We were lucky enough on Weds to have two people speaking who are really in to what they do – and great at talking about it.
Joel talked about the life of a web developer running his own small biz, with a lot of small biz clients. He talked about how adaptable he needs to be, and how broad a knowledge base he requires – as ‘wanting a web site’ can have an infinite number of meanings… so the best way to describe what he does is internet strategy.
Interpreting this service he offers as producing lots of free and useful stuff on twitter and in his blogs, Joel described his leap to becoming a content creator and how he loves the immediacy and rough edges of fresh content. Don’t beat yourself up over the odd spelling mistake was his message – the most important thing is jump in and create…
This generated some different viewpoints from the more editorially preoccupied amongst us…
Nicky then took us through how she started her hyperlocal Digbeth site, a vivid and inspiring story and apt description of how hyperlocal sites can help communities revive and regenerate themselves. She described how she and her colleague train roomfuls of volunteers on how to make their WordPress sites work. She took us a on remarkable tour of different sites, including one edited by an 83 year old gentleman, with a passion for putting different images in the header pretty frequently…
When asked about the varying contributions of different volunteers to the sites, Nicky said that as we might expect, it’s the community activists who are already setting up coffee mornings or community gardens who take the lead and do most of the work.
For Big Society sceptics, Nicky’s talk was antidote in her description of the extent to which people are getting involved with hyperlocal. Faith-restoring.
About 25 of you turned up, which was heartening too and thank-you.
Chris had travelled all the way from Llandovery to attend, which was amazing. We had information within the group about the multi-lingual plug-ins, the Cookie Directive, Think Digital and Pixel Picnics ( aarggh, should be playing now) and Joel’s Port 80 conference for the end of May.
Apologies to anyone who minded the curtailing of discussion on the European Parliament v the rights of the individual.
If I’ve left anything out, (like the plug-in details) please supply in comments, and next meet up will be May/June time.
Thanks again to Joel and Nicky. And anyone who wishes to send us anything relevant, please do.