Archive for October, 2007

Ticketsolve goes for Ticketmaster's Soft Underbelly

conor 31st of October 2007 by conor

ticketsolve01 Ticketmaster is the 800-lb middle-gorilla hated by both purchasers and vendors alike. Ticketsolve offers an alternative simple value proposition for small to mid-sized venues and events.

The litany of horror stories about Ticketmaster by ticket purchasers continues unabated. From the inflated charges, problematic site and incorrect billing, it survives due to a semi-monopoly in most countries. However it has problems in equal measure with those who need to get their tickets sold too. This is now being reflected in dropping business with IAC's poor results in July blamed squarely on the Ticketmaster division.

Rather than tackling them head-on, most competitors are going after the areas where Ticketmaster is weak such as the secondary market (StubHub, Seatwave). Ticketsolve, as a small start-up, appears to be aiming for smaller local customers and building from that. They to make the entire process of ticket sales simpler for vendors, with an upfront clear pricing model and without the common exclusivity deals forced by Ticketmaster.


There are a few clear benefits to the site. No set-up fees, flat rate per ticket so it scales with you and, most importantly, the purchase happens on your own site because Ticketsolve integrates into existing sites. Even if the costs were no lower than the competition, this integration must be compelling to anyone looking for further upsell opportunities on their own site. They claim that using their system leads to 34% online sales increase and 28% lower costs. I'd be interested to see what these are compared against.

There are three obvious markets for this service: disgruntled customers of other ticketing systems, small venues who want something that scales with them and venues that have yet to implement online ticketing. A small cinema local to me has completely removed all electronic ticketing presumably for cost reason and perhaps something like TicketSolve would bring them back into the game.


Since there is a plethora of venues and events in Ireland every day, there is an immediate local market for this service. The case studies they highlight include The Dublin International Film Festival, The Mermaid Arts Centre and The Dundalk Ice Dome. I walked through the purchase flow for tickets on the Ice Dome and it was as seamless as Ticketsolve claims. They can easily grow this business organically on a country by country basis.

Company Index: Ticketsolve

Comment posted by Carley
at 11/2/2007 6:24:15 PM

I work for a company in the United States that has been around for about seven years, called Brown Paper Tickets. It sounds like Ticketsolves' operating philosophy is much like ours. Viva la revolucion! Momentum is building around the globe! I'm excited to see where all this goes..

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 11/1/2007 10:21:32 AM

Great point about listings and pollution Sean.

I'm looking forward to your future announcements!

Comment posted by Sean Hanly
at 11/1/2007 8:30:45 AM

Great to see an overall positive response.

To pick up on some of the points mentioned:

- TM (in the guise most of us know them anyways) is not the big player in the end of the market we are playing in – mid to end of the tail to use long tail metaphor. The venues and festivals do not tend to use TM and TM does not provide them with the demand that they would for example drive towards higher end concerts.

- Most of the impetus for sale for our clients are there own marketing initiatives whether it be newspaper, direct, etc. Very rarely is it a browsing situation.

- The listings is something we may to look at in the future. However this space has been 'polluted' by existing providers who tend:
– take ownership of data and relationship through some type of membership scheme
– excessive charges justified by referrals that often times are not true referrals.
– we as a policy do not take any ownership of the client data or interfere in the relationship because of this.

- On the style partnership all I would say is watch this space.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 11/1/2007 5:57:18 AM

I didn't actually realise that IAC would be doing their Q3 results yesterday!

The story on Ticketmaster was margin still declining due to operating cost increases but operating income up 9%. Expecting flat or up slightly in Q4?.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 11/1/2007 4:42:41 AM

I'd love to see an analysis of point-of-origin for ticket sales for different event types. i.e. where did the impetus for the sale come from: newspaper ad, billboard, word of mouth, the event/venue site itself or from Ticketmaster direct.

For all those events and venues where you already know what you want, Ticketmaster has no advantage. For times where you are looking for something to attend and just want to browse, obviously they have the upper hand.

One thing Ticketsolve could do there is have a portal site with listings only (or partner with equivalent of that then re-direct people to the event/venue sites themselves.

Comment posted by Alan O’Rourke
at 11/1/2007 4:28:36 AM

A note to the guys if they are reading this, my wife is a county arts officer and programmes events year round. This would be ideal for her and all the other arts offices around the country. Might be worth giving them a shout.

