Kara Swisher

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Kara and Walt Visit Dublin Castle

So Walt Mossberg and I are here in Dublin, Ireland, and in my last post about our trip, I neglected to explain why:

Our D: All Things Digital conference might be going international.

We have had a lot of success with our annual flagship D, which just took place for the fifth time in late May in Carlsbad, Calif. (D6 is scheduled to be held in late May of 2008.)


This past year was particularly memorable, especially because of the joint interview Walt and I did with longtime rivals and tech legends, Apple’s Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of Microsoft (pictured here, but you can see the highlights video of the interview here).

Thus, we are on what you might call a fact-finding mission, to see if we should make the leap and expand our successful conference brand by adding a new conference with a focus outside the United States.

So, here’s a longish video, with others to follow, of our quest (along with D staffers Lia Lorenzano and Jill Pendergast) to decide on where we would hold EuroD.

First up, a visit to the historic Dublin Castle (circa 1204), where we might hold part of the event and where we are woefully outclassed by the tony surroundings:

A focus on international digital issues is something we all need to do more of in the tech space, considering most of the growth and perhaps innovation will be coming from all over the world in the years ahead. We hope to bring together both U.S. and international tech figures onstage, and are aiming to have the same multinational audience.

We will not decide on whether to move ahead quite yet. But, if we do, we hope to hold the first one next fall and are strongly considering Dublin as the location of the event, which we are calling EuroD (although we also hope to bring D to other parts of the world if we can someday).

While the Irish Development Agency Ireland (IDA Ireland) has been a sponsor of D for the past two years, we’re more interested in the city for its charm, easy access and, most of all, because of its growing tech sector.

That includes both local companies, as well as a clutch of U.S. ones with major facilities here, such as Intel, Microsoft, HP, Apple, Google, Amazon.com and Palm. They’re attracted by a highly educated population and a government intensely interested in developing its digital industry.

In fact, its Taoiseach–the Irish title for the leader of government–Bertie Ahern has been particularly aggressive in pushing for things like broadband and other moves to improve the country’s prospects.

The booming economy is obvious to anyone, evidenced by a plethora of new businesses, stores and all the construction now taking place around the small but bustling city.