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Nick’s Internet Week Word



IWE co-chair and Poke founder Nick Farnhill looks back over a web-tastic week

Nick’s Internet Week Word


Internet Week Europe is almost over, but both body and mind are already aching with an excess of all things great – great talks, great parties, great people… Which is exactly what we always hope to deliver.
A celebration of the very best of the European web, the week is a platform for individuals and companies to meet and share with peers what they’re doing and what they’re thinking. This latter point is critical, as this week is no trade show. Instead, it’s an opportunity to learn, exchange stories and be inspired. For me the central theme has been the relevance of passion and purpose. This has been evident in everything I’ve seen and been excited by over the last five days.
There are many stand-out examples amongst the 120+ events that made this years schedule so special, but I’ll highlight Ian Hogarth (@soundboy) from and Simon Beckerman (@simonbeckerman) of Their entrepreneurial start-up stories are familiar, but they also had unique insights into the growing sophistication of their audiences and the design challenges this creates.
These audiences are increasingly demanding and expect a user experience that is all encompassing. This means that much of the founders’ energy goes into ensuring that their purpose remains clear and consistent and that their passion is directed towards ensuring that every subtle nuance of their service is appreciated and improved. Listening to how these guys tackle these issues creatively to deliver better products is what has been so fascinating and has been a personal highlight of my week.
These are just two examples of many. I also want to name check the event partners that are new to Internet Week this year and have contributed to the week’s success. General Assembly (@GA), an education network for technology, business and design, ran workshops and panels with IDEO’s Tom Hulme (@Thulme) and, divulging the secrets of launching an online business and marketing effectiveness. Google and YouTube opened their doors to their new Creative Studios in Soho for the first time – a space set up specifically for content producers to create the very best online material. Also, importantly, there was more Government involvement with support from the UKTI and the European Commission, providing advice and help for those looking to set up shop in the UK. Just to add some variety – and healthy competition – a contingent from Berlin have been in town for the week doing the same thing and attracting those interested in the technically progressive web community established in the German city.
On top of all this, we’ve also seen the left-field events that always add colour to Internet Week. Spogo’s five-a-side football tournament ( was a huge success, Flint / LastExit’s Chat Chain ( established a brand new interview format and POKE’s Metaphwoar continues to go from strength to strength.
Finally, we saw the second year of the Lovie Awards (, the European sister of the Webbys. Entries this year were up 40 per cent and over 220 judges reviewed work from across the continent. Very special thanks must go to Stephen Fry, who was awarded Person of the Year and to Prof. Heinz Gerhäuser, inventor of the MP3 and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award.
So in summary: a huge success. Our purpose and passion feels more evident than ever – to celebrate and curate the best of the European web – and we are already thinking about 2013. Thank you to all those who helped make this year’s event such a success.
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