I had a double helping of coffee recently, when I arrived early for Russell’s coffee morning so I could see what likemind was all about. What I found was a very welcoming group at the back of The Breakfast Club, hosted by Amanda and Piers of psfk fame. They had even arranged for the nice people at Anomaly to treat me to a coffee and bacon sandwich.
Although the group were chatting away like old friends it turned out that most of them hadn’t met before – they worked in different companies, in different creative disciplines and across different countries and continents. They included Simon of Londondenim, who designs jeans in London, has them made in Japan and sells them in Harrods; Rachel Lasebikan who set up Mojisola to develop African fashions with sustainable business practice; Martin MALii-Karlsson, a media producer from Sweden; Helen Taylor from the research agency Spinach; Alastair Robertson from Imagination; Tomas Mrkvicka from Ogilvy Prague; and the charming Charles Frith, a planner and professional blog commenter who I’m trying to entice into commenting on this post.
Talking to people with such an eclectic mix of creative talents made for a very enjoyable morning – the kind that really brings home the opportunities that all this blogging and social media are opening up. In one way it seemed the most natural thing in the world, in another it was all slightly surreal – I often think meeting people via online networks is a bit like being teleported down from the Enterprise. If I hadn’t started writing this blog I’d never have met these people. Making new offline connections has been probably the single most valuable thing I’ve got out of writing Wishful Thinking, something it’s hard to explain to the (many) blog sceptics I know.
If meeting up with other creative people sounds like your idea of fun, have a look at the likemind site to see if there’s an event in your city – they seem to be taking over the world, so hopefully there will be one near you before long. Hat-tip to Noah, another of the instigators of likemind.
If you’re in London, make sure you bookmark Russell Davies’ blog and keep an eye on the top left corner, where he announces the dates of his coffee mornings, where you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome and interesting conversations. I’m living proof that it’s not just advertising people. Scroll down a bit and he lists coffee mornings as far afield as Jakarta, Sydney and Toronto.