Hello 2017

Is it too late for resolutions? No, it’s never too late to set targets and lay down a path for goals.

Here’s mine as part of CN:

“What do I want to achieve this year? On tech front, I want to get this idea that’s been itching me off the ground, as in validated by business and users and start the fun part of building the damn thing. 

On photo front, I would love nothing more than stitch together a project with my photography partners in crime here in CN. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility holding another exhibit, or two! 

On the design front, I would love to collaborate and throw something up there again. I do know that when push comes to shove this item will come last unfortunately as I only have so much time. Trading this off guarantees I actually finish something and hopefully what I do complete meets my own personal expectations.

Would like to finish validation and start build by mid year for startup idea and would ideally like to have project or two done with an exhibition slated in the books.

Those are the goals. There’s nothing but hard work between now and midyear / end of year. But that’s a given for me, all I need is a window of opportunity.

I’ve been quite precise in what I want to do and I’ll make a point by putting a reminder up mid year to check on:

  • how I’m tracking with the startup front (with Suraj from CN) and
  • how we’re tracking with a new project in my fellow photographers.

I pretty much owe it to myself to set goals out there and track progress as there is nothing better than having that feeling of fulfilment.

Since I started the #gettheresolutionoutthere, I thought to ask the good guys at CN what goals they had for the year and they came back with this:

And we also have a few soon-to-be-published goals by the other guys:

Adrian

“I would like to get back into my photography as lately I haven’t been doing it as much as I would have liked. With that, I would like to pimp my pics at some stage this year too.

Would love to get a new camera too — fingers crossed, Nikon releases a new full frame.

And I would also love to travel this year. Not sure where but hopefully by the end of the year.”

Kat

Goals? Finish my new book this year but at a minimum, get the draft out to my editor.

Suraj

This year I would like to focus on improving my health and increasing physical fitness through yoga.

And at the time of writing, I’m still waiting for the rest of the crew to get back to me with theirs.

But no matter what comes back from the rest of the crew, here’s to everyone achieving what they set out to do this year and beyond!


This post first appeared in Medium from Perry from CN.

Festival Magic

This is a personal account by PC of his experience at Splendour in the Grass, a music festival in Byron Bay, Australia.


It’s been over a month since the festival rocked my foundations and gave my soul a musical awakening. Now is as good a time as any to diarise the events.

I went to Splendour with my work bumchum KC. It’s fair enough to say that he is not as big a music groupie as I am, but he is big on trying new things and exploring Byron — and that’s the kind of spirit that makes for a great partner on a weekend like this.

Let me begin.

Our stay at Mullumbimby

AirBnB

I was skeptical about AirBnB.

The only other time I did a B&B arrangement was with my larger family way back when. I always felt that I had to tiptoe my way around the house. Perhaps I felt that way because of my mum and all the early morning break-ins I used to do coming back home during my younger years.

Whatever the reason is, this first AirBnB experience was any BUT uncomfortable. Our host Paul was a recently retired, cordial South Australian man who, along with his wife, were used to having people around (they shared their 5 bedroom home with family friends).

Life around this part of the world was a lot slower than Sydney. We had nice morning conversation during breakfast with our host and crew, talking about the big country, the festival, art and every random topic that came up naturally.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about my preconceived notion.

That first morning

That first morning was something that I will always remember.

This is the view that I saw as soon as I ducked outside for some fresh air.

Morning

I stood there stunned for a few minutes. This was absolutely alien coming from a place where people live on top of each other.

The cool morning mist, the valley, the old paddocks, the imposing mountain range which outlined the landscape. This was just so picturesque.

To accentuate the perfect morning, I encountered a wallaby as soon as I turned around. The little guy looked at me bemused as we both had our Stand by Me moment.

Stand by me

I had a nice wander around while looking for a place to do my morning exercise.

I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like being out in the magic. It sure makes for a nice change from my usual gym.

Here are some shots of the around the country..

 

There isn’t a lot of things happening around. And that’s just perfect if you want to chillax and still be within arm’s reach of Byron Bay.

If you ever get a chance to go to this part of the world, I would strongly recommend staying at the charming little town of Mullumbimby.

And if you’re really lucky, you might even draw Paul. Check him out in AirBnB.

The Festival

Being a Sydney-sider, the only thing I really knew about Splendour was that it was our biggest festival around winter (if not the only one).

I also knew that it attracted huge names like Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Kanye West. I end up kicking myself year-after-year and think “Well there’s goes another great lineup down the drain.

