The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community — April 27, 2014

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 12.45.03 AM

We recently passed three years since the first humble email digest was sent in Melbourne. The Fetch was just a teeny tiny side-project then with the goal of making it easier to discover all the events happening that the rest of the event and city guides didn’t cover. Since then, we’ve been on a journey, delivering curated goodness to the community week after week – in cities all around the world. Countless hours have been put in by our community of tireless curators, including dedicating our Sundays to prepare so that we could kick off your work week with your local issue of The Fetch. We’re now starting to think about our future. It’s exciting… and scary!

Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to notice many updates to The Fetch – including a new logo, a new email design, the transition to one global newsletter of the ‘Link-love, must-reads’ section, and the launch of a new responsive landing page. From here, you’ll be able to sign-up to reserve a username for the next generation of The Fetch – an app that does a way better job of delivering you events (customized for you, less noise, and more relevancy with social and calendar integration). Most importantly, this platform will allow us to have a better foundation to sustain our activities from – we will be able to spend less time creating and editing The Fetch emails manually – and more time on quality and breadth of content.

We’ve decided that there’s no point in building this app if we don’t have the support of the community we love to serve. After all, if you don’t find it useful or actually want/need it, then perhaps it shouldn’t exist! A good way to understand this support is via crowdsourcing funds so we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign over the coming weeks. We hope you back us!

The map above shows a few of the 70-plus requests we’ve had to take The Fetch to more cities. The grey dots are where we’d expand to with the new platform.

In order to get a better sense of what is is about The Fetch that our community values, we’ve asked members from all walks their thoughts:

Avid reader

“I regularly recommend The Fetch to people looking to get involved in their local startup scenes — it’s quick, informative and brilliant. As a weekly reader, I’m a huge fan.”

~ Kathryn Minshew, founder & CEO, The Muse

Curator

“Since becoming the Melbourne Curator, my life has changed dramatically in a very positive way. It’s provided me with the opportunity to meet an exciting network of people across the digital/tech/ creative industries who are eager to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. The sense of community that can be found amongst the Fetchers is unique and one that has developed in such a natural and organic way – it’s been amazing to be a part of its growth.”

~ Kat Loughrey, curator of The Fetch Melbourne

Event organizer

“The Fetch has helped me grow my community, Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne, from 300 to 850 women in one year. Most recently, we advertised Australia’s first all-female hackathon, She Hacks. An increase in traffic to our website resulted, but there were also many people who I bumped into on the street that said they saw She Hacks in The Fetch. I recommend The Fetch as the best place to find out about events for professionals.”

~ Tammy Butow, senior digital strategist, National Australia Bank

City ambassador

“The Fetch has allowed me to invest in my own growth. I have been able to forge new friendships, develop skills and pursue unexpected interests because of what it’s put in my path. As a result of the things I am aware of in my community, I have become better equipped at guiding other people towards the resources they need to fuel their own aspirations and endeavours.”

Jackie Antig, city ambassador for The Fetch

No. 1 fan

“The Fetch has opened my horizons both professionally and personally in Sydney and in places I travel to, such as Melbourne, London, and New York. It’s brilliant for making connections and putting me in the know of what’s happening in the digital and creative scene. I recommend The Fetch to nearly everyone I meet, and they love it. Since the very first issue came out, I have been a fan, the No.1 Fetch Fan in fact. It has changed and enriched my life.”

~ Mark Woodrow, founder, The Galaxy and now at Yammer

No. 1 sharer of The Fetch’s content

“I feel a bit lost when my week doesn’t start with The Fetch. I’m always on the lookout for fresh job opportunities and local events where I can learn and network, and The Fetch’s weekly email is my first port of call to find them. Even on the weeks where the jobs and events don’t suit my needs, I always know there’ll be at least a handful of fascinating articles to read and learn from. I love it.”

~ Neil Fahey, freelance writer, blogger and online comms guy

Email format lover and partner

“To feel the pulse of a city’s tech scene, I recommend subscribing to The Fetch. Regardless of whether you’re making in-roads into creative communities, or wanting to attend a web metrics meetup, each issue will have you both scrambling for your calendar and reading up on new and interesting projects. A hat tip to their team for creating such a valuable newsletter!”

~ Rosanne de Vries, Community Manager, Campaign Monitor

If you’d like to pass on any feedback about where we’re going and where we’ve come from – or to chat about sponsoring or adding to our list of Kickstarter prizes, please email me kate@thefetch.com.

