Derek Featherstone and I have chatted about the events within the Ottawa region and how there didn't really seem to be anything directly targetted to us. BarCamp comes the closest but it doesn't happen very often.
Refresh is a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in their areas. Promoting design, technology, usability, and standards.
And that's exactly what we aim to do with it. Our goal is to really foster a great community and promote quality design and development within the nation's capital.
It is my intention that this will be accomplished at three levels:
Much like the meetups that currently run within the city, we'd like to have regular gatherings to simply share horror and success stories over a drink or two. This gives us all a chance to chat about the things we enjoy doing every day and meet those within Ottawa (and elsewhere, if you feel like making the trip) who are passionate about the same things.
I'd consider this the core component of what Refresh Ottawa is all about: regular events where a couple people present on a particular topic. It's like a mini-conference. These should be a lot of fun and Derek and I will be working on securing a decent venue.
How practical this will be only time will tell but long term I'd really like to see a conference here in Ottawa and having it under the Refresh umbrella — as it was for Refresh06 — would be cool to see.
What's up first?
That's a very good question! Right now, we just wanted to get the site up before we both head out to SXSW as Derek will be presenting at Refresh "World", for which I hope to attend as well.
If you're interested in participating in or attending a Refresh Ottawa event, head on over to the site and sign up. We'll be sending out an email in a couple weeks with some more definite plans.