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Bloggertone Bloggers at the IIA Annual Conference and Net Visionary Awards2010


The IIA Annual Conference 2010 will be held on Thursday 20 May in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood followed by the Net Visionary Awards 2010 that same evening.

Irish Internet Association Annual Conference & Net Visionary Awards

Irish Internet Association Annual Conference & Net Visionary Awards

The theme of the 2010 Conference is Vision 2020.

This year’s IIA Conference will have a dual focus: what’s good in 2010 and what’s possible for 2020. It will critically assess the next wave of opportunities for the industry, as well as more immediate benefits for businesses in terms of improving their processes, productivity and profitability.

Keynote speakers include Bill Liao, and Anthony Whelan, Head of Cabinet, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda – check out the full programme details.
New for 2010!

Panel Debate moderated by Karen Coleman

The Conference will open with a stimulating, engaging and sometimes controversal ‘Questions & Answers’ style debate on the morning of 20th May. The panel will be moderated by Karen Coleman and includes panellists Bill Thompson, Jim Power, Colm Grealy and John Kennedy. More….

Also, find out about our exciting Digitise the Nation campaign, open to all members!
What else is in store in 2010?

The unique Web Strategy Clinics are back by popular demand but will be held on the afternoon of 20 May. The clinics are open to all Conference delegates – you will have a chance to book a one-on-one 30 minute slot with industry experts who will analyse your online strategy and advise on the best course for your business in confidence. Click here to book your web strategy clinic once you have bought your Conference ticket.

The successful Breakout Sessions will be held on the afternoon of 20 May. This year’s breakout sessions will cover a host of themes that reflect the opportunities open to us all to build our business startegically towards 2020 – including International Strategy, Online Marketing, Social Media, Cloud Computing and Web Development & Security.

Una Coleman (Bloggertone blogger on “Global”Β  is a member of the IIA International Strategy
Working Group) will be at its breakout session talking onΒ  International Social Media & Online PR.

Click here to book.

I am an International Strategy and Marketing Consultant with over 20 years experience in marketing and strategy and international operations both in the US and Europe. Broad functional experience in: Marketing and Communications Strategic and Financial analytics including Business Case Development Consulting and Operational management Client Relationship Management Deep financial services sector knowledge. Worked in organisations ranging from technology start-ups, fast-paced direct marketing agency to large corporates. Member of Enterprise Ireland Mentor Panel Member of IIA (Irish Internet Association) International Strategy Working Group Committee member of the MBA Association of Ireland:

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  • Paul, delegating sometimes seems impossible. What would you say is a good mantra or encouraging thought to pull from, whenever we feel we can’t delegate? I like your framework, but I am talking about the moment before getting hands on, that silly moment in which we say “I am the only one that can do this…”

  • Hi Paul. Informative post and very relevant to those who should/need to start delegating so that they can progress their business.

    I would also add that delegation also gives the person receiving the task a personal sense of satisfaction. It is always nice to know that you are trusted by the boss to do something on their behalf and that this can only help them in their career if they take it on board (assuming it doesn’t all go pear shaped of course!).

    It benefits everyone. Management/business owners are given the freedom to think more strategically while the operational aspects and responsibilities are handed to those who can only gain from insights and learning they won’t otherwise get.

    Sometimes, ti is too easy to simply say “I’d do it better myself”. You may be able to – but what other aspects of your business are suffering as a result.

    It takes courage to delegate, but done properly, it will engender a great team spirit.

  • Delegating tasks and responsibility is a vital component of Time Management and also Stress Management. The primary reason most people delegate is to decrease their workload, which enables them to focus on other tasks and responsibilities. I also agree with what Barney wrote in his comment, happy boss + happy workers = a nice place to work.

    I really enjoyed this post Paul, well done.

  • Great question and it’s the one thing that holds so many managers back. The best thing to do first of all is start to put a value on your time. That is – how much are you worth to the business; put an hourly Euro value on it. As a business owner you’ve only one real job to be doing, and that is to develop and grow the business. If you’re doing work that is outside of that remit then you’re holding the business back. When you put a Euro value on your time (let’s say it’s €100 per hour), you’ll then be asking yourself would I pay myself €100 per hour to do this task that I’m thinking about delegating? The thing is, if you’re doing the work, you’re not developing the business. It’s a habit we all need to break at some point.

  • Fully agree Barney, you’re exactly right.

  • Thanks Catherine, and Stress Management seems to be coming more to the fore at the moment as managers deal with the consequences of downsizing.

  • Hi Barney,

    You bring up good points. If you look at all the talk about free, I do not think it was customers demanding it. It was the industry pushing this as a tactic and everyone followed. Now customers expect it and you are right it will not go away.

    Unless what you give away has a purpose and is part of your strategy to make money it is a waste of time. I guess it comes back to understanding the buying behaviour of your customers to see how to make it work for your business.