Comment posted by Alan O’Rourke
at 11/1/2007 4:21:47 AM

Its a great idea and i hope it works. Back when running events for the Designers Guild we went with a similar start-up (less web, more phone and email) in Dublin and found the service great and costs a fraction of ticketmaster. The problems they had was in building enough momentum against the monster Ticketmaster. It was catch 22 for venues. While very expensive ticketmaster had the audience so venues were afraid of low attendance if they didnt go with them, even if they earned less money. I don't believe the start-up survived.

Chris Horn on web2.0

admin 30th of October 2007 by admin

Chris Horn- co-founder of IONA – has a long post on web2.0 – titled The Long Tail Wags – following up from a recent event in Galway.

European APIs at Mashup Camp Dublin?

conor 27th of October 2007 by conor

I'm getting a bit sick of mashups like find the nearest Twitter users in a Starbucks with free wifi using Google Maps with the map centred firmly on downtown San Francisco. Guess what? We have one Starbucks in Munster, the wifi ain't free and Google Maps in rural Ireland is rubbish.

But that doesn't mean I'm not excited by the arrival of Mashup Camp in Dublin because I see the opportunity for something very different to happen here. I'd like to see the bulk of the APIs and applications being discussed, used and mashed up to be of European origin. Is this feasible? Of the top of my head I came up with the following:

There must be many more, let's hear about them!

Just in case you think this will just be a talk-shop, I asked David Berlind for some examples of outputs from previous camps. He pointed me to the impressive ChimeTV which uses a mashup approach to tune in to channels that in-turn aggregate video from across multiple sources. He also mentioned FutureBOSTON which prototyped some ideas for what the urban planning tools of tomorrow might look like. He has a video of a very neat Salesforce mashup from a previous camp here.

The only way you are going to learn about all of these is to attend. Mashup University is happening Nov 10-11 and Mashup Camp is Nov 11-12, both in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. You need to register to attend. See you there!

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/31/2007 3:48:01 AM

John Musser over at Programmable Web has a list of 28 Euro-APIs.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/31/2007 1:59:19 AM

And like a fool, I left out Swarmteams despite only writing about them recently and Ken mentioning their API.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/29/2007 5:37:38 AM

Courtesy of Programmable Web :




Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/28/2007 1:52:26 PM

And another:


Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/28/2007 7:33:34 AM

Two more obvious ones that I forgot are:

BBC Backstage Audioscrobbler

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/28/2007 5:43:33 AM

Thanks Walter.

Sorry for the delay Ed, you got stuck in spam queue (usual 2 URL limit in wordpress comments struck again)

Just thought of DERI guys and SIOC. Wonder if any mashups possible there?

Comment posted by Walter
at 10/28/2007 5:09:06 AM

There's more pixenate documentation at the above link. If anyone wants to use the API and is having problems, fire an email to

Comment posted by Mashup Camp Blog Blog Archive Dublin camper Conor O’Neill challenges fellow campers to think differently
at 10/27/2007 9:40:14 PM

[] Mashup Camper is apparently looking for a mashup of a different sort at Mashup Camp. Wrote Conor earlier today: I'm getting a bit sick of mashups like find the nearest Twitter users in a []

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/27/2007 12:58:46 PM

Absolutely. Post links to the docs here!

Comment posted by PaulSweeney
at 10/27/2007 11:52:58 AM

Hi Conor. VoiceSage have an API that allows you to mash up outbound sms, voice, and premium sms. That's got to be interesting right?

Like Free Tickets to Web2Expo Berlin?

conor 26th of October 2007 by conor

The lovely people at CMP have made a few more tickets available to me for European bloggers who wish to attend the full Web2Expo Conference. This looks like an amazing few days from November 5th to 8th with a multi-stream conference, great keynote speakers, workshops and an expo. Not only that but our own Nicole Simon of blognation Germany is running Web2Open which is the unconference part of the week.

How do you get your hands on a pair of these tickets? Simply write a blog post (in English) linking over to this one explaining why you should get the tickets and which parts of the conference are most interesting to you. We'll pick our favourite post and hand over the access codes.

You must be willing to attend the conference and obviously you'll have to cover the cost of your own travel and accommodation.

As the conference is coming up very soon, the closing date is tomorrow (Saturday) midnight BST.

UPDATE: We're delighted to reveal that the winner of the two tickets is Ute Moritz. Congratulations Ute, we hope you have an amazing few days at the event.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/31/2007 1:56:57 AM

Two more tickets for you all!

First person to email me at conor DOT oneill AT blognation DOT com can have one.

The second one is on offer at the infamous Storagezilla blog.

