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As you’ve probably seen, I’m a fan of jam and hackathon-type events and we’ve done and supported quite a few with the New Mexico Technology Council. Since there are three big events coming up soon, I thought I’d share a bit more about them and why I think they’re important.
I became actively involved in community building when I was part of a team at UNM’s Arts Technology Center that put together UNM’s vision for an interdisciplinary media program (which later became ARTS Lab and the Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media program (IFDM)) as part of New Mexico’s Media Industries Strategy Project (MISP). As we looked at the state’s needs for a robust film and media cluster and UNM’s potential role, we saw a few elements that needed to be strengthened, including a more active startup community and connections between technology developers and others in business and creative media. Among the most interesting and successful programs around at the time was the Duke City Shootout (DCS), the world’s first script to screen filmmaking competition. Taking advantage of the move to digital and increasing democratization of high end equipment, DCS was already putting students and others who aspired to become part of our nascent film industry with experienced pros.
Becoming part of the group that ran post-production for the filmmaking teams, I saw first-hand the value of learning new skills and forging new relationships when working in an intense team project environment where non-delivery was never an option. Even 6-8 years later, I still see people – now professional filmmakers in various roles – whose early careers were kicked off by being part of this experience.
As we continue to grow other facets of our tech business sectors and work with partners to spark a healthier startup community, many of the pieces I saw at DCS and also in various jams, hackathons and sprints are still – perhaps even more – useful to consider. If we agree that one of the elements holding New Mexico back is our lack of interconnectedness (or ‘network density’), there are few better experiences for bringing a range of complementary talents together.
Some folks disparage these events a bit because they don’t really build companies or launch products. And while many do (locally, the Shootout and 48 Hour Film Project have produced dozens of well executed short films, Game Jams have launched several games that are available for download online, and Startup Weekend has produced dozens of real, funded companies and products), that’s only part of the value. The real value I see has been the ongoing collaborations that began when talented people first saw each other’s work in one of these events, the people who’ve been hired, and the way participants eyes have been opened when seeing just how much amazing work can be accomplished when good teams work together in a highly compressed period of time.
As a community-building exercise, these have also been useful in building wider awareness among the larger community. We want local business and government large and small to be more aware of our local talents and capabilities. And we want talent and business communities outside New Mexico to be aware that there are exciting (and fun) things going on here as well. If you, your business or organization and friends and/or colleagues are interested in building your skills, experimenting with new methods, becoming more of local talent, changing our local communities for the better, and/or helping show off NM’s rich talent and capabilities, I hope you’ll consider participating in and supporting New Mexico’s Jam and Hackathon events.
GLOBAL GAME JAM (1/25-27 in Albuquerque & Las Cruces)
Join pros and aspiring game developers for the 5th! Annual Global Game Jam, a 48 hour game-building sprint in concert with dozens and dozens of sites around the globe running Friday, January 25th – Sunday, January 27th at IFDM @ UNM (Main campus, Albuquerque) and NMSU’s Creative Media Institute in Las Cruces. For more information and registration, Click HERE.
ABQ WORDPRESS MEETUP HACKATHON (2/1; 2/2; 2/7 in Albuquerque)
The Hackathon at WordCamp 2012 was a huge hit, so they’re doing it again. Everyone in the Albuquerque WordPress community is invited to participate in their next Hackathon focusing on three hand-selected community projects – and they’re looking for non-commercial clients as well. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and practice with other local WordPress professionals while giving back to the community in a meaningful way. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! Download the signup form here.
STARTUP WEEKEND SANTA FE (3/1-3 in Santa Fe)
Startup Weekend has become a phenomenon, recognized around the world for bringing startup-minded individuals together to develop ideas into functional products and businesses in the course of an intense 54-hour weekend. Adopted by the Kauffman Foundation for its proven ability to spark entrepreneurial interest, build connections and serve as a catalyst to grow startup communities, the NM Technology Council is proud to help bring Startup Weekend to New Mexico. Visit our Facebook page for more info – and please save the date!
New Mexico is home to some remarkable organizations working in and around STEM education. One element that unites them all is the value of having real professionals in tech interact with our youth, providing the benefit of their experience and connections through judging, mentoring and visits. Please consider helping out!
(Not sure which organization might be a good fit? Try contacting us and we’ll try to help.)
