• Looking for some help

    So, it's been a reasonably busy couple of months at Techwrap Towers. Like most beta periods, it's been a case of ironing out the wrinkles on our own site, getting to grips with some pretty idiosyncratic APIs belonging to our sources. We've also had some pretty good feedback from users, so it's time to start building out a few new features, which is going to take up a lot of time.

    Consequently, I'm looking to find someone to assist with editorial and curatorial aspects of the site. It's probably a total of only about 3-4 hours work across the week, which would probably be best done on in 15-minute chunks. Obviously this is remotely done, and is extremely flexible. Rather than parcelling it out to a Mechanical Turk-type arrangement, I'd far rather find someone who is a bit startup-savvy and knows the local scene. The main qualification is being able to understand the difference between a quality event that we would be happy to recommend to our community, and the Grant Shapps - get-rich-quick stuff that we see all too much of. Paid on an hourly basis, and there will almost certainly be more hours as we roll out new features.

    If you're interested, or have any questions, drop me an email at wrap@techwrap.co.uk with "Editorial job" in the subject line.

  • Welcome to Techwrap!

    Hello all and welcome to Techwrap, thanks for dropping by.

    As you've probable noticed, we're a listings site for events of interest to the business, technology and startup community. The aim is to try and be as comprehensive as possible, and help people find stuff that might not be so easily found with the sites out there at the moment. This is the first public release so we're probably a bit scrappy round the edges, and we're pretty MVPish as well. By all means let us have bug reports, listings info and feature requests - if there's enough demand for it from the community, then I'll try and build it!

    Techwrap started out as an idea I had for a side project six months or so ago. There's an element of scratching my own itch there; as a parent of two small children who lives in a small town in East Anglia, my cultural life and my business network life have both taken a bit of a battering recently, as I'm only in London for a handful of days a week. Ergo if I have a tool to help me maximise my time and alert me to interesting stuff going on, then I'm happy.

    The first ever tech event I went to was the Bournemouth ZX Spectrum Owners' Club, round about 1984. This was basically the analogue precursor to the Pirate Bay, with Amstrad tape-to-tape machines running hot knocking off copies of Jetpac. Great days. More recently, when I became interested in the East London tech startup scene around 2007, there were no more than a handful of events to manage, with a handful of the same faces. I remember the second-ever Minibar featuring an oddly-dressed bloke demoing an early version of his monstery virtual pet thing. Now the scene is unrecognisable, hundreds of events every month, and tens of thousands of participants. The growth, scale and diversity of the startup community are breathtaking - hence I've put together this resource to try and help navigate to the most interesting stuff.

    The vast majority of events that are of interest are managed via Meetup.com or Eventbrite. These are both simple, robust platforms for ticketing, and I can see why a lot of people use them. Unfortunately, they are both hopeless for discovery, and finding new, relevant activity. Meetup has a peculiar non-hierarchical system of categorising events which makes it very difficult to find new stuff unless you are aware of the very specific term used to classify it. This also produces a lot of false positives, and I'm sure I'm not the only one receiving a stream of Meetup emails full of irrelevant rubbish. Eventbrite was, for a time, even worse, although they now seem to be fixing the bugs that hampered even basic search functionality. There are also the very many events that use neither platform and we're trying to get them all into one place. As I say, if you know about an upcoming event that we missed, please let us know.

    If you like what we're doing, and find it useful, then the best thing you can do to help is register (and follow us on the Twitter). I'm not going to spam you or flog your data, but if you sign up, I take that as a vote of approval for the beta and it's encouraging going forward. We also have an email subscription feature you can opt in to, which sends a daily list of current and newly-announced events. This is built and ready to go, but I'm waiting for enough signups to make this worthwhile before I switch it on.

    Once again, thanks for checking out Techwrap, and if you have any thoughts or questions, please get in touch.