Y Bont, Gwobrau Theatr Cymru 2014 a diolchiadau pwysig

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Mae’n anodd credu bod blwyddyn lawn wedi mynd heibio ers cynhyrchiad Y Bont yn Aberystwyth. Roedd y ddrama yn nodi hanner ganrif ers y protest iaith torfol enwog ar bont Trefechan yn 1963. Mae Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru yn lansio archif o’r cynhyrchiad ddydd Sul yma (2il Chwefror 2014). Bydd e’n cyfle i bobl a fynychodd y ddrama weld safbwyntiau eraill yn ogystal a chynnig cyfle i’w wylio i bobl a fethodd y digwyddiad. Ewch i gyfrif Twitter Theatr Genedlaethol am ragor o fanylion cyn hir.

nativehq-gwobrau-theatr-cymruMae NativeHQ a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru newydd dderbyn gwobr am waith ar Y Bont oddi wrth Gwobrau Theatr Cymru, sef Defnydd Gorau o Gynnwys Digidol/Ar-lein. W00p!

Fel y dwedais ar y llwyfan nos Sadwrn, y stwff digidol yma ydy cyfrwng. Fydd ddim llawer i wneud ar ein pennau ein hunain ac rydym yn hollol ddibynnol ar bobl eraill er mwyn i ni ddogfennu, dehongli, rhannu, recordio Vines fel yr un uchod (platfform yr oedd yn newydd sbon ar y pryd) – ac ati.

Rydym fel cwmni eisiau cymryd y cyfle i ddweud diolch i’r bobl ganlynol.

  • Heledd Hardy a’r tîm digidol am eu gwaith caled, sef myfyrwyr o Brifysgol De Cymru a Choleg y Drindod Dewi Sant: Efa Harris-Davies, Lowri Wynn, Catrin Lewis, Sioned Evans, Elen Jones, Aaron Cooper, Mali Rees, Bethan Evans, Aled Bishop, Steffan Morgan, Steffan Griffiths. Mae’r wobr yma i chi hefyd.
  • Yr ysgrifenwyr Catrin Dafydd, Ceri Elen ac Angharad Tomos
  • Lois Jones, Chris Hoskins a’r cast i gyd
  • Elin Williams a Steve Dimmick am eistedd mewn ystafell dywyll gyda llwyth o dabiau porwr ar agor tra oedd pawb arall tu fas
  • Green Bay, Dylan Richards, S4C a Huw Marshall am gydweithrediad weddol esmwyth rhwng platfformau
  • Arwel Gruffydd a phob aelod o dîm Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru a’r criw ar y cynhyrchiad

This post is about our Wales Theatre Award: Best Use of Digital/Online Content for our work on Y Bont with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. There isn’t enough room on the slate for the names of the digital team who are sharing in this award with us plus the others we want to thank, so we’ve credited them here. Congratulations to the other nominees in our category too!

Ein model ar gyfer twf mewn busnes digidol – yn cyflwyno cydweithwyr NativeHQ

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English version of this post

Rydym yn dal i hudo gan y broses o adeiladu cwmni, pum mlynedd ers i ni ddechrau.

Mae adeiladu busnes bach yn broses gymhleth a mentrus ac mae sawl cwestiwn. Un maes allweddol yw twf eich tîm: pryd ydych chi’n ehangu neu dyfu eich tîm, sut ydych chi’n dod o hyd i’r bobl iawn a pha sgiliau neu brofiadau dylech chi ddatblygu? Eleni yn NativeHQ rydym newydd ddechrau ein chweched flwyddyn ac yn ddiweddar penderfynodd i dyfu ein tîm.

Mae llawer o fodelau a chanllawiau ar gyfer tyfu y tîm mewn busnes bach. Mae yna hefyd nifer o ragdybiaethau y dylid eu cwestiynu yn rheolaidd. Ni fydd unrhyw fodel neu ddull yn addas i bob busnes, ond yr hyn sy’n hollbwysig yw beth sy’n addas i’ch gwerthoedd a diwylliant ar hyn o bryd. Rydym yn gobeithio, trwy rannu ein model o dwf tîm rydym yn dechrau yn y flwyddyn hon, efallai y byddwch yn codi rhai syniadau defnyddiol.