Comment posted by Ute
at 10/30/2007 2:13:29 PM

@pierro . thank you ;) ))

Comment posted by Pierro
at 10/29/2007 5:40:06 PM

Congrats to Ute from me too :)

Comment posted by Tobias
at 10/29/2007 2:43:33 PM

congrats to Ute. And I´m going to look for Tim´s autograph ;-)
Might see one or two of you guys there at the open events.


Comment posted by Ute
at 10/29/2007 2:09:34 PM

Yeahhhhhhhhh! Amazing!!!!!! Great!!!! Thank you so much ;) )

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/29/2007 1:52:33 PM

Tobias, apologies for the delay in announcing.

We're delighted to reveal that the winner of the two tickets is Ute Moritz. Congratulations Ute, we hope you have an amazing few days at the event.

Comment posted by Tobias
at 10/29/2007 8:05:03 AM

Hi Guys,
when are you going to announce the winners?
Or do you just send out the voucher codes?

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 10/26/2007 1:30:31 PM

@Phil – not done for links, done to make it easy to find the entrants!

Comment posted by Tobias
at 10/26/2007 1:12:36 PM

just have a look:

Comment posted by Phil v. Sassen
at 10/26/2007 11:25:52 AM


Be careful! Google might penalize your prize draws with a ranking penalty.

Innovating the Business Model

admin 25th of October 2007 by admin

Over 150 people attended yesterday's Innovating the Business Model event at Stillorgan Park Hotel. Headlining the bill for day was Prof. Henry Chesbrough who is Executive Director of the Centre for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Chessbrough's message revolves around the notion that the best innovation stems from the use by firms of external as well as internal ideas to create value and increase growth. From the classic Xerox example and the relatively recent iPod examples, he presented a compelling case.

Although he did not explicitly mention web2.0, the relevance was extremely obvious. A particular thought which occurred to me following his talk was whether Irish web2.0 companies could follow this thinking to its ultimate conclusion and collaborate on new services. The inconvenient reality of who would ultimately own, drive and manage such ventures is an obvious issue but maybe not impossible to figure out.

Other speaks on the day included:

- Sean Keenan of Galway based Multis who spoke about their use of innovative models of partnership
- Danny Gleeson of G&L Technology Ltd who spoke about the European Space Agency as a source of new licensing opportunities
- Dave Quane of Notel Ireland who gave an insight into Notel's restructuring in the face of changing market conditions
- Maria Weir & Jane Watters from Scotland's Intellectual Assets Centre who spoke about their experiences of working with Scottish SME's who hold intellectual assets at the core of their business models
- Alexander of Arvetica who presented a graphically based method of mapping business models.

The event was organised by my colleagues in the technology & automation division of Enterprise Ireland.

blognation at Marketing in a Total Access World

conor 24th of October 2007 by conor

I'm one of the speakers at an upcoming event in Dublin which is concerned with maximising the marketing opportunities offered by social software and social networks.

The line-up right now is:

  • Lionel Alexander, VP Hewlett Packard
  • Micheál Martin TD, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
  • Dr Breffni Tomlin, Academic Director of National Institute of Technology Management, UCD
  • Open Forum with Aisling McCabe of RTE ePublishing, Richard Moyles of and myself

There are two keynote speakers; Regis McKenna is a Silicon Valley Marketing legend who has helped launch many of the seminal technology products of the past thirty years including those of Intel, Apple and Genentech; Micheal Platt is a Microsoft Architecture strategist and will talk about Enterprise 2.0

It's refreshing to see ICT Ireland, UCD and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment involved and interested in this area. This is not your usual echo-chamber conference and I'll be particularly interested to get mainstream audience feedback during the open forum. I fully expect to hear plenty of confused or doubting voices.

Irish Java Technologies Conference – Dublin – November 7th to 9th 2007

admin 22nd of October 2007 by admin

Java is still a very important web2.0 technology – and a really awesome event is the Irish Java Technologies Conference & DubJUG, the Dublin Java User Group are hosting Irish Java Technology Conference, to run for three days from November 7th to 9th 2007 at the Cineworld Complex in Dublin, Ireland.

IJTC the first National Java conference is expected to attract over 500 software developers –
The IJTC conference will run for three days from Wednesday November 7th, making it the most ambitious developer conference ever attempted in Ireland and one of the biggest in Europe.

Over 18 guest speakers, including Java stars from IONA, SUN, Apache, Red Hat, Interface21 and Microsoft will lecture on subjects ranging from Enterprise, Web, Desktop and Mobile Application Development to iPhone, SUN Spots and Robotics.