SUPERCOMPUTING CHALLENGE SEEKS JUDGES
The Supercomputing Challenge, http://www.
The current schedule of events is posted at: http://www.
with details at: http://www.
If you are willing to help out at any site, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our friend (& NMTC member) Stacy Sacco is a consumate networker, Rio Rancho Regional Manager for WESST, teacher, and advocate for community building and connecting local talent with opportunities. If you’re one of the handful of people who isn’t familiar with Stacy, you might check out the video of his talk at TEDxABQ 2012 here.
One of the regular (free) services he offers is his regular postings of job openings and regular postings of key events, organizations and more to a few of his email lists.
He was glad to share his most recent email with us – I encourage you to check it out and consider getting in touch with him directly if you’d like regular updates.
From Stacy Sacco:
This past weekend, I posted a new list of job openings at www.nmnetlinks.com and also compiled a list of recommended networking events several of which I’ve copied below. If you would like a copy of the original email, please let me know and I’ll add you to my mailing list. Good reading! Stacy,email@example.com
Friday, 1/11/13, 1:00-5:00 pm
TEDxABQED “Experience Potential”
Featuring speakers and ideas focused on improving our educational systems, programs, etc. They have an excellent line up of speakers and topics!
African-American Performing Arts Center, Expo New Mexico, 310 San Pedro Dr NE
Saturdays, 1/12/13-1/26/13, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
“Learn to Capture Your Audience With Video” Workshop (3 sessions)
Instructor: Gene Grant, host of New Mexico in Focus, well-known local columnist, award-winning playwright, sometimes actor and father of two girls! This 18-hour course, will feature a series of intensive class exercises to develop 10-15 video segments, how to manage an efficient and effective shooting schedule, see your business as a movie set and be a media spokesperson.
CNM Workforce Training Center, 5600 Eagle Rock Ave NE
Saturday, 1 /12/13, 11:00-1:00 pm
“Create Your Own Job: Secrets of Starting a Small Business ” Free Workshop
Ever dreamed of owning your own business? Would you like to make some extra income from your hobby or skill? Workshop will cover the 12 basic steps to starting a small business, how to research your market, and we’ll review a long list of local resources and organizations. There will also be some great door prizes including a $500 advertising package from The Rock of Talk AM 1600 KIVA. Presenters include:
- Aaron Lundquist, Business Advisor, Sandoval County Small Business Center
- Stacy Sacco, Rio Rancho Regional Manager, WESST
Loma Colorado Main Library, 755 Loma Colorado Drive NE, Rio Rancho
RSVP to Stacy Sacco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-892-1238.
Tuesday, 1/15/13, 7:00-1:30 am
Economic Outlook Conference
The 8th Annual Economic Outlook conference will feature the very latest national and local economic data to provide business owners and executives information to plan for the coming year.
Crowne Plaza, 1901 University Blvd NE
I also provided a list of the key groups I track so you can develop your own personal schedule of professional association meetings, educational workshops and job fairs. Here’s a sampling of some of the lists I included in my mailing:
AIGA New Mexico, http://newmexico.aiga.org/
Albuquerque Press Women, www.albuquerquepresswomen.org
Albuquerque WordPress Meetup Group, www.meetup.com
American Advertising Federation, www.nmadfed.org
American Marketing Association, www.nmama.org
American Society for Training & Development, www.astdnm.org
American Society of Media Professionals, www.asmpnm.org
Association for Women in Communications, www.nmawc.org
Association of Fund-Raising Professionals, www.afp-nm.org
International Society for Performance Improvement, www.nmispi.org
Meeting Professionals International, www.mpinm.org
New Mexico Book Association, www.nmbook.org
New Mexico Broadcasters Association, www.nmba.org
New Mexico Press Association, www.nmpress.org
New Mexico Press Women, www.newmexicopresswomen.org
New Mexico Society of Association Executives, www.nmsae.org
New Mexico Technology Council, www.nmtechcouncil.org
Public Relations Society of America, www.nmprsa.org
Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, www.shsmd-nm.org
Society for Marketing Professional Services, www.smpsnm.org
Society for Technical Communication, http://stc-nm-kachina.org/
Society of Professional Journalists, www.nmspj.org
Toastmasters International, www.district23.org
Women Make a Difference, www.abqwomenmakeadifference.
WriterGal Network, www.writergals.com