Mae’r model yr ydym bob amser wedi defnyddio yn NativeHQ yn un sy’n dechrau gyda chydweithio. Fel partneriaid (Carl Morris a Tom Beardshaw), rydym bob amser wedi cydweithredu gyda rhwydwaith o bobl ar sail ad hoc. Mae’r perthnasoedd hyn wedi cefnogi ein gwaith ac yn ein herio i feddwl a gweithio’n wahanol gyda chyfryngau cymdeithasol a chleientiaid. Rydym yn penderfynu cymryd y cam nesaf ac yn ffurfioli hyn trwy benodi dau gydweithredwr i ymuno â’n tîm yn ffurfiol.

Perthynasau cyswllt fel model ar gyfer twf

Gall y model cydweithredwr ar gyfer tyfu busnes cael ei adeiladu ar nifer o egwyddorion gwaith. Mae anghenion prosiect yn ei arwain, gyda strwythurau agored, cytundebau gweithio hyblyg, ac yn canolbwyntio ar gyfathrebu parhaus a chynydd mewn perthnasau ymhlith cydweithwyr.

  • Anghenion prosiect: Mae pob cydweithiwr yn berson yr ydym yn cydweithio â hwy ar sail prosiect-wrth-brosiect. Mae hyn yn dibynnu ar anghenion y prosiect, y cleient ac i ni fel arweinwyr prosiect. Pan fydd unrhyw brosiect penodol wedi dod i ben efallai na fyddwn yn gweithio gyda’n cydweithiwr am sawl wythnos. Mae hyn yn caniatáu i ni i fod yn bartner gyda’r bobl orau mewn gwahanol feysydd ar sail anghenion.
  • Strwythurau gwaith agored: Mae cydweithwyr yn rhydd i ddatblygu eu gyrfaoedd a gweithio ar brosiectau yn eu rhwydweithiau eu hunain. Mae NativeHQ yn dod i mewn ac allan o’u bywydau gwaith fel y bo’n briodol. Mae llawer mwy i rannu ar yr arferion a’r offer a ddefnyddiwn i gydweithio o bell a byddwn yn eu rhannu mewn cofnod blog yn y dyfodol.
  • Trefniadau gweithio hyblyg: Nid ydym yn cyflogi ein cydweithwyr ar gytundeb sefydlog neu gynnig taliadau fel cyflog misol, ond yn datblygu pob prosiect gyda chytundebau prosiect sy’n hyblyg i anghenion pawb. Nid oes angen adeilad mawr chwaith neu’r gorbenion cysylltiedig sy’n dod gyda chyflogi pobl, gan ddewis yn hytrach i weithio o’n swyddfeydd cartref, mannau rhwydweithio a gofodau gweithio ar draws y wlad, fel Indycube.
  • Cyfathrebu parhaus: Hyd yn oed os nad ydym yn gweithio ar brosiect byw gyda ein cydweithwyr fel arfer rydym yn cadw mewn cysylltiad â hwy i gyfnewid syniadau a gwybodaeth a dysgu mwy am y gwaith arall y maent yn wneud. Egwyddorion a rennir yn bwysig i ni yn ogystal â lleisiau a barnau amgen i finio ein meddyliau.
  • Tyfu perthynas cydweithwyr: Rydym hefyd yn tueddu i beidio â chyfweld cydweithwyr posibl, ond yn dewis cydweithiwr o bobl yr ydym wedi gweithio gyda nhw yn y gorffennol fel ffordd o ddechrau perthynas broffesiynol ac asesu os byddwn yn rhannu gwerthoedd a meddyliau tebyg am gyfryngau cymdeithasol.
    Ar gyfer y math o waith arbenigol a chymdeithasol a wnawn yn NativeHQ, rydym yn credu y bydd y berthynas cydweithiwr dod i ganlyniad llawer gwell i’n cleientiaid a chymhelliant gwell i bawb na phe baem yn cyflogi gweithwyr cyflogedig.

