I’ve not slept much tonight due to so many things going on.
Xcake.org, the Cocoaheads Ireland and Northern Ireland wiki that John Kennedy and I set up last year has migrated to a NING network – mainly because we had to do something about the spam but it’s brought some unintended benefits and hopefully will be a community backend to apps.ie.
Similarly something is planned for DigitalCircle.org which has already started a movement to Digital Circle on NING again in an attempt to reduce the time it takes to get stuff up and running. If you’re looking for digital content creators in Northern Ireland, you can search the network there already.
On top of this is the current activity around the #nisw hashtag on Twitter. It’s nice to see do many people debating the future of the software industry in Northern Ireland. If you have an interest in this, get involved.
We’re still finalising sponsors for the ‘mobile concept and design challenge’ which is a competition that Digital Circle and Momentum are putting together. The idea being to get folk thinking about excellence in user interface design as well as real-world applications concepts. If you’re interested in being a sponsor, you know where to find me.
Core, the Co-Working space in Belfast will be opening it’s doors on the 4th of August. Co-Working is a subject close to my heart and though circumstances prevented me from continuing with that project, I’m extremely supportive of Andy and the excellent work he’s been doing to bring this to fruition.
This might be helped also by some new programmes in place. Craft NI have a programme they run called ‘Making It’, designed to teach business practise to those engaged in craft and art projects. Speaking to Sara Graham at Creative & Cultural Skills yesterday left my mind buzzing about chasing that as a certifiable programme that could be applied across all of the disciplines in Digital Circle. That’s something new for me to chase – creating a programme of mentoring and preparedness for digital creatives, using in-field experts, with the eventual plan to bring them from early concept to investor readiness. See – the Entrepreneur Machine I mentioned a couple of posts ago – it’s something I’ve been discussing with others.
I’d like to pursue that alongside a cross sector skills event hopefully bringing together C&CS, Skillset and eSkills – the three sector skills councils which operate in the digital content sector in Northern Ireland. It’s time to do a little joined-up thinking.
On top of that, I spent a couple of hours yesterday talking to a new Location-Awareness startup about funding through the e-Synergy proof of concept fund and I’m excited to see them get their company started. It’s a great idea with a proven market need – and they’re local.
Speaking of local – I’m continually impressed by the change in the industry in Northern Ireland. When I was sponsoring BarCamp 1 & 2 out of my own pocket, the industry was just getting it’s act together – finding each other – but now, as evidenced by the amazing turnout at BarCamp 3, kindly sponsored by Digital Circle, it seems the industry in Northern Ireland is not only sustaining but thriving. Every day I hear about new and cool ideas coming out of the woodwork – and it’s amazing the difference in attitude.
The real difference is in how we are perceived by the outside world. We have companies coming into the province to hire development talent because we have the will, the skills and the presence of a region much larger than our geography and population should permit. Our nation’s sons and daughters have built engineering marvels, pushed the barriers of science forward, inspired millions of others and we are often too humble to accept our own achievements.