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