Talking Plugins With KLCK Bloggers Network

Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel

I don’t usually go out of my way to speak at events or gatherings, social, business or otherwise. But when Keith Bohanna asked if I could fill in for him at last night’s KLCK Bloggers Network gathering in Kilkenny I figured I couldn’t say no, the event being on my doorstep and all.

I would equate the gathering last night to something akin to Open Coffee only minus the coffee and a bit more formal. The KLCK Bloggers Network was formed by Amanda Webb (of Spiderworking.com, in the running for best videocaster at this year’s Irish Web Awards) and Lorna Sixsmith of Garendenny Lane who I had met previously at Kilkenny Open Coffee (also turns out we’re both writing for a Carlow magazine). The event itself was held in the Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel who were providing one of their conference rooms complete with projector, screen, notepads, pens, all you would need to run an event like it.

While I was the second speaker on the night (which worked out a treat in terms of the content), Marie Ennis-O’Connor was first up to bat leading a great talk on driving additional traffic to your blog, from starting out as a blogger to building a community around your blog through email, comments, guest blogging and more. The audience (about 18/19 of us there) was a mix of beginner and experienced bloggers with some people simply coming in to get an understanding of what blogging is and does for people.

My own talk was quickly cobbled together yesterday on the back of what I call my WordPress toolbox – the plugins I deem essential to any WordPress installation and ones that I keep handy in a zip file whenever I’m starting a new blog either for myself or a client but I felt it went well for something that was a technical overview of additions you can make to your WordPress blog for the both the admin side of things and your theme out front. You can get the list of plugins and links here on Slideshare. The slides also feature a glimpse of the new branding I’m rolling out across the business later in the month.

Last night was the fourth monthly gathering of the network which heads to Kildare for November and should be back in Kilkenny come February or March. The name – KLCK – is an aconym for Kildare Laois Carlow and Kilkenny and they’re actively looking for topics for discussion that would benefit all in attendance, along with speakers. If the rest of the gatherings are along the lines of last night then they’ll be well worth heading along to. Having it hosted in the Pembroke created an opportunity for people to stay on for drinks and further the conversation in the bar but there’s signs there of a good group and network in the making, with everyone being able to contribute on some level from the own experiences. One thing I did note though is that for the 18 people in the room, there were only four men around the table, one of them being me as a speaker for the evening. Makes a change from the male-dominated Open Coffee mornings in Kilkenny.

That said, it’s also opened me up to the notion that I need to get to more events. Outside of Kilkenny, I think Media2020 and the Blog Awards in Galway were the only events I’ve been to for the year. Time to get back on the road, maybe as far as Kildare for the second Monday in November…

One Year Of Kilkenny Open Coffee

Double espresso
Creative Commons License photo credit: Maria Keays

TOMORROW WILL mark the first anniversary of Open Coffee in Kilkenny.

The first Wednesday of every month in Kilkenny sees a gathering of local business types, entrepreneurs, homeworkers, techies, non-techies and more meet for coffee at Kilkenny Cafe in the Market Cross Shopping Centre, usually from 11:30am to about 1pm. Tomorrow, being the first Wednesday of the month, will be no different.

The last twelve months have seen mornings of 2-3 people through to double figures. There’s nothing strict about the gathering – you don’t have to be involved in a technology startup, you don’t have to be a web designer or web worker, you don’t even have to be from Kilkenny. People drop in, people drop out, some people come along for a half hour, some people stay for the morning and beyond but whoever is there on the day, the conversation is always good with the ideas and chats in plentiful supply.

Of course, the majority of us that go along to the morning would drive, so weather-pending, we’ll have a nice turnout for tomorrow morning.

If you’re in the neighbourhood, have a story to tell, a business idea to plug, want to get out of the house or office and grab a cup of tea or coffee with people working (quite possibly) in a similar space to yourself, then drop along to the Kilkenny Cafe in Market Cross any time from 11:30am to 1pm. We’re usually found up in the meeting area at the back, in on the right. There’s free wifi, usually a few offers on tea, scones, lunches or whatever you’re into food and beverage-wise.

For those driving, there’s parking available in the Market Cross car park with entrances off James’ Street or Parliament Street, while for those walking you can enter Market Cross via James’ Street or High Street with the Kilkenny Cafe located on the ground floor in the corner, next to Penney’s.

See here for a map or visit KilkennyOpenCoffee.com to find out what’s been happening at the last few meetups.

Kilkenny Open Coffee Wednesday August 5th

IMG_6537.JPG
Creative Commons License photo credit: jwalsh

The August outing of Kilkenny Open Coffee takes place tomorrow morning (Wednesday August 5th) at 11:30pm and we’re back in the Kilkenny Cafe at Market Cross for tomorrow’s gathering.

Last month we had a nice sized meetup in the Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel but given recent unreliable twists in the weather, we’re taking to The Meeting Room at the rear of the Kilkenny Cafe.

For those of you traveling from outside Kilkenny City, check here for a map.

You can now follow Kilkenny Open Coffee on Twitter.

Now It’s The Turn Of BizCamp Belfast

If you’ve not yet registered, you’ve still got time to put your name on the signup sheet for BizCamp Belfast, taking place this Saturday at The Black Box in Belfast.

Having enjoyed BarCamp Belfast loads at the end of April, I know the setting, people and topics would make it another great day to attend. If you’re traveling from “the South”, it’s possible to hit Belfast from Kilkenny in around 3.5 hours when you’re constantly moving. The spin back from Belfast for me to Kilkenny was a breeze thanks in large part to roads around Carlow and Newry, in between it’s pretty much motorway all the way.

If you’re driving up for the day, you’ve to pay for on street parking in a lot of areas or you can get multistorey parking about 2 minutes walk from the venue, though expect all day parking to be in the region of £20 or so. If you’re overnighting and don’t have car park access (as happened me when I stayed at the Premier Inn on Waring Street for BarCamp), parking is free on the streets after 6pm and all through Sunday.

Travel notes aside, some of the talks you can look forward to include

If you need a map, check here, and if you want to sign up, visit BizCampBelfast.com.

Kilkenny Open Coffee, Tuesday March 3rd

Kilkenny Cafe

We’re down a few regulars (regulars being those who were at the first two gatherings) but Kilkenny’s third open coffee is set for tomorrow, Tuesday March 3rd at 11:30am.

The venue, as on previous days, will be the Kilkenny Cafe at Market Cross Shopping Centre, High Street, Kilkenny. Check IGOpeople.com for more.

Each of the previous mornings have seen new faces introduced and hopefully tomorrow will bring more of the same. If you’re involved in the tech / web / a startup or want to come along and meet people working in those spaces then join us tomorrow morning from 11:30am.

TeenCamp For Dublin Next Saturday

TeenCamp, Ireland’s first barcamp-esque event for teenagers takes place next Saturday, January 17th, in Filmbase . You’ll find Filmbase on Curved Street in Temple Bar in Dublin.

As they say themselves

TeenCamp Ireland is a gathering of the techies/bloggers/fanboys age 13+ of Ireland to give talks, meet others, share ideas and have a laugh.

TeenCamp’s are organised/planned/run by teens for other teens.

They’re still registering for numbers so if you’re intending on going along on the 17th, let them know in advance so they can figure out how many pizzas to order up. Better still, if you’re in a position to help sponsor some pizza, projectors, drinks, hardware, software, goodies – anything at all – be sure and contact them and help get Teencamp off the ground.

The day itself will run from 1pm to 7pm with a break for lunch around 3pm.

See TeenCampIreland.com for more.