It is often said the best ideas are born of frustration and this is exactly how DayOut.ie came about.
Co-founder and director Keith O’Brien, a family man, arrived at his holiday destination in Killarney only to find that although the surroundings were beautiful the hotel could not provide him and his wife with any suggestions or activities for their children, nor could he find anything on the internet.
He told his friend and now co-director Fergal Walsh about his experiences and Walsh, who has 10 years’ experience in the web business, had a look around and came back with the conclusion that if they wanted a site to help families find and plan fun activities they would have to create one themselves.
DayOut.ie, O’Brien said, is especially oriented towards mothers who may not be particularly tech-savvy. The new redesigned ‘Web 2.0’-look site, which will go live on Friday, aims to make it hassle-free to click through, find what you want and find it fast.
There is no nonsense about either Walsh or O’Brien – both have children and both know exactly what kids need to be entertained. Out of this the overall concept for the site evolved and expanded, due to industry interest, to include categories for couples, guys, girls and groups.
“There’s a bit of travel in there, a bit of holiday destination, county reviews, activities, venues, event guides, festival guides,” Walsh explained.
However, one thing that irks the travel planner more than anything is when event or venue information is completely outdated.
O’Brien said DayOut.ie avoids this by allowing the customer (hotel, event organisation etc) to use the content management system to instantly update their own pages, and best of al,l if this information goes stale it is pushed down in the overall listings so site users do not readily see it.
What about customers who provide inadequate information on their page? Well, there is a ratings system to encourage more details by telling the business how complete their listing is, much like the star system in rating the strength of an email password, O’Brien explained.
All this should go towards providing the user with more accurate but one really exciting element will be the social networking aspect due to rollout over the coming weeks.
The site, which has free registration, will allow users to add written reviews and photos of their own holiday or day-out experience, as well as compare with like-minded individuals in order to recommend or target tailored activities.
Walsh and O’Brien have big plans for developing DayOut.ie but for now are looking to launch the new sister site NightOut.ie, which plans to list cinema, theatre, clubs, pubs, restaurants and other evening activities.
By Marie Boran