Archive for category barcamp

What I got up to at Barcamp Galway

Well, last weekend was yet another successful Barcamp for Ireland. I made the trip over to Galway Friday night and was pretty suprised at how great the roads were. I had to stop in Maynooth on the way and it took about 3 hours from there. The new motorway takes a lot of time off the journey.

BarcampgalwayI got to DERI at about 9:45 and picked up my pack for the day and of course the customary barcamp t-shirt. I had forgotten to bring a notepad so was very thankful for the notepad and pen. My collection of barcamp t-shirts is growing steadily however I am missing one for Waterford and Belfast. (I must check EBay to see if they are for sale as a collectors item 🙂 ) John Breslin opened the day and let us know the agenda for the day. Even though he said the no shows effected his mood, he definitely didn’t show it. The conference room was pretty impressive with 3 screens on the go at once. Edgecastmedia streamed all the days events for those who could not be there and the Jaiku feed was up on the screen so we could see all the comments and questions from the online viewers. I stayed for John’s talk about, its amazing to think that up until now all the people working on this having been part time. It now boasts on average 30,000 visitors per day. I don’t know how John keeps this going along with all his other work in DERI.

I got talking to Mick Lohan during the coffee break who introduced me to Martha Rotter. It’s amazing when you see a face on the Net all the time and then come face to face with that person. I had planned to go to Martha’s Silverlight event in Dublin this Thursday so it wa great to get to talk to her and get some background on Silverlight.

BarcampgalwayAfter the break I caught Vincents Jordans talk on Drupal. He showed us how to set it up, from downloading to configuring. This looks like a great option for clubs that want a web presence with an “out of the box” solution. Vincent is involved in Galway City Harrier and drupal really fits their requirements. As he went through the various plugins of drupal, it’s power and ease of use really showed. BarcampgalwayI was really looking forward to the next talk, it was by Sean Lyons from Zimbie. This is another spin out from the TSSG in WIT. When I was in WIT the TSSG were only starting and I had the pleasure to learn about java from Eamonn de Leastar. Zimbie are getting into Instant messaging space and look like they have something really good to offer. I worked with Infiniteagent in the past who are also in this space so it was interesting to see how Zimbie have apporached it.

I went for Martha Rotters Silverlight talk next. This was due to take place in the “Boot Camp” room but was moved to the “Front Line” room. It was a good move as a lot of people was interested in this talk. Again the 3 screens worked really well here. I was really impressed with the Jigsaw demo where all of the pieces made up one larger video stream but when broken up they still showed their individual content. I’m was happy to see that you can use JSON to communicate back to a web service. I might try to hook a Silverlight client up to a Java web service and how they fit together.

I had time to catch Jans talk just before lunch. Jan has developed touristr, a web site all about tourist stories. To develop the site Jan had to outsource his deveopment to the states. I have noticed in recent times that there seems to be less and less developers available in Ireland. We have had trouble ourselves finding developers in recent times and it looks like other people are having a similar problem.

BarcampgalwayAfter lunch, I went along to Walter of Sxoop’s talk on Amazon EC2. I had heard a little about the S3 service that Amazon offer but did not realise that you can also use their virtual servers by the hour as well. Walter showed us how he uses the service with his pixenate site. You can make an image of the server that you want to use. When you need to kick off another duplicate server to take some of the load, you can spawn a clone of the server in about 3 minutes. He asked if someone could pick a number between 1 and 20 and of course someone had to say 19. Far play to Walter starting up the 19 servers for the demonstration! It really showed how you can programmable boost your infrastructure extremely quickly just in case your new might app goes viral.

BarcampgalwayAlastair, the SEO expert from Logon talked about SEO. It was pretty interesting and covered some tips on getting yourself up the Google search ladder. It seems like there are a lot of cowboys out there in this field but Alastair is one of the good guys and pretty funny too. After that I caught John Breslin talk about Semantic networks. It seems like this area is getting very interesting lately. He was talking about FOAF ( and the ability to move your profile from one Social network to another. It’s an interesting concept, I wonder if one “profile manager” site will emerge and then the various social network sites could use this to store a profile for someone.

