Category Archives: Ireland

Growth of users / posts / threads continues

I’ve re-run our statistics gathering queries, and produced three new graphs showing‘s growth in terms of users, posts and threads during the period February 1998 to April 2009 (here are the previous set of graphs from August 2007).

User growth


Post growth


Thread growth


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"The Social Semantic Web": now available to pre-order from Springer and Amazon

Our forthcoming book entitled “The Social Semantic Web”, to be published by Springer in Autumn 2009, is now available to pre-order from both Springer and Amazon.


An accompanying website for the book will be at tops BlueMetrix study of 38 Irish websites (via IIA and AMAS State of the Net)

From the latest IIA and AMAS State of the Net Issue 11:

Online Advertising

Online audience measurement in Ireland is dogged by a torrent of data. Some of it is irrelevant (such as hits on a website, which aren’t a true measure of online traffic) and little of it is directly comparable. This makes the job of media planners, the professionals who buy online advertising, a challenging one.

The arrival of a new mechanism to measure traffic on Irish websites is welcome, particularly as it offers a robust methodology and directly comparable data. The Internet Audience Measurement (IAM) is an initiative of Bluemetrix, the Irish company which measures online traffic in distant markets such as Japan and Scandinavia.

Its software was running on 38 Irish websites when the first tranche of data, on which our graph is based, was released in early November. Not all the big sites are signed up and some of those that are (such as and The Irish Times) did not have any stats available for the first monthly release.

But while, the top 10 table is limited in its scope, it enables like-for-like comparisons as the same measurement tool is used. This new measure will gain in importance over coming months, as more sites sign up and more data becomes available.

Source: Bluemetrix study of 38 Irish websites for October 2008 (

Prize winners visualise Irish online life in the SIOC Data Competition

The winners of the SIOC (pronounced “shock”) data competition being run by DERI at the National University of Ireland, Galway have been announced. The competition ran from September to October 2008, and the brief was to produce an interesting creation based on a data set of discussion posts reflecting ten years of Irish online life from, Ireland’s largest community website. The competition had about sixty registrants and there were eight final submissions of very high quality.

First prize

The top winning submission was entitled “SIOC.ME: A Real-Time Interactive Visualisation of Semantic Data within a 3-D Space”. The entry illustrates how 3-D visualisations may be harnessed to not only provide an interactive means of presenting or browsing data but also to create useful data analysis tools, especially for manipulating the “semantic” (meaningful) data from online communities and social networking sites. The entry was submitted by Darren Geraghty, a user interface and interaction designer, and it was praised by the judges for the huge amount of effort that went into creating it. A video of the application may be viewed here and a demonstration of the tool can be seen at

Second prize

In second place was a visualisation application called “boardsview” by Stephen Dolan of Trinity College Dublin. This is an interactive, real-time animation where one can watch the historical content from many discussion forums changing in real or compressed time. In this application, you can zoom into a particular forum to see individual users posting messages or to see threads being created and destroyed.

Third prize

Third prize was awarded to the “Forum Activity Graph” by Drew Perttula from California. This entry was a visualisation showing the popularity of forums on as represented by coloured rivers of information, which were then rendered and displayed using Google Maps.

Other final submissions included:

  • Forum Map Demonstration” by Tristan Webb and Ian Dickinson of HP Labs Bristol, a demonstration of self-organising maps applied to an information navigation problem in a big community site,
  • WebThere: Semantic APML Profiles” by Brian MacKay from Pennsylvania, a service for creating and maintaining profiles of user interests and attention preferences in social websites,
  • Find Something Interesting” by ITT Dublin’s Alexandra Roshchina and Aleksey Kharkov, an application to provide recommendations of the most interesting posts and threads based on interest-matching and graph-mining techniques,
  • ChartBoards” by Martin Harrigan of TCD, a tool for examining community trends via term frequencies, and,
  • Visualising the Community Culture with Charts” by Eoin McLoughlin of TCD, where various graph types were used to simplify the huge amount of available community data to something that could allow someone to easily grasp its size and depth.

The competition was judged by an independent panel of three experts: Ian Davis, Chief Technology Officer with Talis; Harry Halpin, researcher at the University of Edinburgh and chair of the W3C GRDDL working group; and Peter Mika, researcher at Yahoo! Research Barcelona and author of the book “Social Networks and the Semantic Web”. The first prize is an Amazon voucher for $4000; second prize is a voucher for $2000; third prize is a voucher for $1000.

Golden Spider Award Winners 2008

  1. Best Financial Services Website –
  2. Best Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Website –
  3. Best Digital Media Website –
  4. Best Sports and Leisure Website –
  5. Best Community and Charity Website –
  6. Best Education, Research and Training Website –
  7. Best E-Business Website (exclusive to web business) –
  8. Best Property Website (non portal) –
  9. Best Mobile Content or Application –
  10. Best New Indigenous Website 2008 –
  11. Best Use of Film, Digital Animation or Motion Graphics –
  12. Best Blog –
  13. Best E-Government Website –
  14. Best Entertainment and Games-Related Website –
  15. Best FMCG Website (fast-moving consumer goods) –
  16. Best Recruitment Website –
  17. Best Interactive Marketing Campaign –
  18. Best Professional Services Website –
  19. Best Web Design and Development Agency –
  20. Best Retail and Home Shopping Website –
  21. Best Social Networking and Community Website (people’s choice)
  22. Young Designer of the Year – Naoise O Conchubhair
  23. Internet Hero – Aodhan Cullen
  24. Grand Prix –

Irish Times: " scoops Golden Spider award" scoops Golden Spider award


ONLINE FORUM netted the inaugural People’s Choice Award at the Eircom Golden Spiders internet awards, which were presented in Dublin last night by comedian Des Bishop.

The hugely popular discussion forum was the “clear winner”, according to the organisers in the category where members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite social networking and community website.

Aodhan Cullen, founder of the free web-traffic measurement service StatCounter, was selected as 2008 Internet Hero by a panel of judges. Founded by Cullen nine years ago when he was just 16 years old, StatCounter now tracks over three million websites and 10 billion pageloads a month.

Having this month relaunched its website following a major overhaul, which added features such as video “catch-up” of popular shows including the X Factor and the Apprentice, broadcaster TV3 picked up two awards: the Eircom Grand Prix Award and Best Digital Media.

Despite having been a vocal critic of the awards, which are now in their twelfth year, internet commentator Damien Mulley was awarded Best Blog. The Spiders judges also recognised Sentry Wireless’s Kidsafe as best mobile content or application, despite mobile operators recently claiming to Minister of State for Children Barry Andrews that they had found it to be technically deficient.

Other category winners included (Irish Mountain Running Association), (Crumlin childrens hospital) and has the second highest number of unique visitors to an Irish website

According to island of Ireland audited data on Irish websites from ABCe, has the second highest number of unique visitors in Ireland, currently at 1.7 million compared with RTÉ’s 2.1 million visitors. This is more than the combined audited figures for both the Irish Times plus (1.5 million) and for IN&M’s Irish Independent plus (1.2 million).

Unique users

Daft currently tops the page impressions league, with 86 million pages in September 2008. had 22 million, ahead of the Irish Times and the Irish Independent (18 million each).

Page impressions

You can view the September 2008 ABCe certificate for See also the press release from Daft.