Saturday, October 31, 2009

Amma let ya conference...

Not an actual pic from #dws

Put on my columnist hat on October 30th for the Dublin Web Summit at Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge. I got approximately half of the day's events, not counting any of the workshops. In an increasingly crowded calendar of summits, conferences, meetups, tweetups and all sorts of networking events, this was one of the best I've attended this year. Well done to organiser Paddy Cosgrave and the Digital Marketing Institute.

Absolutely top drawer selection of speakers, superb presentations on the day, great interaction between attendees and speakers. The spread of attendees ranged from startup entrepreneurs to NGOs and bodies like Enterprise Ireland, as well as already-established web-based companies.
Mark Little, as a trad media journalist and enthusiastic recent adopter of social media, was a good choice of anchor. His genuine interest in the subject matter came through and he'd obviously done his homework. I'm not going to even namecheck all of the speakers. Far too lazy many of them. It seems that the content, as with most of these events, will be made available online. Worth keeping an eye out for.

The hashtag of the day's events, #dws, relays the keenness of the audience for the subject matter. The fact that so many people were live tweeting in itself marks some kind of watershed for companies. The technology of communications is actively being embraced. I wondered why they didn't live stream it for the non-tweeters in the audience to see, but perhaps its busyness might have been a distraction from the stream of excellent realtime content.

Not quite all positive and light though. Some grumbling, centering around the ticket price bounce that happened in the run-up to the event, can be detected if you go back through the #dws comments (and more elsewhere). As its popularity grew, so too did the ticket price, it seems. From €50 to €245 is a fair hike. That doesn't play well, particularly with an online-savvy audience.

The bar's getting set higher all the time. Later tonight (4pm at the National College of Ireland) it's the turn of Understanding Digital. They promise us 'a few hours inside some of the brightest creative minds in the online media industry.' Online smartypantses from We are Social, Agenda 21 Digital, Folk Creative and Ogilvy London will all be in a 10 dance.

Inner cranial update coming soon. Hell, I might even #udcreative it cos I am at sooo one with The Twitter.


  1. what did you think of that Icad thingy? I was hoping they would show creatives what is possible to do with online space. Seeing that bbh labs etc,. assign a creative technologist with a creative team, I was hoping for some more insight into how to optimise ideas online. The only thing i remember that was in any way insightful was, 'The click is dead', but then oops, we already knew that. A waste of money. It seems digital bemused this lot as much as the audience.


  2. Hey Tara. I was underwhelmed. I've always seen ad agencies as having a particularly difficult time of it learning how to move from analogue creativity to the bigger web picture. The lightbulb often does not go on. The struggle to bring old ways into a new space (Banner ads? Sending an email to get people to click on your tv ad?) clearly does not work, but the cost and the uncertainty of breaking apart old ways of thinking scares the shit out of people. One certainty I've seen in the last two years is that smaller, newer agencies, and even clued-in individuals, realise that they don't need an old agency structure to be creative for brands. That more than anything should give the agencies a bit of motivation.

  3. On the one hand I feel like a dinosaur and on the other hand, I think is it all just digital dazzle? And how do we price this new creativity especially when trying to 'have a conversation' (god, new buzz words I'm already sick of hearing) using online social networking tools. Sure any client with a germ of an idea could do it in-house. And because it's a free media (at the moment) how can you justify it. Even if your facebook group gets 100,000 how can you measure R.O.I? Oh i think I need a lie-down.



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