Tag Archives: Ireland

Call for bid proposals for hosting BlogTalk 2010 / 2011: The International Conference on Social Software


BlogTalk, the International Conference on Social Software, is designed to allow dialogue between practitioners, developers and academics who are involved in the area of social software (blogs, wikis, forums, IM, social networks, microblogging, etc.). As well as a programme of peer-reviewed presentations, BlogTalk features prominent speakers from successful social media companies, research organisations, etc. Typical attendance figures are over 100 people.

The BlogTalk steering committee encourages you to submit a preliminary bid to host the International Conference on Social Software in 2010 or 2011. The annual conference includes a combination of formal talks, workshops, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and social events. We seek to hold our annual conference in a diverse range of localities (previous countries were Austria, Australia, Ireland and Korea). Each conference involves a working partnership between the BlogTalk steering committee, the host organisers, and a programme committee of expert reviewers.

Conference schedules have typically followed the pattern of having two full days of talks, with interleaved discussion panels, birds of a feather sessions, etc. although each host has flexibility about when to hold certain extra events, or sometimes, whether to hold them at all. We recommend that the dinner event be held on the first night, in the middle of the conference. There is also an option to have a day of workshops prior to the main conference talks, and a welcome reception the night before the main conference.

Each host takes a lead role in gathering sponsorship for its conference. Usually, tickets account for about $15,000 – 20,000 and the host is responsible for raising at least $20,000 – 35,000 in sponsorship. The combined funds go a long way toward making the conference budget manageable. A small portion of the conference budget will also go into a central BlogTalk fund for aiding with publications and future events.

Sponsorship includes the placement of a logo on materials such as the attendee’s pack, t-shirts, and the conference website. It may include free registration for two attendees, and a guaranteed slot for a product demo during the conference’s demonstrations session. The conference’s main event, the dinner, can also be sponsored. As well as a placard at the entrance to the event, the sponsor will be acknowledged on the website, during the programme chair’s speeches, and in conference materials.

With your help, the steering committee will also help market the event in a variety of ways, through targeted emails and social media distribution channels.

To be considered as a host for BlogTalk 2010 or BlogTalk 2011, please fill out the attached preliminary bid proposal and return to us (blogtalk2010@gmail.com) by January 18, 2010. The steering committee will consider all proposals and notify within two weeks of the closing date.

Bid Proposal for BlogTalk 2010 or 2011

Contact Person:

Which year are you bidding for (2010 or 2011)?

Proposed Hotel / Venue Name:
Distance from Major Airport (Miles):
Distance from Major Airport (Minutes):

Describe potential keynote speakers you would intend to have speak at the event:

Give details of previous conferences and workshops that you and your team have organised:

Describe available transportation modes and costs between major airport and preferred conference venue hotel (shuttle, taxi, etc.):

Describe the preferred conference venue / hotel’s accommodations (lodging and meeting rooms, public areas):

Give details of any possible social events that could be held:

Describe the restaurants, shopping, and night life close to the preferred conference hotel:

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Olympian John Treacy Praises Sports & [Exercise] Engineering Degree at NUI Galway

Pictured at the launch of NUI Galway’s B.E. in Sports & Exercise Engineering were (left-right) the University President, Dr James J. Browne; Professor Ó Laighin, Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and Course Director; one of the first students on the new course, Ruaidhrí Molloy; and John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council.
Pictured at the launch of NUI Galway’s B.E. in Sports & Exercise Engineering were (left-right) the University President, Dr James J. Browne; Professor Ó Laighin, Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and Course Director; one of the first students on the new course, Ruaidhrí Molloy; and John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council.

From http://www.nuigalway.ie/news/main_press.php?p_id=1069:

Olympic silver medallist and former double World Cross Country Champion, John Treacy, today (Friday, 10 July) officially launched NUI Galway’s B.E. in Sports & Exercise Engineering.

