Get Digital Mini Conference 2015

On Tuesday April 14th we had our fourth and final mini conference in the helix, DCU. This conference, however, was different from the others as we began the afternoon with the presentation and judgement of the research posters that we did on Cloud Computing. After the poster presentation finished we all moved into the conference room to begin our two hour conference. As usual we had a wide variety of speakers such as the Global CEO of CoderDojo, the Director of Cloud Business Development EMEA of Oracle, the business development director of SAP Ireland and, finally, a partner and co-founder of Frontline Venture Capital.

Sean Baker

Sean kicked off the conference with an introduction to Cloud Computing by telling us all about IC4. IC4 is the Irish centre for cloud computing and commerce which is a technology centre funded by enterprise Ireland. Sean Kept his speech short and sweet simply telling us about his work with IC4 and the clinics, workshops and seminars that they run. The workshops allow you to work on projects or to simply propose a project yourself.

After finishing his speech Sean introduced the Speakers that we would be hearing from and then handed the stage over to the next speaker, Mary Maloney.

Mary Maloney

Our next Speaker was Mary Maloney the Global CEO of CoderDojo. CoderDojo is a global network of free, volunteer-led, programming clubs for young people in which they learn how to code, develop websites, apps, games in an informal and creative environment. Ms. Maloney has been working for CoderDojo for the past year and before that she was a partner in Accenture.

Ms. Maloney’s speech was focused entirely on CoderDojo and she spoke of what their aims  are, what they have achieved and, why they are important. The aims of CoderDojo are to give children a basic competency and background in coding and computers which will serve them well in the future when they being searching for employment. CoderDojo have 600 Dojo’s located throughout 58 countries and new one are constantly being set up. The ‘ninjas’ in CoderDojo have some incredible achievements such as the map of Ireland showing points to plug in electric cars that indicate when they’re available as well as a game developed to help people with dyslexia. According to Ms. Maloney CoderDojo are important because they are encouraging young people to work in the programming industry which deals with the monumental shortage of programmers. CoderDojo are also important because they create equal opportunity in the workplace as everyone is given an equal opportunity to learn and develop skills. There is also a focus on getting girls into Dojos to change the ratio of men to women in the technology industry.

Overall, I found Ms. Maloney’s speech incredibly interesting and informative and deeply regret that I am not the right age to avail of the Dojo’s. The one negative aspect of Ms. Maloney’s speech was that, in my opinion, the Dojo’s shouldn’t be divided by gender as I believe that it creates a prejudice that male coders are better than the female ones which I think will be carried forward into the workplace in the future. However, despite this I feel extremely positive about Ms. Maloney’s speech and wish them the best of luck with their future exploits.

Richard Garsthagen

Our next speaker of the day was Richard Garsthagen, the Director of Cloud Business Development EMEA for Oracle. Oracle is an American multinational computer technology corporation which specializes in developing and marketing computer hardware systems and enterprise software products.

The theme of this talk was digital transformation with the help of the cloud. Mr. Garsthagen began his speech by listing 5 reasons to love the cloud – including drives innovation and simplifies IT – and giving us several definitions for the cloud.  Mr. Garsthagen then went onto discuss digital disruption before finishing by telling us how to join the community of cloud innovators and enablers. Of all the definitions that Mr. Garsthagen gave us for the cloud the one that struck me the most was:

According to Mr. Garsthagen Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies, or business models, affect the value proposition of existing goods and services. Digital disruption affects value and new companies  that are built on those business models are challenging other and threatening threatening even the most entrenched industries. Mr. Garsthagen believes that the companies that don’t succumb to the necessary changes will soon be gone.

“IT used to be pretty stable”

To finish his speech Mr. Garsthagen gave us some helpful advice on how to join the ranks of the cloud users. This advice included gems such as :

  • Think out-side-the-box and never be afraid of failure. Cloud Computing lets you fail at a low cost.
  • Build your business plans on the new principles of Cloud

Overall, I found Mr. Garsthagen’s speech to be incredibly helpful and encouraging as it lead audience members to feel positively about the cloud and to want to embrace cloud technology in the future.

John Massey

The next speaker we heard from was John Massey, the business development director EMEA of S.A.P Ireland. S.A.P (Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing) is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. The company has over 282,000 customers in 190 countries. S.A.P Ireland have 1,650 employees and work through 29 languages.

