Archive for January, 2011

The connected self

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I normally do one of these Ones to watch each year that goes live a few seconds after midnight on New Years day. Like the linked post. 2010 was quite a busy year for me getting the company going and doing a hell of a lot of travel. 2011 will be the same, I’d expect. It resulted in me having less time to get to know others and what they’re up to. So the ones to watch 2011 post is not as researched as I’d like it to be. Still, I met a lot of new and existing people that were interesting and doing new things in 2010 and I am quite positive about 2011 and the next few years.

Patrick Freyne interviewed me a while back asking me about the idea of an Irish Silicon Valley and whether Irish web startups were at last getting suited and booted and ready to take on the world. It made me think and evaluate things. I recently wrote about the failure mentality in Ireland and this being chipped away is probably helping people too.

Since the days of Paddy’s Valley (Sequel in pre-production hell?), we’ve had plenty of Barcamps, Web Summits, Founders, Web Awards, Bizcamps (mmm coachtastic), Open Coffees, 091 labs and more. All events where people mix and share and build networks. This takes time too. That culture of meeting up with those with the same interests always happened but with the Internet and networks like Twitter you can each out to way more people and then gather them together. Physically or not. As I’ve said probably too much, James Burke and very recently Steven Johnson both talk about cross-pollination of ideas needing to happen for new inventions/technologies to occur.

In Silicon Valley it really does seem like everyone knows everybody else. There are lots of events, lots of startups and lots of starting again. Introductions fly all over the place too. There are plenty of people that have worked with each other before and will work with each other again. Now in Ireland we are seeing the same with companies doing side projects with others, talents are being mixed with some people with experience and some tech geniuses doing something they love for the first time.

Ireland still isn’t as networked as we could be but we’re certainly getting up to speed quite quickly. The average Irish person on Facebook having 160 connections is an example. This recession also gives us many opportunities we didn’t have before: Cheaper labour, companies willing to experiment more, landlords practically giving away office space and even redundancy money waiting to be used on that passion project you couldn’t do when writing java code for AIB. We shouldn’t forget to get out of our small pond too and meet people in London, Boston and Silicon Valley from time to time and bring back and share what we’ve learned.

So 2011, we’re the ones to watch. Let’s get more connected. High five or some shit.

Ones to watch in 2011

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

The list for 2010. Nice list of people that did well there. .

I actually wasn’t going to do this post at all since I haven’t had much time in 2010 to meet and greet and then stand back and evaluate trends and topics and have a look at the potentials. However people read these posts so I’ll do a mini sized one instead.

Stephen O’Leary
Stephen O’Leary in O’Leary Analytics. Media/social media monitoring and data magicking is what they do. Started his own company and is now up and running and doing well, getting his name out there, networking, getting to know people, sharing his insights for free and learning as he goes. 2011 will be big for people that can measure stuff that happens online and especially in social media.

Brian Greene
Brian I know for years via the Blog Awards, Web Awards and Twitter. An election in 2011 means Brian will, unlike so many of us blowhards, put his name down to ask the people for their vote. And possibly an actual honest politician in his area too.

Lisa Domican
One of life’s golden rules is “Don’t fuck with a mom” and Lisa Domican is typical of so many others out there who ignore what everyone says and goes off and gets what she needs for her kids. So off she goes and gets an iPhone app made for people with autism. Find the person to do it, gets it made, works like mad to get attention for it and still doesn’t stop. The Grace App won at the Web Awards and she made her thanks, then hunted anyone down that had a lanyard that evening so they could be used with iPhone holders. As you do. Just wait for her pitch in the comments here as well! The Grace App is gaining momentum so good luck to Lisa.

Pat O’Mahony
That guy that did that fashion yoke on the telly. That’s how someone addressed a letter to him before. Pat’s stuck me on the television twice now with his year in review show. He’s the producer, dontchaknow. The reason for being on this list though is that firstly Pat knows everyone. No really. I met Pat for a coffee before and he knew 6 different people in the space of a few minutes. A very well connected and pleasant person to know. On top of that he’s an intense worker. Lots of ideas always on the go, always chasing down need leads and potential features. Lots of plates deftly spinning. As he builds back up his local network, 2011 will be a good year for him I should think.

Eoin Purcell
Eoin worked for a publisher previously and now works via his company Greenlamp Media as a consultant. Eoin’s personal blog, work blog and Twitter accounts are great to find out what is happening in publishing in Ireland and abroad. With Kindles and iPads, digital books, ePublishing or whatever you’re calling it, 2011 is going to be a very very interesting year and Eoin is there as a veteran of traditional publishing and someone who consumes online media, he hopefully has a chance to show authors and publishers a better path than the “follow the exact same path as the music industry” path some have chosen up to now.

Suzy Byrne and Alexia Golez – Electionauts
The upcoming election, mentioned above is going to define Ireland for a very long time. Like the present government has done by leaving the country and people with scars on out international standing for generations, this election and what happens as a result of it could worsen things or clear out the rot. During the electioneering, the hype, the car crash youtubes and the highs and lows at the count centres will be many politicos and anoraks but the two I’ll be watching will be Suzy Byrne and Alexia Golez. Suzy the consummate finder of gaffs and weird singing lawyer songs and Alexia doorstepping everyone including Lord Garreth Fitzgerald. There, token women section is now done.

Margaret Smith
Hang on, I thought I reached the women quota already? Margaret Smith is a cook and blogger in Ireland. I’ve met her a whole twice but would interact with her on Twitter a good bit. She’s come up with a tonne of different ways for her to teach you, your partner, kids etc how to cook as well as doing catering for your events. What I admire is that she’s working and networking like mad the past year to build her name and as a result get trade. Twitter, blog and Facebook within the year. 2011 is going to be fun for Margaret.