Last night found PWN lugging her laptop to The New Continental for the first Preston Tweetup - organised by Ed Walker of PrestonBlog, recently interviewed by our good selves.
The topic for discussion was the Preston Guild 2012 and participants included city counsellors, delegates from Preston Geekup, representatives from Stage 9 Marketing (who supported and sponsored the event) and Creative Lancashire as well as a whole heap of Preston residents and interested ex-pats who couldn't make it on the night, but joined in by using the #prestontweetup tag on their at-home tweets.
The discussion leapt between the hot topics of inclusivity, a 'virtual guild', praise for a city small enough to innovate, and an emphasis on bottom-up programming for PG2012. The feeling was that Preston's citizens no longer wanted to be an audience for guild programmes developed and delivered by the council, but wanted to create, programme, participate and evaluate themselves and in real time.
Ideas included using the Sandbox Centre's technology to create big screens in public places, geocaching, flash-mobbing and using tweet-what-you-see as instant feedback as an adjunct to more traditional events - such as the town parade.
Our focus, was, as always, the way Preston readers and writers would be involved in PG2012. Without wanting to make the event into a literary festival, Preston is developing a identity as a writing city and this should and can be reflected in our forthcoming celebrations.
PWN had a conversation with @doktorb, throwing around a few ideas. Apparently, local residents in 1972 were asked to write stories about what they imagined Preston Guild 1992 would look like. We're going on a hunt for these - can anyone help?
I sense a PWN Guild Project brewing - collecting stories via a creative tweet-up: memories of PGs past, and collecting your wildest imaginings for PG 2032 - what kind of Preston will we have created for ourselves by then?
@ribblesider (blog here) summed up the enthusiasm for the night: 'Broadgate is Preston's cultural quarter.' To find out more, and partake in the morning-after buzz, go here.
Picture here, and more coverage to come in tomorrow's LEP. Don't forget to follow us @PrestonWN.