[gmap zoom=”13″]Work’s begun to bring a BarCamp to Charleston. I’m working with Calvin Webster to get the initial stuff kicked off. Eugene’s got more on BarCamp, including details about a planning meeting tomorrow evening at Muddy Waters in West Ashley. We’ll be getting started at 6:00 — it’s open to anybody interested in helping with the BarCamp event.
I’m really not sure what’s gotten into Charleston lately, but seeing this DIY spirit really explode here in the last month has been simply awesome. BarCamp-style events are great; CREATE South, for example, was founded on similar principles. It’ll be great to have one here in Charleston. Watch barcampchs.org and @barcampchs on Twitter for more details as they become available. Also, thanks to Matthew Gregg, there’s a BarCampCHS chat room and mailing list.
Social Media Club Charleston’s happy hour networking event last night was a smashing success. About 50-60 people (very rough headcount) showed up to put faces to names, make contacts, and learn from each other over tacos and beer. Those who saw me could probably see the near-permanent grin on my face over the turnout (Eugene has photographic proof of said grin and more shots of the event); it’s pretty exciting to be part of a group that has such energy and, so far, great momentum for potentially making a real difference for business, journalism, and education in Charleston. Local media was very supportive of our event, and barring a last-minute change, you’ll see a story on Live 5 News at 6 tonight about SMC Charleston, including an interview with yours truly. Many thanks to everybody who came out to support us — it was great to see so many new faces! As always, it’s great working with the SMC Charleston leadership group, headed up by Jeff Webster, Nick Tompkins, Lyn Mettler, Heather Solos, and Chad Norman. Look for more information on our next event soon.
In addition to applying the WordPress 2.8.1 upgrade, I’ve also upgraded to the Carrington-based WordPress Mobile Edition by Alex King, which provides a VERY slick interface for mobile devices to browse posts and pages. I do think the out-of-the-box styles could use some tweaking (particularly on iPhone, where the interface widgets are there but the fonts are Verdana rather than Helvetica Neue), but editing the Carrington theme is fairly straightforward. Regardless, it’s a great plugin to have (even though it’s probably overkill for a personal blog such as this) and I recommend it.
There are a couple interesting but unconnected conversations in Charleston taking place, and the intersection of both intrigues the hell out of me. Let’s try it! Here’s the rundown:
- A couple weeks ago, Janet Edens posted at xarkGirl, asking what a Lowcountry co-working space would look like, with some incredible comments on the post. This is an idea that’s been kicked around a few times in the past and is gaining momentum. In fact, just today, it was revealed that a Summerville company, KFR Services, will begin providing space and some monetary investment in an ongoing program to aid local startups. This is a start, but the vision of our local creative and technical geeks is bigger (more on that in a little bit).
- Yesterday, a knockout blog post by Kristin B. Walker shed a lot of light on issues people are having trying to establish in Charleston. In it, Kristin insists that “Charleston is not Disneyworld” and that things need to happen in the city to better improve opportunities for local businesses to thrive and, more importantly, survive — especially in the face of business failures up and down King Street. It’s a great, honest read from the trenches, and if you haven’t seen it, read it.
The intersection, of course, is bringing that talent together in an attractive fashion to additional talent, to kick off those businesses — and the co-working space is a great place to architect an escape from Disneyworld.
[gmap zoom=’15’ width=’120px’ height=’90px’]Hot on the heels of the first Social Media Club Charleston event, which was a smashing success (footage still to follow; progress slowed by a problem with my primary computer) comes our next meeting, a networking event at the downtown Taco Boy location (another appropriate location given that tacos are emerging as the next memefood on Twitter) next Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30. (RSVP on Facebook for the event.) Come ready to introduce yourself, network with other professionals, and get to know more of your fellow social media compatriots and share your hopes and goals for what you want out of your social media presence. The Facebook RSVPs are very promising for a good turnout. Hope to see you there!