A full list of speakers and lectures is available at the IJTC web site

IJTC is 100% community owned and driven, reflecting the size and entrepreneurial spirit of the software developer sector. The conference is supported by industry sponsorship and registration charge is only 189 Euro.

TouristR = travel social network

admin 22nd of October 2007 by admin

Jan and his team rolled out improvements over at TouristR – a really cool travel2.0 service which is morphing into a “travel social network”

Blognation has a more detailed review – do check out the screencast on Touristr.

Travel is a very lucrative e-commerce vertical – as proven by the likes of,, tripadvisor, etc. See this forrester presentation for some additional information on travel2.0.

Regis McKenna in Dublin

admin 22nd of October 2007 by admin

Regis McKenna is regarded as one of the great marketing thinkers. And…he’s coming to Dublin on 27th November to talk about how marketing as we know it is disappearing in what he calls a “total access world”. What does he regard as enabling this world…web2.0 technologies to a great extent.

Regis is joined by other speakers including Michael Platt of Microsoft who spoke at the O’Reilly Web2.0 event in San Francisco last April.

Please find link to the event here.

MashupCamp – great speaker line-up

admin 22nd of October 2007 by admin


Where: The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland
When: November 10-12, 2007
What: John Musser, Founder, and Chad Dickerson (Director Yahoo! Developer Network) among the keynote speakers at one of the best hands-on development conferences in the world!

Who’s it for: Primarily developers, plus anyone with a passion for technology, or a burning need to understand how to use the new APIs being offered via Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, Netvibes, Skype, EBay, Amazon and others.

How does it work?: The mashup camp is a mix of speaking, education, and attendee-driven sessions, organised over three days, as follows:


Chad Dickerson: Sr. Director, Yahoo! Developer Network and driving force behind Yahoo’s APIs
John Musser, Founder, – the world’s leading online resource for open APIs and Mashups
Woodson Martin, Marketing Director, EMEA Region, – one of the innovators in online CRM solutions

Education! Hands-on with Mashup University:

This part of the conference focuses specifically on learning how to use some of the many APIs and development tools now at your disposal. It’ll cover 1.5 days of hands-on instructional material on how to use a variety of APIs and development tools to build mashup applications. The lineup of “classes” starts with a series of entry level classes designed for the beginner taught by inventor John Herren (pictured right).

After John wraps up his introductory level classes on mashup programming, we’ll be diving into some advanced content, including:
- IBM’s QED Wiki-based tools for mashup software development.
- Microsoft’s PopFly, Microsoft’s Windows Live,
- Mashup development tools from Serena and Kapow
- AOL’s APIs

Mashup Camp:

Once the education section concludes, Mashup Camp will begin. The idea is that the attendees drive the agenda for this section of the conference. At the start, attendees propose discussions around the topics that are of the most interest and relevance to the people in the room. Although formal presentations are allowed, the most vibrant sessions are the ones where the person who proposed the discussion in the first place kicks the discussion off and keeps in on track, but invites others to participate and contribute. This approach has worked well for Barcamp and a range of other informal, technology-centric conferences.

Win cool prizes – for real!!!

Win an Apple MacBook Pro notebook computer!!! How? Mashup developers are invited to enter their mashups into the Best Mashup Contest. The mashup developers must then make their best pitch before the attendees, who vote on which is the best mashup. During the Camp’s closing ceremonies, we award a first, second, and third place prize. At Mashup Camp Dublin, the first place prize will be an Apple MacBook Pro notebook computer.

Fun in Dublin
What good would the newest technology event to come to Dublin be without a visit to one of the city’s traditional pubs? In addition to the free meals we’ll be offering to Campers during Mashup University and Mashup Camp, we invite you to join us for a night of local indulgence and food at The Bankers on 16 Trinity Street on Sunday Evening (November 11th).

Cost and sign up

To sign up for Mashup Camp or for more information, please be sure to visit the Mashup Camp Web site at Alternatively, you can write to Mashup Camp’s founders David Berlind and Doug Gold. Write to: David or Doug.

Lastly, whereas non-sponsoring technology providers and venture capitalists are asked to pay an attendance fee in support of Mashup Camp, developers are only asked to make a nominal payment of 25 Euros. However, we don’t want the 25 Euro payment to be an impediment to your ability to attend. Should that be a little too tight for your budget, let us know via e-mail and we’ll be happy to waive the nominal fee.