The degree programme, which incorporates significant elements of Anatomy, Physiology, and Mechanical Engineering with a major in Electronic Engineering, puts particular emphasis on ambulatory monitoring of human performance, movement assessment, and systems and devices for the assessment of sport and exercise.

Speaking at the launch, John Treacy, who is now CEO of the Irish Sports Council, said: “This whole area is hugely important. I see tremendous potential in this combination of engineering and sports science. In elite sports we deal with tenths and hundredths of seconds. Winning often comes down to a technical edge so having professionals trained in Ireland in this area will be of great benefit”.

The first cohort of students taking this focused interdisciplinary programme have just finished first year and are destined to graduate with a unique skillset for a growing industry according to NUI Galway’s Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin.

Professor Ó Laighin is Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Course Director: “Professional sport is a worldwide multi-billion euro industry and plays a central role in most western societies. Today technology is used on a regular basis to improve sports performance in elite athletes. The Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway will provide graduates with the skills and expertise to design systems and devices for the evaluation and execution of sport performance across a broad range of sports”.

Professor Ó Laighin sees the Exercise Engineering component of the programme becoming increasingly important. Exercise Engineering is expected to play an important role in the management of two major healthcare crises for the Western World, obesity and ageing populations. “There are numerous health benefits associated with physical activity, including a reduced risk of premature mortality and reduced risks of coronary heart disease. Regular participation in physical activity also appears to reduce depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance ability to perform daily tasks throughout the life span. Exercise Engineers will design systems and devices to promote increased adherence to exercise”.

The programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering is offered by the College of Engineering & Informatics in collaboration with the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at NUI Galway.

As part of their studies, Sports & Exercise Engineering students use the facilities in the newly opened Sports Centre at NUI Galway. A new high-spec Engineering Building will add to facilities on campus by 2011.

NUI Galway is also offering two additional new Engineering degrees, which will have the first student intake in September. These are B.E. degrees in Energy Systems Engineering, and Engineering Innovation – Electronic.

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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 2008.blogtalk.net/invitedspeakers. We will also have two invited panel sessions, the details of which will be announced shortly.

Social corkware, Web 2.0 and BlogTalk

So why is BlogTalk 2008 coming to Cork, Ireland? You may not know it, but there are a lot of connections between the “People’s Republic of Cork” and the world of Web 2.0 and social software.

So I expect to see more submissions from all of you Corkonians about your social software products and development experiences to BlogTalk 2008 before Friday!

Opening up the social graph at the WebCamp workshop on "social network portability"


A WebCamp “Social Network Portability” workshop has been announced to be co-located with BlogTalk on 2nd March 2008. You can view the wiki page for this event.

“Social network portability” is a term that has been used to describe the ability to reuse one’s own profile and contacts across various social networking sites and social media applications. At this workshop, presentations will be combined with breakout sessions to discuss all aspects of portability for social networking sites (including accounts, friends, activities / content, and applications).

Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to, social network centralisation versus decentralisation, OpenSocial, microformats including XHTML Friends Network (XFN) and hCard, authentication and authorisation, OpenID single sign-on, Bloom filters, categorising friends and personas, FOAF, ownership of your published content, SIOC, the OpenFriend format, the Social Network Aggregation Protocol (SNAP), aggregation and privacy, permissions and context, and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

You can register for this workshop in conjunction with BlogTalk 2008. If you are interested in speaking or otherwise participating in the workshop, please add your name under the Speakers or Participants headings on the wiki page at http://webcamp.org/SocialNetworkPortability.

Premier "BlogTalk" social software event comes to Cork in March


BlogTalk 2008, the 5th International Conference on Social Software, will be held in Cork, Ireland on 3rd/4th March 2008. The event is designed to allow dialogue between practitioners, developers and academics who are involved in the area of social software (blogs, wikis, forums, IM, social networks, etc.). A workshop on Social Network Portability will also be co-located with the event.

The organisers (me included) have just sent the final call for proposals to present at BlogTalk 2008. The end date for submissions is 7th December 2007, and these should be over two pages in length (no fixed template). Reviews will be completed by the end of December 2007, and the organisers will notify successful authors in early January 2008.

