Digital Ideas at The Digital Festival

Shel Israel Speaking at BlogOrlando
Creative Commons License photo credit: whiteafrican

DIGITAL IDEAS should be in plentiful supply in Dublin this Wednesday with The Digital Festival taking place in the Berkeley Court Hotel in Ballsbridge. Early bird tickets are long gone but there’s still the possibility of buying a full-price ticket for €375 (plus VAT) before Wednesday.

What does the €375 get you?

How about a day with the following speakers –

  • Peter Kim, MD of the Dachis Group, speaking on “Social Networking & Social Business Design in 2010 and beyond”
  • Tim Duggan, Founder & Director at Mercury Girl Inc speaking on the revolution of Apps and how the explosion of production, engagement with and use of apps alter the communications landscape.
  • Shel Israel, speaking about real world stories of how Twitter has dramatically helped companiesgrow, provide greater customer service and changed the dynamic of the human conversation
  • Martin Bailie, Planning Director at Glue London speaking on digital consumer insights.
  • Russell Davies, The Open Intellegence Agency, speaking on blogging and business in a connected world.
  • Brent Hoberman, co-founder of LastMinute.com, delivering keynote talk on “Digital Growth – Opportunities for the future and some lessons from the past.”

You can download the full running of the day (PDF) here.

Speaker list does look quite good, with each allocated 50 minutes on stage, three talks in the morning and three in the afternoon, sandwiching an hour for lunch and wrapping with an open panel discussion with all speakers. Those interested in getting more details about tickets can check the site or phone +353 1 284 6096.

Even The Sheikhs Are Tweeting

Sheiks on Twitter

How do you, as ruler of Dubai, send your congratulations on the launch of an e-library? By tweeting, of course.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (very long title) is keeping people updated on government issues, business issues, a recently taken photo of Dubai from NASA, videos of the Dubai metro launch (was under construction the last time I was here but has opened as of last month), which are also available on his Facebook account.

I’m impressed.

“The Istanbul-based Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), which is affiliated with the Organistaion of Islamic Conference (OIC), has one of the most valuable references on the Islamic civilisation. This includes 65,000 rare reference books and 200,000 historic documents and images on the Islamic civilisation dating back to many centuries.

The project which was launched in 2008, aims to digitise all of the library’s contents, making its valuable resources available to the public through a multi-lingual portal.”

The turning of the library into a full e-library is being made possible with a grant from the Sheikh. (via Gulf News)

Kilkenny Open Coffee Today (Wednesday)

Just a reminder to folks that the second Kilkenny Open Coffee takes place at 11:30am this morning in the Kilkenny Cafe at Market Cross Shopping Centre, High Street, Kilkenny.

There’s a “meeting room” space at the back of Kilkenny Cafe that offers up free wifi, some couches and the likes. Last (and first) time around there seven of us there and we’ve contacted a few more people this time around, locally, to let them know what’s going on.

If you’re in Kilkenny this morning, involved in the internet or tech space and want to drop in for a tea / coffee / scone / demo / yarn then feel free to join us from 11:30am. Last time I checked they were also running an offer of two scones and two coffees for a fiver, plenty to keep one going!

See the map here or follow the crowd over on IGOpeople.com

The Doors Are Open For BizCamp This March

The doors (read registration) are now open for BizCamp taking place after FOWA in Dublin this March. With FOWA taking place on Friday March 6th, BizCamp will make for a great followup as it takes place in Dublin on Saturday March 7th.

Feck the recession? That’s what they’re saying…

It’s based on the fact that each of us as entrepreneurs have loads to learn from our peers. And we have a lot to share with them as well. There are a lot of great things happening in the Irish Economy – especially in small and medium businesses and this day will be a celebration of those. And a great place to come for people who have lost their jobs and are actively looking at starting up

A nice addition to the signup form (which I think should be used for all BarCamp type events) is the ‘You can talk to me about…’ field, which maps over to the attendees list. If you’re going in the hope of meeting someone who can you can ask about content management systems, email marketing, gardening, the use of technology to help emergency services save more lives by making better decisions (Robin), now you’ll know in advance who you might be able to turn to or introduce yourself to.

While it’s likely that I won’t make FOWA, I’m hoping to make the trip to Dublin for the 7th. Registration can be found here.

Update: Registration link updated – thanks Dave

Kilkenny Open Coffee? It’s A Possibility, It’s This Week

Hot Cup Of Clay
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gary Denness

Having an Open Coffee morning in Kilkenny has long been whispered and suggested amongst Kilkenny-heads. I spoke to a few people about it at PodCamp and the whispers appeared again before Christmas on Twitter.

Over on IGOPeople.com, Keith has set up a Kilkenny Open Coffee Group where a few of us have agreed to a first meeting at the Kilkenny Cafe tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30am. You’ll find the Kilkenny Cafe located downstairs in Market Cross Shopping Centre and The Meeting Room is up at the back of the cafe. There’s plenty of tables, chairs, big seats, power points for laptops and free wifi as well.