BarcampgalwayAfter that I hung around for the panel discussion on Start-ups. It was amazing to see John Collison of Auctomatic. He really knows what he is at and it looks like the move to the states has really worked out for him. The panel went on until about 6.30 and there was some great participation via the web. I wasn’t able to make it across the road but by all accounts it was a good night over there.

As with all Barcamps everyones days can be very different, depending on what talks you attend. Here are few other reviews of the day:
John Breslin, Aidan Finn, Martha Rotter, Tom Raftery, James Cooley

Thanks to John, Aidan, Conor and everyone else that helped organise Barcamp Galway.


Some great Panel sessions organised for Barcamp Galway

I’m really looking forward to Barcamp Galway this weekend. As well as the normal talks, there are a few panel discussions organised.

Academics – “If I’m so smart, why am I being paid so little?” – What it means to be a computer researcher
Practitioners – “I’ve got this great website, but nobody’s using it” – How to grow a community presence
Developers – “Send lawyers, guns and money, Dad” – Issues faced by Irish technology start-ups

Hopefully the timing of them will not clash so I will get to see more than one. If you are around the Galway area and want to see some great talks, drop into the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway.

For more details check out the Wiki page or the blog

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Thank you Barcamp Dublin

barcamp-dublinI went along to Barcamp Dublin yesterday and as usually had a great day. The organisers Joe, Elly, Eoghan and Paul did a fantastic job. It was my first time in the Digital Exchange building, which provided an intimate atmosphere for the event. That was of course unless your talk was taking place in the main auditorium, however this room was perfect for the very popular talks like Darren Barefoot‘s as well as Eoghan‘s and of course the panel discussion.

When pricing goes wrongThe first talk I went to was by Conor Halpin of LeCayla. His talk focused on the pricing policies with SaaS. Conor perfectly demonstrated how not implementing the correct pricing policies from the start can be slightly restrictive as can be seen from the photo 🙂

One thing that I took from his talk was that getting good reliable reference sites is more important that making a profit from your initial customers. Once you have these reference customers on board, you reduce the risk exposure for further customer.

I managed to catch the end of Eoin O Dell‘s talk on bloging law. I will have to have a look at the full slides of the presentation to make sure I don’t breach any liable laws here. Although I should really start concentrating on posting more that once a month.

I was happy I caught Darren Barefoot’s talk on social media. He is a really entertaining guy and attracted a lot of audience participation. One thing I took from the talk was that for a blog to be successful it needs to be transparent and honest. I think that might be a barrier to entry for a lot of people. It is hard to hang out all of your washing for the entire internet to read.

I also went along to the GTD talk but might talk about the later as I have a lot to say on it. I think GTD might be exactly what I need at the moment. Recently I have found more and more weeks go by when I look back and think what have I actually done this week. I think it is time for a bit of time management. Needless to say I went and bought David Allens book to look into GTD further. This session conflicted with John Ward‘s presentation on Selling Web2.0 to Irish Financial Institutions. I was talking to Mark earlier in the day. He has done some great work with his company Cengal and gained a lot of caveats along the way. I was sorry that I missed it.

The panel discussion worked very well. I really enjoyed listening to Karlin Lillington of techno-culture. I sometimes find that there can be a few big ego’s floating around the blogosphere. It was refreshing to meet someone who it not solely concerned with getting their self a few more steps of the Technorati ladder of fame but genuinely enjoys blogging. She seemed to be just as happy to have 5 people really enjoy what she writes as have 5000 and all the fame.
I had to slip off after the panel session so apologies for missing the other sessions that followed.

Thank you for another great Barcamp.


New BarcampIreland Logos

Far play to Ed and Tomasz in Hosting365 for coming up with the new Logo for BarCampIreland.  It is pretty impressive and I would agree with Conor that it is one of the best barcamp logo's around.

BarCampIreland is happening the 30th of September in Cork.   If you need more information on BarCampIreland , check out the blog. Hope to see you there.

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BarCamp Ireland has a home

BarCamp Ireland is going to be held in Webworks in Cork this year.  It looks like the date may also be changed to the 30th of September.   This is shaping up to be a really good day.  Thanks to Damien Mulley, Conor O’Neill and Walter Higgins  for all the organising down in Cork.

Does anybody have any recommendations for accommodation in the area?

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