You can view the full call for proposals at http://2008.blogtalk.net/proposals and can submit your proposals at http://www.easychair.org/blogtalk2008

As well as peer-reviewed proposals, BlogTalk 2008 will have a number of prominent invited speakers (including Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare and Nova Spivack of Radar Networks, with others to be confirmed).

Mashable recently listed BlogTalk as one of the top 10 events for bloggers in 2008, and you can register for BlogTalk 2008 with Mashable’s 10% discount code “mashtalk”.

Selling a bunch of interesting Irish / general domains…

It’s spring cleaning time, so I’m selling the following domains at Sedo:



Anime, J-Pop


Blogs, Social






Irish Cities






Cyberstalking in Ireland

I was talking with Matt Cooper from Today FM’s “The Last Word” this evening about cyberstalking (see also this G2 crime article).

As an administrator at boards.ie, I (and my fellow moderators) encounter this quite a bit, where someone has been tracked down by either an annoyer or a serious stalker and their content or account on boards.ie is being used as part of a campaign against them. Sometimes we have requests by users to have their account (or a particular post they’ve made) deleted, so that their username (which may indicate who they are) is no longer linked to the posts they’ve made. There is also a responsibility for bulletin board owners to remove users who are threatening or being abusive towards others via their service. Ex-romantic partners may happen on anonymous posts and read something that made them realise who the original poster was, or they find posts in which they or later partners are mentioned, and then regurgitate sensitive bits to mutual friends. Work colleagues may find some personal tidbit about someone which will quickly make its way around the office. Or someone might just be obsessed (e.g. as with Glenda Gilson) or pick on you at random, which may be what happened to Galway writer Fred Johnston:

A well-known Galway writer was stunned this week when he received a sinister e-mail threatening to kill him if he didn’t pay the sender a substantial sum of money. Fred Johnston, an author and poet and director of the Western Writers’ Centre, received an e-mail claiming to come from an individual who had been paid to “terminate” him, and offering to hand over information on the person behind the transaction in return for a larger sum of money.

As I’ve mentioned previously in relation to online social networks, there are a few basic rules that should be followed when posting information online:

  • Use your common sense, and don’t post anything that you wouldn’t give to a stranger in the street. That includes your phone number, your address, your birthdate, etc.
  • Try not to use your real name or your e-mail address in your online nickname or posting account.
  • Keep your work e-mail details separate from accounts used for forums or blogs where you post informally – get a Hotmail or Gmail account for such activities. And don’t give any account password to your partner unless there’s a very good reason to do so (see the G2 article above).
  • Be careful about posting potentially damaging information about your relationships with professional colleagues or friends / family, or personal specifics about yourself (because even though you may be posting anonymously, it can be very easy for someone to put 1+1 together and figure out who you are).
  • If you post inflamatory statements about something or somebody, be aware that doing so under your own name may lead to a campaign of hate against you. And if you post defamatory statements, be prepared for legal action.
  • There is effectively a permanent record of what you contribute to the Web (if you let slip something you shouldn’t about your workplace or family, sometimes even if the original site disappears). It may be on the original site you posted on, in Google’s cache, in the Wayback Machine at web.archive.org, or someone may just save it to their own site or computer. Remember that when you post something sensitive – it could well be there forever – for your parents, your kids, your boss, your future employer to see (even after you’re dead, as we do have some posts from boards.ie users who are no longer with us).
  • Blogging is a powerful medium due to its open nature and public contributions, but it is this openness that means that whatever you say can be read by all and people can build up a picture of who you are and what you are doing (even if you don’t realise that they are reading / actively following your blog). Some people mistakenly think that their blog is only being read by a closed circle of friends; if it’s publicly accessible, Google / anyone can get it and forward it to others.
  • Do not arrange to meet anyone you’ve only talked to online alone in the real world (see dating guidelines below).