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our changes over the coming months. 🙂

Kate Kendall

Event review: She Hacks – Australia’s first female-focused hackathon — March 30, 2014

Event review: She Hacks – Australia’s first female-focused hackathon

She Hacks Melbourne - Yishan Chan Photography
Yishan Chan Photograph

Kat Loughrey recently caught up with She Hacks runner-up Jackie Antig, on her first-time hackathon experience.

If you somehow missed it, Melbourne recently played host to its first ever all female hackathon called She Hacks. Girl Geek Dinners ran the event with the aim of bringing together groups of women across different skill sets to engage in collaborative computer programming. The theme was ‘Communities & Neighbourhoods’ and each group was provided the space, and support via industry mentors, to develop and nurture an app concept in less than 24 hours. As a mentor, I was suitably impressed by the creativity, ideas and sheer determination by the teams to produce a high quality product and prototype within this tight timeframe.

Selling out within a week and with the participant’s donations going to One Girl, the event was definitely a huge success and a big win for local women in tech. It showcased just how many talented women there are locally – and generated positive media coverage in the process.

To ensure success within the teams, each group was required to include three different skill sets: think Hipster (designer), Hacker (programmer) and Hustler (marketing and business – growth hacker). The Fetch Community Ambassador Jackie Antig assumed the hipster role within her team, and shared with me her recommended tips and insights on presenting at a hackathon.

What inspired you to participate in She Hacks?

I’ve been wanting to participate at a hackathon for years, but I didn’t have the courage to before. I am a bit of a shapeshifter across product feature development, communication and design for technology but I only know how to do a couple meagre lines of code (that may change in the future). I had falsely assumed that you had to be a true-bred coder in order to be a successful participant at a hack. She Hacks did a particularly swell job at rolling out the welcome mat for all backgrounds.

Of course, the focus on supporting and promoting women in technology was the biggest draw. One of the roads to closing the gender gap in the sector is skill development. Another road is building up confidence by being challenged and overcoming the challenges in a wicked smart, supportive environment. Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne and She Hacks takes care of both ends.

In making your final pitch, each team only had three mins to present. How did you find this and working with the team, to pull a presentation together with limited time?

In the beginning we were quite ambitious about the amount of information we were going to fold into the pitch. Our early time trials proved we needed to pare down. We prioritised defining the problem statement clearly, our product prototype demo and the storyline about how it addressed the problem statement. We sacrificed the gory details about business forecasting and sustainability but had a feeling that the judges would likely tease those elements out in the question round.

There’s so much you could include but with limited time, what are the top five things you’d recommend that you should make sure to include in your presentation?

Problem, solution, empathy, feedback, and actionable idealism.

Identify a clear-cut problem, design a solution driven by empathy and test your assumptions. Display a sense of actionable idealism; dream up something wild but show you know how to break it up into realistic bite-sized pieces and steps.

I noticed that most groups used slides and visuals. What do you think are “must-haves” in the way of visuals for your presentation?

Minimalism and impact.

She Hacks had an impressive panel of judges (see list here). Knowing who they would be, did that change the way your team decided to present? What do you think the judges were looking for from the teams?

We kept their background separate from our approach. The three minute time limit was the cracking whip against our backs.

I would say they seemed to be evaluating feasibility and real-world application.

Best part of the pitch presentation?

The rush to get up and tell everyone about what we came up with.

Worst part of the pitch presentation?

The nagging feeling we forgot to mention something important.

Would you participate in a hackathon again where you need to present/pitch?

Absolutely! Already searching for the next one.

What advice would you give to others doing a hackathon for the first time and for women considering participating in next year’s She Hacks?

You have the chops!

She Hacks - Wake Up Dress Up team - Yishan Chan Photography
The ‘Wake Up Dress Up’ app team with their runner up awards – Quinnie Chen, Jude Gammie, Jackie Antig. (Image credit: Yishan Chan Photography)

Your team came second, congratulations! So what’s next for your app idea: ‘Wake Up Dress Up‘?

Thank you! We’re trying our best to follow through on actionable idealism. We will be doing a healthy dose of evaluating the morning routine needs of women and the current relationship-building models local fashion designers currently engage in with their customers through a combination of data gathering and ongoing conversation.

