The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Featured event: WordCamp Sydney 2012 — June 25, 2012

Featured event: WordCamp Sydney 2012

The Fetch is excited to feature this year’s WordCamp Sydney happening the 21– 22 July at the beautiful University of Sydney on their main Camperdown/Darlington campus. It’s an event for developers, bloggers and all general WordPress users and enthusiasts. We are fans and users of WordPress over here at the Fetch (if you couldn’t guess from our blog).

Co-organisers, Tracey Kemp and Dee Teal met at WordCamp Gold Coast and afterwards were keen for the event to come to Sydney. The local user group had got off the ground around mid-2011 so the timing seemed right. “…and frankly, it’s a good excuse to hang out with the crew and talk WordPress, so I never miss an opportunity for that!” shared Dee. “Figured, given that the last WordCamp in Sydney was in 2008 we were well and truly overdue.”

Session topics will range from SEO for your blog and plug-ins to personal branding and the future of WordPress. The full list of speakers and session topics can be found on the website. “This is a fantastic group of people, one that has welcomed me and will do the same of them, regardless of how much or little they know about WordPress,” said Dee.

This will be a fabulous event to learn more about WordPress, get help with areas you’re struggling with and to make new friends with this cool platform in common. We hope that you’ll join us there. Readers of the Fetch can receive $25 off their ticket when they register with this codeF3TCHWPSYD

Connect with WordCamp Sydney on Twitter @wordcampsyd or follow the event hashtag #wcsyd

Event Review: Portable Presents Frank Chimero — June 12, 2012

Event Review: Portable Presents Frank Chimero

I attended an inspiring talk last Friday with Frank Chimero put on by Portable. We were back for an afternoon session at the Vivid Ideas Exchange held at the MCA. An influencer in the design arena, Frank has worked with leading businesses worldwide such as The New York Times, Nike, WIRED, Microsoft, Facebook and more. However, on this Australian speaking tour Frank shared less about his own portfolio and more about his thoughts on design thinking, defining good design and the creative “search” we were challenged to take.

I often find myself most inspired by events and meet-ups that reach beyond my usual work. I must confess, sitting in a room of designers listening to a talk on design thinking (when you’re not a designer) is wonderful. After all, design thinking touches more than just those who actively work in the field. The messages around technology’s growing role in our work and the potential to design a better future rang true with me as someone who identified as a digital marketer and perhaps just ‘creative person.’

One thing that really stuck with me was Frank’s message around the path that we take when creating. He said that he often does things the long, hard and stupid way. He swears and makes the people around him miserable throughout a project. While it’s painful at the time, in the end that hard work is seen by the world. Others can see when someone puts time and care into a project and the audience appreciates it for that reason. We recognise good design when it delights us.

I often feel this way when I’m writing the fortnightly Sydney Fetch (I promise I don’t swear when curating the Fetch). I take my time pulling each link manually. There are quicker ways we could populate the newsletter, but I like to think that some of this manual process can be seen by our readers — that they can see the care and thought that was put into it.

Frank also shared, that as creative people, he thinks we don’t shy away from the difficult path.  We are willing to take on the hard work and go on “the search” in our careers and ask the tough questions. Something that I think many friends of the Fetch can identify with.

Thank you Frank Chimero and Portable for a great event.

What inspired you this week? Let us know, leave a comment below. 

Event Review: Three Awesome Things about Awesome Soup — June 9, 2012

Event Review: Three Awesome Things about Awesome Soup

What: Awesome Soup was organised by Sydney’s chapter of The Awesome Foundation as part of Vivid this year. Each month the group come together to read applications of local projects and then fund one of those projects with a $1000 microgrant. Awesome Soup awarded a $5000 grant to the winning idea chosen by all of the attendees. Your ticket to the event went toward the grant total. By contributing financially and participating in the voting process, attendees of Awesome Soup gained some insight into how the Awesome Foundation operates each month.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) as part of the Vivid Ideas Exchange.

Overheard: Oh no, I said that ‘awesome word’ again.

Awesome Ideas

We heard five finalist pitches (narrowed down by the Awesome Foundation board). It was everything from a day of bubbles bringing random joy to Sydney-siders, to a business that would turn Japanese tattoos into wallpaper. Each project shared had its own level of awesomeness; however our champion at the end of the night was Oxford Street Design Store — a project that has already shown a promising start, and will continue to give back to the community.

Awesome People

One of the best parts of Awesome Soup was all of the wonderful people who it attracted. It was great to chat with some friends of the Fetch and also see some new faces. As part of the event, we had dinner (soup, if you couldn’t guess by the name) and get to know our table. We were bonded by good conversations and good food, a winning combination in my book.

Awesome Sydney

Hearing these ideas and being in this room surrounded by inspired people was just another reminder of how awesome the Sydney community is. I’m glad that this event was part of the Vivid lineup.  I wonder what other awesome, local, ideas we can support over this coming year.

Have an awesome idea that needs some help getting off the ground? Apply for an upcoming grant from the Awesome Foundation. 

Interview: Sydney Local, Renae Mason — April 29, 2012

Interview: Sydney Local, Renae Mason

Renae Mason

Name: Renae Mason

Website: awesomefoundation.org

Twitter handle: @awesomefoundsyd and @missnae

Works at: Boomworks by day, Awesome Foundation by night

Sydney has a chapter of the awesome foundation, which is awesome. Can you tell us a little about it?

