2009 in Brief

This morning as I went to add the new SuperMonday Into video (from Your Film) to the davidcoxon.com/blog,  I thought that as 2009 draw to an end it might be an ideal time to do a little 2009 in brief post. It was only when i started to run through the years events that i realized that it was going to pretty tough to do it in brief, there was so much happening.


The Supermondays events have turned into a bit of a “must go” event for me this year, not only because i’m now on the advisory committee, but because they have cover a massive range of subjects from databases, to video and sharing to version control, with a regularly changing format and venue, i’d defy anyone in IT / web to say that there hasn’t been an event for them.
Not only have Alex, Ross and the Sailor Girl team managed to fit in a monthly event, they’ve have also managed to put on some great one off events throughout the year: Cloudcamp , Superstartup, Supertelly and SuperChristmas to round the year off.
Supermondays were the latest organisation to get the Your Film treatment with a preview at SuperChristmas,  and I think I even Managed to put in an appearance in this one.

Thursday Fizz

There have been some cracking Thursday Fizz events organised by Stuart and Matt this year, including everything from a curry night with codeworks , to a wine tasting at the mining institute and a party in the park. Thursday Fizz has a strong emphasis on networking and having fun and is geared towards the creative side of the industry,  can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.

Codewords Think and a Drink

With all the other stuff that they get up to , you sometimes have to remind yourself that the codeworks team, but on a monthly Think and a Drink event and they certainly know how to party with the Pud and the summer Net together…


I’m still not entirely sure what VBUG standards for, but i did manage to get along to a couple of Jonathon and  Andrew’s events in 2009, and saw some stuff on Windows 7 and 2008, and I may be in a minority here but i actually quite like what Microsoft have been doing recently . While where talking  quick hat tip to Jonathon Noble, who received  a coverted Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award this year…well won mate.

North East IT Community

One of the groups that I have learned most from this year has been the IT Community group headed up by David McPherson, this is very much aimed at IT managers and has demonstrated some great tech ranging from security stuff to virtualization with a fair bit in between.

Tuttle North East

Justin Souter started a Tuttle North East group up in 2009 and we had a couple of interesting meetings in the pitcher and piano before deciding to moth ball it with the increasing number of events going on there just didn’t seem to be time for another.

Digital Debates

The business School at Newcastle University introduced a quarterly early morning lecture  and networking session, I only managed to get along to one of the sessions, but i learnt a lot, with great talks on email marketing from Iain from Mobious and search optimization and Adwords from DFDS seaways’s  Tom Fotheringham.

Sunderland Software City

Sunderland Software city have put on a series or series towards the end of the year, i haven’t had the chanse to get over there yet, but they certainly look interesting.

North East Telly

I only discovered North East Telly, after their Super Telly collaboration with Supermondays, but managed to get to get along to their year end talk from Mike Dicks as well. They are based at Northumbria Uni and I found both events really enjoyable, not only did they have a great venue, and fantastic speakers, but they do a fantastic buffet as well…definitely be trying to get along to a few more of their events in 2010.


Ian Simmons from the life centre, has set up a North East Dorkbot group for the serious hardware hackers amongst you, however i’m trying not to get along to this group as i really don’t have the time to get into playing with hardware as well as evrything else…but it does look like fun.

Culture Bites

What a fantastic idea combining lunch with a monthly meet up and tech talk, unfortunately i havn’t got to as many of these as i would have liked, but the culture lab team had a pretty busy year with putting in appearances at the maker faire, the wunderbar festival and a host of other events as well as running a number of events of thier own, including one on curating digital that i really enjoyed. And not forgetting their Render exhibition.
On top of the regular groups, that have kept us all busy this year their have been some pretty outstanding events.

Clicks or Mortar

This year the Tyneside cinema played host to an event called Clicks or Mortar, which was a kind of symposium on how to make venues and content worked together to engage audiences. The keynote speaker for this event was Peter Greenaway who more than lived up to everyone’s expectations with a fantastic show..and some phenomenal artwork.

Thinking Digital 09

After a fantastic performance in 2008, the pressure was on herb and the Codeworks team to pull off another great event in march, and i think they managed to exceed everyone’s expectations with a great mix of content, entertainment and networking. Its quite hard to sum up and i’m a little biased as TDC is right on my door step and i’ve had a hand in some bits of it over the past 2 years at least, so here’s what some of our friends had to say about it.

Still not convinced, well here’s a few of the high lights to remind those of your that made it this year and to show the rest of you what your missing…
NB. Herb tells me there are only 50 tickets left for 2010 with over 3 months to go.