We also need a mobile developer on board. Drop a hello our way via Twitter if want to learn more or are interested in pitching in:

SheHacks 2014 Melbourne from Inspire9 on Vimeo.

Thanks to the She Hacks official photographer, Yishan Chan Photography, for the photos. See her full gallery here from the event.

About our Curator // Kat Loughrey is the Melbourne Curator of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Originally from Brisbane, via Japan, Kat now lives in Melbourne – a digital content strategist by day and explorer of Melbourne’s digital/tech, arts and music scenes by night. Follow her on Twitter at @KatLoughrey & @thefetchMELB

Product Review: Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription — June 23, 2013

Product Review: Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription

This week, latte drinker Kat Loughrey, trialled the new coffee-driven startup, Three Thousand Thieves, to discover the joys of quality artisan coffee being carefully selected and delivered right to your door.

An insight into a Three Thousand Thieves coffee box
An insight into a Three Thousand Thieves coffee box.

You’re not Melburnian if you don’t drink coffee, right? I’ve always enjoyed a coffee from a cafe, however the notion of making coffee at home or the office had always been lost on me – that is until I brewed my own high quality coffee, courtesy of Three Thousand Thieves, causing a stir around the office with the alluring smell wafting down the hall, and in return brought many interested faces to my door.

“We are a service that compliments your existing coffee habit, not competes with it.”

Three Thousand Thieves is a monthly coffee discovery subscription, best described as a wine club for coffee. Every month, they hunt down and curate Melbourne’s best artisan roasters, and then deliver it straight to your door – either as coffee beans or ground coffee. Most roasters offer subscriptions of their own brands, but what makes Three Thousand Thieves unique says founder Athan Didaskalou, is that they are the first to bring them all together and offer something different each month in your delivery.

The experience: The moment the box arrived at my office, the tantalising smell of the coffee beans was the first thing you notice. Once the box was opened, your treated to a 250g bag of carefully selected coffee beans, an outline of this month’s coffee on brown card, plus some photos of the Melbourne-based roasters – a nice touch. A simple yet well-crafted experience, all with sustainable packaging.

Melbourne coffee love!
Melbourne coffee love!

The coffee: Now the big question – so how was the coffee? I was treated to Balaclava’s Common Ground Coffee – L.E.S Blend. Now I’m no coffee expert, but I can hand-on-my-heart say that it made a delicious and hearty brew, without any bitter after-taste. It certainly perked up my day at work!

I had a chance to chat with Three Thousand Thieves (TTT) founder Athan Didaskalou, over a hearty brew to learn more about his experience in building this side project:

You have a day job, what are the challenges of balancing a growing side project at the same time?

I work as a strategist for DT. DT promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and learning-through-doing, and working in that environment definitely rubs off on you. Bosses all love the idea, in fact I have a few of them as customers! My business model is based on a monthly cycle, and because of this, managing the workload is a lot easier – I only have a couple of late nights preparing before delivery day. I think it’s important to maintain the balance between work and the venture on the side. It’s also about setting your priorities from the get go. It forces you to be organised and cracks down on procrastination. With the right business model, you can do something a little fun on the side and maintain your sanity.

What inspired you to start TTT? Is your aim to grow it into a full time business for yourself?

Like most people in Melbourne, I love my coffee. This came from a problem I wanted a service for myself: why can’t someone find me all the different coffees in Melbourne and sell them to me?! I hope to continue to grow the business in parallel with my career in digital. The two go hand in hand – what I learn from in one I can use on the other.

How do you find and select the coffee that you provide?

Word of mouth is the only way. Everyone always has their own special place, with their favourite special blend. It’s about talking to the right people to find these places. Then it’s all about taste. We have an espresso on location, and take a couple of bags with us. My partner and friends are all coffee nuts, so if we all like it, it becomes the chosen one for the month!

What can we expect in the future?

Going international! The demand for Melbourne coffee is huge, especially in the US and in Asian majors like Hong Kong and Singapore. Feedback from customers has shown us that people love to make coffee at home, but don’t like the typical wankers that usually condescend the everyday drinker into trying something new. We want to break down those barriers and run education pieces on cold drips, pour-overs and the like without the snobbery.

In your mind, how does Melbourne coffee compare to the rest of the world?

Melbourne is the quintessential coffee city: our culture has geared this one thing into a thriving economic beast. Rarely can you find so many coffee houses, so many roasters, so many people obsessed with quality than what you do in Melbourne. New York for their pretzels. Naples for its sauce. Melbourne for its coffee. We live in a rare one-in-a-million city for coffee fanatics.

Favourite spot to enjoy coffee in Melbourne?

There’s a little gem in Kew called Adeney. Bit of a drive, but take your partner and someone’s dog and enjoy getting away from it all before the weekend kicks in.

Check out Three Thousand Thieves online to start your own coffee revolution while supporting local artisan coffee roasters. Follow @3000Thieves on Twitter.

___

About our Curator // Kat Loughrey is the Melbourne Curator of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Kat is also a Digital Executive in the sporting industry by day (fuelled by coffee) and can be found exploring Melbourne’s arts and music scenes by night. Follow her on Twitter at @KatLoughrey & @TheFetchMELB

Curator Year in Review 2012: Kat in Melbourne — December 9, 2012

Curator Year in Review 2012: Kat in Melbourne

With 2013 just around the corner, we continue our update from our beloved city curators. Last but not least, Kat Loughrey in Melbourne, aka @KatLoughrey, highlights some of her most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.

kat

Best event for meeting people?
The best thing about Melbourne is that I have found it incredibly easy to meet people at every event I’ve attended. I think that comes down to the fact the people who choose to attend these events, go with the right attitude and an open mind. That said, I think I always walk away with a few more contacts after attending the monthly Silicon Beach Drinks. Great atmosphere and a very open environment for networking and making new friends.

Best event for content shared and learnings?
I’ve been on a journey of discovery in 2012 since joining The Fetch and have been suitably impressed with the digital, creative and startup scenes in Melbourne – namely everyone’s desire to learn, share and grow individually and collectively. I really like the WeTeachMe Speed Teaching events and the Social Media Club Melbourne nights, plus I think if you’re in the non-profit arena, then NetSquared is the place to be.

The Socialmelb Unconference earlier this year was memorable and a great introduction to this exciting world of learning and networking that’s happening in Melbourne – and that I fear that too many Melbournians just aren’t well aware of yet. That’s where The Fetch steps in.

All in all, we’re spoiled for choice in Melbourne – and if you can take away just one learning from each meetup you attend, then I think you’ve succeeded.

Personal event style preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?
I love the more informal vibe and atmosphere of the smaller meetups, over a large-scale conference. It provides a better chance to meet people and have more meaningful conversations. I also think they fit in better with our busy time-poor schedules. I’ve still learnt a lot from some of the big conferences I’ve attended such as iStrategy though. You just need to approach a large-scale conference with a different mindset.

Favourite source of local community news?
Without a doubt – Twitter – and utilising the list functionality to (try to) stay across as much as possible happening in Melbourne. Facebook comes in a close second, with LinkedIn increasingly becoming a relevant source for community news as well.

Favourite coworking space?
Definitely a throw up between Inspire9, York Butter Factory and Hub Melbourne. All fabulous spaces that if I wasn’t working in a full time job, would aspire to do coworking at.

Favourite cafe with wifi?
I can’t go past 1000 Pound Bend, where the Social Melbourne breakfasts are held. The State Library of Victoria and its café, Mr Tulk, are also worthy of an inclusion. Now if only I could take my coffee into the library to work/read, that’d be perfect!

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?
The inaugural dinner for The Fetch we had at TrunkTown in September. Stimulating conversation and great people. That was brilliant to be a part of and I can’t wait for us to do another one.

Low point? There hasn’t really been one, though attending the iStrategy conference still sick with a chest infection and a fever wasn’t exactly how I had pictured myself feeling when I was networking – but yet I still took 15 pages of notes and met some lovely people!

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?
In the short time I’ve been involved with The Fetch, a lot of my work has been behind the scenes, so getting out from behind the desk, attending industry meetups that were new to me and spreading the word of The Fetch with our slick business cards has been the most enjoyable aspects. As mentioned before, The Fetch Dinner was also a serious highlight.

I love the adventure of unearthing new events and happenings, as well as being inspired and motivated by the determination of others that I’ve met across a diverse range of roles and industries.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?
That’s easy – attending more events and happenings, and taking The Fetch to a wider audience!

I am also really looking forward to working with the Community Ambassadors further to develop more content for The Fetch and make more contacts (and friends!).