The Awesome Foundation provides micro-grants for micro sparks of genius and creativity. Every month ten trustees chip in a collective $1000 of their own cash to fund a project, no strings attached. There are currently about 33 chapters in the world providing a great support network and sharing so many inspiring stories, it can be hard to keep up with all the good news!

What do you think is awesome?

Well that’s easy. Every month there’s something new to choose from in the world of Awesome! One of my favourite projects is The Oxford St Design Store, where a variety of quality, local and handmade goods are sold for $1, $5, $10 and $20 respectively. They are also hosting events, an artist-in-residence and a co-working space. It’s great to see this happening right in the heart of Sydney, where rental prices can make this kind of gathering very difficult to pull off.

Some of my other favourite projects just demonstrate what a big kid I am. In Awesome Boston, they built the world’s biggest hammock in a park for all to enjoy. In Awesome LA they installed guerilla swings in interesting locations all over the city (imagine the joy of swinging under a boardwalk as the tide rolls in!), and in Toronto there was a night of cardboard fort building. The designs were epic!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

I like a lot of stuff that’s happening at the edge of industry, with events like Pecha Kucha, TEDx and Trampoline Day. These events empower people to come together and share their unique perspectives.

Also, I’m a huge museum and gallery fan and the work of the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale really stands out from the crowd. The passion for Chinese contemporary art, cultural exchange and audience engagement shines through in everything they do.

Where do you get your information from?

All over the place! I’ve got to admit – my feed reader is bursting with loads of interesting things I will never get the time to read. Mostly I find great links and stories from people I know via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, Foursquare, Instagram, Path, LinkedIn. Yes, I’m an app junky.

What are some awesome upcoming events you would recommend to the Fetch community?

We’ll be holding an epic event as part of Vivid Sydney festival this year. It’s called ‘Awesome Soup’ and the idea is that folks will pitch their projects to the audience, who will then vote for their favourite project, whilst sharing a delicious meal. It’s going to be awesome! Anyone can apply to pitch their awesome idea on the night. Tickets are now on sale on the Vivid website.

How do people learn more or get involved with the awesome foundation?

We’re about to launch our own Sydney website, but for now you can find our more about us here. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to be considered for a position on the board, we’d love to hear from you at any time – just email sydney@awesomefoundation.org. Likewise, we are open for applications all year round, so head over the website to apply.

Interview: Sydney Local, Joel Hauer — February 12, 2012

Interview: Sydney Local, Joel Hauer

Name: Joel Hauer

Twitter handle: @JoelAmigoHauer

Works at: Clemenger BBDO / UnOffice.com.au

What is the idea behind this “green rooftops” movement?

It’s about getting Sydney-siders thinking about different types of work environments, and how integrating these with their normal regime, can an effect on their well-being and creativity.

As this is a new idea, we’re investigating the possibility of building a network of people who are open to working outdoors. We’re interested in activities that and utilize and activate green roof space, and have a positive effect on both our green economy, and personal well-being. Think of it as a mash-up between TED talks and Start-up weekend for Green projects.

Our UnOffice Event activates green roof space by bringing together people from varying private and public sectors, to work outdoors, and collaborate with other who are also interested in developing a greener economy. As we live in an idea’s world, we’re offering the best idea, judged by independent speakers, a development stipend through ticket sales. This event allows us to promote green roof’s, encourage networking & idea creation, and form a culture of outdoor creativity, where any idea can turn into a project that can change the world.

Who else do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries? 

I love crowd-sourced creativity that works to show the possibilities of collaboration and democratization of solutions. I feel that new web platforms can connect vastly different people, with different backgrounds and experiences for the betterment of projects around the world. Kickstarter and Kiva are two of my favorite crowd solutions. Kiva is based on small micro loans to third world, and developing countries, and for those who don’t know what Kickstarter is, if you’re in the creative industries, and want to crowd-fund your ideas and explorations in art, dance, fashion or games etc, you’ll love it.

What local issues or topics are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about bringing the right people together to solve big problems in this world.

The event you’re hosting Friday looks pretty cool, what else can people expect who are attending?

We expect them to be inspired by amazing speakers, and go home feeling empowered to bring fresh ideas from passionate people into their existing networks to collaborate on do-good projects. This event is only the start, and we’re passionate about taking it to the next level by making it bigger and better in 2012. We want it to be a launching pad for environmentally sustainable projects and solutions both for the public and private sectors.

If you can’t make it Friday, are there other ways to get involved or get more info?

Get involved with our conversation on twitter @UnOfficeAust, and if you’re in another state and want to help us spread the word, please get in touch.

Where is coworking going next in Sydney? 

It’s rapidly developing through some really cool government initiatives that are activating building spaces at reduced rates. Though many international coworking establishments are finding it hard to fill seats, the freelance economy is rapidly expanding in Australia thanks to the creative industry expansion into more extensive digital production.

Personally, I would love to see more pop-up style co-working locations, supported in-part by government and councils, though our number 1 priority is to make green roof tops accessible to individuals for outdoor co-working.

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