Next Generation conference

Following hot on the heals on the TDC success, codeworks introduced a 1 day next generation event for graduates this year following a similar format. Its a while since my graduation, but i was lucky enough to be invited along to the speakers dinner the night before a meet a few of the keynote speakers.

Game Horizon

2009 was a pretty tough year for many industries not least for the Games industry, so Game Horizon, was more important than ever this year and i was lucky enough to get along and catch Microsoft’s very own Steve Clayton doing his session.

Bar Camp 09

Alistair Mcdonald once again organised another great event by all accounts at the centurion in town this year, but once again family commitments got in the way and i only managed to catch a couple of sessions, although i did help create the logo which was fun.

The Maker Faire

This year the life centre played host to the first Maker Faire in the north east which judging by the numbers was a great success, with people coming from all over the country to join in, including some friends from the BBC backstages team  (Rainycat and Cubicgarden).

Tyne Twestival

This year should have seen both a Tyne and Tees twestival organised by Aoife and the gang, but they ended up combining to 1 large event at Haults Yard, with all sorts of fun activities from virtual grafitti competitions to pop star games.

Brand Orienteering

I managed to get a really last minute place on one of Laura Madison’s ‘Brand Orienteering’ workshops..which has to win a prize for best value for money at just £25. The course was really hands on and made great use of the 2-3 hour session, focusing on what it is makes a brand a sticky brand and how to really make people really connect with you and your brand.


The original inspiration behind the Thinking Digital Conference, was the TED event in the states, so it was no wonder that when TED decided to syndicate some of their content to local independently organised TEDx events Herb Kim  was the man to take on TEDxNorth, including the event at the Tyneside Cinema. With talks from the likes of Andy Budd and Chris Stainthorpe

Marketing: the art of

This was the second of these conference organised by business link and the CIM /  CIPR.  It was a conference i wanted to go to as a refresher course for the chartered institute of marketing diploma i did a long long time ago, so i didn’t know much about the speakers before i got there, there were some great sessions from the guy behind the cadburies gorilla Ad and the guy behind the success of the Eden project, but i thing i learnt most form the talk on the difference between the way that men and women shop…very insightful, and now i know exactly why a trip to the Metrocentre with Lucinda takes so long.

Byte Night

Possibly one of the craziest IT related event i attended this year was Byte Night North East, organised by Derek and Jerri from bond Solutions,  Andy ‘the boy’ Walton now at Aspire and Linda from Action for Children, we managed to get around 50 business men and women sleeping out on the street outside of BALTIC to raise money for Action for Children a very worth while charity.

IT in the Community

Now in its second year, the event was staged at the stadium of light again, bringing together local councils, charities and community organisations and tech communities to foster good working practices and digital inclusion.

Meeting Milo

And finally who could forget the “grim up north” incident, I don’t think there was a single person in the North East that didn’t express and opinion one way or the other after ‘that arcticle’ appeared. But having had a bit of a go at the region, Milo did manage to make it ‘Up North’ to see the state of the North East for himself and went on to make a pretty fair video for Tech Crunch.

Other Meetings

Ultimately though I think the thing that will 2009 special for me won’t be any individual talk, event or conference that i managed to get to, it will be the new friends and contacts that i have made. I has been a fantastic year for me getting to know people like Ross Cooney, Alex Kavanagh, David Lavery, Rob Colling, Mikey Parker, Stuart Howard, Dan Howarth, Emma Newman, Heather Baxter, Mandy Charlton, The King Brothers, Andrew Waite, Janet Davies, John Catn and Justin Souter to name but a few.

For me personally there were some interesting developments, I was Shortlisted for the Computer Weekly blogger of the year award, and went from writing an occasional column for the journal to getting a regular monthly slot (which i thoroughly enjoy)  I was asked to become a member of the Supermonday advisory group and helped organise Bytenight as well as getting a couple of Photographs into the Sunday Times…role on 2010.

This entry was posted in North East Telly, barcampne, cloud camp, codeworks, conference, culturebites, digital marketing debates, featured, outdoor activities, supermonday, tedx, thinking digital, thursdayfizz, vbug. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 2009 in Brief

  1. Thanks for the mention David. Great review too.

  2. Rosie Niven says:

    The thing I want to know is, how do you keep up with all these events?

    There’s a number, including TEDx Newcastle, which I only heard about when someone tweeted from it. More often than not, a hashtag pops up on Twitter and you’ll find that you’re missing a really good event.

    Why do no-one tweet about these events beforehand?

  3. Ross Cooney says:

    Hi David,
    It’s amazing how many events we attend…I have really enjoyed 2009 too. I hope that 2010 is more of the same!

