The Blog Awards, The Video, The Aftermath

SATURDAY took myself and a few hundred bloggers on a journey across the country to Galway or the fifth annual Irish Blog Awards. We had the motorway up, the scenic route home and in between had a fantastic evening / night / morning in the Radisson Blu in the centre of Galway, the shindig organised by some mighty fine people, assisted by other allstars, and attended by bloggers from all walks of life (more on that below).

I’ve made it to the awards the last four years, enjoyed two great years of it in Dublin, last year in Cork and this year in Galway. Shows like this take a hell of a lot of ingredients, time, money, the patience of saints, sponsors, promotors, advertisers, volunteers and more. Behind the scenes there’s an army of people making contributions from writing up the awards, judging, submitting videos, laying out chairs, providing props, music, food, goodie bags – the whole nine yards – but it has to be said, when it comes to showtime, everything is so smooth, so energy filled and runs so well that by the time you hit the bed after the awards you’ll be planning and booking for next year.

Or at least that’s my take on it anyway and nominated or not, I’m already looking forward to 2011.

Each year brings new faces, new conversations and given the majority of bloggers (I would hazard a guess) are Twitter users in some capacity, the ability to recognise people across the room has gotten a lot easier too. I could namecheck people for the night given how you couldn’t move 20 feet at times without running into someone for a chat but needless to say, it was a great night out in Galway and one that anyone with a remote interest in blogging would really benefit from attending.

The video above is one myself and Ross put together as one of the category introductions for the night. Sneaking in the door at 8pm I gave up my (what I would deem) traditional front-row-ish seats for one right at the back of the room, making it quite easy to duck out the door if the video went horribly wrong. Alas, the laughs were there, the comments and feedback for the 60-second piece were great and I didn’t have to prop up the bar as much as I had anticipated. If there’s an opening for more videos next year you can chalk us down in advance.

In the aftermath of everything, there were agreements to meet up for pints, talk of organising trips up to Belfast or getting people to Kilkenny for a session. Some of those on my “pint list” I didn’t get to link up with but we’ll do something soon.

I found, as I’ve done the past three years, that a trip to the Blog Awards is a great motivator for your own work. Come January of this year I started making more time for the blogs I’ve authored over the past few years. This one alone has seen more posts in the first three months of the year than the last six of 2009, DeviousTheatre.com is going strong and expanding its arts coverage, KilkennyMusic.com has had a recent facelift and online strategy put in place and it’s all coming up blogging here in Kilkenny. With the Irish Web Awards just over six months away we should get a nice, timely kick in the arse to look after our bigger sites as well.

In summary, my thanks to the Blog Awards Army. That includes Damien, Rick, Darragh, Steph, Anto, Brian Greene (whose 90s set could be heard no problem on the garden rooftop after midnight), all those who put together videos, all those who accepted awards, all those who attended, all those I got to chat to, the Radisson Blu hotel (who do an absolutely fantastic breakfast, welcome you off the elevator AND put a Sunday paper in your hand), the new faces and usernames I picked up, the old faces who continue to be great people, Edwina for this most excellent photo and all those who continue to read, write, comment and rate Irish blogs. Yes. All of you, and that lot, are in that army.

Now, it’s back to work.

Playlist Mix Wins Best Podcaster – A Thank You

Playlist Mix wins Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards
Photo robbed (hoping he won’t mind) from Keith Bohanna

So last night in Dublin myself, Costigan and 298 other people (maybe a few more or less) turned out for the 2008 Moviestar.ie Irish Web Awards.

While we had made plans to attend long before the longlists and shortlists were announced, it was nice also nice to be represented in two categories – myself as Best Podcaster with Playlist Mix (weekly on a Tuesday) and myself and Ross there to represent KilkennyMusic.com in the Best Music Site category. Little did I think I’d be walking away with a trophy and a bottle of champagne to match!

Then of course, little did Elly Parker think she’d end up wearing the bottle of champagne, but when someone sprays you in Formula One-style celebration, it’s only right to return the gesture.

I’ve no idea what I said in accepting the award – nothing to do with the two pints and a tequila I’d had before taking my seat for the start – but the surprise was genuine and I apologise if I sounded like a babbling idiot on stage. Though photo evidence suggests that both Ross and Darragh have the acceptance on video.

Seriously though – thank you. To the judges, to the other podcasters in the category, to Karl Deeter of Irish Mortage Brokers (category sponsor), to Damien and the web awards gang, Moviestar.ie (I’ve been looking for a new DVD player for ages), Darragh and Niamh for the roof over our heads for the night, to those of you who listen to the podcast and those of you who have yet to listen to the podcast (there’s plenty more to come!). Thanks to Ross as well, always nice to have one of your own share in something like that. Though I blame you for the tequila issues throughout the night. God help the Radisson staff… the look of sheer wonder and disgust on their faces at the same time.

Winning an award aside, the IWAs was simply one of the best nights had out in ages. There were a whole lot of hugs, drinks, chats, random singing, dancing, eating (the food was outstanding), more drinking, more chats, more hugs (why all the hugging?) and finally getting to meet up with the likes of Eoghan, Robin and more.

While it was good to catch up with familiar faces, the awards once again served as a fantastic outlet for connecting with new faces. Introductions were made, chats were had, ideas shared, plans revealed and batted around.

Forget to mention too – thanks (again) to Damien… for the poster. Something I developed as more of a promo graphic to be passed around blogs will now hang on my wall in an extremely lifesize manor… it’s huge, the print quality is great and it’s a total bonus ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course, like an idiot, I left the award behind me. Shows how much I was actually expecting to win! Having guarded it safely for the night and stashing it behind the couch on returning to the house from the hotel, I remembered to pack everything into the van… except the award stashed safely behind the house.

