Niall’s project was “An Irish Solution to a Bebo Problem”. At the time, online social networking was practically unknown in Ireland.
Social networks are well known for acting as platforms for acts of cyberbullying and as hunting grounds for paedophiles. Experts tend to agree that it is very difficult to effectively clamp down on the controversial elements of these networks without irreversibly harming that which makes the platforms appealing in the first place.
Niall’s solution was www.ducky.ie. It was to be Ireland's first mass adoption social networking platform. He saw an opportunity to leverage the concept of online social networking to increase the sense of community amongst students at 3rd level. The platform was launched in partnership with DCU and aimed to act as a social resource to the benefit of all students while also helping to tackle the problem of access and retention at 3rd-level.
It was Niall’s aim to use this innovative solution platform to leverage market share from the commercial competition and harness the power of social networks for the benefit of participants and wider society. In addition to SEI, Niall was supported by DCEB, Invent DCU, m50 Enterprise Platform Programme and was accepted as a tenant at the Digital Hub.
While ducky.ie is no longer in operation, Niall has continued to work with technology and entrepreneurship. He worked to address the so-called “hard problems” of social computing and represent the key stepping stones to the future of the web as a truly social platform with his organisation Relevant Media. This organisation applied lean start-up principles to help bring innovative ideas to market. He is now a lecturer in IT and project management and works as a project manager for 4pm.ie.