Our content creation meetup experiment seems to be working.
About a year ago, I sat down with local student Jack Davies and discussed the idea of a meetup that encouraged attendees to make a real-world commitment to other people to create some content. This commitment is in the hope that such a thing would encourage like-minded folks to fulfil their content creation goals. If I'm honest, this was just something I wanted to exist for my own selfish purposes, but at the time was too busy to make happen. So I invited Jack to "share the workload" (aka, make it happen). Since that conversation, Jack has become a full-fledged member of our team at Moov2 and from this seedling of an idea, we created ShareUp Soton, an event that does exactly what we first discussed. And it seems to be helping people create more content!
Now heading towards our sixth instalment, I've been reflecting on some of the amazing achievements ShareUp attendees have accomplished since we started. Here're a few things that stand out:
Steve Longhurst came along to the first ShareUp with an existing interest in live coding. Since then he has gone on to stream an entire series on the development of his game AquaStax. Steve is revisiting an old game of his rebuilding it using more modern technologies. He started streaming regularly and has built up a decent following.
What started as a life-hack to get myself to blog more, other people have jumped at to push themselves into even more adventurous goals. One that has become a regular target for ShareUp attendees has been to push themselves into more public speaking. Paul McCaskie at the first ShareUp, committed himself to preparing a talk to give at Barcamp Southampton which he subsequently delivered on. He's since gone on to talk at ShareUp about his podcasting experiences (more on that later) and will be speaking at the next FullStack Hampshire on July 10th (be sure to check it out if you're a developer).
Another recent speaking achievement was by Tim Drake of Etch (who lovingly host us on a regular basis). With no prior experience, he attended ShareUp and committed to giving a talk on Inclusive Design at the next event. He not only prepared the talk but delivered it to his company as a trial before sharing with the ShareUp attendees as well. Tim was extremely nervous but delivered a fantastic, thought-provoking talk which I'm proud to have helped enable.
If you haven't already realised, the theme of this whole event is that I take credit for other people's hard work. The event itself exists because I bullied Jack into starting it. Then, people attend and do amazing things and I feel good about myself. This item is no exception and one of the most tenuous examples of my glory hunting. Adam Burt (also of Etch) had written a book ("actually, it's an anthology of short stories" - Adam, every time I cite his effort) when participating in Nanowrimo long before ShareUp existed. However, on his debut ShareUp attendance, he committed to editing the last three of his short stories in order to publish the completed works. He then proceeded to independently publish it on Amazon. Check out The Short Version, it's actually really good, especially if you like Black Mirror and geeky stuff.
Again, going beyond my initial expectation of getting people to blog more, ShareUp has in some small part, been the catalyst for the creation of a number of podcasts. Clearly buoyed by his speaking progress, Paul McCaskie ticked another personal development item off his wishlist with the creation of Game Music Gaiden, a retro video game music podcast. Another repeat performer in this write up is Adam Burt who has bravely tackled the extremely personal and important topic of mental health with the creation of his podcast Burdens. Lastly, Ryan Parry is a Student at Southampton Solent who has also created his own podcast available on SoundCloud. Great to see a student pushing themselves and taking on challenges outside of their course issued studies.
Carrying on the theme of stretching our collective achievements, Joe Appleton attended ShareUp and set his commitment to submitting his application for a PHD. He returned at our most recent event to share that not only he completed his application, but that it was accepted too. Well done Joe on that and I look forwards to us receiving our doctorate...
A whole lot more
The above achievements are a small sample of the amazing work that has been created by our attendees. There has been loads more from new websites, social media profiles, photography, talks and a load of excellent blog posts. Equally as satisfying though, is whether commitments are met or missed, people are coming back to the event and celebrating each others achievements and supporting their buddy's goals.
If this sounds like something you're interested in, come along to the next event. If Southampton isn't convenient, consider starting your own local ShareUp event near you. Get in touch and we'll help you get started, we'd love to help even more people fulfil their content goals!