Category Archives: Cork

BlogTalk 2008 Summary

Well, I’ve been on a well-deserved break (in my opinion anyway!) for the past two weeks so it’s time that I caught up with all the stuff I’ve only been tweeting about in the meantime…

Picture by Paul Downey.

First up, it’s a summary of BlogTalk (and WebCamp). Actually, a lot of people have blogged about the event, including Martha Rotter (who has a great overview), Mark Bernstein (with some valid criticisms regarding the conference’s focus that we need to look at; see also Mark’s vidcast), Salim Ismail, Stephanie Booth (1 , 2; thanks for the videos!), Will Knott, Phil Whitehouse (1, 2), Jure Cuhalev, Jan Schmidt, Donncha O Caoimh, Sven Latham, Ben Ward, and Gabriela Avram (1, 2, 3, 4).

But I’ll add to these voices by saying that I was very pleased with how things went: the atmosphere was quite relaxed (at least, outside the confines of my own head), and the size was probably just right (sometimes you can’t plan these things). Although we had about 110-115 registrants, there were about 80-85 present at any one time, and I think the audience felt comfortable with posing questions to speakers (and to each other) which led to more interactive sessions than there may have been otherwise. The panel discussions also went quite well, and I hope that we will have more of these in future events. As regards next year’s conference, we have had an interesting offer to host the event in Korea. We are also looking at Seville for BlogTalk 2010.

Unfortunately, I incorrectly thought that Intruders.TV would be recording the talks from the event, but some entrepreneuring attendees managed to video some of the talks using a combination of webcams and cameras (see the videos and slides page for those that we’ve managed to gather so far; if you have any more, please let us know; I believe Intruders.TV will have interviews with some of our speakers later). You can also view an assortment of photos via Flickr.

On behalf of the programme chairs for BlogTalk 2008, I would like to thank all of the participants at the conference, our invited speakers, the presenters, our reviewers, the excellent hotel staff, and especially our sponsors (without whom the fees would have significantly increased since they paid for two thirds of our almost €30k budget). Finally, I would like to ask attendees if they would be so kind as to complete our post-conference survey here.


WebCamp SNP and BlogTalk 2008 approacheth…

I’m in Cork with a posse of eight from DERI, and it’s the night before two co-located events: the WebCamp workshop on social network portability (Sunday) and the BlogTalk conference on social software (Monday, Tuesday). Others that have arrived in Cork this evening include Niall Larkin, Ajit Jaokar, Aral Balkan, Ben Ward, Dan Brickley, Ross Duggan and Stephanie Booth.

I’m really looking forward to the talks, the discussions, the networking, the food, and some positive outcomes from the next three days. And with invited speakers of this quality, I know it’s going to be good.

Unfortunately, I’m missing the Irish Blog Awards for the second year running, but‘s Managing Director Gerry Shanahan is representing us as a sponsor. At least I hope to meet up with many of the bloggers at tomorrow night’s optional blogger’s dinner at Rossini’s here in Cork (43 people have signed up).

More blog posts about the events will be available via the tags webcampsnp and blogtalk2008. Here are some recent posts:

Co-founder of to speak at BlogTalk 2008 on 4th March

I am happy to announce that Michael Breidenbrücker, co-founder of Lovely Systems and of Ltd., will be our fourth keynote speaker at BlogTalk 2008 in Cork (he will speak on Tuesday week).

Michael has been actively involved in interactive digital media since 1999 and is widely recognised for his expertise in the areas of interaction design and product development. Lovely Systems is a web technologies company providing localised video portals serving hundreds of gigabytes of video each day. Their latest service is, which was launched last week. was incorporated in 2002 as an internet radio station and music community website, and the related Audioscrobbler music recommendation system was fully merged into in 2005. The company was acquired by CBS Interactive in May 2007. You can read more about on their Wikipedia page.

Unfortunately, Rashmi Sinha is now unable to speak at this event. Hopefully Rashmi can present at BlogTalk 2009!

Five days left to register online for BlogTalk 2008!

Please note that online registration for BlogTalk 2008 (and WebCamp Social Network Portability) will close next Wednesday, 26th February 2008.

You can register at Amiando.

There are a few discount codes out there.

(Don’t forget to sign up for the optional blogger’s dinner as well!)

"A funny thing happened on the way to the forum": Article in Indo about 10 years of

20080214a.png Irish Independent > Business > Technology > A funny thing happened on the way to the forum
After 10 years, John Breslin’s online forum on everything from personal relationships to motors and mustard,, is still blazing a trail

By Marie Boran
Thursday February 14 2008

Want to know where you can buy the cheapest digital camera, or how to go about claiming rent relief, or maybe if buying cowboy boots would be a fashion disaster?

The world relies on Google but the Irish have On this online bulletin board no question is too trivial or too bizarre and with an average 900,000 visitors to the site every month, there are plenty of answers on offer.

It is hard to believe that a decade ago, on 12 February, 1998, founder John Breslin wrote expectantly: “The first of many messages, I hope.”

Read more…

Of course, there are four other people who have made possible: Tom Murphy, Dan King, Gerry Shanahan, and Jerry Connolly. Without them and our amazing team of voluntary moderators, I doubt would even exist today. Original questions and answers follow.

Continue reading "A funny thing happened on the way to the forum": Article in Indo about 10 years of

Programme announced for BlogTalk 2008

We recently announced the programme schedule for the 5th International Conference on Social Software (and the co-located workshop on social network portability), to be held in Cork in six weeks time. We have an interesting set of keynote speakers and invited panellists so far (with one keynote to be confirmed).


Also, the list of accepted presentations at the conference is varied and interesting, with some familiar faces and some new ones shown below. (In all, we accepted six presentations from practitioners, two from developers and six from academics. We’ve interspersed these in the schedule, but grouped by related topics.)


Finally, I’d like to thank our reviewers, without whose help the selection would have been an impossible task. (The breakdown of our committee was seven academics and 15 non-academics).


If you are interested in participating, I’d advise booking tickets as soon as possible as we do have an upper limit of 200 attendees. We will have a drinks reception in UCC’s Aula Maxima on the Sunday, followed by an optional blogger’s dinner for those interested. On Monday, the main conference dinner will be held in the Kingsley Hotel.

Keynote speakers lined up for BlogTalk

I’m happy to announce that we have four interesting and varied keynote speakers lined up for the BlogTalk 2008 conference on social software in Cork this March.

  • Nova Spivack – Founder and CEO, Radar Networks
    Nova is the entrepreneur behind the Twine “knowledge networking” application, which allows users to share, organise, and find information with people they trust. He will talk about semantic social software for consumers.
  • Rashmi Sinha – Founder, Uzanto
    Rashmi led the team that produced SlideShare, a popular presentation-sharing service that some have described as “YouTube for PowerPoint”. She will talk about lessons learned from designing social software applications.
  • Salim Ismail – Head of Brickhouse, Yahoo!
    Salim is a successful investor and entrepreneur, with expertise in a variety of early-stage startups and Web 2.0 companies including Confabb and PubSub. He will talk about entrepreneurship and social media.
  • Final speaker has been selected but has yet to be 100% confirmed.

You can see further details and longer biographies of the keynote speakers at We will also have two invited panel sessions, the details of which will be announced shortly.