Tag Archive for: design

Five questions for creatives: Stephen Molyneaux

Stephen Molyneaux started his career in the games industry before moving into cinema.

Five questions for creatives: Christian Payne

Christian Payne specialises in creative technology and communications.

Five questions for creatives: Max McMurdo

Furniture hacker Max McMurdo is a passionate eco-designer who restores everyday waste objects.

Neotists — raising the profile of creatives in St Neots

Since we launched the Neotists website a month ago we’ve had over 2,600 page views. We’ve also had lots of new members sign up to the group – so we now number 110 creatives, with 24 of them featured on the added new categories for creative profiles, including motion graphics, product design and sculpture, showing that Neotists have a huge range of skills to offer.” People section. We’ve also added some new profile categories, including motion graphics, product design and sculpture, showing that Neotists have a huge range of skills to offer.

So the creative community is growing – but what about the visibility of that community?

It’s vital that the designers, illustrators, photographers, coders, writers and the whole range of creative people who either live or work in St Neots and have not come across Neotists can find our community. So we’ve been working hard in the background, using the right keywords, using a variety of popular online platforms, meeting people face-to-face and using existing community networks to help raise the profile. Here are some of our tips, trade secrets and general common sense that’s helping us get on the first page of searches.

In terms of the internet holy grail, (search engine optimisation or SEO) we’ve done a great deal in the background to ensure that the website, its posts, pages and profiles are all labelled correctly so that those omnipotent search engines don’t mark us down. Take this post for instance – the word Neotists is mentioned the most so it makes sense to use the keyword Neotist St Neots. So as it appears in the title, URL and text it means we get the thumbs up and better ranking from search engines.

Sharing posts across a variety of channels is also important as it’s a great way to reach the creatives out there who don’t already follow our Facebook or Twitter pages. So we’ve been sharing our articles on other community Facebook groups and we’ve had great feedback already with new members signing up who’ve spotted the articles or responded to questions posted in those groups.

I mentioned in a previous article how creating a visible creative community is important now as the new Winteringham estate in the west of St Neots is in the planning stages. When the development begins and properties begin to go up for sale, people will be looking to move to the area and, just as with Love’s Farm, residents will bring a whole range of creative skills to the town and these creative people will need a community to service their interests. One of the ways we’re helping those people find Neotists is by adding a culture section to the St Neots page on Wikipedia. Previously no culture section existed and we felt this didn’t reflect the diverse physical and technical creativity going on in the arts in St Neots.

Finally, and crucially we’ve submitted the URL www.wneotists.co.uk to all the major search engines. What this means is that the likes of Google and Bing will then be aware of the website and regularly check for updated pages and posts.

We’ve focussed our attention to visibility online in the last month, and although we know this is not the only way to help people find us, with the launch of the website, it was key to make all those connections first before getting on with other stuff.

Why should you do a PechaKucha talk?

Original article by Ann Hawkins

I’ve given lots of presentations over the years, so when I was invited to do a PechaKucha talk at St Neots I thought, “no problem”.

PechaKucha speakers present a deck of 20 slides. Each of these slides progresses automatically to the next one after being visible onscreen for just 20 seconds so the total presentation time is just over six mins. Easy, yes?

How wrong can you be?

That presentation turned out to be one of the hardest and yet most rewarding I’ve ever done.

It was hard on one level because being concise is an art form. As Cicero famously said, “I apologise for writing such a long letter. I did not have time to write a shorter one.” Saying anything meaningful in six minutes isn’t easy and it took longer to prepare and rehearse than any other presentation I’ve ever done.! I also found it hard in a totally different way because speakers are invited to share a topic they are passionate about and, as an intensely private and introverted person, I’ve always found it hard to share things that move me.

I toyed with lots of topics that would have been amusing and less emotive but kept coming back to the one I really wanted to share so eventually gave myself a good talking to and got on with it.

On the night I was prepared for a polite round of applause and encouraging comments from friends in the audience but I had no idea of the ripples of reaction that would follow in the days, weeks and months following the talk.

The talk was about why the only thing that makes sense to me is to treat every person as an individual and to resist giving anyone a label based on their outside casing and I’ve had messages from people all over the world who are trying to do just that. My heroes are parents who are trying to bring up children to be decent human beings and to see beyond gender, race, sexual orientation, physical ability and all the other labels they have to deal with. That’s a tough job to do but one that has the potential to change our world.

From an audience of 60, my talk was broadcast through the PechaKucha community and has now been viewed nearly 3,000 times and I’m awed at the reaction, especially as an extract has been used by calligrapher Andrew Kelly to illustrate a poster for the next round of talks.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the other PechaKucha talks I’ve seen, from battle rapping to drawing as a therapy, so if you’ve got something that lights you up, come and share it – you never know where it might lead!

Neotists – creating a creative community for St Neots

Neotists started about a year ago when my partner, Clair and I realised that St Neots didn’t have a visible creative community.