Leading figures in social media will descend on Galway later this month as part of the seventh annual BlogTalk international conference. The two-day event, which took place last year in South Korea, will be held on the campus of NUI Galway on August 26th and 27th.
Speakers already scheduled include Galway-born entrepreneur Fergus Hurley and Dan Gillmor, the former Silicon Valley journalist who is now director of the Knight Centre for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. Representatives of the industry’s biggest players, including Google and Facebook, are also due to address attendees.
The conference’s general chairman John Breslin accepted that in recent years many other social media conferences had been created and this had pushed them to open the event to anyone interested in attending.
However, despite these other events he felt BlogTalk still had a unique selling point, particularly due to the more forward-looking approach it takes to the industry.
“We have a nice bunch of speakers coming in this year; it has traditionally been more of a technical event but now there’s a split between technical and general interest,” he said. “It also has a mixture of what’s going on now but also has some future talks.
“We have a lot of people coming in talking about what they’re doing next which is always very interesting.”
Despite the conference’s name, this year’s BlogTalk will have little to do with the relatively old-fashioned platform of blogging, instead focusing on the impact of newer social tools such as Twitter. Mr Breslin said this was a sign of how quickly the internet was evolving and creating new communications channels.
“The conference was all about blogging when it started seven years ago but blogs have kind of faded from the limelight and it’s more about social media now,” he said. “This is probably the last year we will use the BlogTalk name, to be honest.”
Two-day tickets for the event are €149 or €99 for students and the unemployed; a one-day ticket costs €99. A full list of speakers and times can be found at 2010.blogtalk.net.