Last Thursday I found myself in Brighton, which is a revelation – a concentrated community of tech entrepreneurs who get to live by the sea, drink at awesome cafés and have the kind of social values I love. As well as some consultancy at the University of Brighton, we were there for an Elgg Meet, where cool people like Tom Kiss, Steve Purkiss and the crew behind the Brighton Gallery hung out and talked social media with us over a couple of beers.
As a result, I’m heading back in a couple of weeks, spending a healthy portion of my monthly salary on a cheesy novelty hotel room for a couple of nights so I can be there over the Hallowe’en weekend. Tom’s annual Crawl of the Dead takes place on the Friday night – it sounds like it’ll be better than ever, so I’m toying with finding myself some zombie makeup and joining them. Before then, I’ll be hanging out at the Werks, an awesome coworking space that resembles Chris Messina’s Citizen Space in San Francisco.
Right now, I’m in Edinburgh, which is a very different sort of place. I moved away from here four years ago, and it’s interesting to see how it’s changed; in particular, the computer science students are no longer forced to do their work in the basement of the maths and physics block, next to the boiler room. The new Infomatics Forum looks like a piece of science fiction utopia has landed where a grotty old pay-and-display car park used to be, and I’ve been told that they plan on having lots of events and programmes to develop a thriving tech community here. Having left in part because there weren’t those opportunities, I’m going to keep a very close eye on it.
As I said in my previous post, if you’re in Edinburgh on Saturday October 18 and are in any way curious about Elgg, I’ll be at an Elgg Meet at the Peartree from 3-5pm. Please join us! I’ll be shamelessly wearing a heavily-branded Elgg T-shirt, so you should be able to spot me.