TODAY IN LIMERICK set a high-water mark for OpenCoffee Limerick in the Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry's Mall, along the River Shannon estuary. More than 24 people attended this casual meet-up with most of the people standing in the bar area conversing in groups of three or four. Around the corner, next to a blue light sculpture, James Corbett showed interested attendees his Eee Top, a touchscreen computer running Windows XP and defaulting to Skype video services when booted. I heard about BizStart from Microsoft, Bizcamp Limerick from Gabriela Avram, OpenCoffee on Rails from Evert Bopp, how local radio could cover OpenCoffee from presenter Conn O Muineachain, listened to the most outstanding use of technology in Irish primary schools from John Kennedy, innovation vouchers from John Jennings, and I watched two creative multimedia students film tweetable greetings for use on a skunkworks project involving Walter Higgins. I shared some flying stories, learned about reducing stress, absorbed some "train the trainer" ideas, collected two business cards and spoke with a reporter from The Sunday Times who was looking for evidence of the fall-out from Dell leaving Limerick. The OpenCoffee experience continues tomorrow in Cork, with other groups regularly meeting in Dublin, Waterford, and Kilkenny. I'm interested in taking a trip to Castlebar for the first OpenCoffee meeting there and I'd like to visit Galway if that group can restart its schedule. Behind the scenes, and in the digital record of today's event, we're trying to give OpenCoffee in Ireland a strength in aggregation. I'm putting some thoughts here for follow-up.
Publicise Demo Time. The Eee Top was a very nice demo. More would have seen it and touched its screen if we had mentioned it being available beforehand. I also should have worked the bar and mentoned the demo running just outside the door.
Connect the Posse. There are several places people could meet up and exchange information beforehand and afterwards. A nice watering hole is developing at the OpenCoffeeClubLimerick blog. There is a minimalist presence in the Upcoming Events section. On Twitter, the #LOCC tag is well-used. Jaiku's IrishOpenCoffee channel still feeds info but it needs to pull RSS feeds from the other Irish OpenCoffee sites. And the elephant in the room, OpenCoffee.ie needs to get its mojo.
Bizcamp Limerick. This will be a big event, set for Saturday 21 March 2009 in the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. Some planning factors were discussed during OpenCoffee Limerick today and from the local buzz, it's possible that more than 200 people will attend the day-long (free) Bizcamp Limerick event. James Corbett has written about both Bizcamps in Ireland.
OpenCoffee on Latitude. We traveled to OpenCoffee Limerick by searching for the term using Google Latitude, found the venue on screen and then followed Google's Maps to park under the hotel. Once inside, we showed a few people how all this looked on the Nokia E90.
Evert Bopp -- "Report from Open Coffee Club, February 5th"
See some shots of OpenCoffee in Ireland on Flickr.
The next Limerick OpenCoffee club meet-up is set for Thursday morning, 5 March 2009. You can indicate your interest in attending at Upcoming.org.