Yn bendant nid ydym yn dweud fod y model hwn ar gyfer pob cwmni ond rydym yn credu ei fod yn gweithio i NativeHQ yn sicr.

Y llwybr fwy traddodiadol i dwf ac ein safbwynt ni

Mae llawer o fusnesau bach sy’n bwriadu tyfu eu tîm yn meddwl am y model o adeiladu tîm o staff llawn-amser â’r ymrwymiad i’w talu bob mis, i sicrhau gwaith i lenwi eu dyddiau a’r gorbenion ychwanegol o brydles hir ar swyddfeydd ac ati.

O ystyried y gyfradd uchel o fusnesau bach nad ydynt yn cyrraedd eu chweched flwyddyn, mae’n hawdd dychmygu sut y gall NativeHQ mynd y ffordd yma pe tasen ni wedi mabwysiadu’r model mwy traddodiadol ar gyfer ein gwaith.

Yn y pen draw beth sydd o ddiddordeb i ni ydy gweithio gyda sefydliadau cleient, gweithio gyda’r bobl orau ar gyfer y prosiect wrth law er mwyn helpu ein cleientiaid i drawsnewid y ffordd y maent yn ymgysylltu â’u cymunedau digidol. Mae ein diffyg pryder am bob dim sy’n gwneud cwmni ‘traddodiadol’ megis ‘letterheads’ trwsiadus, placiau enw mewn marmor a thîm staff parhaol wedi dod yn fantais. Rydym wedi goroesi’r hinsawdd economaidd anodd, ac yn edrych at ein chweched flwyddyn mewn busnes, gyda llawer o ddysgu a chleientiaid hapus.

Ein cydweithwyr newydd

Wedi dweud hyn i gyd, hoffem ni gyhoeddi i’r byd yr ydym wedi penodi dau gydweithiwr newydd at ein tîm yn ddiweddar; Dr Kelly Page a Marc Heatley. Mae Kelly a Marc yn bobl rydym wedi adnabod ac wedi gweithio gyda nhw am amser hir ac ymhlith y gorau ar yr hyn maent yn eu gwneud.

Dr Kelly Page

Dr Kelly PageRoedd Kelly yn ddarlithydd yn Ysgol Fusnes Caerdydd, ac er ein bod yn drist bod symudodd i Chicago yn 2012 i ymgymryd â swydd newydd fel Athro Cynorthwyol yn y Coleg Columbia Chicago, rydym wedi bod mewn cyswllt ers iddi adael. Mae Kelly yn ymchwilydd rhyngrwyd profiadol iawn yn ogystal ag artist, awdur a siaradwr â meddylfryd strategol call, llawn profiad yn astudio cyfryngau cymdeithasol a rhwydweithiau byd-eang.

Mae hi’n dod â’i ymchwil a meddwl strategol i’r tîm NativeHQ, a bydd yn ymuno â ni i feddwl am sut y mae’r cwmni yn datblygu, gan archwilio’r materion yr ydym yn dod ar draws drwy ein gwaith gyda chleientiaid ac yn gweithio ar brosiectau sy’n gallu elwa ar ei harbenigedd ymchwil, ei hysgrifennu a dealltwriaeth strategol. Byddem yn argymell dilyn Kelly ar Twitter, lle mae’n rhannu ei syniadau diweddaraf yn rheolaidd.

Marc Heatley

Marc HeatleyMarc yn ddylunydd gweledol a creawdwr WordPress sy’n rhedeg ei gwmni dylunio ei hun yma yng Nghaerdydd. Yn ein barn ni, fe yw’r ‘wrangler’ WordPress gorau yn y ddinas, yn ogystal â bod yn math arbennig a phrin o dylunydd gweledol sydd yn wir yn deall y we ac yn gwybod sut i adeiladu profiadau defnyddwyr gwych arno. Rydym yn gwahodd Marc yn rheolaidd ar brosiectau NativeHQ technegol sydd angen ychydig o arbenigedd ychwanegol a meddwl dylunio, er enghraifft ein gwefan mapio diweddar i Gwmni Theatr Forest Forge

Mae dealltwriaeth Marc o’r we a chyfathrebu gweledol yn wych ac sy’n cryfhau gallu technegol ein tîm, ac mae’n mwynhau heriau ychwanegol yr ydym yn cynnig iddo fe. Mae hefyd yn werth dilyn ar Twitter, lle mae e’n rhannu o’r hyn mae wedi bod yn gwrando ar yn ddiweddar, i’r fframweithiau cwl diweddaraf ar y we a driciau WordPress ac ategion ei fod wedi darganfod.

