Its about my thoughts feelings on just about everything, from Advertising to Zoology ..ok haven't gotten that far yet

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

South Dublin Property Market - how it has changed over the years

Over the last 10 years the landscape of South Dublin has changed completely, from the redevelopment of Sandyford Industrial Estate from mainly Industrial to now a living and leisure area. Dundrum Village, once a quaint area mainly to live with its leafy roads and mature housing estates is now a major shopping district and entertainment place.

With Sandyford Industrial Estate, the changes there are so dramatic. Once it was the home of mainly small to medium warehouse's and industrial units, to now a major hub of International business with many large European headquarters of large multi-national companies (Microsoft). There now is several hotels, a hospital, cinema, shopping centre, Luas, and now their are thousands of high quality apartments for the local workforce.

With Vincent Finnegan Ltd the experts of local knowledge of the property market in South Dublin, Dundrum, Rathfarnham and beyond they have seen all the changes. There are very few estate agents with the knowledge of a local area that have been living and working there. Most of the competition are the large nationals who have come in (and since the property down turn left or leaving) because they did not truly understand the local market and were just "shifting boxes". Where as Vincent Finnegan have been in operation for many years providing the very best service to their clients. In many cases the company sold the home to their clients and then their sons and daughters came back to them to help with their housing needs. You will not find a better Estate Agent in South Dublin to help and assist you with your property requirements, be it sales or letting in residential or commercial property in South Dublin.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome New Web browser just launched

Ok I am just downloading the new Google Chrome web browser now and can't wait to try it. You can do it also here: This weekend I will write my first thoughts on it. The Comic Book guide I must admit has me salivating!

But this part of the post is done in Chrome... first impression >:¬}

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Google to reignite browser wars proper_Google to launch new browser-Chrome

Google to reignite browser wars proper_Google to launch new browser-Chrome.
Official Google Blog: A fresh take on the browser

Most web user's today do not remember the original browser war and its affect on Internet and Web Development, that between Netscape and Microsoft. But I do, back then creating websites were simpler to do until both the behemoth's at the time started to battle it out. It was a nightmare.

It is a bit the same now, with so many different versions of IE and the operating systems they run on, Opera (my fav), FireFox, Apple's Safari now running on PC and now Googles Chrome. From The Google blog about Chrome it looks like an interesting project and I am waiting like millions of others to see what it is like. But now there is one other browser to worry about (if they are not compliant) when implementing code that will work in all platforms.

I would imagine that they have gathered an amazing amount of research on habits, platforms, environments and capabilities through their analytics, search, email blogging and ad publishing tools to name but a few. For these reasons alone it should be an amazing system, but my biggest fear is at what cost to our freedom and controls. At the moment there is very little because of Microsoft's dominance but this development if successful will surely weaken this. Is it time to look at selling Microsoft stock and buying Google?

I will update this once I test on different platforms Chrome, so watch this space!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Websites and what are they for?

Over the years that I have been both a user and as someone making their living from the Internet, I have in seen many great, fabulous and innovative changes but in many ways the basic principle have remained the same.

It has never ceased to amaze me that there are so many websites out there that have spent a huge amount of time an money making themselves look cutting edge, beautiful, got the latest go faster stripe, but they have forgotten the fundamentals, the whole reason for their site in the first place. For people to come, purchase, read, inform, communicate or entertain themselves.

Content is king! Without good content people will not stay, without good content they will not buy, or interact positively with your site.

Ok, you have got some great content, so what is next, then its the structure of the site that is and has and should always be of equal importance. There is zero point investing time and money writing, gathering content, if your visitors can't find or read your site. The simplest and most effective sites on the internet are the ones that are not over designed, do not have the go faster flash stripes. The site owners believe that getting around the site, getting to the information and the call to action is the most important part of the whole site. Once the solid structure is in place then it is an easy thing to give the site a new "lick of paint" at a later stage.

But there has been so many site owners that have been bowled over on how they site looks by the designers, they have forgotten that once it gets into the big bad internet world that what they site looks like at presentation will NOT look like this in the real world. There are so many variables to consider in developing a site from a design point of view but there is still one simple basic principle (actually two): Form & Function!