If you’re in the Kilkenny area, drop in, have a coffee, let’s see what happens.

Working For Myself, By Myself

DSCF9207
Creative Commons License photo credit: houseoftext

The corner has well and truly turned on 2009 and as I park myself at my desk and gulp down a mug of green tea in between thoughts, I’m reminded of the year ahead for 2009.

I’ve been working for myself pretty much since I left college. I did take up work in the family business for about six weeks to keep myself going. It started as two and within six months we were three. In 2007 we returned to two and as I look into 2009 I’m reminded that two, has become one as the ways of ones business changes.

Of course, I’ve been getting used to the idea, having resided in the office on my own for the past few months but I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead in 2009.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a team player. Kilkenny Music has operated for over three years with a strong team, the Devious Theatre Company has operated for over two years with a strong team and in my work life there’s always been people around. So for something that started as a team effort, it will be interesting, challenging and I think quite enjoyable to take it to the next step as a solo effort.

A lot of the change I talked to myself about (in a professional and personal capacity) in 2008 is going to start surfacing in 2009. Business is broadening and opportunities actually do exist for those who actively go out and look for them. New clients open to new ideas, old clients with new plans for a changing future – they do exist.

While I’m stopping short on any official announcements work-wise, I will say that I’m going into 2009 in an optimistic mood.

Working for myself is something I always wanted to do. Sure enough, there are bumpy patches along the road. You open yourself up to the world of business, tax, accounts, chasing people for invoices, pitching for contracts, winning those contracts, missing out on those contracts, the good, the bad and the ugly.

As I head into my fourth year of working for myself I can’t say that I’ve any regrets. You learn a lot of valuable lessons, no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, it can be so rewarding knowing that everything you achieve is as a result of the work that YOU did.

Here’s to achieving new things in 2009, and a belated Happy New Year to all.

Poll: Working With Clients Via SMS

There are plenty of ways to communicate with your clients these days – phone calls, Skype calls, email, fax, face time, letter, text message and more.

I’ve recently had a select number of clients looking to maintain contact via text message. Some clients it works for, others it doesn’t and I simply wouldn’t go for it. If they’re away from their desk and need notification of something, I’m happy to ping them with a text.

Of course, some people look for full conversations via text and if I see it coming I pick up the phone or arrange to meet them in person.

So I ask, are you happy to deal with clients via SMS? Cast a vote, leave your thoughts as a comment. Is texting too personal a connection to a client, or have you enjoyed a greater client relationship because you utilise text messages?

If you can’t see the poll above (using the new Polldaddy wordpress plugin), click here to access the poll via Polldaddy.com.

Tuesday Push For DownloadMusic.ie

DownloadMusic.ie

It’s about time I offered up a post for the Tuesday Push and I’m happy to see my first one being for DownloadMusic.ie.

With almost 900 artists on the books and close on 45,000 legal music downloads – which, by the way, contribute to standings in the Irish music charts – DownloadMusic.ie has become the place to be seen for independent Irish acts looking to make any kind of a name for themselves.

I’ll admit, I’ve never purchased music from the site. However, I use the site from the other side, as an artist and promoter helping other acts to get online and start selling their music.

While anyone can go online and purchase music via credit card or online payment, it’s nice to see DownloadMusic.ie give bands the chance to sell their music via text message. In a mobile-hungry country where mobile handset saturation exceeds 100% (I know myself I’ve got three active handsets on three different numbers with two spare handsets just in case), the service seems ideal. We are a texting nation. We’re possibly there-or-there abouts for phone calls, but we’re certainly there for texting.

Texting is where it’s at for DownloadMusic.ie. Fans of the bands can send a short code to 57501 e.g. ‘music XYZ’. They’ll be charged just a Euro for the text with the revenue split between the operator, DownloadMusic.ie (DownloadMusic.ie don’t actually take any money, leaving more to the artist again), the bulk going to the band (yes, IMRO are in there too looking for their percentage if you’re IMRO registered). The result is a text link and password for a secure download area to grab your new track and in the process of doing so you’re helping a band move one step closer to inclusion in the national music charts.

There’s no doubt that the majority of acts I work with through KilkennyMusic.com and under the One Take Sessions gig series have a presence on DownloadMusic.ie. Vesta Varro (were due in Kilkenny on Saturday), currently touring in support of new single ‘Believe’ are the featured artist on the DownloadMusic.ie homepage.

Local favourites Saving J, Myp Et Jeep and The Fundamentals are there too. At the last One Take Sessions in Kilkenny, Carlow performer Joe Cleere made a great point of asking people to text his shortcode to the DownloadMusic.ie number (57501) to buy his new single ‘Queue’.

CDs at gigs will shortly become a thing of the past. Further proof to this is the relase of DownloadMusic.ie’s first USB album (I was on the panel of judges asked to select the acts for inclusion), which is also registered for the Irish music charts and features the likes of Dirty Epics, Vesta Varro, Ro Tierney, Codes and more – €12.99 for a 1gb USB key with 15 tracks included isn’t a bad deal at all.

