Category Archives: Reviews

Thoughts on events I’ve been to, things I’ve done

Yelp August Elite Event

I was very lucky to be invited to go along to the Yelp Elite Event for August recently and when I saw that it was being held in Murphy’s ice cream shop, how could I refuse?

Although it’s a huge institution in the US, Yelp has only entered into the European market this year and has been making good progress particularly in Dublin. All that is thanks to Annie L, or as you may also know her @yelpdublin on Twitter. Annie *is* the Yelp Dublin team, all of it. And she did a great job in organising the August event. Yelpers were invited to create a sundae of their own concoction at a sundae bar at the back of the shop where an array of ice creams, sorbets and toppings were laid out for everyone to make their own. With it being one of the warmer nights of the year, ice cream was a welcome treat in between chatting to other Yelpers.

The idea of the Yelp events is to get people to new venues, get the venues some new customers and fans who will also review on adding content and value to the site. If you are looking for a restaurant, hotel, bar, shop – Yelp is the kind of site that will tell you where it is, how good it is and what is good to order. You can also check-in to venues in a similar way to FourSquare, Gowalla, etc., becoming a Duke or Duchess if you check-in there most.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for a free Yelp account here – and if you would like to read the reviews of the event in Murphy’s or add your own, you can do so here.

Many thanks to Annie for organising the Yelp events, I am sure it will be the first of many – I’m looking forward to the next one!

The Smile Off Your Face at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Rothe House, High Street, Kilkenny.
Friday 6th August 2010, 8pm.

I had read on the Kilkenny Arts website about The Smile Off Your Face and had found it intriguing, particularly “You are blindfolded, you are in a wheelchair, tied up. There is no stage.”

What could it be? What would happen to me inside the darkness of a blindfold where my imagination and senses of sound and smell were all I had at my disposal? I couldn’t not do it, so I signed up myself and Darragh. The show was free and time slots were going fast.
We arrived about 10 minutes early for our 8pm slot but there were very few people around. The serenity of the Rothe House courtyard was perfect for it, there was a spiritual, almost religious feel about everything, people talking quietly about their experience and the experiences of others. Almost immediately an older gentleman was wheeled out with a big grin on his face. His daughter was waiting for him, smiling herself with the shared knowledge and shared experience. Darragh was invited to take the now empty seat in the wheelchair, I took a quick photo of him and off he went.

Continue reading The Smile Off Your Face at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Media Contact 2020

Last week I was a lucky attendee at ‘Media 2020-A Vision For The Future’.

Organised by Media Contact, the conference was to take a look at the future of media and of communication and the expected changes over the next five to ten years in technology, marketing, the internet, newspapers and television. In the interest of keeping abreast of new methods of communication, Media Contact had to foresight to invite a few people, myself included, to come along to the event as a guest and to tweet the proceedings.

Media Contact had a great line up of speakers at the event:

Eamon Ryan – TD

Maeve Donovan – Chairperson, National Newspapers of Ireland and former editor of The Irish Times

Jonathan Moore – Mobile Product Manager, The Guardian

Fiach MacConghail –  Director of the Abbey Theatre

Matt Locke – Commissioning Editor, Education and Mew Media, Channel 4

Katarina Skoberne – Co-founder, Open-Ad Group

Ciarán ÓGaora – founder of Zero-G

Carolyn Odgers – Director of Strategy, Chemistry

Damien Mulley

Ronan Higgins

Cillian Barry – Feep Marketing

Natalie Bagnall – Head of Acquisition, Google

Mark Little –

John Healy – Founder, Digital Edge

Colm Lyon – Chief Executive, Realex Payments

Ian Forrester – Senior Backstage Producer, BBC

Múirne Laffan – Exectuive Director, RTÉ Publishing

Overall it was a very interesting and informative day. The speakers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and the overall messages of the day seemed to be to keep moving with the times and don’t be afraid to try new things. While there was a fast and furious Twitter stream flowing on the day – which you can read by searching for the hashtag #med2020 – a few of the attendees and even non attendees, had something to say about the day.

From Hugh Linehan (@hlinehan), online editor of The Irish TimesFuture shock in Croke Park

From @finoreilly: Hurling Irish Media into the 21st century- no?

From @blathnaidhealy: Media 2020 conference Twitter stream highlights

From Media Contact themselves:  Media 2020-A Great Success

I’d really like to thank Media Contact for inviting me along to the event and for being clever enough to do so to ensure a Twitter stream that kept many people at home or at work up to date with what was being said and discussed at the event. Also thanks in particular to Jack Murray, Managing Director of Media Contact. To my surprise and delight I came home to a shiny red envelope on Friday. And when I opened it, this is what I found:

Thanks folks, I genuinely appreciate that! The book has been on my To Read list for quite a while and the hand written Thank You card was a lovely touch. I’ll be eagerly watching out for the next big Media Contact event – Content is King – later this year.

By the way, Croke Park as a venue for a conference was pretty great. Wifi that worked and was easy to access – check, plenty of power points for laptops – check, lots of screens round the room so even those seated at the back could see the speakers and/or their presentations properly- check, friendly and helpful staff – check, nice food, tea and coffee, check, check, check. It’s not a venue I had been to before but certainly one I’d look forward to going to  being in again 🙂