Rydym wedi diweddaru’r tudalen Ein Tîm ar ein gwefan gyda’n ychwanegiadau newydd ac yn edrych ymlaen at lawer o flynyddoedd cynhyrchiol yn gweithio gyda Kelly a Marc – croeso i NativeHQ!

Our model for growing a digital business – introducing NativeHQ’s new associates

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Fersiwn Cymraeg o’r cofnod hwn

Even five years since we began, we’re still fascinated by the process of building a company.

Building a small business is a complex and risky process, and one filled with many questions. One critical area is team growth: when do you expand or grow your team, how do you find the right people and what skills or experiences should you develop? This year at NativeHQ we have entered our sixth year and recently decided to grow our team.

There are many models and guides for growing the team in a small business. There are also many assumptions which should regularly be questioned. No one model or approach will suit every business, but what is critically important is what fits with the values and culture of your current team. We hope that by sharing our own model of team growth we are embarking on this year, you may pick up some useful ideas.

The model we have always used at NativeHQ is one starting from a place of collaboration. As partners (Carl Morris and Tom Beardshaw), we have always collaborated with a network of peers on an ad hoc basis. These relationships have both supported our work and challenged us to think and work differently with social media and our clients. We decided to take the next step and formalise this a little more by appointing two associates to formally join our team.

Associate relationships as a model for growth

The associate model for growing a business can be framed around a number of key working principles. It is project-needs led, with open work structures, flexible working agreements, and focused on ongoing communication and growing established peer relationships.

  • Project-needs led: Each associate is a person with whom we collaborate on a project-by-project basis, depending on the needs of the project, the client and us as project leaders. When any given project is finished we may not work with our associates for several weeks. This allows us to partner with the best people in various fields on a needs basis.
  • Open work structures: Associates are free to develop their own careers and work on their own projects, in their own networks. NativeHQ comes in and out of their working lives as appropriate. There is a lot more to share on the practices and tools we use to collaborate remotely which we will save for a future blog post.
  • Flexible work arrangements: We don’t employ our associates on a fixed contract or offer renumeration in terms of a fixed salary, but develop each project with project agreements that are flexible to everyone’s needs. We also don’t need a large premises or the associated overheads that come with employing people, choosing instead to work from our home offices, popular networked hotspots and office space hubs across the country, like Indycube.
  • Ongoing communication: Even if we are not working on a live project with our associates we typically stay in contact with them to swap insights and knowledge and learn more about the other things they are working on. Shared principles are important for us as are dissenting voices and opinions to keep us all sharp.
  • Growing established peer relationships: We also tend not to interview potential associates, but select an associate from the peers we have worked with in the past as a means of beginning a professional relationship and exploring if we share similar values and thinking about social media.

For the kind of highly specialised, highly skilled and socially-oriented work we do at NativeHQ, we believe the associate relationship will yield a much better result for our clients and a better motivation for everyone than if we were to take on salaried workers.

We are definitely not saying that this model is for every company but we think it is one that definitely works for NativeHQ.

Why we stepped away from the more typical path to growth

For many small businesses looking to grow their team, many think firstly of the model of building up a full-time team of fully dedicated staff with the commitment to pay them monthly, to bringing in the client work to fill their days and the additional overheads of a long lease on premises and so on.

Given the high rate of small businesses that don’t enter their sixth year it is easy to imagine how things may have gone this way for NativeHQ if we had unquestioningly adopted this more traditional model for growing our team.

What ultimately interests us is working with client organisations, drawing on the best people for the project at hand to help our clients transform the way they engage with their digital communities. Our lack of concern for the trimmings that make a ‘traditional’ company such as vanity letterheads, marble name plaques and a permanent staff team has become an advantage. We have weathered the tough economic climate and are looking to our sixth year in business, with lots of learning and many happy clients.

