In the run up to the launch of dot:north, here’re a few more events and snippets from across the country’s favorite compass direction…
- The next few months sees a pile up of BarCamps across the North of England and Scotland too with definite plans now announced for BarCamp in Edinburgh and Manchester and planning starting for Newcastle and also Sheffield‘s second camp. We’ll be making a decisions about Leeds soon, most likely aiming for an early Summer event to avoid the traffic jam and take advantage of the great weather 🙂
- Last week saw a screening of Abstract Fear at Old Broadcasting House; with a bunch of upcoming evening talks and further screenings, the North’s first coworking space is warming up a great programme of creative and digital events.
- Last week’s GeekUp Leeds played host to the launch of NorthCast, NorthCrew and NorthPack, respectively podcast, collective and blog-aggregator covering developments across the region. Kinda a rival to our own plans for dot:north and kinda not; the fact that people are bootstrapping coverage of the region – and indeed, looking at the region as a whole – is good news for everyone…watch out for Manoj Ranaweera’s expanded NW Startup 2.0 in coming weeks too.
- Manoj’s programme of events in the North East continues to draw plaudits with last week’s edition of North West Startup 2.0; catch local VC, Ed French’s impressions here… Next month, Manoj will be hosting Mobile 2.0 on 21st February in Manchester…the speaker lineup will include Ed and my old boss and mentor, Dr. Norman Lewis; I’ve been helping Manoj out a little behind the scenes with speakers and themes…
- Last Thursday saw the Manchester Digital Development Agency host the city’s first WordPress User Group and later today Paul Robinson’s remix of coworking and OpenCoffee will take place…sadly I had to drop out, but I’m really liking this idea and plan to pinch it for met:space! Paul’s also one of the brains behind BarCamp Manchester 🙂
- Like Leeds and Manchester, the North East is really starting to buzz, largely through the efforts of Gareth Rushgrove. Gareth bootstrapped OpenCoffee Newcastle which’s now evolved into Refresh Newcastle; incidentally he’s just published an article on How To Build A Facebook Application. Gareth has invited me to speak on Web 2.0 and Business at Codeworks’ Think & A Drink meetup next month; incidentally Codeworks (the North East’s digital development agency) has been been namechecked by Richard Florida! Last but most certainly not least, May will see the inaugural Thinking Digital conference in Gateshead with a lineup including two of my heroes – Tara Hunt and Dan Lyons aka Fake Steve Jobs!
- Next week, I’ve been invited to attend this year’s Leeds City Centre Vision Conference by the city’s Chief Economic Services Officer, Paul Stephens. Paul’s been a champion of Leeds’ digital industries with his support for Leeds Media and the now defunct eHQ Leeds; I’m hoping to impress upon the delegates the notion of Leeds as one of a half dozen hubs of an emerging digital ecosphere across the North.
- Jennifer O’Grady, formerly of Brazen PR has just completed her garden leave by launching her new agency, Democracy PR – named for emergent forms of media democracy. Jen’s collaborating with other regional digital marketing, and media-casting experts, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes of these micro-JVs 🙂 Her more from Jen at YouTube…
- Local dotcom heroes – and ensembli‘s Enterprise Ventures stablemates – Yuuguu were present as exhibitors at Macworld 2008….check their blog for their Apple fanboy impressions! (I hear Anish fainted at the sight of the MacBook Air).
- This year Katz Kiely’s b.TWEEN 08 conference, on 19+20th June, will be moving from its erstwhile home at Bradford’s National Media Museum to Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry. Now if only there was a Museum of Media, Science & Industry eh?
- In a couple weeks time Venturefest Yorkshire will be holding its annual event at the York Racecourse on 6th February; Leeds Met has kindly asked me to join their table at the evening reception, along with Enterprise Ventures’ Ed French and Plusnet’s Dean Sadler.
- Gavin Holland, Orange UK’s former design team manager, based in Leeds has gone indie with his new venture Freeman Holland, a Manchester-based creative consultancy. Gav and I used to run Orange’s Design Futures research programme together, including some experimental product and services designs along with a design conference – Design+. Expect to see great things from Gav and his partners.
- Holbeck Urban Village‘s Round Foundry in Leeds is holding an evening networking event, Future Work, to help introduce ‘directors and staff from the cream of creative design agencies,
technology companies and arts practitioners’
- Last, but not least – two weeks from today is the February edition of OpenCoffee Leeds, complete with a handful of demos 🙂
So wow – if I didn’t live here already, I’d wanna move to the North – the Pennine Parallel is taking shape – now all we need is a fucking Apple Store in Leeds!