Wednesday 30th September was a great day to be involved in the digital industry. It was Digital Women UK’s Get Connected Conference, and CompletelyNovel’s co-founder Anna Lewis was invited to talk about digital publishing and her experiences with tech start ups. We also got to hang around for the whole day, meeting inspiring women and learning new tips and tricks. Check out our overview of the event below.
‘Get Connected’ was a series of talks and informal breaks filled with coffee, cake and thought-provoking chats, all in honour of the first anniversary of Digital Women UK. It was all about the exchange of digital expertise and helping one another to be better at what we do. The talks kicked off with novelist Sunny Singh talking about online trolling – a somewhat serious topic to start a conference with, but something that will most likely affect all of us at some point. As Sunny poignantly pointed out, “often your mere presence on the internet is provoking.” Afterwards we watched a video with Jude Kelly OBE, who talked about the need for greater inclusion of women in creative and digital industries. Jude also mentioned a sharp decline of number of female coders & web developers in the digital industry which calls for action.
Jude’s talk was followed by the Digital Clinic hosted by Campbell X and Foluke Akinlose who were sharing their tips from years of experience in social media, digital strategy and online presence. A lot of the discussion focussed on LinkedIn and how to make the most of it. One member of audience said that her strategy on LinkedIn is to “consciously build the network of people that reflect who you are and what you do as a professional.” Campbell and Foluke made the topic of social media accessible, but also realistic, and urged us not to forget that “social media is a lot like interpersonal communication. Be honest and gracious.”
Online journalist for The Independent, Neela Debnath, tackled common blogging problems in her talk. Neela spoke about the importance of being entrepreneurial and getting your writing out there: “promote yourself and show you have something to say.” Blogging is good promotion for your writing, but requires regular updating, but, as Campbell pointed out, “guest blogging is a good way to promote without committing to a blog.”
After a lunch break full of treats and inspiring conversations, it was time for CompletelyNovel’s Anna to discuss digital publishing with Joy Francis, the co-founder of Digital Women UK and Joanna Ellis of The Literary Platform. Anna equaled self-publishing to a marathon, saying that “CompletelyNovel’s most successful authors are willing to do their research and put the time in.” Joanna also identified the necessity to devote time to your book: “if you can carve out two hours at a time to work on a project you feel passionate about, it’s valuable.”
The digital publishing talk was followed by the Ladies that UX panel which brought forward honest and empowering advice. They discussed why it’s important to orientate your work on your audience and think about what works for them. Before we finished the day with the express workshop in digital poetry with Jacob Sam-La Rose and Malika Booker, we were also treated to an anniversary cake whilst listening to a DJ set by DJ Chillz. Jacob and Malika gave us a quick introduction into the world of poetical tweeting. It was a fun and inspiring session of live tweeting metaphors about carpets and chairs, and interacting with each other’s poetry online. You can see the outcome under the #tweetlove hashtag. Feel free to join in – tweet a metaphor about one object you see right now!
Overall, the ‘Get Connected’ conference was a great opportunity to meet women from all areas of the digital industry. We’d like to thank Digital Women UK for inviting us to talk about digital publishing and CompletelyNovel. Here’s to their first anniversary!