Show and Tell Event: Bloggers play with tech

Summary: Tech Meet and Greets for bloggers.

I’ve been getting a heck of a lot of invites from PR companies of late to attend various events but when I suggest to them that they ask/invite other bloggers, some freeze or shut down. That’s a step too far. So I’ve started to decline invites to all events unless they were catering to other bloggers at these events too. Yes, that might mean providing wifi too. *shock*

Collision Course, the Fianna Fáil and Green Party conferences, the Bord Gais launch and other events are starting to show that bloggers will come along if you provide them with something interesting, be it giving them the scoop before others, giving them access to people they might not have been able to reach by themselves or good data.

Via Mulley Communications I’m going to start running some events run for bloggers where tech companies or tech distributors can show off their wares in an environment designed for bloggers. Traditional tech press briefing events are mind numbingly boring. We bloggers don’t give a care about your third quarter projections. Don’t speak from a lectern and from a script. Converse with us. Let us fiddle with your stuff. Oooer.

retroradio01_f5
Photo owned by Shi Yali (cc)

What’s in it for bloggers?
We get to see new products and play with them on the evening and use trial gear for a few weeks. We get more content that we can write about and inform our readers with new information and it also means we are a bit more educated on what’s available in the market. It also means meeting as a group in person when we generally just converse over blogs and twitter these days.

What’s in it for the tech companies?
Coverage. Right now coverage is limited to the Business Post, PC Live and Gadget Republic when it comes to tech reviews. However, online coverage is all well and good but a possibly more important point is these bloggers and Twitterers are the communications hub of their networks both online and off. We are the ones that get asked for mobile phone recommendations building up to birthdays and Christmas, we are the ones asked about laptops and what are the best ones to get, we’re the ones who are asked for recommendations.

Very importantly, you get honest, non-pressured feedback from people who will call a spade a spade and who are telling all their friends this anyway about products that they like and don’t like. Ignore this feedback at your peril.

Think about the average person that Googles for information, they’ll still ask those in their peer group and those in their peer grop are the ones who’ll influence them more. A more educated bunch these are, the better they can inform. The only risk is that your stuff isn’t godawful.

I know for a fact that some companies will weigh up the cost of giving loaner gear to blogger and will think it’s not worth it despite the fact that having an informed group of influencers will seriously impact sales. However for every tech company that declines, an edgier one will take your place and they’ll reap the rewards. There actually is the case in Ireland where billion euro companies give out a single piece of kit that’s the village bicycle of tech: every journalist gets to have a bash for two weeks before it’s passed to someone else. Yeah, no. This is not the event you are looking for.

Reboot 2
Photo owned by gfscott (cc)

What’s in it for me?
Mulley Communications will have more case studies that this lark actually works and experience doing it. Unfortunately in Ireland we lack a hell of a lot of case studies on blogging, online marketing and social networking engagements.

How do you sign up?
If you’re a blogger leave a comment, link to a blog post where you’ve talked tech (if you have), say where you are as these are not just going to be in Dublin and tell us what your favourite piece of tech is. Bonus points if you go really retro!

If you’re a PR firm, tech company/manufacturer/distributor then email damien < at > mulley.ie for what the requirements are to take part

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.

30 Responses to “Show and Tell Event: Bloggers play with tech”

  1. Sinéad says:

    When I worked in tech sales I used to blog a hell of a lot more about technology because I was interacting with companies like Nokia, Apple and Creative. That isn’t the case anymore, so I don’t ever feel like I have much to ADD to what’s already online. These kind of events would be a great way of adding real value to blog posts about tech expression of interests (also known as gadget lust). I’d be very interested in attending.

    This is a link to my “gadget” tag on my blog: http://www.sineadcochrane.com/tag/gadgets/

    Based in Dublin/Kildare.

    Fav piece of tech? My first MP3 player, I think from the late 90’s, a sony discman that would read mp3 cd’s. It combined the pleasure of having 100’s of tracks on one CD with being able to purchase a new album and then be able to listen to it on the way home. Ah, it’s the simple things. Now I have a standard MP3 player, so sitting on the bus with a new CD and not being able to listen to it *instantly*, totally haunts me.

  2. Tech and gadgets is the reason I ended up on the net. In 1996 I got my first (and I think my universities first) recordable mini disc player. I needed to find out all about it so began trawling forums and websites for cool things to do with my new shiny love. Much like Sinead above, I don’t really have access to the world of cutting edge anymore, these “hands on” go to big magazines and larger blog conglomerates.

    That said I agree that word of mouth is really the most powerful advertising any gadget or company can receive, and we really talk. People ask us about tech and when we have news, boy we like to yap and blog about it.