Our new associates

With all this in mind, we’d like to announce to the world that we have recently appointed two new associates to our team; Dr Kelly Page and Marc Heatley. Both Kelly and Marc are people we’ve known and worked with for a long time and are among the best in the business at what they do.

Dr Kelly Page

Dr Kelly PageUntil recently, Kelly was a lecturer at Cardiff Business School here in Wales, and while we were sad that she moved to Chicago in 2012 to take up a new post as an Assistant Professor at the Columbia College Chicago, we’ve stayed in touch ever since she left. Kelly is a really experienced internet researcher as well as an artist, a writer and speaker with sound strategic thinking , bags of experience studying social media and extensive global networks.

She brings her research and strategic mind to the NativeHQ team, and will join us in thinking about how the company develops, exploring the issues we encounter through our work with clients and working on projects that can benefit from her research expertise, her writing and strategic insights. We’d highly recommend following Kelly on Twitter, where she shares her latest thinking on a regular basis.

Marc Heatley

Marc HeatleyMarc is a visual designer and WordPress creator who runs his own design company here in Cardiff. He is, in our opinion, simply the best WordPress wrangler in the city, as well as being a special and rare breed of visual designer who really understands the web and knows how to build great user experiences on it. We regularly bring Marc in on technical NativeHQ projects that require a bit of extra web expertise and design thinking, for example our recent mapping website for Forest Forge Theatre Company.

Marc’s understanding of web and visual communication is a great quality that strengthens the technical capacity of our team, and he enjoys the extra challenges that we bring him. He’s also well worth a follow on Twitter, where you’ll find him sharing everything from what he’s been listening to recently, to the latest cool web frameworks and WordPress tricks and plugins that he’s discovered.

We’ve proudly updated the Our Team page on our website with our new additions and look forward to many more productive years working with Kelly and Marc – welcome to NativeHQ!

Outsourcing social media: the debate

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ama2We were asked recently to write down our thoughts on why Arts organisations should not outsource their voice on Social Media platforms recently, for the Arts Marketing Association blog. The piece has just been published alongside an argument in favour of outsourcing by Sarah Morris from Sequence, another digital agency also from Cardiff.

You can view the debate here on the AMA blog – what do you think? Get involved in the discussion over there!

NativeHQ wins Theatre Multiplatform award!

NativeHQ win Multiplatform Award

Big thanks to the theatre critics of Wales for giving us an award for the best use of digital/online content at the inaugural Theatre Critics of Wales Awards in Cardiff this weekend. We won it for our work with National Theatre Wales on The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, by Tim Price.

We designed an online project that created a native web experience of the play by embedding CCTV cameras into the set of the show, livestreamed the play and gave the online audience a chat space to communicate with each other and external links for viewers to explore the story in more depth that changed throughout the play to reflect what you were watching.

Multifplaform design awardWith Wikileaks, Anonymous and the Bradley Manning Campaign all tweeting links to the web production, nearly 10,000 people watched the play as it was beamed from Tasker Milwood school in Haverford West, Cardiff and Connah’s Quay in North Wales. On the final day of the show in North Wales, someone in the council switched off the internet for the weekend, so we were left streaming the production through a 3G phone tether!

Bradley has nearly been in prison without a full trial for 1000 days. It now seems very likely that he did indeed leak the documents that he has been accused of sending to Wikileaks and with many Americans baying for blood, it’s is likely he will face a jail sentence. But having been a catalyst for the Arab Spring and brought the truth of American action in war and foreign policy thinking to global awareness, it seems like this Welsh Geek has done more in his young life to change the world than most of us ever will.

Many thanks to everyone involved in the production – Lucy, David, Jacob and Mike, to the creative team Tim, Chloe, Natasha, Mike, the cast and crew, and special thanks to John McGrath, the artist director of National Theatre Wales, for his vision and bravery in making NTW one of the most innovative digital theatre companies in the world.

Find out more about the campaign to support him through his ordeal by visiting the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Background to the NativeHQ website rejig

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Tom and I have been busy rejigging the NativeHQ website of late. We’re still working on some aspects of the content but decided to follow the Cult of Done philosophy and just get it online.

