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How Lanyrd Got Me Speaking Again, and Songkick Got Me Going To Gigs

Surprising title perhaps for someone that talks as much as me, but what I am talking about is speaking at events. Lanyrd is a great new service, straight out of Shoreditch, by way of bad belly in Casablanca, designed to help folks get more out of events – and most importantly not miss ones that are cool. Designed for both speakers and attendees, it pulls together all the data you might be interested in to help get more out of events, and to engage with interesting people.

I shared an office with the founding husband-wife, developer-designer, team Simon Willinson and Natalie Downe for a bit. They are next door now. Lanyrd has all that pretty and useful stuff nailed down. Lanyrd has some great touches, erring on the good side of the creepy-magic continuum. For example, it creates your initial profile based on twitter username – of course you manage your own profile, but its cool that the app just tells you what events you’ve spoken at over the last couple of years with no set-up overhead. One particularly nice touch is the inclusion of any books written by the user, so if you’re interested in learning more from someone whose talk you enjoyed the Amazon links are all ready for ordering.

So what happened when I first visited my profile? I was kind of shocked to see how little speaking I had actually been doing. As an industry analyst I have to admit that my first question when someone asks me to speak at an event is – what’s the fee? the good old analyst-vendor relationship in action. So much for being a contribution oriented guy. So much for getting in front of the right developer audiences. So much for doing anything much in London.

Easy fix. Present at JAX London 2011.

Keynote | The Rise and Fall and Rise of Java | James Governor
View more presentations from JAX London

If we really are different at RedMonk I need to make sure I change my behaviour. Of course its not just the events I speak at, its also the events I attend. So while it can be hard to balance work, family life, and everything else, I need to make sure that I get out there a bit more: since Lanyrd I have been a lot more cognizant of the fact.

If you run events, go to events, or speak at events my strong recommendation is to start using Lanyrd.

I was about to hit publish, when I realised there is another beautifully realised app worth mentioning in the same breath. SongKick is another London startup, and its raison d’etre is helping you find gigs by bands you like. Some parallels with Lanyrd then. The SongKick set up experience is particularly lovely – go to the site, start naming bands you like using the Tracker, and before you know it, you’re getting emails telling you about such and such a gig. I don’t get out much, being a dad and all, but I purchased my first tickets based on a Songkick recommendation just a couple of hours ago – I am off to see Lambchop at the Barbican in March.

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  1. Nailed it. The conferences you want to be at if you wanna be around devs are exactly the same ones that can’t afford speaker fees, particularly those with ties to open-source or startup communities where a lot of innovation begins. Look at community-driven stuff like FOSDEM, Open Source Bridge, etc or even more corp things like OSCON where developers still are. None pay fees for standard talks.



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