Creative and Technical Industries – raising the game

I met David Kirk last night. We’d only exchanged comments on Facebook and Blogs up until now; important stuff like managing online communities and the joy of a fish supper on a Friday night.

There was clearly something on his mind and he quickly came to the point. It was a challenge; how to raise the game in Northern Ireland for the businesses he had been coaching at the Science Park’s Entrepreneur Academy and the industry they are part of? Specifically how can I help with that through journalism, blogosphere, social media and so on.

Well, I had a lot of ideas, but no real answer.

• I’d love to see a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) style thing in Belfast.

• I know that we need a real website to show off the work that is done in Northern Ireland.

• I know that we have to stop being insular and be more open to ideas.

• I know we have to stop looking to government and grant giving agencies for leadership (as do they).

But that’s what I know, and that doesn’t account for much. The question is what do you know? No, that’s the sub-question.

The questions are “What obstacles do we face in raising the game for the Creative-Tech?” and “How will we break those obstacles down?”

So here’s the offer from David Kirk – if I pull together some form of communication between the Creative and Tech industries (or is it just industry?), he will pull together his friends in Silicon Valley to comment and encourage. That’s a big offer.

This cannot be top – down. This must come from the creative community. DK and DS cannot create a community response. We can foster and encourage and from time to time help focus.

So I’ll start with a few community guidelines:

• Open to anyone who is prepared to work for progress – creative, technical, or neither but in support of creative-tech.

• No negativity – frankly I’m tired of people telling me why I can’t do something “because …” Like brain storming, can we make the comments “Yes, and … “ rather than “No, because …”

• We start here on a Facebook page, but we eventually migrate to a place which makes interactivity easier. I’m only using Facebook to start with as it’s a fairly common platform, free and disposable.

• This MUST be a place where there are ACTIONS taken and DECISIONS made.

I’m starting this group with David and a few email addresses I picked up last night. Please invite anyone to join and begin discussion. David and I will try to lead at the beginning to give it focus, but we don’t own this; we’re just part of it. To stop this just being a place where we talk even more — we need to set the first objective. Let’s start with this and make it stronger and clearer, then let’s do it. “By September 2009, create a means of communication to show the work of the Technical and Creative Industry in Northern Ireland.”

I’m starting as a closed group. I don’t intend keeping it as a closed group. I don’t like SPAM and to be frank starting this as an open group sends what appears to be spam to everyone linked to me in Facebook – for many, this is an irrelevance.

If the group decides, it will be open to join without approval. In the meantime, I’ll approve all who ask for membership.

The starting point is here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=74685156378

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