Supporting Peterborough STEM Festival 2018

We’ve worked with clients across the UK and around the world. But the digital community and people of Peterborough are a little special for us. So we’re pleased to be supporting Peterborough STEM Festival 2018 for the third year in a row, via our involvement in the non-profit organising group behind it, Digital People in Peterborough.

Peterborough STEM Festival 2018

You can find out full details about Peterborough STEM Festival via the official website. But what’s amazing is how it’s grown over the course of three years from hundreds of people attending in 2016. This year, thousands of free tickets have already been booked.

It’s an event we’re proud to be involved with, having co-founded the original Digital People in Peterborough monthly tech meetup not long after starting our business. And continued to volunteer time and support since then to help with DPiP, the STEM Festival, and a growing number of fringe events.

And the success this year is a tribute to the main organising team, and all the sponsors who give their time and money to help to encourage, inspire and develop the STEM interests of children from across Cambridgeshire and further afield with a massive range of speakers, attractions and more. And to the exhibitors, volunteers and others giving up their time to help.

Failing to understand the social media economy?

This is a great example of how you can listen to someone talk about the way that social media, social business and engagement are all supposed to work, and yet miss the entire point when it comes to actually trying to interact. If you’re not familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s worth me pointing out there’s some strong language.

It’s so often the case, particular with larger companies and the relentless need to show immediate ROI that even when someone understands the concept of earning what they want, that they succumb to the temptation of just diving straight in with the request, because someone has insisted they need to show results in the next day or week.

(Incidentally, Gary has released two books, Crush It! and The Thank You Economy. Both are well worth reading).

It’s why I’m been sharing this article by Michael Ellsberg on the Forbes website – a recommendation from one notable blogger did more for the success of his book than national broadcast television or newspapers. But the flipside is that he’d built that relationship up over a period of years, rather than days, weeks or months.

That’s also potentially a great reason to use freelance resources, which is something I intend to expand on. If you’re a new company or you’ve never tried earning coverage and referrals before, then it can take a long time to build those relationships. Whereas I’ve tried to work on them every day for the past decade, which is why I’m able to survive via word-of-mouth referrals and work via previous clients, colleagues and friends.

Geek curry night in Peterborough…

The belated arrangements for the fourth meetup for ‘Digital People in Peterborough‘ have now been announced, and in a change from the pub format, it’s going to be a curry night

I’m still surprised that something I’d mentioned in passing to my good friend @pjeedai and virtual acquintance (at the time) @joffff has turned into a regular meetup which sees 20+ digital people get together for drinks, food and chatting. All from just deciding a time and a place and seeing if people would turn up.

And it’s continuing to grow. We’re getting a reasonable amount of people checking out the site regularly, more and more people are registering and posting in the forum, the Facebook page has got 34 Likes so far, and the Twitter account has 25 followers.

That might be small if you’re used to reading case studies of global brands and millions spent in marketing, but as a group which met for the first time 5 months ago, and which has come together from nothing, I’m pretty amazed. And particularly as it’s revealed how many talented and skilled people are in the area – as a result, it’s led to the founding of digital design and development company Jodanma, of which I’m a co-founder, for example.

With the ease of communication and organisation, if you’ve ever wondered about starting a community around a cause, shared hobby, idea, dream etc, there really is no excuse not to give it a go. Maybe it’ll become massive in terms of size, or value. And maybe it’ll take a bit of time and work. But there’s no excuse for not giving it a try and finding out who else is interested…

 

Second chance to meet Digital People in Peterborough

Last month I finally asked if anyone fancied coming along to a meet up for people working in all aspects of digital in Peterborough, UK and the surrounding area. And fortunately I didn’t end up sitting on my own in the pub, as around 12 people came along for a pint and to chat. It was great to meet a load of talented people, catch up with a couple of people I already knew and be able to find out how much we had in common etc.

So, as it went so well last time, we’re doing it the same way again this month, on Thursday November 25th from 7.30pm, in the Brewery Tap pub in Peterborough.

There’s more details and the chance to meet up with other digital people in the Peterborough area online at http://dpip.spruz.com (No www), or via a public Twitter list I’ve created for Digital People in Peterborough. And we’ll be using the Twitter hashtag #DPiP.

It’s likely to be the last one before Christmas, so hopefully everyone can make it, and in the new year, we’ll look at what we can add to the drinking and chatting to make it even more useful for everyone…

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The first ever DPiP pub meetup…

The first meet-up of Digital People in Peterborough took place last night, and seemed to be a resounding success judging by the comments and conversations in the pub, and responses on Twitter (hashtag #DPIP).

Personally, it was much needed. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in freelance work for a number of clients, meeting and chatting to people about some possible permanent roles in the future, and keeping OnlineRaceDriver updated as my main public-facing personal project.

So it was great when around a dozen people showed up last night, with a wide range of talents and interests – designers, developers, marketing, website owners. Everyone huddled round a table and started chatting, and I think that a good few contact details were exchanged and potentially some interesting new ideas were hatched…

It was great to find so many talented people are based in the area, whether they’re working for large companies, small companies or freelancing, and to be able to find out more about what they’re working on.

The plan is to meet up once a month, so I’ll share the details of the next event soon, and possibly introduce some chances to learn more about each other, specific projects and share some know-how…

Incidentally – if you happen to run a pub or suitable venue in Peterborough for 10 – 20 geeks to turn up for an evening (especially if you have plug sockets, wifi and somewhere reasonably quiet to chat), let me know!

And finally, huge thanks to everyone who was able to make it – my fears of sitting alone in the corner of the pub were unfounded! And really big thanks to @joffff for helping to organise and round-up interest, and @pjeedai for his help and buying some food for everyone to share…

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Into digital? In Peterborough? Fancy a pint?

Ages ago I started to realise how many people worked in the digital industries in Peterborough, and how cool it might be to get together with some of them. In addition to bigger companies like Bauer Media, or the large number of digital people commuting to that London place everyday, I keep discovering more and more freelancers, entrepreneurs and damn interesting people who call this part of East Anglia home.

So, months after originally suggesting to someone that we should arrange some meetups, I’ve finally put the minimal amount of effort into actually doing something.

So, the first ever Digital People in Peterborough (DPiP) meeting in the pub is set for Thursday October 28th in the Brewery Tap in Peterborough from 7.30pm.

Whether you’re a web developer, designer, blogger, marketer, journalist, database specialist, seo specialist, or entrepreneur you’re welcome to come and have a couple of beers and chat to other people in digital, mobile and general tech geekery.

And you don’t have to be in the city limits to join in – surrounding towns and villages are welcome – the name is more to limit which venues we choose!

If people are interested, I’ll sort out more focused events in the future, but the first one is mainly to see how many people can actually make it to the pub on a school night, put faces to usernames, and see what happens.

I’ve even set up a quick community site for anyone interested, which will have more details on this and future events – it’s at http://dpip.spruz.com/

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