In the basement of a cool bar on the edge of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the latest chapter of HacksHackers was born on Wednesday night. My co-organiser, Rob Carroll, and I were amazed with the turnout – a real range of talent and interests.
HacksHackers Mcr brings together Hacks (the journalists) and Hackers (the developers) to find inspiration for rethinking media and information. We also had designers at our first meet-up which completed the magic triangle.
Thanks to the longstanding HacksHackers chapter in Helsinki for giving us a wave!
A brand new chapter in Manchester! @HacksHackersMCR launching tonight. Have fun!
— Hacks/Hackers HKI (@hackshackershki) October 22, 2014
What I loved most about the meet-up was listening to the general buzz you get when a group of creative technologists get together. It’s just exciting to hear about so many projects taking shape on our doorstep and seeing how people make new connections.
So what’s next for HacksHackersMcr?
So the launch was great but where do we take things from here? Each chapter of HacksHackers around the world is different; there’s no set formula. So Manchester will take on its own personality and we were keen to find out what the attendees wanted to get out of it. A few ideas came up on our hi-tech A3-paper-and-pen user interface.
- It’s important to have plenty of time to mingle. This seemed to be most people’s favourite aspect of the meet-up
- A few lightning talks/guest speakers e.g. designing for digital journalism, exploring specific journalism tech challenges
- Hands-on events/challenges e.g. civic engagement/democracy ahead of 2015 general election. What tools could Hacks and Hackers come up with?
So Rob and I are getting our heads together to plan our next meet-up. If you have suggestions, do let us know. Who should we invite to talk to us?
And if you’re curious about the direction of digital media/journalism/communications, then I highly recommend visiting our meet-up page and coming along to our next gathering. Or follow us on Twitter.
— Hacks/Hackers MCR (@HacksHackersMCR) October 17, 2014
See you there!