Internet.

Jane McDaid came up with some very relevant statistics: photo

  • 60% watch video content before they read about it.
  • 40% youtube traffic is on mobile
  • 92% of the videos are shared which is more important than TV
  • 52% Irish Youtube users seek for information after watching
  • 1/3 of the Irish people watch Youtube as much as the TV
  • 1/5 of the the brands reach 500 000 views.

Consumer’s behaviour is changing and so is the content they consume. So Thinkhouse has analysed what video content consumers prefer, naming it the « 7 sins of killer content ».

The first one is « comedies » with the largest number of views (107 millions).

Then comes the epic theme, with impressive content. The third sin is the emotive space but it’s quite delicate to do a video for it because when it comes to personal space, «  sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong » to have brands in this field. Then there is the WTF videos. No need to explain what the letters stand for… Watch the video by clicking on the word! The fifth category is zeitgeist. They are hard videos to do because they only last for about thirty seconds so the brands have to be really efficient to deliver the right message.  The NSFW sin is « risky but a good experimentation! » Unfortunately, Youtube has restricted the access to the Tom Tom ad we got to watch so I won’t be able to show it to you. Finally, the Informative category: Those videos last for long 3 minutes or more and they provide valuable and useful informations about a topic.

To conclude, brand advertising isn’t only about having a great content but also about being able to share it and that’s what social medias enable them to do!

3. Social medias sometimes rimes with opportunities…

Alan Coleman developed an innovating digital marketing, led by the though that search marketing had to become more active. They use semantic search for clients such as RedBull, littlewoods.com, Brown Thomas, iclothing.ie, kilkenny beer, Louis copeand… The usual consumer focused marketing would be: Awarness -> Interest -> Action but Wolfgang Digital goes further in the process in order to get better results. Their purchase funnel is:


Deirdre Hogan also had a great idea from the social medias effects and will soon launch a new company, Gajo! When twitter users express their opinions online, they also help brands to know what they want. And the aim of Gajo is to discover communities for brands and filter the « noise ». What she meant by this is that her invention can classify the different tweets and users in different categories. For instance: let’s say you are a travel agency seeking for twitter users going to Mexico. An ordinary filtering system would just search for the « Mexico » keyword. But twitter userSlide021s could also post about their sister in Mexico, or they could already be in Mexico which wouldn’t interest the travel agency. So Gajo is smart and much more precise than what already exists by going strait to the point! This new company illustrates well how you can use the social medias to do business.

LinkedIn is also be a great example. Nicolas Cappielo explained us that the brand’s aim is to connect the  professional world. They offer opportunities by creating/sharing/collaborating ideas and changing the way we work together. People who register on Linkedin want to become better at what they’re already doing today by connecting with new people, jobs and concepts. Linkedin is a huge network were content is consumed 6  times more than jobs! The cologo-linkedinntents come from many sources: it can be from peers, news companies or thought leaders such as Richard Branson. Their goal is to move from the social map to the economic map by improving our abilities to team up and influence the business world.

« We have to become data scientists. » Eric Weaver

E. Weaver showed us that we could even use social medias to earn a kind of fictive money called « Earned media». By posting about a brand, you communicate about it in a free way, without needing to raise funds and still, you are making the brand more and more famous.IPG_MEDIABRANDS_Black_Large

So social medias are a great opportunity for brands, peers and companies because they enable us to share a content and to get useful informations about one another.

4. Can Social medias also be a danger?

   With the increase of those technological opportunities come also threats! Dr Lynn ended his speech with another DCU student’s work: Cyberbulling prevention Platform entitled Uonevu. This intelligent content researcher helps to fight against subtil social stereotypes such as « blondes are stupid ». And that’s not the only example…

The advertising dollar:

According to Alan Coleman the top two-forms of advertising are recommendations from people we know and online posts. Moreover, Eric Weaver demonstrated us that the content visibility is very poor on the social medias. Facebook’s EdgeRank: only 10% of your friends see your posts. So to pass this issue, a user has to pay boosting with ads . Facebook took advantage of this fact by migrating ads from the sidebar to the to newsfeed, adapting it to the consumer’s behaviour on the Internet. For instance, if you recently searched for a dress on the Internet, you will see an ad appear in your newsfeed for this same website. And since then, Facebook made much more money because their found a new way to caught the users’s attention.

To sum up, thanks to this DICE conference we can understand better our generation’s world: the world of social medias by getting a good overview of the advantages (and the disadvantages) they offer to companies and peers by their worldwide connection and shared content.