But I really had no idea what actually goes down during the event itself.

Atmosphere

I had zero expectations and no baseline.

The closest comparable event I’ve been to was the Big Day Out in Sydney, which during my time, was held over a day. Splendour is a 3-day event.

Looking back, Splendour had a few distinct advantages: it’s held during winter, the lineup is lighter than the heavy BDO, it’s an all ages event and it’s in Byron Bay.

Winter means less alcohol. The BDO was held in the middle of summer.

BDO acts included heavy sounds of Metallica, Rammstein and System of a Down. The heaviest act in Splendour was Violent Soho, which is more punk-rock Green Day-ish than Rammstein industrial death.

All ages meant that you’re just as likely to be moshing with them youngunswith Santigold as you’d be singing along with the grey-haired brigade over The Cure. There were a fair few children around too. That cross-section was refreshing.

And what can I say about Byron except that it feels like Newtown* with a beach.

*Newtown is hip like Williamsburg in NYC or Shoreditch in London (or so I’m told).

The grounds

Splendour is set over a huge area in the North Byron Parklands (at least for this year). Like most events, it had a few stages for the music acts.

In addition, it also had a few other quirkier spaces like the Tipi forest, the global village, a comedy tent and an Amish area.

And there were a LOT of shops ranging from food trucks, to official Splendour event apparel, licensed alcohol grounds and hippy odds & ends.

All of the areas were spaced out adequately and came together nicely.

The Music

Discovering new music has got to be the best thing about these events.

My targets going into the festival were the more established acts of The Strokes, At the Drive In, The Avalanches, The Cure, Santigold and Gang of Youths.

While I was impressed by those guys, I walked away galvanized by a few local acts that I haven’t paid a lot of attention to.

The following bands grabbed the crowd by the nuts, a sign of not only their current popularity, but their wildly entertaining live energy.

Friendly Violence

Violent Soho are cool, loud and enjoyed large local support.

I saw these guys by accident as I was jockeying for position to watch The Avalanches. I then witnessed the dudes from Brisbane whip the crowd into a frenzy with their take-no-prisoners Australian alternative rock.

Here’s a vid that captures the feeling of what it felt like during the moment.

Happy to report that their WACO album is the shiz too.

The Psychedelic Kings

I didn’t expect much from King Gizzard & the White Lizard. They played in the late afternoon and therefore weren’t a headline.

I followed a large crowd make their way to stage. And I was pleasantly delighted with what I saw — an avid mosh made up of rockers, hippies, dads and all other types.

I had to give it to these guys: they had the most crowd-surfers during the event. No mean feat for a psychedelic rock act.

That SWAG though!

Sticky Fingers are outrageous. These alt-rock-reggae inner-westies* wound the ardent crowd up as soon as they strutted their way on stage with all their rock god “I rule the roost” swagger and attitude.

They walked it, they sang and they delivered the good vibes!

I felt downright awful for being the last to know.

Here’s a sneak peak of the guys.

Interesting tidbitGold Snafu live was one of the few magical gems I have ever come across. Random strangers grabbed me — i.e. put their arms around me — for the la-la-la sing along as I moved through the crowd.

There was some kind of happy magic happening here.

*Inner-westie are residents of Sydney’s inner west area.

The music in pictures

STIFI: That cheetah print and that shirtless guy at the back

STIFI: That cheetah print and that shirtless guy at the back

Festival gotcha

Here’s a gotcha: the parking.

The further away you park from the venue, the better. If you park too close to the venue, the chances are you’ll be stuck there forever and a day trying to get out after the event.

We had a tough time getting out on Saturday night, and I’m taking about an hour and a half tough here. And apparently it happened last year too!

If the opportunity presents itself, the further you park, the better.

Byron Bay

Double B is my favourite spot downunder. It’s got magical beaches, kick-rear walks, a dramatic lighthouse and a chilled out vibe.

The beach

We had a chance to wander around on a sunny winter Sunday. The temperature hit a chilly 25 degrees (it hit 26 the day before). Although the water was a tad bit cool, the sun kept the swim just right.

And just to keep things interesting, a dolphin appeared a metre in front of me (and yes it scared the bejesus out of me at first).

It’s whale season time apparently and it was not uncommon to see dolphins during this time too.

Bonus!

The shops

There are enough shops and cafes along the town centre to keep the curious tourist occupied.

Byron has a big surf and hippy slant to it — you’ll be in a surf/skate shop one moment and walk out of a cafe with your chia pudding the next.