Mr. Massey’s speech focused on the S.A.P cloud computing which he has been managing for the past year and the impacts of cloud computing on businesses. In the cloud world people expect rapid, relevant responses where they used to expect to be left waiting for days to get a response. This means that businesses must employ tech savvy workers to deal with this. Mr. Massey believes that $20 billion will be spent on mobile, analytic’s and cloud in the next five years. Mr. Massey then went on to discuss how 50% of recruitment is done through LinkedIn and how it’s becoming more difficult for people to find jobs as prospective employers are googling them. The talk ended with John giving us advice about how to stand out on the cloud which included:

  • Being prepared to make any necessary transformations.
  • Collaborating with partners and the in house virtual account team.
  • Listen to what the customers want – keep it simple and offer choices.

Overall, I found Mr. Massey’s speech very informative and interesting as he provided a completely new aspect from which to see cloud computing. I was shocked at how fast Cloud Computing appears to be effecting businesses but Cloud.

Shay Garvey

Our final speaker of the day was Shay Garvey, a partner and co-founder  of Frontline Venture Capital. Frontline Ventures is Europe’s first community-focused fund, creating a platform for innovative tech entrepreneurs building capital-efficient businesses in high-growth markets. Before starting Frontline Venture Capital Mr. Garvey spent seven years in the Irish startup industry as a founder and investor investor in two companies as well as the CEO of a major food exporter.

Mr. Garvey began his speech by telling us about both the positives and major issues associated with the Cloud based SaaS Business to Business (B2B) Model which include:

  • That it’s very difficult for the business to be switched out by the client
  • There may be a risk of price erosion over time unless value is continuously added to software service.

Mr. Massey then continued on to talk about “The Bigger Picture” stating that, thanks to the ever changing technology, the way the society works and functions is adapting and modernising. Mr. Garvey told us that younger people are able to get higher up positions in companies nowadays where in the past it was expected that promotion would come with increasing age and years with the company. According to Shay the average age of CEO’s in a business has gone down from 40 to 30 and can be expected to continue falling as younger people are becoming more qualified for the job. Mr. Garvey finished by sharing his prediction that in the near future more and more jobs are going to be delegated to computers meaning that many jobs are in danger especially ones with repetitive elements.

Overall, I found Mr. Garvey’s speech very impressive, due to the volume of information and research that he had to share with us, and refreshing, as he seemed to share the slight fear that technology is going to render us all useless and unemployed in many fields in the future.


In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed our last DICE conference and found it to be as entertaining and informative as the other conferences were. I believe that all DICE students have benefited enormously from the mini conferences and that we have learned a lot of valuable lessons that will serve us well throughout college and in our professional careers. I’d like to finish by thanking all the speakers, that took the time to come and talk to us, as well as the DICE co-ordinators that organised all of the conferences.

Get Started Mini Conference 2015

On Tuesday January 17th we had our third mini conference as part of the four we will attend for our DICE program. The name of the conference was Get started and the theme throughout the day was addressed by Sean Donnelly, the business innovation platform director, as he launched the conference. The theme of our conference was starting your own enterprise and was aimed at how companies start out in the industries. As always we had a wide variety of interesting speakers including the Dublin commissioner for start-ups, the CEO of Java Republic, the DCU innovation panel, the founder and CEO of Cleverbug, the founder and CEO of and, lastly, an entrepreneur and investor.

Niamh Bushnell

Our first speaker of the day was the Dublin commissioner for start-ups, Niamh Bushnell. Ms. Bushnell was elected commissioner in October 2014. Before Niamh came to Ireland, to be elected commissioner for start-ups, she worked as an investor and mentor for start-ups in New York, as Vice President of software for Enterprise Ireland New York as well as founding two companies of her own. After telling us about her successful business and her failed start-up Niamh moved on to discuss the bust of the .com era and the appeal of Dublin for Entrepreneurs and enterprise. When the .com era came to a bust people started throwing money at start-ups left, right and centre. This bust acted as gateway to trading in the states for Irish tech companies. One of these start-ups was Orbiscom which was later bought by MasterCard. In my opinion this purchase, effectively, put Ireland on the map as a popular location for companies as, according to Niamh, people come to Ireland from all over the world to be part of MasterCard. Following this surge of popularity Niamh, herself, set up a start-up in Dublin only to discover that it wasn’t as easy as she had predicted it to be. Niamh blamed her failure on focusing more on output instead of functionality and a lack of focus on their mission statement.

