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Ignite!


Well, in an attempt to re-ignite my blogging (I’ve honestly been sooo busy of late) I’m going to talk about Ignite.

It’s a “constrained presentation” format, much like Pecha Kucha. It’s a way of making Powerpoint presentations more dynamic, more interesting and more fun. And Nocci, my network for the creative industries, is co-presenting the very first one in the UK alongside our friends at Cardiff Web Scene.

The presenter has only 20 slides, and they rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then hundreds of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC and it is an internationally recognised format for producing dynamic, high energy and engaging presentations, with topics as wide ranging as “How to produce a low-budget horror movie”, “Did today’s architecture cause the financial crisis” and “How to use public transport without going mad”.

If you would like more information then just come along on 3rd December to the fantastic new Sodabar in Cardiff at 6.30pm to watch some cool presentations. If you’re on Facebook then please let us know you plan to attend by clicking “Attend” on this Facebook event. And you can find more information about it, or how to apply to do a presentation on the Nocci news pages here.

Hope you can make it. It’s going to be really exciting!

p.s. If you like the sound of it then have a look on Youtube for examples. There’s tons there….

Categories
business cardiff creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future ignite interesting laptop marketing media oreilly technology web 2.0

Ignite!


Well, in an attempt to re-ignite my blogging (I’ve honestly been sooo busy of late) I’m going to talk about Ignite.

It’s a “constrained presentation” format, much like Pecha Kucha. It’s a way of making Powerpoint presentations more dynamic, more interesting and more fun. And Nocci, my network for the creative industries, is co-presenting the very first one in the UK alongside our friends at Cardiff Web Scene.

The presenter has only 20 slides, and they rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then hundreds of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC and it is an internationally recognised format for producing dynamic, high energy and engaging presentations, with topics as wide ranging as “How to produce a low-budget horror movie”, “Did today’s architecture cause the financial crisis” and “How to use public transport without going mad”.

If you would like more information then just come along on 3rd December to the fantastic new Sodabar in Cardiff at 6.30pm to watch some cool presentations. If you’re on Facebook then please let us know you plan to attend by clicking “Attend” on this Facebook event. And you can find more information about it, or how to apply to do a presentation on the Nocci news pages here.

Hope you can make it. It’s going to be really exciting!

p.s. If you like the sound of it then have a look on Youtube for examples. There’s tons there….

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Pollen is dead. Long live Nocci.

I’m really proud and pleased to announce the “re-launch” of Nocci, the network for the creative industries. It started in a small way in Cardiff last year, but now we’re rolling it out across the UK and beyond. It used to be called Pollen. But now it’s not!

The site is still a little bit of a work in progress, but I’m so chuffed with it as it stands. I have to thank the brilliant Marc and Milen for putting in such great work on it. I can’t recommend both of them highly enough.

Please check out the new site, sign up and get involved with the forum. We’re also looking for people to run Pollen events in their part of the UK/world.

Also, I have to say that I am *stupidly* excited by the news that Stevie Wonder is doing some dates in the UK in September. I’ll do whatever it takes to get tickets!

p.s. If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “nocky”.

(This blog’s picture was taken at The Big Chill festival a few years ago, by the side of one of the ponds)

Categories
business chamber of commerce creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship free geek interesting internet marketing media music Music Industry startup web 2.0

Pollen is dead. Long live Nocci.

I’m really proud and pleased to announce the “re-launch” of Nocci, the network for the creative industries. It started in a small way in Cardiff last year, but now we’re rolling it out across the UK and beyond. It used to be called Pollen. But now it’s not!

The site is still a little bit of a work in progress, but I’m so chuffed with it as it stands. I have to thank the brilliant Marc and Milen for putting in such great work on it. I can’t recommend both of them highly enough.

Please check out the new site, sign up and get involved with the forum. We’re also looking for people to run Pollen events in their part of the UK/world.

Also, I have to say that I am *stupidly* excited by the news that Stevie Wonder is doing some dates in the UK in September. I’ll do whatever it takes to get tickets!

p.s. If you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “nocky”.

(This blog’s picture was taken at The Big Chill festival a few years ago, by the side of one of the ponds)

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2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship home working interesting internet marketing music Music Industry planning startup wales web 2.0 working from home

Knowing what’s good for you…

I’ve been incredibly busy and stressed of late. I tend to deal with it pretty well as a rule, but the lack of sleep, added to the travel and poor diet, has resulted in me being pretty wiped at all times for the last week or so.

