Archive for October, 2008

Conferences – Spend your ticketmoney on building your own

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

There are some amazing conferences that are on around Ireland, the UK, europe, the rest of the world and some of them have some amazing prices too. Le Web this year in Paris is €1,495.00 – €1,794.00 depending on how early you register. The O’Reilly Web 2.0 moneyfest in Berlin was a few grand too. Even in Ireland you see conferences ranging from €250 to over a grand for a day or two-day event. That’s a lot of dough these days to pay to be lectured to isn’t it?

I do often wonder for the specialised but expensive conferences whether you’d be better off just hosting your own day-long event in Ireland without having to fly in the big names or the big guns. They’re certainly great to see and draw a crowd but when some charge from 10k to 100k for a speaking gig, it’s no wonder that the cost of a ticket to some conferences can be up to 3k per person.

And then these big guns don’t mix. They hide out the night before in their hotel room, maybe talk to the others presenting and then are probably protected from the mad crowds during the event. It all seems very mercenary.

Wouldn’t it be great to see some expert talk and give them live feedback? Not by one of those boring “backchannels” things but by someone putting up their hand and saying something. Not that it’d be allowed in a large conference. The speaker (not converser) is there to make a few points without engaging, ta very much. I’m not talking about Barcamps but a model like that. Highly targeted speakers and audience members and small too so that information circulates, not just flows from the powerpoint to the scribble pad of someone in the audience.

Second International Conference on Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
Photo owned by molecularck (cc)

I guess it’s the “brown bagger” model in American companies where people to lunchtime training modules while everyone eats food supplied by work.

It’s ironic that many of us network better at big and international conferences yet there is so much shared knowledge in our own island and so many people we should be meeting and talking to who are only a few miles or event a few feet away from us. A strong local base is probably good for individuals and companies alike. That’s why those old school business networks like BNI do well, because they have the basics right. The delivery is probably all over the shop though and silly rules like having to give business to the person in your chapter is bad for you and them. Your rep and their weak business, if that’s the case. Focused conferences where everyone going brings something with them and contributes would be of extreme value I should think.

Think of it. You’re at a conference and some flown-in expert says something and you think “excellent, didn’t know that” and then they say something else and you think “D’uh, heard that ages ago” or you might actually be ahead of where they are. Now imagine everyone else in the room are like you. Does the room need the person at the front in this case?

Heading to the keynotes
Photo owned by DBegley (cc)

Renting a room for a day costs anywhere from 500 euros to 2000 euros and charging people a modest sum to go would cover all costs. In fact there’s probably a business in “buying” off-the-shelf conference packages from hotels for a standard fee. Ciara too has a guide on running a conference on a shoestring.

What conference would you want to have for your specialist area, do you think you can run it? I bet you can.

2500 people have subscribed to my website instead of coming back each day. You can subscribe to the site using a feedreader or email. I'm also on Twitter. My online marketing blog might also be worth a visit. Thanks for visiting - Damien.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday October 29th 2008

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Few days left to register and come to BarCamp Cork. Look at the great talks!

Sweet and scary meringues. Mmmm.

Blacknight are now sponsoring the SEO competition.

Send your drunken photos to BreakingNews.ie +353 877510456 I’m sure they’re looking for something else. However :)

Jennifer points out you can get grants for your website being built.

Dáil Ministers has a go off John Gormley this time. And this is a real interview with the besandaled one. I shit you not. “John’s uncle, John Gormley still lives in Muff.”

iPhone and Flickr. A love affair numbers wise.

A different type of election poster – Vote for Robocop and Unicorns.

Oooh yeah. Tom Waits + Kronos Quartet + Live + Way down in the hole.

GMail has become much more efficient now, thanks to this add on allowing the GCalendar to be in GMail.

Rufus Wainwright – Gay Messiah

Rufus Wainwright – What a world (live)

G’wan the Pin – Fianna Fáil and the Green’s €6.5Billion Builder bailout to be investigated by EU

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Everyone’s fav property website (except maybe for Fianna Fáil, the Greens, Daft, MyHome and the developers) has done it again. They were first to point out that the Home Choice Loans scheme was dodgy as fuck and now they’ve raised it with the EU, who are going to investigate it. This is probably the next big scandal from the budget. Stay tuned here. This is people power and the web working for the common good.

Blurb:

After hundreds of contributors to website
http://www.thepropertypin.com recently lodged complaints with the EU.
The European Commission has now confirmed that it is to carry out
further investigations under EU State Aid laws regarding the
governments ‘Home Choice Loans’ scheme unveiled in Budget 2009.

Part of the complaint alleges that the scheme is a “Subsidisation Of
Certain Residential Property Developers” and “Distorts” the market in
favor of Big Developers carrying a heavy stock of unsold properties
across the country at the expense of buyers and tens of thousands of
existing sellers. Tom Parlon, Construction Industry Lobbyist is
credited with the successfully ring fencing of €1.65Bn of Tax Payers
money to bailout the developers via this scheme. Some commentators
estimate the true cost could rise to in excess of €6.5-10bn.