“Dublin is where people come from all over the world to be part of MasterCard”

Niamh then began to discuss how nobody outside of Dublin knows about the innovation being driven out of the city. After this Niamh spent several minutes trying to stress the importance of entrepreneurship at any age as it encourages us to learn fundamental skills that will serve us later in life such as problem solving,  how to improve methods and, how to seek diversity in knowledge and opinion.

” Entrepreneurship is a fundamental learning experience at any age”

At the end of her speech Niamh opened up the floor to questions from the audience which included what Dublin’s like as a place to locate a start-up and what major achievements,if any, Niamh had to date. The responses were both interesting and visibly honest as Niamh freely shared her belief that, despite being a great location to start a business, Dublin needs a more systematic approach to collaboration. Niamh also readily admitted that she has had no major achievements since taking up her new role in October of last year but promised great things in the future such as the Dublin Data Initiative and a virtual accelerator to allow companies to go to their primary market before the project is finished.

David McKernan 

Our second speaker of the day was David McKernan, the CEO and founder of Java Republic. David set Java Republic up in Selbridge once he had gained the self-confidence necessary to start up his own business and let Bewleys where he had been working for twelve years. David initially had some trouble with his start-up as people wanted the business to be named java bay as there were very many problems with the republic at that time and they feared it would be a controversial name. David then commented on his own personality saying that has always goes against the grain.

“Forget about the bad things and jump on the good ones”

“Be ruthless you don’t know how tough it is” 

David spoke a lot about the beginning of Java Republic throughout his speech providing us with a very interesting background of the  company. We learned that the business was inspired by café Roma in San Francisco. Once he had been inspired by this business David went home where he proceeded to put his house on the line in order to procure a loan to start his business.

David discussed in great detail why Java worked and provided very concrete reasons to back himself up. According to David his business survived thanks to his never ending drive, a love of coffee, the fact that he had a product which people want, being surrounded by a great team and a desire to get his brand out there that is stronger than his desire to make a profit. David also credited café roma once again because, when he returned to visit the café again years later, the poor state that the business was in and its lack of progress or development spurred him on to redesign his entire product line and relaunch the brand in January of this year to prevent his own business from falling into this state.

To finish his speech David made two predictions in response to questions he was asked, one for his own future and what was in store and, another, for the future of the audience. For himself and java republic, David’s plan is to keep innovating, to stay relevant and, to grow like hell. In order to predict our future, David answered another question which was whether or not entrepreneurship is something we’re born with, or, something that we learn and develop over time. David’s answer was that nature, nurture and life experience are what make an entrepreneur – he believes that an entrepreneur must be trained or made into one as nobody is born an entrepreneur.

“How do you become an outstanding entrepreneur?”

“Be brave and resilient as well as a confident decision maker”


Richards Stokes                        Ronan Furlong                        Eoghan Stack

Our third talk of the day was delivered by the DCU innovation panel consisting of Richard Stokes, Ronan Furlong and Eoghan Stack.

Richard Stokes, CEO of Invent DCU, began the panel by speaking about his role in Invent DCU. Richard spoke a lot about the process involved in choosing the candidates to be accepted into the programme and how they had to filter through a lot of unsuitable or “flaky” applications to find the few gems that could prove successful. Examples of these successful candidates includes Pilot Phototonics which is designed to tackle the internet capacity crunch.

“We see a lot of flaky ideas, you have to screen them all”

The second speaker from the panel was Ronan Furlong, the executive director of the DCU innovation campus. The innovation campus has been running for 6-8 months across 10 acres and 200,000 square feet of land. Ronan spoke of the benefits of businesses setting up on the innovation campus and they included being among a group of like-minded companies that can collaborate, being able to engage with DCU research and being part of a supportive ecosystem.

The final speaker from the panel was Eoghan Stack, CEO of DCU Ryan Academy. Eoghan talked about how he pictures entrepreneurship. Eoghan described his image of entrepreneurship as being composed of a call to action stage, the wise/sage stage, the dark forest stage and the death/rebirth stage.

“I believe entrepreneurship looks much more like the archetypal heroes journey”

For a video about the DCU innovation campus click here.