So at the beginning of this week I committed to being in bed by 10pm for three consecutive nights, gorged on vegetables, and went out for a couple of long runs. Result? Bags of energy and feeling like a new man.

It’s so important when you’re working on several projects to manage your time effectively, but most of us (me included) never seem to schedule in time for “self-maintenance”. Schedule an hour of your day to looking after yourself (swimming, running, tai-chi, meditation, press-ups or all of the above) and your productivity and energy levels will sky-rocket.

News in brief –

– I wrote and produced a documentary about Prince, a childhood hero of mine, a few weeks ago for an ace internet radio station. You can download it here. Nudge me if the link has expired and I’ll upload it again.

– I’ve been working with Milen from MTR Design and Marc from The Undercard to get a new Pollen website up and running. It’ll be going live within about 24 hours, I hope. So keep checking back to www.pollenhq.com to see the utterly brilliant site they’ve put together. It’s been a genuine pleasure working with both of them and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

– I’ve decided to make my blog a bit more attractive by using some of my photos in it. They won’t necessarily relate to the blog (this week features a shot I took in Lyon when I was there doing a gig a few years ago), but they should make it a bit more colourful around here….

Categories
2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship home working interesting internet marketing music Music Industry planning startup wales web 2.0 working from home

Knowing what’s good for you…

I’ve been incredibly busy and stressed of late. I tend to deal with it pretty well as a rule, but the lack of sleep, added to the travel and poor diet, has resulted in me being pretty wiped at all times for the last week or so.

So at the beginning of this week I committed to being in bed by 10pm for three consecutive nights, gorged on vegetables, and went out for a couple of long runs. Result? Bags of energy and feeling like a new man.

It’s so important when you’re working on several projects to manage your time effectively, but most of us (me included) never seem to schedule in time for “self-maintenance”. Schedule an hour of your day to looking after yourself (swimming, running, tai-chi, meditation, press-ups or all of the above) and your productivity and energy levels will sky-rocket.

News in brief –

– I wrote and produced a documentary about Prince, a childhood hero of mine, a few weeks ago for an ace internet radio station. You can download it here. Nudge me if the link has expired and I’ll upload it again.

– I’ve been working with Milen from MTR Design and Marc from The Undercard to get a new Pollen website up and running. It’ll be going live within about 24 hours, I hope. So keep checking back to www.pollenhq.com to see the utterly brilliant site they’ve put together. It’s been a genuine pleasure working with both of them and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

– I’ve decided to make my blog a bit more attractive by using some of my photos in it. They won’t necessarily relate to the blog (this week features a shot I took in Lyon when I was there doing a gig a few years ago), but they should make it a bit more colourful around here….

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Thinking Friday….

Today’s a day for some thought-provoking stuff. I came across “The Port Huron Statement” a few days ago. It was the manifesto of an American student activist movement. It’s very long (and i won’t pretend to have read it all) but this little section caught my eye. It’s (predictably?) Utopian, but noble nonetheless:

Men have unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity. It is this potential that we regard as crucial and to which we appeal, not to the human potentiality for violence, unreason, and submission to authority. The goal of man and society should be human independence: a concern not with image of popularity but with finding a meaning in life that is personally authentic; a quality of mind not compulsively driven by a sense of powerlessness, nor one which unthinkingly adopts status values, nor one which represses all threats to its habits, but one which has full, spontaneous access to present and past experiences, one which easily unites the fragmented parts of personal history, one which openly faces problems which are troubling and unresolved; one with an intuitive awareness of possibilities, an active sense of curiosity, an ability and willingness to learn.

But here’s the bit that really spoke to me. It talks about economic principles, and this is pretty much my philosophy on my “work life”:

“…work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival. It should be educative, not stultifying; creative, not mechanical; self-directed, not manipulated, encouraging independence, a respect for others, a sense of dignity, and a willingness to accept social responsibility, since it is this experience that has crucial influence on habits, perceptions and individual ethics.”

In other words, work is too big a part of our lives to just do it for the money. In my opinion, anyway. I’ve done mundane jobs I’ve hated throughout my life. But always as a means to an end. I can’t tolerate the possibility that I’ll be waking up 5 times a week for the next 30 or 40 years with a sense of dread…

In other news, I had an ace meeting with fellow Insight Out graduate, Louise Evans (known as “Business Lou” on the occasions when she’s not attending stupid amounts of gigs). Insight Out is a NESTA funded course for creative entrepreneurs and businesses which gives great opportunities and a chance to pitch for bundles of funding at the end. They’re looking for people in Wales to attend the 2008 course. Highly recommended! Drop the super-cool Claire Heat an email for more info.

