Cardiff has got it goin’ on!

I LOVE living in Wales.  I’m sorry but I do.  I’m a proper Welsh girl.  I love the place, I love the people I just think that it’s awesome.

When I set up Cardiff Web Scene nearly three years ago now I did so because there wasn’t much of a local scene happening for people with an interest in the web.  But I’m so glad that in the last week I’ve been to two brilliant webby events that have been started up by other people.

The first on Thursday was the first Cardiff Girl Geek dinner (which I’ve just blogged about for Wales Online).  Girl Geek dinners are there to support women in the tech industry and the turn out was fantastic.  It was a great pleasure to be in a room of such, gorgeous, intelligent and fascinating women and I can’t wait until the next one.

The second event was the Cardiff Tweet Up on Friday.  Tweet Ups are a fantastic way to not only put faces to the tweets that you follow but also to meet new, local tweeters and find out what they are up to.

It’s fantastic independent events like these two that have inspired the new project that I’m about to start working on (bit too early to talk about at the moment but more information will follow).  If you are running or are involved with an independently run event in Cardiff I would love to hear about it.

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Ignite Cardiff – a year on

In this nice relaxing time between Christmas and New Years as much as I’d love to be partying and catching up with friends and family I instead find myself stuck in front of my laptop setting up Facebook events, writing blogs and setting up new Twitter accounts and yes it’s all in the name of Ignite!

March will see the fourth Ignite Cardiff and I find it hard to believe that just over a year ago Neil and I introduced the Ignite concept to a very tentative audience!  The feedback and support we have had from everyone continues to bowl me over so I’d like to say a huge thank you to you all for coming along, volunteering to speak, tweeting, blogging and just generally saying really lovely things to us!

In particular I’m overjoyed that this will be our second setting at the Wales Millennium Centre – it really means a lot to us that such an iconic company recognises and appreciates what we’re trying to achieve.  I’m also really pleased that Brian Carroll from Crimzn has offered to film and edit the talks again for us.

The one thing that I’m a little bit sad (and scared) about is that my partner in crime Neil Cocker is going to be on holiday for Ignite Cardiff #4 which left me to deal with it all by myself and lets face it – that was never going to happen!  Which is why I’m really excited (and eternally grateful) that Mark Stevenson is stepping in to help me out in the run up to and on the night.  Mark has spoken twice at Ignite events (including our first ever Ignite Cardiff Karaoke) so should know as much about the event as I do!

The next effort is to find a sponsor.  We’re looking for someone to put forward approximately £800 which will be put towards running costs, equipment hire, promotional materials etc etc in return you’ll be mentioned in all of our publicity in the run up to and after the event, your logo will be positioned on all of our print material and we will talk about how fabulous you are as much as we can!

If you’re interested in sponsoring Ignite Cardiff please drop us an email to

I hope you’ve all had an awesome 2009 and that 2010 will be even better!

Claire x

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New look!

OK, I know, I’m really, really rubbish at keeping blogs and things up to date.  However, my resolution for 2010 is to try harder to get my website sorted out and this is the first step!

So, this little redesign is just a step to getting up and fully functional, and I’m hoping that a proper website will follow in the next few months.

While you’re here and I’ve got your attention here’s just a quick plug to say that I’m involved in two incredibly interesting events in the first half of next year.  This first is Ignite Cardiff #4 which is being held on March 4 at the Wales Millennium Centre and is part of Global Ignite week.  The second is TEDxCardiff which is being held in the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre on April 14.

If you’d like to be involved in either event please let me know (we’re looking for volunteers, sponsors and speakers for both), you can drop me a line at

Anyway, other than that I hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a great new year 🙂 .

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Less than 24 hours the the first UK Ignite…

As Ignite Cardiff approaches, I think it’s probably fair to say that I’m a little bit nervous, but very excited.

We’ve had some great support, especially from Cardiff Web Scene members and I’ve had some lovely emails and wishes of good luck.  I’m also eternally grateful to our speakers, who have given up their free time to write and present talks, and without them we wouldn’t be able to have an Ignite Cardiff and I’m also really, really grateful with the fantastic Neil Cocker of Nocci who has been an absolute star.

I think the only thing that I’ve been slightly disappointed by is the lack of media interest, especially from the local media.  We really want to do something great for South Wales by showing that Cardiff can play in the ‘big boy’ leagues in terms of UK firsts and really cool events, and despite having sent press releases out to everyone we could possibly think of, as well as relentlessly Twittering, we’ve been contacted by one journalist…

Anyway, as we’re getting closer to the first ever UK Ignite (in 24 hours it will all be over) you can follow the ‘proceedings’ through my Twitter and there will be photos up on Cardiff Web Scene.  Also, bit of a newsflash, we’re hoping to bring Ignite to London in 2009 (you heard it here first folks!) so if you’re interested in that just drop me a line!

*** Claire

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How deep is the interactive pool?

I’m in the throes of organising Ignite Cardiff with the brilliant Neil Cocker from Nocci.  Ignite Cardiff is the outcome of several Cardiff Web Scene meet ups, which I’ve been involved in organising over the last year.

One thing that continues to surprise me is that, despite what must be hundreds of web professionals based in Cardiff, we rarely get a turn out of more than 40 to the regular CWS events.  We actively push the events through every method we can think of (I’ve personally taken to badgering people) but there does seem to be a strong sense that those involved in the web are quite happy to virtually network, through the likes for Second Life, Facebook, twitter and various forums, but for some reason, the prospect of actually getting people in a room together, face to face doesn’t seem to have a great appeal.

Having come from a marketing and design background, I’m used to communities that have a really strong support network, such as the Cardiff Design Festival where people are really glad to meet others in the industry, to chat, mingle, job hunt (and of course brag about the work that they’ve just done). Having said that I’m positive that there are a lot more designers and creatives in Cardiff than there are developers – which left me wondering just how big is the Cardiff interactive pool? Are we talking a couple of hundred, in which case our 98 CWS member list is quite respectable, or are we talking thousands, in which case it’s a little poor.  And how can we reach out to them and inspire them to leave their screens and come and have a free pint at the next meet up?

If anyone knows the answer, give me a shout… or even better feel free to put together an Ignite presentation for next Wednesday!

*** Claire

Igntie Cardiff is being held at Sodabar, Cardiff at 6:30pm on Wednesday 3 December and entry is free!

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My own blog… finally!

OK it’s been on my mind for a few weeks now and I’m glad to say that I’ve finally got around to setting up my own blog!  Now aside from talking about work and web related things (like I do on Cardiff Web Scene and on the Box UK BBC Labs blog) I can also rant on about my other passions in life such as shoes, cats, decorating and shopping!

My main project at the moment is setting up the first UK Ignite event, which is keeping me quite busy and out of trouble.  It’s free entry so if you’re interested in being part of a really cool networking event and a UK first, come along to Sodabar on 3 December at 18:30.  See you there!

*** Claire

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