I wanted to blog about how relatively painless this process has been from a system point of view. This is the kind of long-term freedom from pain we like to offer clients of our website development services too.

Since the beginning of NativeHQ around three years ago our website has run on the WordPress system and this is turning out to have been a wise decision. One huge advantage of WordPress is the freedom we get from its open source licence (the WordPress code is licensed under a licence known as GPL). In other words, we are independent of any other company and completely free to change bits of it. We are certainly not locked in to any suppliers, licence costs, ‘bespoke’ systems and so on.

In the case of our own website we kept the core system and the old posts. We mainly needed to work on the cosmetic level of the visual theme: we got rid of the old theme and developed a new theme in keeping with our visual identity.

There are some functional changes as well. For example we wanted each service page to begin with an introduction and have a live portfolio of related projects underneath. If you visit, say, Social media strategy or Multiplatform design, you’ll see what I mean. The list of links in each case is generated automatically from the blog maintained by Tom and me, based on categories.

Again these functional changes are modular – just a matter of patching in a new template or two, not a serious overhaul.

Something is seriously wrong if you have to spend loads of money to overhaul your entire website including the core CMS just to give it a fresh look and emphasis every three or so years. But some website suppliers can force you to do this by making you rely on their bespoke, proprietary systems. As a rough analogy, it wouldn’t make sense to put your body under general anaesthetic and have surgery every time you simply want to change your outfit or make-up.

Rydyn ni wrthi’n datblygu’r ochr Cymraeg o ein gwefan ni. Bydd y cynnwys yn wahanol i’r Saesneg i fanteisio ar y cyfle i siarad am y we Gymraeg a phethau sydd yn addas i ein cymuned sydd yn defnyddio Cymraeg. Gawn ni weld. Mae’r ddwy iaith gyda statws cyfartal ond mae modd gwneud pethau unigryw i’r Gymraeg hefyd er mwyn cryfhau’r gronfa o sgyrsiau sydd ar gael yn yr iaith hon. Mae’n broses dysgu hefyd. Mae mwy nag un ffordd i wneud pethau a dyma’r ffordd rydyn ni’n bwriadu dewis. Fyddan ni ddim eisiau cyfieithu yn uniongyrchol rhwng y ddwy iaith.

Os wyt ti’n chwilfrydig, rydyn ni’n defnyddio ategyn WordPress o’r enw WPML er mwyn rhedeg system ddwyieithog. Mae rhaid gosod tri neu mwy o gyfieithiadau: system graidd WordPress, y thema, y cynnwys ac ambell i ategyn. Dyw WPML ddim yn berffaith ond dw i wedi trio sawl ategyn ac mae’n well na’r gweddill sydd ar gael ar hyn o bryd – yn fy marn i.

Gyda llaw dw i’n casáu ymddiheuriadau am ddiffyg darpariaeth Cymraeg ar wefannau ond nawr dw i’n wneud yr un peth. Cymraeg yw fy ail iaith ac mae’r iaith ysgrifenedig yn her fach i fi felly diolch am fod yn amyneddgar.

NativeHQ on LinkedIn

We’ve just started a NativeHQ page on LinkedIn. We’re still testing the service as a business in order to figure out its value. Do subscribe if you want to follow our posts on the use social media in the real world.

Trydan social media cafe this Friday

We are co-organising Trydan social media cafe this Friday in Juno Lounge, Wellfield Road, Cardiff from 11AM till 2PM.

If you’re interested in social media, there’s more info on the Trydan event wiki. If you’re planning to attend, please add your details to the list.

If you’re from elsewhere, we’re also maintaining a list of social media cafes around the UK.

Introducing Trydan – a Cardiff meet-up for people into social media – and our reasoning behind it

We’ve started a series of social media cafe events in Cardiff called Trydan but first, some background…

Tom and I thought it would be interesting and profitable to get together with other people in Cardiff who are interested in similar things.

“Social media” is the closest generic term for what excites us, it’s our area of expertise.

