Appy Monday – FoodCloud

 
On this weeks AppyMonday we’re looking at FoodCloud, an Irish App and initiative co-created by Trinity students Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien. 
 
Foodcloud is an app that lets businesses upload details of their excess food. The service then texts a local charity, who in turn can pick up the donation and share it with those who need it.
Ward and O’Brien looked at ways to get food that would otherwise be discarded into the hands of these people. They estimate that Irish retailers produce about 87,000 tonnes of surplus food a year, most of which is dumped at a cost of €8.5 million. With no existing redistribution infrastructure they set up FoodCloud.
 
The App itself is very basic but that isn’t an issue; it gives the retailer a very simple signup process to get them up and running and able to submit their details quickly and easily.
 
The largest retailer to work with FoodCloud has been Tesco who trialled the service from October 2013 to February 2014 in 18 Tesco stores and donated almost 60,000 meals or 27 tonnes of food to 38 charities. They now plan to roll out the service to their stores nationwide.
 
Any charities or  retailers  who are interested in participating can register with the app or visit www.foodcloud.ie for more information.
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Appy Monday – BeoirFinder Supporting Craft Beer in Ireland

Craft Beer has become very popular in Ireland in recent years with microbreweries and brewpubs popping up all over the country not to mention the ever growing list of pubs stocking the extensive and sometimes daunting list of beers.
 
BeoirFinder aims to make the finding and the drinking of said beers much easier. Developed by Beoir.org who are “an independent group of consumers with a primary goal of supporting and raising awareness of Ireland’s native independent microbreweries”, it uses the extensive database of Beoir.org.
 
The App’s name comes from the Gaelic word for Beer. While a great choice of name for an Irish beer app it actually makes it difficult to locate in the app store and doesn’t appear for typical search terms you would use if searching for an app like this.
 
The interface is simple and to the point. It is broken down into four sections, Maps, Venues, Beers, and Events. The Map screen shows your location and icons for venues nearby. These can be filtered to narrow your viewing to pubs, breweries or even off licences.
 
  
 

The next tab is an extensive list of beers, a description of them, and the ability to rate and leave comments for each beer. A must have feature for the beer connoisseur.

 

Finally the Events section which as of writing is empty. A quick visit to the Beoir.org website shows upcoming events so hopefully this will be something that is fixed or updated in the next version.

Overall a really great app that will only improve with the planned updates and a must have for people new to the craft beer scene and those already enjoying it.

The app is free to download from the iTunes store and Google Play store.

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Let’s B*Different: Lorna Sixsmith Talks Self-Publishing

Life on the farm can be hectic, Can you tell us how the book idea came about? 

It was inspired by a blog post entitled ‘Advice to those considering marrying a farmer’ which was written in a very tongue in cheek style in September 2012. The inspiration for the blog post came after a session of sorting cattle with my husband! It became really popular and I started thinking about writing a book in April 2013 and went on to write 10,000 words. I attended a talk on crowdfunding in Wales in early June and decided to run a crowdfunding campaign to determine if there was sufficient interest in the book (testing the market) and to raise some finance via pre-orders of the book.

The campaign ended successfully on 20th August and I received delivery of a thousand copies of ‘Would You Marry A Farmer?’ on 29th November, selling 750 before Christmas. I have now printed a second print run and it is available in all good bookshops. 

Can you give some advice to people interested in self publishing a book? Workload, Important factors to consider?

Keep writing and write a little every day. Most self publishers will be working full time so it’s important to stay motivated and keep at it.

Be realistic about the costs involved. Even if you just self publish on kindle rather than print it out too, the costs will still include an editor and an illustrator for the front cover design as an absolute minimum. 

Set yourself a deadline and stick to it. It could be very easy to keep editing and tinkering with the manuscript – sometimes you just have to take that jump and publish. However, do leave sufficient time for a good edit.

Don’t underestimate the power of social media in terms of growing brand awareness about your book and helping you to get free press coverage. 

Getting the word out about your book will be more work that you might imagine, particularly if you have printed it and want to get it into bookshops but it will all pay off. 

You went the crowd funding route, what was the response like? and would you recommend it?

Crowdfunding is hard work, it certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted and I would argue that a strong online following is essential for success. However, it is so worthwhile. The benefits are so much more than financial – it generates brand awareness, publicity and pre-sales. It gives you increased confidence in your book and it allows you to test the market. 

You’re writing another book in 2014, will you change the way you do any of it? 

In some ways, I need to run another crowdfunding campaign if only to give myself a strict deadline!  Although I’m writing another book, I’m also working on marketing and selling the first one. I’m going to be selling it at the Sheep Shearing Festival in Gorey next weekend and I’m judging the Blue Jeans Country Queen festival in Athboy the weekend after. I’m delighted to have just heard that I’m being interviewed on TV3 Ireland AM next Monday morning. 

This book is a different genre so I’m still undecided as to whether I will print it out or not or just sell it as an ebook. 

What was the highlight of the process for you? 

Being interviewed by Ryan Tubridy (as he really knows his books) and hearing him describe it in such glowing terms. 

‘Would You Marry a Farmer’ is available in all good bookshops now. It can be purchased on Kindle and ordered online from irishfarmerette.com

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