  4. Andrew Waite says:


    like you I’ve enjoyed getting to the local events this year and meeting many interesting people(although it looks like I’ve gotten to nowhere near as many as you did). It has definitely been a good year for it.

    Hope you have a good Christmas and New Year, see you in the next decade.


  5. Paul King says:

    Hey David,

    Well done on all your personal achievements this year, I’m sure next year us just as successful for you.

    I laughed the other day when me and my brother were called networking sluts, but seriously you have networking omnipresence mate!

    And thanks for all the help you’ve given us with 1DayLater Beta testing – who would have known one man could be such a fountain of good suggestions.


  6. Kev Owens says:

    David, great blog entry. We’ve found 2009 to be a great year for plugging into the fantastic network we have here in the North East.
    Nice round-up, bring on 2010!

  7. David,
    VBUG originates from the Visual Basic User Group which is a national user group which was established in 1996. The group has been referred to as VBUG for the last couple of years in an attempt to remove the Visual Basic focus as the group covers all of the Microsoft Stack – including C# ;-) .

    Jonathan and I, however have decided to branch off on our own for the New Year and are looking to establish North East Bytes as the premier Microsoft focussed user group in the North East and Cumbria. Formal announcement and first event details coming soon. Keep an eye on http://www.nebytes.net for now.


  8. Matt says:

    Wow, that’s a lot packed into one year. Great to see this overview. It sets the agenda, thinking and planning for 2010.

    I’ll remember 2009 as, in the Midlands at least, filled with one ‘social media’ conference after another. Arguably one or two became so for the sake of it :) But through them I’ve met so many interesting people with whom I continue to work and engage with.

    Thanks Dave. Maybe see you at TD 2010

  9. david coxon says:

    Thanks Andrew, i spotted North East Bytes pop up recently along with a twitter page etc sounds very exciting look forward to getting along to some events in 2010 and thanks for the explanation of the Vbug name.

  10. david coxon says:

    Thanks for the comments Ross, and thanks for all the hardwork in 2009, yourself and Alex were behind some pretty fantastic events last year (and attending pretty much everything else)

  11. david coxon says:

    Wow thanks for all the comments, thank you one and all, have a wonderful Christmas and hopefully see you all at lots more great events next year.

  12. Herb Kim says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks as ever for your kind words & support. It’s really great to see so many new & growing events and networks throughout the North East.

    For Codeworks, we believe 2010 will be another growth year for us. We remain amazed & humbled by the continuing support for the Thinking Digital Conference. It’s our pleasure and privilege to produce it and we’re obviously delighted that interest in the event remains high. The main hall will definitely be soldout by end of January so we’re busy working with the Sage Gateshead to figure out ways of expanding our capacity there.

    Think & a Drink will of course remain as our anchor set of events. The GameHorizon Conference remains as our flagship games developer event. In April, we’ll be producing Codeworks Connect’s first web designer/developer conference entitled DIBI. Checkout http://www.whatisdibi.com for more info.

    Also lookout for Dan Pink & a Drink in January, TEDxTeesside in February, TEDxGateshead in July and another set of announcements we’re planning to make for early February :-)

    Happy Christmas to you & your many blog readers!


  13. Hi David

    Thanks for the mention (wonder if it’s got anything to do with the cupcakes)….it’s been great to meet you too. Hope you have a great Christmas…here’s to more success in 2010.

    warm regards, Heather

  14. david coxon says:

    Thank you Herb Kim, for the great comments and information about upcoming events for 2010, actually i should have included the game horizon and indeed the next generation events in the round up, in fact there are a couple of other events that i missed, i think i’ll try and do a little revision tomorrow to put those right.

    Funnily enough i just added the codeworks events to my ne events diary on google about an hour ago.

    Have a great Christmas Herb!

  15. Laura Sharpe says:

    Great blog David, what a great nack you have of rounding the year up and benchmarking the magic moments, especially Byte Night, a bizarre but very worthwhile event! Thanks also for the TellyNet mention, we hope to see them go from strength to strength next year pulling in lots more different and inspirational speakers like Mike Dicks!
    Have a lovely Christmas and look forward to catching up in the New Year!
    Big hugs
    Laura & Julie

  16. Rob Colling says:

    Nice post, Mr C. When you round them all up like that, it explains why the NE tech/media/entrepreneur scene feels so exciting and full of promise at the moment. It also explains why, like you, I seem to have met lots of new people and made lots of new friends in the last year!

    Here’s hoping the events of 2010 are just as inspiring.

    All the best for the new year.

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