Some examples of social media tools are blogs, wikis, Twitter, social networking platforms like Facebook, search engines (to an extent), collaboration systems like Google Docs and many other examples – including things currently being developed.

Often the term “social media” is conflated with the term “web 2.0″ which itself has a related meaning along the lines of “systems which get better when more people join”. (We have Dale Dougherty and Tim O’Reilly to thank for that particular term! Although, to be fair, it was more akin to a remark to be understood in the context of the dot-com collapse of the late 1990s. Web 2.0 covered all the platforms and services that were able to provide enough usefulness to survive.)

We also want to avoid the hot air and wishful thinking that goes along with any new technology. Real benefit is the key. Enthusiasm for shiny tools and gadgets isn’t intrinsically wrong necessarily. But it can easily become a needless distraction from whatever you’re trying to achieve, which is why it’s important to measure the outcomes.

This stuff is real. We get excited about using these new tools and platforms for measurable benefit to the individual, company or organisation.

Our emphasis would tend to be on outward-facing stuff, which includes your blog, your website and your web presence. This intersects with what’s traditionally known as marketing and public relations.

That said, social media can have a great effect on your collaboration and interaction with colleagues as well.

Anyway, social media have somewhat disrupted the strict boundary between the external and the internal – but only for those brave enough to seek the benefits.

In other words, the philosophy of having a strict wall around your company, or your company as “black box”, is often not the only way or even the best way.

We’re not journalists but crowdsourced video for news is one good example of this. However much the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman may dislike it, people are not content merely to be passive viewers anymore. They now expect some element of interactivity with media.

This movement towards interactivity started with so-called new media and is trickling into established media. Of course, people hardly ever use the term “new media” any more. Especially not the young.

The chef Gordon Ramsay is another example from TV, inviting viewers to contribute recipes via YouTube. He’s supposed to be the expert, right? But now he’s become even more expert by opening up and responding to his fans.

The other Gordon in authority, Mr Brown, who has a blog and has also chosen YouTube to communicate with voters in both directions. And of course Barack Obama used a combination of Twitter and his blog to reach out to voters, in tandem with his supporters on the ground to secure his place at the White House.

Those examples hint at some of the well known stories and there are many more. There are many more abject failures as well. But you can expect to fail when you try these things. Fortunately, social media is cheap and pretty comfortable with an iterative process. Just adjust things as you go or replace them with something better.

But still, we like to get good results as quickly as possible. We had a sense that other people were thinking along similar lines – and thought there could be demand in the Cardiff area for a place to swap ideas and practices. Social media is about sharing after all. So we’re starting a series of regular coffee events in Cardiff where we can discuss this stuff – what works and what doesn’t and why.

The event is called Trydan and we’re co-founding it with two of our friends: journalism tutor Glyn Mottershead and journalism researcher Andy Williams, both of whom are based at Cardiff University.

The four of us are also co-founding it with everyone who turns up for the first meeting.

For inspiration, we’re giving more than a passing nod to other social media meet-ups we know about or have attended – Tuttle in London, Social Media Cafe in Birmingham and Social Media Cafe Manchester (#smc_mcr)

So that’s some of the thinking. You are invited to join us if any of this interests you. The event is set up as a separate entity – just head to the Trydan wiki on which you can read more, add your name to RSVP and also edit.

Hello, world

We have now launched NativeHQ.

Our core belief in starting NativeHQ is that regular and meaningful communication is vital. This company blog is a key thing for doing our own communication. It’s a living part of our business, where we model what we endorse.

We will mainly be discussing the wider subjects around our work, which covers social media, the web and the useful aspects of technology.

With this blog we want to avoid a one-way “broadcast” model which is perhaps the strongest temptation with a blog so closely allied with a business. We will listen, read, watch and otherwise check out what everyone else is offering and regularly respond here. We much prefer that way and we suggest that the benefits of real discussion are massive and ever increasing. On that note, anything that is (or resembles) blatant advertising has no place here.

We have deliberately set a broad remit and this will be reflected in the blog, which we plan to guide and shape along the way.

That leads us to our hope for you too – that you enjoy reading it and that it will help you in your work over time.

NativeHQ
December 2008