Author Archives: Bodger


Dublin Web Summit Founder Paddy Cosgrave

You MUST decide.

Explaining the growth of the Dublin Web Summit, Paddy Cosgrave writes:

It’s taken us 4 years to scale Web Summit from 400 attendees to 20,000 and a bunch of physicists have played a big part.
Back in 2010, 3 international journalists showed up, this year it will exceed 1,200. Investors is up from 4 to over 800. Exhibitors from 3 to over 2,000.
With each passing year an increasing number of people ask how has it grown so fast? When I share the answer it’s almost never what people expect, so here it is:

Our growth has been largely propelled by data science. Or more correctly, in my view, network science. While conference companies hire event managers, we hire physicists with PHDs in areas like complex systems and network analysis. They then apply that knowledge and understanding to the task of creating and optimising real life networks. After all a conference is a network, albeit a momentary one. We love stuff like Gephi, NetworkX and Datasift, and algorithms like eigenvector centrality, Force Atlas and Fruchterman-Reingold.

…In other words, we “engineer serendipity” at the scale of 20,000 attendees. Put another way, the people at your table or on your pub crawl at Web Summit are neither a random collection of attendees nor a manually curated group of attendees, but rather the product of algorithms


Engineering Serendipity: The Story of Web Summit’s Growth (Paddy Cosgrave, Dubl;n Web Summitt blog)

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)


Baltimore Sea Safari writes:

“This battered and bloodied Atlantic Grey Seal was hauled out on Quarantine Island [Co. Cork]. He bears the scars of a mating season encounter, when the dominant male guards a harem of females, and will defend off all possible suitors or challengers. These challengers often end up like this guy, defeated, dejected and bloodied.”

Harem, eh?



And devilishly handsome.

Gavin Fogarty writes:

I know you don’t normally do this, but our lovely cat, George, didn’t come home to our apartment on North Circular Road yesterday afternoon. He is neutered and microchipped but, as he was a rescue cat, he’s very nervous, so best to let us know if you see him. I know there are more important things in life than missing cats, but he means a lot to us…

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Laser Video, George’s Street, Dublin last night.


The best-stocked video store (and best informed video store staff) in Ireland.

Mark writes:

One of Dublin’s most well known stores for picking up classic films, world cinema and some indie surprises is to close its doors after 25 years. Laser DVD has been located on George’s Street for the past 22 years. But the decline in the movie rental market and the rise of online streaming and downloads has meant that the store is now in the process of selling off its library before shutting up shop…


From top: Joe Murray (13 years at Laser), right, and Gerard Morgan (10 years); Joe Murray and a Hitchcock death mask; Peter Dunne (10 years with Laser); Gerard and R2D2; Joe locks up.

(Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland)


Aoife Dooley’s ‘Ah Gwan’ keyring

There may be tay key rings.

Brian writes:

I know you dont normally do this, but I met Aoife Dooley yesterday and she has an exhibition and launch of her book ‘Life Tips And Other Bits’ and a sale [of prints, keyrrings, etc]  in the Bernard Shaw [Richmond Street, Dublin]  tomorrow at 6pm. A post would help a really amazing, funny and talented Dublin artist. I’m just attending, not organising…

Life Tips And Other Bits Launch – Aoife Dooley (Facebook)

Previously: To be The Best