While it gets minded in Dublin until Wednesday or Thursday, I’m going to pick out a shelf to hang and place the award on… it’s not all that often I pick up an award so I’ll treasure that one.

Thanks.

Seriously.

Thanks.

Irish Web Awards Poster – Hi Res

It just dawned on me that I never posted the link to the hi-res version of the 300 vs Irish Web Awards poster I blogged a week or two ago.

So here it is.

It’s a big’un, 3508px * 4961px @ 300DPI, should be enough to knock an A3 copy out of at least. Sorry it took so long to get around to the link and upload… the sheer pile of stuff on my to-do list is incredible last week and this.

That said, I’m looking forward to the catch up with familiar and new faces again on Saturday night. Accommodation is seemingly sorted so it’ll be good to let the hair down.

Disclaimer: This is a mashup… the original 300 imagery is copyright of the original owners / producers / film company.

300 vs The Irish Web Awards

The fun has started amongst those going to the Web Awards in October with buttons and graphics. Prompted by a call for a 300 mashup, here’s my little offering…

If anyone is interested, I’ve got a 5000x3000px version available as well…

Disclaimer: This is a mashup… the original 300 imagery is copyright of the original owners / producers / film company.

Shortlisted At Irish Web Awards


My morning-after coffee at the 2008 Irish Blog Awards earlier this year

Two of my babies (can I call them that if I’m *that* close to them?) have been shortlisted at the 2008 Irish Web Awards.

While I was secretly delighted to see KilkennyMusic.com and the Playlist Mix Podcast (new podcast later this morning) make the longlist last week, there was not one but two high fives given yesterday when I discovered that KKM and PLM have made the shortlist for Best Music site and Best Podcast respectively.

Needless to say I’m all surprised and happy and I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone again in Dublin on October 11th. I’m should be dragging the blog awards ninja with me again to represent Kilkenny Music on the night but can’t wait for the show.

Congratulations too to all the individuals and companies who also find themselves on the shortlist. Registration for the awards, taking place in the is currently open with numbers already well in three figures

Playlist Mix 36 Released

Vesta Varro

They Playlist Mix podcast series returned two weeks ago after a light summer break and I’ve just released the 36th Playlist Mix this evening, a little earlier than usual.

I’m doing well of late in the battle to set a definite finishing time work-wise during the day so I can free up more time in the evenings. More time in the evenings means earlier podcasts, earlier to bed and less of a fight with myself on a Wednesday morning before phoning into the PodCamp Ireland podcast show.

It was PodCamp Ireland last year in Kilkenny that gave me the much needed kick to put the Playlist Mix on course and since last October I’ve managed to release 32 podcasts. I’d be looking at close to 50 had it not been for the serious lack of any evening-time in the summer thanks to producing and acting in two back-to-back performances from May to August with this devious bunch.

As always on the podcast there’s six tracks from six different acts with music this week coming from Vesta Varro, Planet Rewind, This Is Fiction, Annie Golliath, Satellite State and Ro Tierney who I had as a guest at the One Take Sessions in Kilkenny last year.

I’ll be catching Vesta Varro in action in Kilkenny this weekend but until then, enjoy the podcast. Comments always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

The podcast has also been longlisted / nominated for Best Podcast at the 2008 Irish Web Awards, another fine night in store for the Irish web community this October 11th in Dublin.

Playlist Mix Podcast #36 – Download @ 27mb
[audio:http://www.playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/83/0/podcast036.mp3]

Irish Web Awards Long List Published

Oscars 2008
Creative Commons License photo credit: julialat34

The first of the long lists for the 2008 Irish Web Awards (Fall in love with the web again).

I’ve spied the Playlist Mix (Best Podcaster) and Kilkenny Music (Best Music) amongst the list of exceedingly good Irish web sites and resources.

Once again though, as in the case of the Blog Awards, these long lists are opening my eyes to other sites and resources I’m either unaware of or just don’t get to enjoy all that often. So while it’s certainly welcoming to see two of my internet babies on the long list, it’s great to have the eyes opened up to more great Irish websites.

Registration to attend the awards, taking place on October 11th in Dublin, will open soon.

See also: Long list for Best New Web Application / Service, second part of long list (just published).

Irish Web Awards Nominations Close Tonight

The deadline for getting nominations in for the inaugural Irish Web Awards is tonight, August 29th at 23:59. Typically I’ve left my decision making until the last minute but I’ll be submitting my nominations before the deadline passes. While registration to attend the awards night itself has yet to open, there’s still the opportunity to step in as a sponsor for one of the categories like Best Education Website, Best School Website, Best Practice, Best Videocaster etc.

(Note: those categories may well be sponsored at this stage).

However, you can learn about sponsorship opportunities for the awards here.

Time to get the thinking cap on…

Irish Web Awards Announced

Irish Web Awards 2008If you have doubted web award ceremonies in Ireland in the past, then doubt no more. The Irish Web Awards 2008 have just been announced with Moviestar.ie as the headline sponsor. As with the Irish Blog Awards, Damien Mulley is the brains behind the operation so you know you’re in for a good night and a solid show.

Nominated sites will be judged in areas such as

  • Interactive Design
  • Content
  • UI Design
  • Feedback
  • Extras such as web standards, mobile compatability etc

A full breakdown of the scorecard can be found here.

Registration to attend the awards ceremony to be held on October 11th will open soon. The best thing about it? It won’t cost you a penny It will only cost you รขโ€šยฌ30 to attend and nominations are entirely free!

Update: Damien has posted an update re: pricing.