Form & Function
This is where Form is How the site looks and Function, how the visitor gets around the site. With too much design in the Form, to many gadgets, flash, applets, Web 2.0 etc this limits the ability at present for the search engines and the visitors to find and view/interact with your site. The very FIRST thing any site owner or potential site owner should consider when they are developing their site is who are the target market for their site. It is amazing the amount of times that this has been forgotten. They hand this over to their technical or marketing department or to the kid in the back office who is "good with computers". No offense to any of these, I am considered by some to be a Techie (but probably not by my own techies in Future Business) I also studied Marketing, and most of my friends call me when they have computer problems (Hi Jim). But I also have 11 years of web 1.0 years (some of web 2.0) experience. I know that every one comes to the table with an agenda. The techie (depending on which flavour, Unix, Microsoft, Mac etc) will have their own point of view (left up to most unix heads we would still be surfing the net by command line only... plain txt for non techies hmm (actually not a bad idea sometimes get away from mouse strain thats for sure)), the marketing guys, well its Design design design in most cases. There is a huge .com graveyard full of Marketing led sites that died because no one could use the site, either getting around or did not have the right plugins or heaven forbid "I spend a fortune on these pictures so I want them BIG". Looking at your target market will tell you how to design your site. I have seen sites aimed at the blind riddled with flash. I am sorry but the blind can't read your site, but the can listen to it. Flash though is impossible for the text to speech plug ins to inturpet, so are image site maps without txt guidelines.

I am not railing against all the fancy flashy gadgets, there is a place for these, sites aimed at showing off high tech, design, gaming etc. These sites will be visited by many who will have the computers spec'd up to utilise these elements (but just remember that the search engines will not be able to spider them effectively.

Now that you have discovered the Form of your site, next is the Function. How are your visitors going to get around your site, for that matter and in some ways of equal importance is how are the search engines going to get around your site. If you remember to make your site Function as simple and as structured as possible then your site visitor will never get lost, and will be able to get to the information that they are looking for in as little as three to four clicks. The harder you make it for them to get to the information, then the faster is the likelihood that they will go elsewhere. Forget about trying to bombard them with all the other products and services that you sell. If the visitor wants to know they will look. They just want to get to the one they are looking for. Make it simple for them. Once they have found it then you can show them related products/services but do it only then. The major advantage of making the Function (navigation structure) of your site simple is it also lets the Search engine spiders or bots trawl through your site and its content with ease. They will then follow all your lovely links to your wonderful target structured content back to their respective warrens and make this information easily available to future prospective clients through the search engine results.

There are plenty of other elements to Search Engine Marketing and optimisation (Optimization for the US readers) but getting the fundamentals right makes the job of and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) expert that much bit easier. If you are lucky you may not even have to worry too much about this element of promoting your site.

Back to Content now. You have decided that you want the latest news on your site, and everyone is talking about Blogs as brilliant for visitors, hell through in a forum, chat room and a bulletin board as well on the site, might as well go the whole way right? WRONG!

If you go to the site and see the latest news was written in 2005 this doesn't paint a good picture to the visitor, the very same thing goes for the blog. I have seen so many sites with Blogs in them and the boss thought it was a brilliant idea and posted up loads of comments for the first week or so, then it drifted to every other week, then once a month and so on. Chat rooms, well they have been empty, forums with one or two posts, or even worse customers coming in asking questions and going unanswered, then the come back frustrated and post something nasty (seen this many times). If you are going to get involved with some of these elements of a site to build your online community then make sure some one within your organisation is responsible for its upkeep. Otherwise do not start them. If you really want a forum on your site ask first your clients and visitors would they use it, and remember that atleast 80% of the positive responses will come down to less then 20% of them actually doing so.

Once the Function of your site is decided, you may discover that you will have to tweak your form, but if you follow the check list below in that order then you should not have to worry to much as a lot of the information will become obvious.

Final site check list:
  3. FORM
  5. Then check back to your FORM
I hope that this helps you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me or leave a comment.

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