I’m not trying to make people paranoid, but it is no harm to be careful about what you contribute. There is already a huge amount of publicly-available information about individuals ranging from phone book entries to local government planning applications and objections, and it will become easier to link this to less formal information such as blog posts or photos taken (of you, by others) at parties or other events.

Also, Redshift from boards.ie compiled a very sensible set of personal safety guidelines for those thinking about online dating. If you are considering using the Internet for dating, you should definitely give these a read through.

adverts.ie Classified Ads Service from boards.ie Out of Beta

From my boards.ie announcement yesterday (ooh, I like today’s date, 20-06-2006!):

Dear all –

As part of our migration towards our new adverts system at adverts.ie, we are beginning to disable our old FS forums. I had considered moving all of the old FS items into the new adverts system, but this would be overly complicated (and due to the differing database structures it would also involve the loss of some associated metadata). Therefore, running both systems in parallel was a better option, and now that the new system has been well tested, we can maintain an archive of previous FS items at the old forums.

Cannot Post Threads, Can Reply to Threads

You will be unable to post a new thread on the FS forums to sell an item. If you wish to sell a new item, please do so at adverts.ie. The categories are almost identical to those on the old FS forums.

You may continue to reply to any items in the old FS forums for a limited time.

Main Issues Addressed

I’m happy to say that we have addressed all the main highlighted issues on adverts.ie, and I think we’ve made a much better system as a result. Of course, small things WILL go wrong, but look at the progress so far and I’m sure you’ll share in my confidence that such things can and will be fixed…

We’ve also created a Sin Bin category (hidden) where our Adverts Moderators or AMods can move rubbish to. The top-level AMods (Blade, CuLT, Lemming) have banning powers for the site, and we will ban troublemakers, touts and traders. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them (hint: the Adverts Support forum), maybe you can ask the A-Team.

Sophisticated Creation and Viewing Options

We now have custom fields for things like price, county, etc. when you create an advert, which will help us in future to easily display items for sale in certain regions, price ranges, etc. Also, our “Tag Cloud” allows you to easily locate adverts that have been “tagged” with particular keywords.

You can now sort all items by the latest comment, and the total number of comments and last poster / date is also shown (this was the most requested feature).

We’ve also prevented advert posters from replying to their own adverts for 24 hours (to prevent premature bumping up of items).

The “blocky” look is gone – lists of adverts are now more like the forums, and you can see an image of the item for sale by moving the mouse over the image icon on the left hand side if it is shown.

Printable PDF pages and RSS feeds available


We’ve also introduced a new PDF printable sheet which I am very happy with – now you can take your FS or Wanted items to the convenience or whereever with you 😉

There’s also a corresponding RSS feed for each category for your syndicating pleasure.

Both the PDF and RSS links can be found on the main adverts.ie page beside each category (the red and orange icons respectively).

Where is this new-fangled thang?

Go to http://www.adverts.ie/.

Also, you can navigate to the new categories from the DHTML menu under “Shop”.

I hope that together we can make adverts.ie a success. We’ve had over 45,000 items placed by 8,000 users on the old FS forums (over six years), and already in our beta phase we have 1,250 adverts from 675 users on the new site (over the past few months). These figures are very encouraging, and I’m looking forward to seeing these trends continue.

Remember, it is free to place an advert at adverts.ie, and will remain so. Extra options for adverts (bolding, italicising, highlighting) may appear later on in certain categories (e.g. motors) for a small fee, but the ads themselves will still be free.

Thanks for your continued cooperation, and enjoy the new service!


eBay Sandwich: boards.ie Climbs to #14 in Ireland Rankings

boards.ie – Now Ye’re Talkin’

I blogged about boards.ie being #16 in Alexa’s top 50 web rankings for Ireland about three weeks ago…

Despite having some fairly major load problems with our servers over the past month, we’ve still managed to climb two places and are now sandwiched between eBay Ireland and eBay UK in the rankings of popular sites in Ireland.

Our overall site rank is an impressive 9,689 (up 9,162 places).