While I’m certain it went unnoticed by all you guys, internally last week we had a little celebration when we completed our 2000th article on the site.
For me, what is most impressive about this figure is that 1000 of those articles have been published in the last 8 and a half months!
It’s a great reflection of the effort put in by all the guys in the team, and as I look back, the team is where I want to start.
Over the last 18 months our team has expanded allowing us to cover a far wider range of topics and we now have really experienced people covering each of these categories. Without their efforts we wouldn’t be where we are today and it has been a joy to work with people who can see the value in what we do and share in the vision of where we are taking Irish Tech News.
Of course, with the team’s efforts, not only did we do what few other Tech sites in the country have ever managed to do by passing 10,000 followers on Twitter,
Woooo Hoooo! We just passed 10K followers! We're delighted 🙂 Thanks to every one of you! pic.twitter.com/08MQbTtjvD
— Irish Tech News (@Irish_TechNews) May 19, 2015
We also won “Best Science & Technology Site” at the 2014 Web Awards!
— Sheena Murphy (@xgwishyx) October 22, 2014
Certainly, a memorable night was had by all!
When we launched Irish Tech News , the main topic our readers wanted to know about was smartphones. Times have changed and smartphones are no longer such a hot topic but back then we were in the height of Android vs iPhone vs BlackBerry! We’ve written countless articles about Android and iOS but on October 10, 2011 we possibly witnessed the beginning of the end for Research in Motion.
BlackBerry’s internet services went down and in the coming days I believe people found all the excuses they needed to jump ship from what was once the market leading smartphone brand. A secure email/ messaging service and low data consumption browser was only of use if it worked and after this outage and RIM’s complete underestimation of the iPhone, I don’t think they ever recovered.
What started off as a fairly innocuous article quickly turned into our most popular back then as people tried to find out what was happening with BIS.
While it may seem like small numbers now, that article was our first to pass 2K views in a day which in itself caused celebrations back then!
I’m not even sure if you can purchase a BlackBerry phone in Ireland anymore such has been the fall from dominance.
One of the biggest changes we witnessed has been the mass adoption of streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix.
It’s hard to remember a time without them now, but Ireland was left in the wilderness for a long time before any of these services “officially” launched here. Not only were there no streaming services but companies such as Google and Apple, who also had huge catalogues of movies, books, music and magazines available in other markets, left it until a minute before midnight to start offering them here.
Also in November of that year we got our first taste of 4G. Vodafone held an event in Dublin Castle complete with a mini 4G network live at the location. While it may have been ideal conditions with no contention to deal with, it was a real eye opener to the potential of a mobile network. Up to that point we were used to oversubscribed 3G networks that generally offered a fairly infuriating experience at peak times. Some might argue little has changed in some areas but in general 4G has been a very welcome addition and it is continuing to get faster.
Of course in urban areas we’ve also seen fibre broadband rolled out by both Eircom and UPC with both companies also competing with home phone and TV offerings. Rural areas have seen another National Broadband Scheme powered by Three come and go and we are now finally seeing a national level roll out of 1Gbps capable fibre networks by both Eircom and the ESB/ Vodafone joint venture named SIRO.
One of the most satisfying additions to the site for me has been the Business Showcase section. Launched at the beginning of 2014, it has allowed us to help local SMEs and Start Ups gain exposure by profiling their company and placing their story and products in front of our growing readership.
The section became so popular that we had to increase the amount of slots each week to help reduce the backlog of companies waiting to be featured. We’ve found the whole experience hugely rewarding and there have been over a hundred companies featured to date.
Since then the Start Up scene has exploded in Ireland with multiple accelerators and incubators launching, several successful Start Up Weekends and hackathons being ran and Dublin now has its own Commissioner for Start Ups in Niamh Bushnell.
On a more national scale, back in January we saw Startup Ireland founder Eoin Costello announce the “Startup Gathering ” which will see a national week of events promoting entrepreneurship and showcasing Ireland’s startup sector to an Irish and international audience.
Alongside all the start up news, we’ve watched our very own Samantha Kelly grow #IrishBizParty from a once weekly virtual meet up for SMEs into several real world conferences across the country, helping companies network in a low cost environment and allowing people to close the loop by meeting the people they have built relationships with on Twitter.
I’m a huge supporter of #IrishBizParty as helping other SMEs grow and succeed is at the very core of what we do on Irish Tech News.
As I look to the future, the main topic that comes up over and over again is the Internet of Things. Without doubt this is an area that you’re going to see us cover a whole lot of as we move forward.
In our Home Automation section we have already begun covering the domestic IoT tech that’s available now, with articles about the Nest smart thermostat and Sonos Play:1 speakers proving hugely popular but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and we’re busy working with many early stage start ups to cover the exciting hardware and software that will soon be hitting the market.
Thanks to all of our loyal readers, many of whom have been with us since article number one. We’ve already started on the next 2K articles!
As you may have noticed, to mark the occasion, we have redesigned the site adding many new features and improving the user experience for our readers.
We really love it and hope you do to!