Kealan Lennon

The fourth speaker of the day was Kealan Lennon, the CEO and founder of Cleverbug. Cleverbug is an online company that specialises in personalised greeting cards. They provide both e-cards and physical cards. Cleverbug also uses facebook to automatically filter and find pictures. Cleverbug also syncs your facebook contacts and can send you reminders when your friends birthdays are coming up. Kealan spoke about how they managed to solve the problem of photo-curation and are now able to find the most appropriate pictures that have the most meaning behind them. Kealan also spoke about how they managed to get a full fifty-five second mention on the today show in America by sending one of the hostesses, Bobbi, a number of personalised cards.

“Share moments in minutes”

After giving us the background about Cleverbug, Kealan went on to share his own opinions about whether or not people are born to be an entrepreneur or if it’s something they have to learn. Kealan believes that people are born to be an entrepreneur or, at least, with the personality for it. According to Kealan an entrepreneur is born competitive, passionate and ambitious. In relation to start-ups Kealan’s advice is that entrepreneurs must adapt to consumer behaviour. For example, Cleverbug is adapted to suit busy mums by automatically sending cards once the profile has been filled in on the website.

To see cleverbug on the today show click here.


Sean Ahern

 Sean Ahern

Our fifth speaker of the day was Sean Ahern, CEO and founder of ThankFrank. ThankFrank is a company that Sean is still in the process of setting up. The ThankFrank idea is to provide a way of putting a thank you button on web pages. The ThankFrank button shows how many people see what’s shared and how many people appreciated it. Sean wants to get the ThankFrank button on the browser of anyone who shares anything on the internet. The aim of ThankFrank is to serve the trustworthy people in the world as Sean loves the trustworthy.

“I love trust”

As a company that is still in the process of establishing itself Sean was able to provide a lot of valuable advice for anyone trying to do the same thing. Th first piece of advice was to understand your product well enough that you could explain it simply enough that one sentence would do.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”

Sean also gave us an insight into what life is like for an entrepreneur during the first few years in business. Sean spoke about how an entrepreneur must be very resilient as a business will experience a lot of ups and downs so they’ll need to be able to pick themselves up and brush themselves off.

“Our greatest glory is not never falling but in rising every time we fall”

Overall, I found Sean’s presentation very interesting as well as informative. It provided a new view to see start-ups from. The majority of the time we hear from the perspectives of people that have already passed the start-up stage and are at a point where their business is succeeding and thriving. For this reason Sean’s talk was my favourite. I found that Sean’s talk was incredibly comfoting for anyone that desires to create or found their own start-up.

Paul Kerley

Our final speaker was Paul Kerley a very successful entrepreneur and investor. Paul spoke a lot about the life of an entrepreneur in his speech, focusing on his own life as an entrepreneur.

Paul began by giving us the background information about his life, telling us that he left school at sixteen to gain control of his own life. After this he decided to start studying engineering, commerce and science at night before beginning to work for US multinationals.

“Anything of value is dangerous to share”

Although Paul worked for many firms throughout his career he chose to focus on his time with Norkom in his speech. Paul spoke about both the successes and failures of Norkom during his time there. Throughout his speech Paul mainly spoke about his struggles at Norkom for example, two weeks before Norkom was due to become an I.P.O they ran into problems and were forced to cut their staff from three hundred and twenty down to one hundred and twenty. Paul discussed what an emotive process it was and how difficult it was to let staff down and to lose hard workers and, sometimes, friends. Throughout the speech Paul constantly spoke about the presonal sacrifices he had to make. After the Telco shock in 2002 Paul and his team had one weekend to come up with a contingency plan for the company. The plan Paul came up with resulted in him having to decrease his stake in the business from 33% to 3% as he struggled to find the funds to keep running the business. Following several further years of struggling Norkom finally managed to become an I.P.O and became profitable. After Norkom was sold to BAE systems in 2011 Paul was able to pay off all of the debts they had accumulated over the years and still make a profit for himself.

“You had to play the game if you wanted to get the money”

Overall, I found Paul’s presentation fascinating as we got to see the entire life cycle of an enterprise from the beginning stages to the profitable final stage. To finish his speech Paul shared a quote with us that Norkom was famous for which was:

“If you’re not making mistakes you’re not going fast enough. The only thing we ask is that you don’t make the same mistakes twice.” 

Get Mobile Mini Conference 2014

On Tuesday November 11th we had our second mini conference as part of the four we will attend for our DICE program. The name of the conference was Get mobile and the theme throughout the day was addressed by Dr. Theo Lynn as he launched the conference. The theme of our conference was “how can we make digital content graspable?” and was aimed at how technology should become more human in the future. As always we had a wide variety of interesting speakers including the business innovation platform director in DCU, the Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder of Digifeye, a lecturer and researcher in persuasive computing from DCU, the Irish market leader for Microsoft mobile devices, the information technology consultant for IBM(International Business Machines and, finally, the Chair of the Marketing Mobile Association.