But you can get so much more – browse artists, get gig listings, check out the DownloadMusic.ie blog and there’s also the future possibility of bands selling tickets for gigs, band merch and more.

DownloadMusic.ie is an absolute credit to the independent Irish music scene and long may the service continue.

The Business Of Beauty, Gaming And Music

The Business of Beauty, Gaming and Music

The UCD Quinn School of Business are running three evening talks from next week looking at the business of beauty, gaming and music, giving transitition year, fifth year and leaving cert students “a real insight” into viable career options in the three industries.

These are more than just a talk. They are real business people sharing their vast experience in today’s exciting world of business and the possibilities that can arise from a degree in business.

The Business of Beauty talk will be given by L’Oreal’s Eoghan O’Sullvan and Sarah Keating next Tuesday at UCD from 6:30pm to 10pm.

With a focus on specific ventures, Eoghan and Sarah will highlight the commercial, marketing, finance, supply chain management and human resource aspects to their business while you enjoy funky canapés, mocktails and goody bags on offer at the event

The Business of Gaming talk will run on Thursday October 9th with XBOX Ireland’s Orla Sheridan and Microsoft Game Studio’s Michel Buch Andersen taking to the floor to provide an insight to the current gaming marketplace, “retail distribution channels, profitability models” and more, something being pushed (by the looks of things) towards those studying business, economics or accounting.

However, the one that got my attention is the Business of Music talk being given by Universal’s Freddie Middleton (Marketing Director) and Gill Dooley (Digital Campaign Manager), the talk taking place on Thursday October 23rd. The Business of Music should offer an insight to the role of a record company in the music industry, from a traditional background through to digital media distribution. You think they’ll get a debate going on where record companies are going and how they’ll continue in 5, 10, 20 years?

Students going to the talks also have a chance to win a shadow-day at either Universal Music, L’Oreal or Xbox Ireland. Why weren’t they doing this kind of thing when I was in transition year? Were these events even open to third-level students in recent years?

If you are a second-level student with an interesting in any of the above, then head along. I know I would be anyway if the door was open to me.

Kilkenny Business Award Winners

Back in 2006 I shared a table with some of the McDonalds, Pack Publishing and Kilkenny Active gang, myself and John (Aidan was away on holiday) tucking into a sizeable steak as we’d been nominated for and were attending the Kilkenny Business Awards (nominated in the best service provider category). Nominees had a 20 euro (I think) discount on ticket prices, bringing the cost to 100 a head for the night).

The awards were held in Kilkenny on Saturday night in the Lyrath Estate Hotel and Keith has the lowdown on the results. You’ll be able to catch Keith in conversation with some of the winners on The Bottom Line, KCLR96FM’s business show which airs later tonight.

Overall, there were six categories with 39 finalists, I’ve highlighted the winners below in bold.

Kilkenny Retailer of the Year Award (Sponsored by FBD Insurance)

  • Lamber de Bie Flowers*
  • Pat McDonnell Paint Sales
  • Flowers by Lucy
  • Superior Tiles
  • Kilkenny Book Centre
  • Field’s Jewellers

Kilkenny Service Provider of the Year Award (Sponsored by Electro City)

  • Kilkenny Borough Council Garden Crew
  • Premier Recruitment Group,
  • Blue Wall Technologies
  • Springhill Court Hotel Leisure Club
  • C&C Security
  • Creative Catering
  • Taxback.com*
  • Gibbins Removals & Storage
  • James Phelan Demonstration Farm

Best Small Business Award 2008 (Sponsored by Kilkenny Chamber)

  • Vendemia Organic Wines
  • Surf Box/Ormonde Technologies*
  • Smart Placements
  • Rothe House Trust Ltd
  • Blueberry Larder
  • Kilkenny Print & Graphic
  • Hullaballoons
  • Kompass Records
  • The Reptile Village

Kilkenny Tourism Provider of the Year Award (Sponsored by Kilkenny Local Authority)

  • Team Dynamics
  • Tullahought Community Group
  • A Rural Experience
  • Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum
  • Springhill Court Hotel
  • Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel*

Education & Training Provider of the Year Award (Sponsored by FÁS)

  • Empower Training
  • Sharon Roynane Kelly
  • Kumon Kilkenny
  • Busy Bees Early Learning Centres*

Manufacturing/Product of the Year (Sponsored by SEBIC)

  • QEF Ltd
  • Kelsey Horseboxes*
  • Chesneau Leather
  • Fineline Furniture
  • Enviroclad Systems
  • Moth to a Flame Ltd.

Taxback.com were also presented with the “overall winner” award on the night while Kilkenny’s Kieran Crotty was given a lifetime achievement award. For more background on the awards themselves, check out this article in the current edition (dated April 10th) of the Kilkenny Advertiser.