  • Hi Barney, great post! I agree, the culture of free is unlikey that it will go away any time soon, I suppose a key point here is to use it for advantage rather than for the sake of it. I think Susan’s point about it needing to part of a strategy to make money is well made.

  • Hi Barney,

    Offers and giveaways have become the norm online, you’re absolutely spot on.
    It started off as an incentive to buy online (cleaner and cheaper for companies). It then became the norm as companies copied companies and the concept of buying online became crowded and fiercely competitive.
    Consumers expect free and discounted offers online. They wait for them, so timing is imperitive.
    It also dilutes the product or service offering – as you say – It’s almost too easy to accept. Therein lies the most powerful message for online retailers… it’s simple, its free/cheap, don’t think about it too much…. just buy, buy, buy!
    One motto: Why pay for something, when you can have it for free!

    Cheers for the read Barney, Nice one!

  • The precedence is set, and will continue in my opinion.
    I think it began as people were very unfamiliar with online software. Normally software represents a significant investment, so rather than lose a potential customer, a free trail is a great way to win them over.
    I agree with the recipients of free stuff being liberal and not putting huge effort into learning the package.
    The jury is out Barney, as you say, free cannot be taken away.
    But I strongly feel that freebies should not be used to entice customers, just to get the business – they will definitely fall into the 20% of the 80/20 rule and be costly clients.
    Diluting a service or product is a no-no and as you say needs to be managed properly, or we will all suffer as providers.
    Thanks for a great post btw πŸ™‚

  • Hi Barney,

    Really interesting article. We give part of our software away for free and then charge for certain “pro” features. Our motivation for the free aspect was that it allowed us to get a heap of publicity online that we would never have been able to get if we went the traditional advertising / PR route. However, you do raise alot of the more negative aspects of the free model – demanding customers who haven’t purchased etc. It can be difficult to get the balance right – what to give free to get people to try your software/ what to charge for to make a purchase a compelling option.

    Thanks for the interesting article,


  • Hi Susan. Thanks for your comment. I think you hit the nail on the head in the last point you make about understanding the buying behaviour and working that in your business.

  • Hi Niall. Thanks for the comment. As you say – if it’s part of a strategy, it’s all good. It’s when it becomes a bit of an unchecked beast that it poses problems!

  • Thanks for the comments Elaine. I agree – it is hear to stay. What is needed is to ensure that it is used appropriately in business to engender loyalty rather than market grab.

  • Hi Catriona. Thanks for the comments. Free can bring publicity and it certainly can work to generate profile etc. I hope you guys have got the balance right πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Chris Anderson has a very good book on this very subject ‘Free : The Future of A Radical Price’

    I wrote the following quotes down after I read it:

    (The Issue) – “Attention and reputation are the currencies most in demand, with the expectation that a sufficient amount of either will turn into money someday, somehow.”

    (The Solution) – “The way to compete with ‘free’ is to move past the abundance to find the adjacent scarcity.”

    Food for thought in there.

  • Great post Barney, I must admit there is always a part of me that’s wary of plenty of free online offers, I’m always scanning the fine print for the hidden charges πŸ˜‰

  • Anonymous

    I’ve actually just got the audio version of Chris Anderson’s book that you mention (free on iTunes incidentally). I’ll have a listen and leave another comment when I’m finished.

    I had an interesting experience of FREE recently. I got a free audio version of a book, during a special Twitter offer on After listening to the book (The Four Hour Work Week), I enjoyed it so much that I went out and bought the paperback version on Amazon.

  • Anonymous


    Great post! This is something I think about a lot too! Like many of the comments, “free” is here to stay. There is a careful balance in using free offerings to build a tribe (Seth Godin) so they want more. It is dangerous when people start (maybe do already) feeling that they are entitled to all that you offer without paying for any of it. When you shop in a brick and mortar shop, there are actual people. Online, interactiosn are largely automated. It’s easy to forget that there are people with needs like food, shelter, and other living expenses.

    Managing “free” is going to continue to challenge us and it doesn’t seem to matter what industry you are in. It has to become part of how we strategize.

  • Great quotes Gerard – thanks for sharing them. The solution is more definitely food for thought and marries up very much with the underlying value proposition I would suggest.

  • I must look that up on iTunes Frank – obviously worthy of a listen. The example you give of free is excellent – it really does depend on your business as to how to work it I think. Thanks for the comment.

  • Hi Elli. Thanks for reading and great comments. You are exactly right when you say it needs to be part of the strategic decision making process.

  • Anonymous

    just listened to the prologue yesterday evening on my home from work and it’s good stuff.

    One example he gives is the “free model” that is being used by game developers on the iPhone. Basically they create a game, it is free initially in that you get the first few levels at no cost, but if you want to go beyond the first few levels you have to pay up.

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