BarCamp Belfast May 22nd

BarCamp Belfast

REGISTRATION is open and underway for BarCamp Belfast, taking place at the University of Ulster on Saturday May 22nd. Already in the pipeline for talks are Freedom of Information … for coders and bloggers, Hyperlocal Belfast (would hyperlocal blogging work in Belfast), Location, Location, Location (looking at smarter phones and the mobile web in 2010), Making money out of fresh air (bootstrapping your startup), Project Management With a Client Focus (keeping your clients involved in the web development process).

There’s a list of attendees there as long as your arm already and it won’t cost you anything to attend.

After many promises to go north over the last few years, I made the trip to BarCamp Belfast last April (would be this weekend coming). If you can, it’s worth trying to make a weekend of it. As it was I’d made all the morning sessions before disappearing for lunch and finding myself caught up wandering around the streets of Belfast. Plenty to see and do, a ridiculous amount of places to eat and drink (or shop if you’re so inclined, including an Apple store).

Last year’s ship was run very well, great talks, great people, great buzz about those in attendance and I still managed to run into a few familiar places. I’d booked myself into the Premier Inn last year, which is grand in terms of accommodation and food but the parking is a no-no and wifi costs (I think) £10 for a 24-hour pass, the most of which you’d be sleeping or out and about. Andy might have suggestions on somewhere close by that has parking and free wifi access (can’t for the life of me remember the name of the hotel you’d suggested!).

Signups are here and follow the herd on Twitter.

Open Coffee, Not Just About Wifi

Latte Art
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lucy James Photography

OPEN COFFEE. It’s not just about wifi. In fact, it’s not about wifi at all. It’s not a gathering of people around laptops, programming in the corner of a coffee shop. It’s not over elaborate demos of bandwidth-heavy project developments. At least those points are valid for Kilkenny anyway.

Open Coffee is about the people.

The people who are working for themselves. The people who are working online or in an online-connected environment. The people who want to learn or share internet experiences whether personal or professional.

Yes, the wifi helps and if it’s available it will likely get used to pull email during the morning, allow people check in to the office, push photos out to twitter etc. But at the end of the day, it’s the conversation that counts.

Barring the odd slip of an iPhone onto the table when the conversation turned to Foursquare yesterday at Kilkenny Open Coffee, there wasn’t a hint of a laptop or netbook to be seen. Mobile phone reception in our current venue is dour at the best of times, but it’s the conversation that counts. Further insights into dbTwang, technical writing for the US markets, outsourcing to South Africa, travel in Prague, location-based services, iPhone app development and more were up for discussion yesterday. All over a few pots of tea before everyone went back to their homes and offices for another month.

For me personally, I take it as a great chance to get out of the office, if just to meet up with familiar and new faces – once in a month – for a tea and a chat. Spending as long as I do in the office or working from the house (both by myself), it does good to get out and about when the opportunity presents itself.

If you’re thinking on coming along next month, we’ll likely be getting together on Wednesday February 3rd, same OCC time, same OCC channel. Details here and map here. Actually, rumour has we’ll be bringing it forward to 11am instead of 11:30am to suit those who take the train and give out free pens.

If it’s your first time going along, don’t worry about a laptop. Bring a pen and paper, or a business card, or just yourself.

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 July – Change Of Venue

While we normally reside in the inner sanctum of the Kilkenny Cafe at Market Cross, this month’s Open Coffee meetup in Kilkenny will take place at the Rivercourt Hotel on John Street in Kilkenny. The hotel is located on the John Street side of John’s Bridge, looking onto Kilkenny Castle.

With London supposedly entering into a heatwave and the temperatures here over the past week, and again this morning, indicating the possibility of sunny weather this Wednesday, we’re aiming to meet up in the outdoor area of the hotel with plenty of seating available overlooking the river.

I’m not sure myself whether wi-fi access will extend to the outdoor seating but no doubt there’ll be a few laptops and mobile broadband connections available if you’re truly stuck. Kick-off is 11:30am as always.

KilkennyOpenCoffee.com is currently in development and will be used for announcements like this in the future along with providing information on those who attend, where to find us etc.

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

Last Call For TeenCamp Ireland

Don’t forget that TeenCamp Ireland takes place tomorrow at Filmbase in Temple Bar in Dublin.

Over on the TeenCamp Ireland blog they’ve posted the essentials of TeenCamp.

If you’re in the area tomorrow, do head along. While it’s a teen focused event, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind some of the older / more experienced / veteran barcamp-type eventgoers turning up!

Kickoff is set for 1pm with the day running until 7pm. Alan Costello and Enda Crowley are behind the running of the event and you can follow TeenCamp on Twitter, a stream which will hopefully get a few updates during the day tomorrow.

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.