Appy Enda woos techies with bell-ringing endorsement

A large contingent of platform huggers witness Kenny’s Nasdaq moment

More than 7,000 attendees are coming from abroad, with about 1,000 from the UK and others from the US, Germany and Scandinavia. The Dublin Web Summit is now a fixture on the international tech calendar.

Thu, Oct 31, 2013, 06:54

Enda stood out from the crowd – the lone political geek in a suit and tie wearing a goofy smile. Go Enda!

Woo!

What an honour – a first for Ireland (ringing the bell in Dublin to open trading on the Nasdaq) and a first for our punctuality-challenged Taoiseach (turning up on time to do it.)

Go Taoiseach!

Woo!

He’s no stranger to the practice of ringing opening bells at stock markets in New York. This one was different though – he was performing the function remotely yesterday.

Thousands of delegates to the Dublin Web Summit crowded into the main hall in the RDS to witness the Taoiseach’s ground breaking restyling of My Ding-A-Ling.

Although in the end, after a very big build-up, there wasn’t much ding to Enda’s ling. It probably sounded far better across the Atlantic, where the event was beamed live on Nasdaq Tower in Times Square without hordes of pumped-up techies screeching “Woo!” at the drop of an app.

The RDS stage was packed with digital “founders” for the countdown to Enda’s big moment. These ceremonies always seem to attract a large contingent of platform huggers.

We half expected to see a familiar helmet of blonde hair among the smiling men (this event seemed overwhelmingly male), but there was no sign of Denis O’Brien this time.

Two huge screens in the darkened hall counted down the seconds to opening time. Enda emerged to a throbbing soundtrack wearing a Miley Cyrus microphone headset and we prayed he wouldn’t set another record by become Ireland’s first twerking Taoiseach.

He got a fantastic reception from the wooing multitude.

“Thank you!” he roared. “Welcome to Dublin, capital of Ireland. Welcome to Ireland, the new capital of the digital world. Welcome, America.”

The crowd was on its feet. Arms in the air, holding up a forest of tablets and smart phones.

But mortifyingly, in the new capital of the digital world, the wifi wasn’t working.

“Can you believe it?” asked a German journalist next to us. “This is a web summit with no wifi. I’m supposed to be live-tweeting this.”

We gently broke the news that the new capital of the digital world wouldn’t have any water either if she wanted to take a shower at the end of the day.

An undercurrent of electronic music pulsed urgently as the Taoiseach spoke.

“Ringing the Nasdaq bell from Dublin is symbolic of this country’s prime position as a hub of digital enterprise and innovation”, he bellowed in the course of his ringing endorsement of Ireland as a place to do business.

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