Such numbers put the medical card controversy into perspective while
also revealing the massive extent to which the governments appetite to
help an Tax incentivised and formerly profitable industry before the
public health interest into sharp contrast.

The Commission reference for the case is “CEL – CP300/2008 – Housing
Financing in Ireland”.

Broadband customer service – Want to tell RTE about it?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Goin
Photo owned by Kofoed (cc)

RTE Current Affairs are looking for stories about experiences with broadband or customer service in general. Want to tell your side? They’re looking for both positive and not so positive experiences. I know which will have the most volume!

Email: consumer.response@rte.ie with your story.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest SEO of them all?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Competition time! Are you the best SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) person in Ireland? Want to prove it? Via the Irish Web Awards vehicle, we’re running another competition to see who’s the best at SEO in Ireland.

Mister Wilson Spammer
Photo owned by Mister Wilson (cc)

You have until December 1st at 3pm to rank your website for the following phrase: geansai gorm. Yup, we’re using a phrase as gaelige in order as as not to pollute the indices as much as possible.

Criteria:

  • Entries open to all Irish individuals and Irish businesses.
  • Search is to be performed on google.ie. Without Pages From Ireland selected, with personalisation off and from an Irish IP address.
  • The domain to rank must be a new domain. Must not contain the keywords in the domain name at all and no ccTLD domains are to be used.
  • Only want the homepage to rank, not other non-useful pages.
  • 301 redirects are not permitted.
  • Keywords as gaeilge instead of english but copy can be in English

Edit: Forgot to say a big thanks to both Cormac and Richard for their feedback about this idea.

BarCamp Cork II – Now get a proper photo for your bio

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Phil has kindly offered to do a photo session for those attending BarCamp Cork. Since there are so many people form tech startups and blogs and the rest attending, it would make sense for maybe some of them to sit and pose (without feeling too awkward) and let a pro like Phil take their photo so they can use it in press photos etc. Well the opportunity is there for you now.

BarCamp Cork

Fluffy Links – Tuesday October 28th 2008

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

New site about Inchicore.

Ciara has a good report on the BNI conference last week titled “I refuse to participate in a recession”.

New Irish blog Lower the Tone.

An Open Letter To Ciaran Cuffe

Via Debz Boba Fett Hoodie.

You should fire your web agency when

I’d love to see Irish research on brain reactions to ads.

No truer words. Optimization is the enemy of innovation.

Speaking of which: Cluetrain summary on Slideshare.

Surf the net as if you were in China without having to go. Wow, god bless you technology! Will probably be the same for Australia soon too.

Oh. My.

Via Jonny H Guy creates a level on Little Big Planet in order to propose to his girlfriend.

Via Bock – Gays for McCain:
[byoutube fyXmv-sj2zQ]

What the fock? Ross O’Carroll-Kelly is blogging and Twittering, kinda

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Ross

Not that you’d spot it on the Irish Times blog page since they don’t link to the blog of Ross called Life With Ross. The 8th Ross book is out for Christmas and Ross has a blog and he’s even on that Twitter yoke too. However if you look at the blog it’s just actually pulling in updates from his Twitter account. Maybe that’s why it’s not listed on the Blog section?

I hope Ross interacts with people on Twitter like he did via the text ins he did/does.

New Media, New Audience? – Free Arts Council conference on November 25th

Monday, October 27th, 2008

The amazing Annette in association with the Arts Council has organised a whopper of a conference in Dublin Castle on November 25th titled New Media, New Audience?. Two keynoters will be speaking, the engaging, intelligent and charming Charles Leadbeater (see his TED video) and the crank’s favourite Andrew (is to Nicholas Carr, as Channel 6 is to the Beeb) Keen.

Culture Fest 08 leiderhosen
Photo owned by Cindy Funk (cc)

The full agenda includes some great panel discussions and workshops. (Disclaimer: I’m giving a workshop and getting paid for it). It’s nice to see a traditional and what I’d see as conservative (Arts being conservative seems so wrong!) group take the idea of new/social media heads on and see what they can do together. Every element in every segment could do with more insight from those in the Arts in my view.

Register here to attend the day.

Fluffy Links – Monday 27th October 2008

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Bank holiday in Ireland but what the hell. Lots of non-Irish read this now. And I’m working today anyway!

Donal, as well as celebrating his birthday yesterday is turning into a model what with being on stamps and buses.

Been emailed a few times to give a push to this blog post about a charity owing a lot of money to the taxman and needing a dig out. Not sure how able they are to run a tight ship but they certainly are doing a great job looking after kids (as Kate testifies) who the Government deliberately appear to ignore.

New (to me) blog of Steven Troughton-Smith.

Via the Business Post is news about a new PR agency in Ireland called OnlinePR.ie who specialise in social media and blogging. They don’t have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and don’t have a blog either. Uhm. Something amiss there surely.

10 billion photos on Facebook now. And all locked in.

Pedigree Chum ditches Crufts sponsorship, maybe down to BBC investigation.

The 80/18 rule.

Google gets a jet. Nice.

Handy guide to cheap data roaming around europe.

Cos: