The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Curator Year in Review 2012: Kate in San Francisco — December 12, 2012

Curator Year in Review 2012: Kate in San Francisco

This time I give my own rundown of cool shit happening in SF including my most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.

meMaking up for a lack of SF sunshine

Best event for meeting people?

Depends on what kind of people you want to meet…

People in tech and startups? I’d recommend heading to a hack weekend like Startup Weekend or AngelHack as you really get to know someone by working with them. The first ever friend I made in SF was at a SW in July 2010 (hello Jenn!) – and I didn’t even make it through the whole weekend.

I tend to shy away from busy drink-based mixers but if you’re after solid networking (with some knowledge sharing), head along to a StartupGrind, DrinkEntrepreneursSF, SF New Tech, Hack and TellDesigners + Geeks and so forth.

In search of professionals outside the tech bubble? Check out Social Media Club SF or SV, and some of the industry associations’ local chapters as they have regular events (PRSA, AMA, etc.).

Best event for content shared and learnings?

You can’t go past the Commonwealth Club – seriously, it’s unique to the area, covers cross-industry chats and is where I first met my online doppelgänger Kate Kendell at (note the ‘e’ instead of ‘a’).

I haven’t been able to get to a PandoMonthly event but watch the videos online. Sarah Cuda’s doing a great job with cutting the crap in a tech Oprah style.

Both the annual conference and monthly chats version of Cassie Phillip’s FailCon are worth heading along to. Then you can’t go past Airbnb TechTalks (also streamed online). CollabChats is another series you can’t find elsewhere in the world – Emily Castor does a great job of covering the collaborative consumption space. Sharers of SF by Chelsea Rustrum ties the sharing economy in nicely too.

Then of course, there’s the multi-city favourites: General Assembly classes, Skillshare (although their focus is less on offline classes in SF now) and Creative Mornings.

I don’t get down to the Bay as much as I’d like to but I always find MIT/Stanford’s VLAB worth the Caltrain trip.

Personal event stye preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?

Smaller gatherings hence kicking off The Fetch Dinner Conversations series.

Favourite source of local community news?

Outside the biased recommendation for The Fetch, I love love love The Bold Italic – we often feature some of their best articles in our email digests.

For lifestyle happenings, Johnny Funcheap is an institution and you can download the glossy SanFrancisco magazine free on your iPad. It’s not text-based but any Instagram pic from Karl The Fog.

Then there’s the news sites like SFGate which I check sporadically.

Favourite coworking space?

I got to check out Makeshift Society in Hayes Valley for the first time last week and felt at home with the vibe instantly. It’s a smaller space otherwise known as a “clubhouse and coworking space for creatives” and I found it refreshing to be out of the tech clique.

An an Aussie Citizen, Soma-based StartupHQ run by an Australian and New Zealander has mostly been my base though. They had some mega ‘First Friday’ events in summer that helped me settle in and house some great guys who’ve been there, done that before.

In 2013, I’m keen to check out what’s happening in the East Bay scene though as there’s so much opportunity there. It’s a little like how Brooklyn emerged as an alternative to Manhattan since the latter grew too expensive for creatives. In any case, stay across our Coworking in SFBA in the meantime.

Favourite cafe with wifi?

Epicenter Cafe on Harrison, any Starbucks for convenience and soy chai lattes and Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto to do the startup tourist thing.

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?

Riding this wave and seeing an incredible community come together to help build their local ecosystems. It’s humbling to be able to work with such a passionate, aware and smart crew of curators. Not to forget our 70-person plus ambassador network. The feeling like this has become a real thing that’s grown and escaped me is incredible.

Not so high moment – well there’s lots! Working hard to create something requires energy – it’s like a fitness. You need to build up resilience and your confidence. I thought writing my 14K-word thesis was a slog (hello attention span!) but doing a startup is like being permanently in college exam-time.

Going fulltime on The Fetch was also a big unknown – but six months later, I’d say I’ve never been as strong, grateful and unfazed by things as I am now.

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?

Being able to work across the globe (I trekked to every Fetch city asides from Auckland/NZ in the past year!) and noticing there’s so many similarities everywhere. You know how startups have that X of Y thing going? Well, you can do the same thing with people. It hilarious and reminds me of that Simpson’s episode where there’s a town that’s exactly like Springfield, a mirror or copy. I’m sure there’s another Kate Kendall writing almost exactly the same post as I type!

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Less travel (I know, I know, hard life but it can be disorientating). Exercise (hopefully even getting back into indoor or outdoor soccer). Doing a lot more writing and blogging.

Doing more product and community development for The Fetch. Although someone should stop me… I’m not talking about feature bloat… this will be feature obesity if I’m not careful! 😉

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.


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.

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