Dr. Theo Lynn

Once again Dr. Theo Lynn opened up our mini conference with his address. For those of you that don’t know Dr. Lynn is the Digital Innovation Platform Director in DCU and also spoke at our Get Social Conference last month. To begin Dr. Lynn gave us the results of a survey carried out by Thinkhouse – a youth communications agency – regarding what types of phones we have and the amount of time we spend on them.

“98% of us check our phone as soon as we wake up”

“57% of us use our phones while we’re on the toilet”

According to the survey 96% of people aged 18-35  own a smart phone and a shocking 60% of those people own an iPhone! It’s easy to see what the most popular phone is these days. Dr. Lynn then went on to talk about the four C’s and the L of mobile which are the main four groups of apps we use. These groups are:

  • Cash 
  • -Credentials 
  • -Communication
  • -Content
  • -Location

Overall, I found Dr. Lynn’s talk to be incredibly informative and was able to relate personally to many of the statistics he presented us with such as the fact that 98% of us check our phone as soon as we wake up as I check my phone the second I wake up every morning without fail!

Dr. Mark Hughes

“Every vision . . . . A decision”            

Our second speaker of the day was Mark Hughes, the Chief Technical Officer of Digifeye, a discovery and sales platform which turns digital imagery into shoppable content. Throughout his talk Dr. Hughes spoke about their aim to convert browsers into buyers with a great UXP. A UXP is an integrated set of technologies used to provide interaction between a user and a set of applications, processes, content, services or other users. Dr. Hughes then went on to discuss the duchess effect which is they way in which celebrities promote little known brands simply by wearing them in public which I feel explains why businesses are known to send free products to famous people. Overall, I thought Dr. Hughes presentation was incredibly interesting and forward thinking to a degree that it managed to spark excitement in all of the students and guests present at the conference for the future Digifeye.

Dr. Cathal Gurrin

Our third speaker of the day was Dr. Cathal Gurrin from the DCU school of computing. Dr. Gurrin is a lecturer and researcher in pervasive computing. Dr. Gurrin spoke of the progression of technology because of wearable implants. Dr. Gurrin was a walking example of pervasive computing as he was wearing google glass – the mobile sensing technology that his talk was based on. Dr. Gurrin believes that these devices will become mainstream in 2015. The computer vision and artificial intelligence of the devices understand the user environment allowing them to act as personal lifelogs and surrogate memories – automatically recording everything you do, see or hear creating an accurate picture of an individual. Dr. Gurrin also believes that lifelogging will be possible soon due to advances in sensing, storage and search thus enabling the ‘internet of me’. Personally, I found Dr. Gurrin’s talk to be very interesting as the huge advances that will be made by lifelogging are clear to be seen. The new wearable implants allow us to keep an external memory of our lives which can potentially be vital in alzheimer’s support. This information can be used for product placement and marketing as well as it shows what products we buy and how much we pay for them which acts as fantastic market research and allows companies to find their target market.

Eoin Cruise


Our fourth speaker of the day was Eoin Cruise the market lead for Microsoft mobile devices in Ireland. Mr. Cruise spoke about the takeover of Microsoft by Nokia. Eoin also spoke about how in 2011 the began thier renewal, followed by their revitalisation in 2012 – everyone loves a comeback – and their growing momentum in 2013 when they decided to be boldly different in both heart and mind before their consolidation in 2014 when they began to gel together. Mr. Cruise also told us about some gems for growth including unified development which is the Microsoft message. Mr. Cruise finished by talking about their comeback and the rising popularity of windows phones which I can vouch for as my own phone is a nokia windows device. Overall, I found Mr. Cruise’s talk very interesting as he showed the single-minded determination of Microsoft to survive intoday’s market no matter what it takes.

Paul Davey

Our fifth speaker of the day was Paul Davey, the information technology consultant for IBM (International Business Management). IBM have around 400,000 employees globally and 4,000 in Blanchardstown alone. IBM are responsible for the creation of ATM‘s as well as having claims to the first smartphone ever created. Mr. Davey spoke about Watson, a new technology developed by IBM which can allegedly help to treat cancer. Watson is so popular as the technology can eliminate potentially unnecessary costs and procedures. IBM also create mobile apps for many companies.