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Innovation

So much to write about – so little time!

A couple of cracking articles from the BBC about the future of the web: One points to the second web boom (as I highlighted with examples in a post about the huge amounts of money being spent on new companies). And the other asks lots of top thinkers and innovators what they think will happen to the web in the coming years.

And speaking of innovation, I went to a great talk last night by Charles Leadbeater, a world authority on innovation and creativity. His talk was mainly about how immigration is a positive thing for innovation in this country (did you know that Triumph cars, Moss Bros, ICI and ice cream trucks were all founded in the UK by immigrants?). His argument is that complex problems are better solved by a diverse group, and immigrants into a society provide massive diversity. Catering for the differences inevitably comes with higher costs, but the lesson for entrepreneurs and businesses is clear – don’t just surround yourself with people exactly like yourself.

Thanks to Richie Turner at NESTA for hosting it and providing the nice veggie canapes!

p.s. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur in the web or technology fields then you should probably read this….

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Silicon Valley Envy

My ex-business partner Maf and his wife Tara came over from LA this week and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them reminiscing about getting drunk in various cities around the world and talking about the various business pursuits we’ve both been involved with since closing the record label down.
I had a real burst of “Silicon Valley Envy” (although it was strictly speaking “California Envy”). I’ve written before about the superior environment and attitude that exists for entrepreneurs in the States. And while I’m in the enviable position of having good contacts at the likes of Creative Business Wales, nothing really makes up for the general positive atmosphere that exists over there. I run a network for creative entrepreneurs and businesses in South Wales (new website being built as we speak!) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only one of its kind. And yet in pretty much any area surrounding San Francisco, Silicon Valley or LA that’s an equivalent size to South Wales there will be countless networking opportunities for those of us that sit outside the mainstream of business. I’m not a huge fan of networking (in the traditional sense) but, provided there’s an opportunity (online or offline) for people to get mutual support and ideas, I think it’s essential to business success.

In related news, Project Pinewood is “one of the most unique and ambitious projects ever undertaken in the UK for the creative industries. It’s a living working media community, set within a collage of permanent film and TV locations”. Apparently it will have permanent sets of all the world’s major locations. I just hope it fosters young talent and gives opportunities to up and coming film makers, and doesn’t just become a playground for the big studios. I also hope it avoids the curse of the beleaguered Valleywood. More projects like these (and smaller ones like the fantastic hub DigitalCity) are just what we need to keep the creative industries growing at a faster rate than the average for the UK economy.
p.s. The last Bond movie was shot at Pinewood studios, hence the Daniel Craig pic…. 🙂
Categories
2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future interesting los angeles marketing media san francisco silicon valley startup uk USA wales

Silicon Valley Envy

My ex-business partner Maf and his wife Tara came over from LA this week and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them reminiscing about getting drunk in various cities around the world and talking about the various business pursuits we’ve both been involved with since closing the record label down.
I had a real burst of “Silicon Valley Envy” (although it was strictly speaking “California Envy”). I’ve written before about the superior environment and attitude that exists for entrepreneurs in the States. And while I’m in the enviable position of having good contacts at the likes of Creative Business Wales, nothing really makes up for the general positive atmosphere that exists over there. I run a network for creative entrepreneurs and businesses in South Wales (new website being built as we speak!) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only one of its kind. And yet in pretty much any area surrounding San Francisco, Silicon Valley or LA that’s an equivalent size to South Wales there will be countless networking opportunities for those of us that sit outside the mainstream of business. I’m not a huge fan of networking (in the traditional sense) but, provided there’s an opportunity (online or offline) for people to get mutual support and ideas, I think it’s essential to business success.

In related news, Project Pinewood is “one of the most unique and ambitious projects ever undertaken in the UK for the creative industries. It’s a living working media community, set within a collage of permanent film and TV locations”. Apparently it will have permanent sets of all the world’s major locations. I just hope it fosters young talent and gives opportunities to up and coming film makers, and doesn’t just become a playground for the big studios. I also hope it avoids the curse of the beleaguered Valleywood. More projects like these (and smaller ones like the fantastic hub DigitalCity) are just what we need to keep the creative industries growing at a faster rate than the average for the UK economy.
p.s. The last Bond movie was shot at Pinewood studios, hence the Daniel Craig pic…. 🙂