There’s a lively pub at the main beach which looks like the place to be in the evenings.

But we opted for the very Bali-looking night time food hub around the corner. Lots of choices to satisfy the wandering hunger.

The lighthouse walk

You can’t be a tourist in Byron without doing the lighthouse and the walk leading up to it.

Depending on where you start, it is easy to get sidetracked by the stunning beaches (Clarkes and The Pass). The walk is a lazy 20-minute ascent with magnificent coastal views.

And then you get to the lighthouse.

There’s not much else I can say about the lighthouse other than it is the icing on the cake and that it is all that it is hyped up to be.

Fun fact: the lighthouse is the most eastern point in Australia.

And here’s the magic.

Endless

What more can I say?

About

I’m big music fan and I’ll give anything a go.

My attention span is as quick as a flick up of Instagram pics, which is where I house my memories. But when it became clear that wanted to rap around more words to the memories, I decided to start writing it down.

Check out my Instagram for more festival highlights.

Here’s to next year!

n.b. We also have this post in Medium.

Old fashioned viral

We hopefully will stand up a physical shop in the local markets to meet as many passers-by as we can, in a bid to present, and hopefully, sell a few of our products. Going online viral is one thing — and it takes a considerable amount of effort to convert the casual visitor into sales.

But our strength in the CN community means that we can greet people with the good old fashioned handshake with a “hello, how are you”. This will hopefully be the difference in connecting with people; we want to grow viral locally first — then branch out.

Here’s what we’ll have.

Them Pups

Top of the list will be our dog design range of shirts, hoodies and caps. These adorable pups will not only make you feel comfortable and make you look hip, but they will also make you feel good knowing that sale proceeds will go to RSPCA NSW (yes, we are accredited).

We’ll have stock on site but we’ll also have a sign-up form to capture orders just in case.

CN Range

On the side we also have our own range of CN shirts and cap. Now the proceeds of these will go to the blood, sweat and tears of our own designers to fund any future initiatives.

 

What future initiatives? We have 2 of them already in development.

Photo exhibition

Our creative group actually started as an Instagram meetup and there are a few of us who enjoy taking pictures (some professionally).

Here’s a range of what we do:

 

We plan to have some of these snaps on display in the markets with a signup form, so we can alert everyone to our upcoming exhibition.

Startup Ipsum

Building software is no joke. It takes a ton of time and numerous iterations to find and work around all those kinks around the software. It makes it even harder when life takes majority of your time.

With all said, we are progressing through our Startup Ipsum initiative — which allows users to create their own content (copy and design) for their future website.

Tech

 

Note: We’ve redesigned the application. More details to follow.

We’ll also use the markets to spread the news by word of mouth, with alerts sent by email to those that have signed up.

Say hello to the crew

If you’re in Newtown area this Saturday, come down and say hello to the Collective Network crew. We’ll be more than happy to give you a high five and have a chat.

 

n.b. we’ll hopefully be receiving confirmation that we’re good to go for this Saturday by Wednesday. We’re excited!

#letsgo #helloworld #homeofcreatives

We are the Collective Network

There have been thousands, if not millions, of would-be programmers that have started their journey by printing these words to the console:

We are not strictly a tech startup, although there are a few developer types in our ranks, but it does seem quite appropriate that we start our blog by saying hello to everyone and introducing ourselves: We are the Collective Network.

We are a group of individuals that have come together to share some moments with you, through this site and through social media. We are bound by the love of taking photos, tagging and commenting on each others snaps through Instagram. Every so often, we come together as a group for a drink and a laugh, and we spread the love through our Insta group.  

It all started when the digital creatives @kowloonboy and @helloperryc were having a chat about Instagram: 

@kowloonboy: Dude, I hate to break this to you but you're not #instafamous. No one is going to troll you. 

@helloperryc: I don't know about Insta man, I don't like it when people troll others. I'll stick to Flickr thanks.

@kowloonboy: Because I'm on there. Kate is on there. A fair few of us are on there. Share the love with your colleagues man. Add us and let's have a laugh.

@helloperryc: But give me one good reason why I should be more active on it?

 

And with that innocent suggestion, the adding, tagging and friendly banter began.

The group has since grown to include other creatives in our wider circle. We're all here to share a little bit of our ourselves, our moments, our creations and our expertise in our own areas. We sure hope that you'll come and join us on travels

Let the good times roll.

note: @kowloonboy has since moved on to greener pastures late last year. We wish the cheeky rascal the very best!

PC

Collective Network