Creative Camp and the rise of the new media darlings

I've had an interesting week. Since the 2.0 iPhone software was released I've suddenly discovered a whole new, much more interesting side to Twitter. I blame Twinkle, primarily, because its "nearby" feature has opened a whole world of local Twitterers to me. Northern Ireand can feel a little insular at times, even more so when you are outside the sprawling metropolis that is our capital city, so to find this whole world of other geeky types so close was a revelation. Within a week I had stopped following @kevinrose, @veronica and all the other web 2.0 celebrities and started connecting with real people there was a chance I could actually meet.

As a result of this, in the last seven days I have been to Mobile Monday, Open Coffee and Creative Camp, met a lot of wonderful, friendly people, seen first hand an app that caused worldwide outrage and found myself proposing a site for Northern Ireland Creatives to rally around (we'll see how that goes). But what of Creative Camp? This self-styled "unconference" was, from the point of view of an interested attendee, an undeniable success. The talks were lively and entertaining, the people were happy to strike up conversations with strangers, even the sandwiches were awesome. It was interesting to hear of peoples frustrations trying to deal with funding in Northern Ireland, of taking their ideas and getting them to the wider world. But mostly it was fascinating to see how many people were real self-starters, who weren't prepared to let our geographical location limit them and who see the only way to further Northern Ireland is to get off their arse and make it happen. Clearly, there were a few minor items that could (and will be) improved for next time. The location was ultimately a little small and lacked areas for small groups to sit and brainstorm (the post-it on the ideas wall that said "the most interesting conversations happen between the presentations" or similar) and clearly the chair situation could have been better (though we all mucked in to get it sorted). The most important thing was that people participated, were willing to get out there and do things and for that we should all be grateful. Roll on Creative Camp 2.0