Alex Meisel


Our keynote speaker for the Get Mobile mini conference was Alex Meisel, the chair of Wiforia and sponge as well as the chair of the mobile marketing association. Mr. Meisel began his talk by addressing common misapprehensions in relation to mobile. First off Mr. Meisel assured us that SMS is not dead by presenting us with somestatistics stating that 145 billion SMS messages were sent in the UK in 2013 alone which is an average of 6.5 messages per head per day sent. After this we were told that mobile advertising is not trivial as it will overtake Newspaper advertising in the UK in 2014. Mr. Meisel then continued to tell us that mobile makes anything a digital gateway stating that marketers needs to make sites mobile accessible in order to maximise sales and revenue as most people will use the internet on their mobile devices before making a purchase. Mr. Meisel also spoke about the need to build a relationship with consumers. Using Birdseye as an example we are shown that using simple methods such as mobile competitions for daily cash give-aways can act as an incentive for consumers to allow companies to contact them via. phone with messages including some product information. Overall, I found Mr. Meisel’s presenation extremely interesting and innovative as he provided new insights and occasionally contradicting viewpoints to topics which we had already heard about from the other speakers as well as providing proof in the form successful marketing campaigns such as the emart sunny sale.

To conclude, I found the 2014 Get mobile mini conference highly interesting and informative as well as thoroughly enjoyable.

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Go Forth and Get Social!

On October 14th 2014 the DCU Digital Innovation Creativity and Enterprise students in DCU had our first mini-conference in the Helix theatre. The name of the conference was Get Social and it’s theme was social networking, media and marketing.We had a wide variety of speakers including the Business Innovation Platform Director at DCU, a founding member of Gajo, the Creative Director co-founder of Thinkhouse, the Marketing Director of RTE digital, the CEO and Founder of Wolfgang Digital, the Sales Director of LinkedIn and, last but not least, the Chief Social Officer at IPG Mediabrands.

Dr. Theo Lynn 

Our first speaker of the day was our very own Dr. Theo Lynn, the Business Innovation Platform Director in DCU. Dr. Lynn spoke about what DCU does in the context of social media research. I took the main point of Dr. Lynn’s speech to be the use of data processing in marketing.

Dr. Lynn spoke of how word processing is used to sift through online content to discover what it is that consumers want and what aspects of a product or service are most important to them. For example they can discover what colour consumers want the new iphone to be. Like I did when the idea was presented to me you probably find yourself wondering what the use of this technology might be. The use of this technology is to predict trends for products 6-12 months in advance of their production when product decisions are being made so the can maximise popularity and, therefore, sales.

Dr. Lynn also mentions sentiment analysis and it’s uses in his speech. After spending a couple of minutes trying to decipher what sentiment analysis is I gave up and googled it to find out that sentiment analysis is the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials. Awareness, sentiment, and intent to purchase are the three main parts of sentiment analysis.

Awareness refers to the people that know and are talking about their brand- these people are more than likely the target market for the brand.

Sentiment refers to the way people feel about the brand and this can be used to identify aspects that customers are unhappy with and fix them to the target market’s satisfaction.

Intent to purchase refers to how we identify real time intent to purchase a product.

In conclusion I found Dr. Lynn’s speech to be extremely informative and entertaining as it touched on many different aspects of social media.

 You can watch Dr. Lynn’s speech by clicking here.

Dr. Deirdre Hogan

Our second speaker was Dr. Deirdre Hogan, a Senior Research Fellow in DCU and one of the founding members of Gajo, a programme designed to help you discover your target market on social media and also to help improve your conversion rates.

The aim of Gajo is to filter to the white noise on social media to find people that are receptive to specific marketing messages. In general user generated content is full of slang, emoticons, typos and grammatical areas which make it difficult for word processing technology to sift through the white noise to find relevant information. Gajo has machines that understand the natural language and can work with the slang used. Gajo also has an automatic question answering technology to answer tedious and repetitive questions. The company also has the technology to detect expressions of purchase intent and match them up with relevant vendors. Gajo automatically finds all the people on social media expressing purchase intent filtering out all the irrelevant information and, in doing so, organises the data into demographic categories and discovers neat communities for brands.

You can watch Dr. Hogan’s speech by clicking here.