    I’m based in Amsterdam, Netherlands (and sometimes Dublin) so if you know of anything I’m my area I’m very eager!

    My top piece of tech, other than that wonderful (and still pristine Sony mini disc player, with prerecorded mini discs) would have to be our families first remote control unit, as prior to its introduction to our sitting room, I was the remote control. This thought me early how tech really can change your life for the better.

  3. Lette says:

    Im in, if its happening, Im a gadget freeeeeak! and keith and I have had Gadgetr.ie held for ages and if this could help me get it off the ground id be delighted to go and take part :)

  4. Ann says:

    I help people use technology to improve their business results — and their lives in general. I am based in West Cork and could get up to any Cork area events.

    My business blog is http://seoireland.blogspot.com (still really just getting started with it, but looking to do more and more all the time)

  5. Lette says:

    Ohhh and im currently doing a vlog on retro gaming, which would be where I really specialise… does that count? my old blog is broken and iv lost all my past posts but this will be on the new blog in the comming week, also here is a link to my am… toys? :)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lette_applejuice/sets/72157604094709620/

    :)

  6. Ronan says:

    Great idea. I better start up a tech section on mine to avail!

  7. Great idea Damien.

    My tech blogging centres on the tools of presentation – software, remotes and accessories, image sources, image editing, and hardware.

    I’m Dublin-based, but work all over the country and I’m happy to travel if the event or toys are cool enough.

  8. Mike says:

    I’d be interested Damien. I’m really interested in any gadget or App that can facilitate/enhance on line participation, in particular any developments regarding streaming video
    Great idea btw

  9. Declan says:

    I’d be interested as well. Dont blog half as much as I should about tech and gadgets considering I have an annoying habit of being in the queue for a look at new technology when it’s released. :-)

    http://decsramble.blogspot.com/search/label/Gadgets

    I’m based in Dublin, which probably puts me in the same grouping as hundreds of other bloggers that will reply to this.

    My favourite piece of modern tech has to be my 3G iPhone. It’s not the best phone on the market but it’s certainly the best device I’ve ever owned. Phone, internet, ipod, GPS and a poor but usable camera all in one device that I can fit in my jeans pocket. 9 times out of 10 when I travel overnight I no longer bring my old Dell laptop since the iPhone does most of what I’ll need while away.

    My favourite piece of retro tech has to be my old Rolleicord camera. For those not in the know, it’s one of those box shaped cameras that you hold against your chest and look down into when taking a photograph. It’s a totally different perspective on taking photographs, not only because of the mirror image displayed in the view finder but the puzzled looks you get on peoples faces when they spot it. I bought it second hand while doing a photo printing course. Digital and photoshop may be the future but film and darkrooms are still the spirtual home of photography.

  10. Anthony McG says:

    I will blog about any new gadgets I buy or interact with. People consistently find my Dell XPS 1330 post or my one on the iPod Touch.

    I’m based in Dublin.

    Fav piece of tech would be the iPod Touch. Case in point, I was on the bus this morning listening to the Decemberists. I realised I didn’t know much about the band so fired up the Encyclopedia app (offline copy of Wikipedia). Within minutes I knew of previous albums, how long they’d been together etc. That’s the power of technology for me.

  11. Andy says:

    If you can post a date well enough in advance, I’d be all over popping down for this.

  12. John says:

    um there’s gadgetrepublic.com too

    I wouldn’t mind testing netbooks and mobile phones…!

  13. Joe Lennon says:

    Great idea. My blog is quite technical, albeit not updated as often as I’d like to, for an example post see http://www.joelennon.ie/2008/12/10/irish-shared-web-hosting/ – I try to post some Oracle and web application development tutorials in between writing articles for IBM developerWorks and my regular day job as a web applications developer for CoreHR in Cork. I would be willing to attend these events in Cork and if they’re interesting enough in other locations around the country.

    My favourite piece of tech is the Amstrad 6128 (the one with the disks) – it sparked my interest in technology at the age of 5 as I stayed up all night transcribing the code at the back of the manual for a “Tennis” game (only for it to fail). I sold it a few years back and I’ve regretted it ever since!

  14. I’m currently reviewing a game for a big gadget blog, and love things like this, we’re more likely to write about something if we get to handle it, and even if we don’t get to use the product if we’re even remotely interested in something we’ll usually write about it, as I just did with the new iPod Shuffle:

    http://alancostello.com/?p=182

    The Bord Gais Energy launch was great as you also get that feeling of knowing before everyone else, and I think everyone loves that feeling… Getting to use something(random piece of new tech) before others is awesome too

  15. Cormac says:

    I would be interested in any tech for education/schools. Based in Castlebar. Have a potential 610 reviewers in our school!

