#bigSWIG — megadrive.me — Liverpool 24.01.12

My friend Rob has been kickstarting the Liverpool geek talk scene, with the guys at his place of work, organising and hosting SWIG. It’s grown from a small meeting discussing WordPress at InterconnectIT‘s office, to taking the upstairs at Leaf Tea Shop in Bold Street.

Rob had been on at me for a while to do something at a SWIG event, and upping the ante, he said they were doing a bigSWIG, and would I like to talk about one of my projects, MegaDrive.me. I’d asked Rob a hundred questions about WordPress – which MegaDrive.me is built in – so I did feel obliged to return the favour!

MegaDrive.me was a project I’d started to catalogue Japanese Mega Drive games, write reviews and comments, and learn WordPress on the way. I also stressed something which as an employer I think is very important.

The talk went well, I was up after my mate Dan Donald, and it was great to see loads of familiar faces from the Speak the Web event and Naconf the week before. You can find the slides from the talk on SlideShare.net.

Good things are happening in Liverpool, and it makes me proud to be part of it. Keep it going, Rob!

NorthernDigitals #BLABMini3

I’m a regular at Northern Digitals, an event for like minded people involved in digital creative industries around Manchester, to get together, have a beer, talk about work, techniques or influences, ruminate and make new friends.

The popularity of ND nights prompted Matt Booth and Gavin to host a more formal event, which they called BLAB. Featuring a recognised figure from our online/creative industry, they’d do a talk, we’d all drink beer and everyone would enjoy themselves. Following this format, BLABMini was created, featuring 5–6 speakers, shorter talk times, slightly more informal.

I got an email off Matt asking me to talk at the latest BLABMini, on the 1st December at The Deaf Institute. The subject was on “Things I’ve Seen”, links you’ve been passed on twitter or via blogs, makes you stop and think “wow” or “why didn’t I think of that”. Quite an open-ended subject, so I pinned mine on inspirational things I’ve seen. Continue reading “NorthernDigitals #BLABMini3”

New project: MegaDrive.me

Most of you know I’m a gaming nut. Most of you know I collect Japanese Mega Drive games.

I was browsing through the ace pcengine.co.uk site, watching videos, reading reviews, planning on buying a few more shmups, when I thought “why don’t we have something like this?”. The “we” being Mega Drive gamers.

Obviously, there are a lot of sites out there that details release dates, genres, covers etc. like the great SegaRetro.org, but there was something… complete about the PCE site. It had factual information, it had visual information, it had opinion. You could relate to the authors and what they were saying, and it did make me reassess my opinion on a game or two, and go and physically play R-Type again after browsing.

For me, the Japanese Mega Drive’s biggest charm was the box art. Glorious, explosive, full colour illustrations set the scene before picking up the box and looking at screenshots. Box art is where it’s at! When you stack them all together, there’s something really mesmerising about the colourful spines with Japanese type, topped with the red, green and black MD logo. Continue reading “New project: MegaDrive.me”

I’ve been tagged: here are my 7 things!

Lucky me, I got tagged by heavy metal / web accessibility legend Chris Mills, so I shall enlighten you all, then tag seven friends who can do the same.

The rules

D&AD Sharp’ner — You The Jury

Last Thursday, I was down in that London to speak at a D&AD Student Awards Sharp’ner session at the Vibe Bar on Brick Lane.

I’d been invited, as last year I was the Foreman on two Student Award Briefs, Interactive Design and Microsite Design, which was a fantastic experience. D&AD invited judges from both Professional and Student awards to the evening to help students understand what we are looking for when we score and assess all the work in front of us, in such a short time.

There was some great insight from Steve and Clem about what makes a great piece of award winning work, and I found Paul West from Form to be a great speaker, who shared his gut feeling belief about a good design and advocated being challenging, to give the judges something to think about.

During this time, about eight students had been selected to disappear into a private area and run through a mock judging session on the Nokia Interactive Design brief… Continue reading “D&AD Sharp’ner — You The Jury”

(D&AD) Judgment Day

4541659334_b9e60537e4This year I had the great honour of being a Foreman and juror at the D&AD Student Awards 2010, which was held down in Olympia, London.

For those of you who don’t know, a D&AD award comes in the shape of a pencil. As a creative, a Yellow Pencil is one of the highest honours bestowed upon you by your peers. It’s career defining, and can only be bettered by a Black Pencil…

However, I only had a hand in awarding “Baby Pencils“, a slightly vertically challenged version of the full professional award, but nonetheless, the honour of being asked to take part in the Student Award judging, and to be a foreman for the two briefs I was judging was incredible. Continue reading “(D&AD) Judgment Day”