Jane McDaid             

Our third speaker was Jane McDaid the creative director and co-founder of Thinkhouse, a youth communications agency. Thinkhouse work to connect brands with the younger consumers of ages 18-35 and to create and deliver innovative campaigns that connect with them. Thinkhouse also work in real time so, instead of working from 9-5 they now work in shifts allowing them to keep on top of social media trends. Thinkhouse have worked with huge companies such as Heineken, Barry’s and ebay.


According to Ms. McDaid 1 billion people use Youtube per month, 92% of videos are shared and 52% of Irish viewers will take action after watching a video. From these statistics it’s clear to see the importance of content in advertising. In her speech Ms. McDaid refers to the seven sins of content which are as follows:

1. Comedy– If someone finds something funny they will automatically share it with their friends which could circulate a product faster than a normal advertising campaign.

2. EPIC– If something manages to capture the viewers attention due to the sheer extent of it it’s deemed as epic.

3. Emotive– A video or advertisement that can evoke strong emotions in a viewer can compel them to action.

4. WTF– A video that makes you pause, tilt your head and think “What the F***?!”

5. Zeitgeist– the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time i.e. something that will go viral and trend all over the world.

6. NSFW– Not Safe For Work – a video that’s too outrageous to be watched in work

7. Informative– An ad that provides the facts and educates the viewer in one way or another.

From the seven sins of content it can clearly be seen that an ad must be attention grabbing if the campaign is to succeed. If the seven sins are used correctly there is no limit to the possible success a brand could have.

You can watch Jane’s speech by clicking here.

Lucy Campbell 

Our fourth speaker of the day was Lucy Campbell, the marketing director of RTE digital. Ms. Campbell spoke about RTE’s journey from being a traditional broadcaster to optimising content across multiple platforms. RTE digital aims to meet audience needs, drive innovation, Support leadership in Ireland’s digital economy, support RTE’s commercial goals and to create a digital organisation culture. RTE is also the number one player for videos on demand, news app and media site.  I found Ms. Campbell’s speech extremely interesting as, in it, she outlined how RTE have managed to become thoroughly modern and to interact with their customers online so they get get feedback and improve their services continuously.

You can watch Lucy’s speech by clicking here.

 Alan Coleman

Our fifth speak was Alan Coleman, the founder and CEO of Wolfgang Digital. Wolfgang Digital offer a wide range of digital marketing services which all focus on helping to get a business found on the internet. I found Mr. Coleman’s speech to be the most interesting as he seemed to have the most normal lead up to starting his own business. After being rejected for a job in Google Mr.Coleman taught himself all about Google Adwords and became proficient at using it before continuing on to create his own business for advertising businesses online.

One of the most interesting parts of the speech was, in my opinion, the way in which Mr. Coleman advocated for soft sell advertising which is the way in which businesses promote their product without beating the consumers over the head with the brand. The example used in the speech was Abbey Travel- a travel agent that was not very well known by the online community. Coleman used the “Google effect” to promote the business which consisted of building up consumer trust in the stages before purchasing so that when the time came to choose an agency they would automatically choose Abbey Travel.

You can watch Alan’s speech by clicking here.

Nicolas Capiello

Our sixth speaker was Nicolas Capiello, the sales director of LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s aim is to connect the world’s professionals to make them
more productive and successful. LinkedIn offers an outlet in which professionals can come together and speak to others in the same field.

LinkedIn offers people an outlet in which they can connect with the contacts that they already have and, in many cases, expand that number exponentially and connect with other people in their field from all around the world. I believe that this is a great example of the incredible power of social media as it shows how people can turn hundreds of business contacts into thousands through the use of one website.

Eric Weaver 

Our final speaker of the day was Eric Weaver, the chief social officer of IPG Mediabrands in America. IPG Mediabrands manage global media-related assets. Which means that they manage and invest $37 billion in global media on the behalf of their clients.

Eric’s main point was the death of organic social media. These days social media websites are inundated with ads along the side of the profiles and, on facebook, regularly popping up in the newsfeeds. Due to the sheer volume of content many ads aren’t seen on newsfeeds unless companies pay for them to appear more often than usual which is problematic as, without any proof that this advertising technique is generating revenue it’s difficult to convince businesses to fund it. This problem led to the development of earned media value which shows the benefit a business would receive for funding social media advertising in contrast to the higher cost of using other forms of advertising to achieve the same result. An example of a business using earned media value is T-mobile‘s CEO John Legere who used Twitter to earn $9.7 million in six months.

You can watch Eric’s speech by clicking here.