I’m at dConstruct this Friday

Immediately after the first day of Silicon Beach I’ll be catching the train back to Brighton in preparation for Friday’s dConstruct conference.

dConstruct is:

“dConstruct has a different theme every year. Last year it was “playing with the future.” This year it’s “communicating with machines.” The line-up for this year features designers, developers, artists and researchers from the worlds of web, mobile, security, comedy and music, all united for one day of exploration and entertainment.

For one day, the workers of the web come together to think about the big picture. If you want practical, hands-on instruction, you should come to the workshops but the conference itself is all about inspiration, mind bending, and good ol’-fashioned fun.”

For me, dConstruct is a chance to meet new people, catch up with lots of friends, and open my brain to some weird and wonderful ideas and experiences.

So if you want to catch up, you know where to find me.



I’m at Silicon Beach this Thursday

I’m still rather new to Dorset, so I can’t wait for this week’s Silicon Beach conference, which will give me a chance to meet a few more of my local peers.

This is the blurb for Silicon Beach 2013:

“For the past two years, the annual Silicon Beach conference in Bournemouth has slowly (but surely) been gaining a reputation as an event that exceeds expectations, successfully sending its audience away with their minds blown.

The two-day event draws together an enviable programme of inspiring thinkers and doers, from a wide variety of disciplines, all with a common purpose of sharing their expertise and the latest innovative thinking that’s driving the rapid growth of the creative economy.”

Silicon Beach 2013

If you want to chat to a copywriter in Dorset, you know where to find me!




Brighton Digital Festival – celebrating digital culture this September

Brighton Digital Festival

A bunch of Brighton people  have been busy creating a digital festival for Brighton. The festival connects a collection of conferences and workshops and wraps them all up with a massive dose of digital art to create a month-long orgy of digitalism.

In addition to performances, exhibitions, experiences and fairs, a host of Brighton’s regular meet-ups are becoming part of the festival, including our very own WriteClub!

Head over to brightondigitalfestival.co.uk for more on the festival (the website was designed and built by the talented Mr Aizlewood of Carbon Graffiti, with a little copy input from me).


Brighton’s first content strategy meetup

Approaches to web content strategy

Brighton’s first content strategy meetup is happening on 23 February at iCrossing’s office in central Brighton.

Here’s the blurb from Charlie Peverett’s event page:

You are cordially invited to Brighton’s inaugural CS meetup! For strategists, web writers, editors, UX designers and IAs; from Brighton, London and beyond.

Starting with drinks and nibbles in the iCrossing canteen, we’ll kick things off with a group discussion around the theme (honouring the recent TedxBrighton)

Reasons to be cheerful (about the future of content)

If you’ve got a reason to be cheerful, please submit it (with URL if relevant) to charlie.peverett@icrossing.co.uk by 5pm on the day, and be ready to tell us all what it’s all about.

Thanks to Richard Ingram for the lovely diagram illustrating this post.

No hope on the boat – a life lesson from TEDx Brighton


I was lucky enough to get a ticket for TEDx Brighton, the conference that aimed to deliver a few “reasons to be cheerful”.

The conference was fantastic – a phenomenal experience considering none of the attendees paid a penny to attend. Tom Bailey, the organiser, has a lot to be proud of. It was also a pleasure to watch two familiar locals, Anthony Mayfield and Will McInnes, deliver excellent talks.

However, my favourite bit of one big awesome day was hearing about Sally Kettle’s adventure’s in rowing the Atlantic. Sally told us a tale that sounded somewhat like a peculiar daydream, rather than something a person actually did. A spur of the moment decision to row the Atlantic ended when her  partner pulled out sick, so Sally called on her long-estranged mum. They then spent the next four months rowing together, across the actual Atlantic.

During the arduous voyage Sally would sometimes complain, “I hope the current changes direction” or “I hope the weather holds out for us” or “I hope we reach land soon”. Eventually Sally’s mum snapped, “Stop hoping for things. Hope does nothing to change anything. Hope is not an action plan. If you want to reach land sooner, row harder. There’s no hope on the boat.”

There’s no hope on the boat!

I love this idea. When Sally first mentioned her catchphrase, it sounded very bleak. “No hope” – doesn’t sound great, does it? But the meaning is incredibly positive, because it’s a call to arms. It’s an encitement to take charge, to take control and to stop waiting for things to happen.

So if you ever catch yourself hoping, or praying, for things to change, stop. Less hope, more rowing.

Public Speaking: Thoughts from dConstruct

dConstruct 2009

I went to dConstruct last Friday and wanted to quickly capture some of my thoughts, before they fade. I discovered all kinds of interesting factoids, but many of my thoughts were related to the act and skill of public speaking.

What did I learn?

  • I like energetic speakers. It’s nice to be enthused and inspired.
  • It helps if a few jokes pepper a presentation.
  • I like real-world examples to counter the confusion of theoretical chatter.

And the not-so-good stuff:

  • Big words should stay at home. Speakers can lose an audience in a maze of esoteric language. What’s the point of speaking if nobody knows what you mean?
  • A presentation benefits from a point. A big, juicy point that is clear and understandable. Just chatting about something you know is fine for you but less wonderful for the 600+ people listening.
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