In regards to events – seeing the arrival of The School of Life to Melbourne.

I’m also excited to see the current meetup groups and conferences evolve grow further, as well as the further development of General Assembly and TEDxMelbourne.

Hello Kat – our Melbourne curator — August 7, 2012

Hello Kat – our Melbourne curator

So, it’s another good week at Fetch HQ. This time we welcome an added pair of city-event loving hands in Kat Loughrey. I met Kat at a community management workshop I hosted earlier in the year and have been impressed with her enthusiasm and super-organisation skills ever since. It feels great to now collaborate together and bring you all the best of  Melbourne. Stay tuned for more from Kat, but read on to discover more below:

How did you end up where you are today?

I’ve always been a curious and inquisitive person, and its that nature of mine that set me on this journey… from getting educated in Brisbane, completing undergrad in NSW, then to Japan for three exciting years of freelance writing, travel and teaching English. Upon my return to Australia, I moved to Melbourne to complete a Masters and get a ‘serious’ job. I realised that I was immensely interested in the digital space, new technologies and the emerging content-fuelled ‘Online Communications’ field, so after stints in government and music media, I eventually landed my current job with Victoria Racing Club. Now I can professionally combine my passion for digital, communications, content curation and social media while being involved with Australia’s most well-known racing event – the Melbourne Cup Carnival – and now also with Melbourne’s established yet ever-growing industry site, The Fetch.

What makes you tick? What makes you ick?

I thrive on exploring Melbourne for new happenings and “hotspots” across the digital industry and creative/art/music scenes, attending what I can with the aim of connecting with new people (and have a good time in the process!). Good music is also a massive ‘tick’ for me, as well as simple home-cooking, wine-tasting, tweeting, Googling, editing academic research, reading non-fiction, LOLdogs, live gigs & DJs, and singing loudly in my lounge room to 90s dance music.

On the flipside, ‘icks’ include ignorance, wastefulness, decisions that don’t help the greater good of people or the environment, and inconsiderate people on public transport. Oh and bad music!

Why do you love ‘fetchin?

I’m a hardcore information junkie, so as I already source my daily fix via the internet, social media, newspapers and more, so being involved with The Fetch will give me a chance to justify my obsession.

I love to share exciting events, places and fun things to do in Melbourne with my friends/networks, so I’m stoked to have the opportunity to share this now to a wider tech savvy and engaged community. Pay it forward I say…

What things excite you about our community right now?

Melbourne is a culturally vibrant and creative city, with always something enticing happening across digital, creative, art, music or environmental scenes.

There is an increased importance placed on “networking”, and this is proven with the ever-growing number of meet-ups available and coworking hubs for the digital/tech industries popping up, that enthusiasm for learning and meeting people in a non-pretentious or office environment is really exciting. The non-judgemental space for entrepreneurs to share their ideas with others is positive and valuable for the growth of the city as well. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunities to engage with people outside of my field and gain new skills for my career. And the more I chat with people, the more I hear that I’m not alone on this point, so that’s great! Please feel free to invite me to events, we should never stop learning.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

I love that there’s always something to do in Melbourne… a well as plenty of free events for all ages and numerous industry meetups, it’s simply fantastic. Add to this the long-list of fabulous restaurants, bars, clubs, live music venues, art galleries and more, and you have a stellar city to live in. Plus as with all Australian cities, there are close communities within all scenes, so you can easily see familiar faces if you’re active in your passions.

I’ve lived here six years and yet still feel like I haven’t scratched the surface… I have met many great people though while exploring!

Where can we find you in Melbourne?

Riding the tram to various destinations as I continue exploring this stellar city, observing the sights and the people out of the window.

If not, then at home tip-tapping away on projects online on my lappie listening to ABCJazz… and on the weekend, possibly on the dancefloor at one of Melbs’ underground clubs critiquing the DJ’s set with fellow music-loving friends …

How can we connect with you?

You can tweet me (@KatLoughrey) or email me (kat@thefetch.org). I’d love to hear from you!

Follow @thefetchmelb and ‘like’ us on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening in Melbourne. Please feel free to touch base and introduce yourself, I look forward meeting in person at a local upcoming event. Please also send me your event listings, cool jobs and links that you think the Melbs’ The Fetch community should know about!

Kat watching what appears to be sport – how Melbourne!

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