    Favourite bit of tech right now would be the Samsung NC10.

  16. Knowing all too well how some PR people and many companies will go to incredible lengths to get a story into a newspaper or magazine, I’m absolutely stunned at how many of them are so hesitant to involve bloggers. How much more convincing do they need to realise that every blog has its own audience, why would they not want to be a part of that?
    It’s ridiculous. Fair dues for trying to educate people though, I’d be tempted not to bother and let them miss the opportunity.

  17. i like to be on the list thank you please. atari. dublin

  18. Aidan says:

    ill throw my hat in the ring as well, ive been repairing electronics for 10+ years. started off in ‘86 with a spectrum +2 ( good old days) and learning BASIC. i eat, sleep and breath tech.

  19. Dorothy says:

    Definately be interested. Maybe include new software try outs too? Always open to playing around with new web apps.

    My favourite piece of tech is an ipod shuffle that my two sons bought me for Christmas two years ago. I was knocked out by their generousity, they used their savings to buy it for me and I will treasure it forever.

    I have no tech posts to date however I did write about Microsoft’s new ‘virtual receptionists’ recently – if that counts. http://dotwebs.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/the-bleeding-edge/

    Dublin/Wicklow based.

  20. Simon McGarr says:

    I want The Other Black Stuff Blog to do one of these, but for coffee.

  21. Daragh says:

    I’m totally up for this, I love gadgets. And it’s a good opportunity for brands to create buzz around a launch.

    Here’s my recent post on Meteor Broadband.

    My favourite piece of tech has to be the iPhone. Though I don’t actually use one, there’s no getting away from the fact that it has revolutionised mobile phones and PDAs. Its simplicity of design is beautiful, and the interface is far more functional and intuiive than anything we’ve seen before in a mobile phone. My only reservation is about the non-removable battery – I shouldn’t have to send it back to Apple when the battery gives up.

    Dublin and the Midlands are ideal for me.

  22. Daragh says:

    intuiive = intuitive

  23. I’m cutting back on gadgets for lent so there are no recent posts on the blog. One of the last proper reviews was for Joikuspot .

    I’m going to pick 2 pieces of favourite tech as the first is not really technical.

    1: A popcorn maker I had in school. It had a chute to feed in the kernels non-stop and made sure I was a very popular individual for a while. Sadly I was stupid and gave it away and have searched the world (online) for something similar without success. If anyone finds one you’ll have a friend for life.

    2: Believe it or not – an infra red repeater system from Xantech, Every time I can control all the living room gadgets from my bed or via the phone I feel quite smug. It’s tech as it should be – it makes my life easier and it just works.

    Funny how I’ve never written a blog post on either.

    I’m based in Carlow.

  24. Paul says:

    hi Damien. I’m interested. Have to admit. I love the iphone.

  25. I like stuff that is actually useful to non-tech small businesses – fulfils a need and easy to use.

    For example MobileMe (despite endless things that are wrong with it) mostly provides a solid syncing service to keep everything in line. Without thinking or having to do anything.

    keith

  26. [...] Show and Tell series of tech meets as previously mentioned will kickstart next Tuesday evening at 7pm in Dublin (exact venue being sorted) with Sony Ericsson [...]

  27. Darragh says:

    While I don’t blog tech, I am really interested in finding out about the latest innovations in capturing recording, twittering and uploading content live – here’s an interview I did with GadgetRepublic that really explains my ideal gadgetry taste:

    http://www.gadgetrepublic.com/news/item/233/digital-life/gadget-talk/

    I’m based in Dublin.

  28. Daniel says:

    I’m a self confessed gadget-aholic, and I’d be very interested in something like this.
    Not much of a gadget blogger at the moment, but I’ve been considering changing that, considering how much time I spend wasting away my life on the things.

    I’m based in Dublin,
    Daniel

  29. Steph says:

    I like my gadgets & very interested to see what they’re doing regarding mobile handsets from a web development perspective especially.

    If there’s a spare spot going I’d love it, in Dublin city centre and free next Tuesday evening.

  30. Christian says:

    Hey Damien, I could have sworn that I commented here already to let you know I was interested but it appears that I didn’t – memory’s failing me in my old age! Anyway, please do include me on ‘the list’.

    All my techy stuff is here: http://digitologynow.blogspot.com/search/label/technology

    I’m Dublin based but generally willing to travel.

    Talk to you soon – Christian

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