14 January 2012

MAD Bradford

Not riots! Not the decaying Odeon. Not the massive building site in the city centre. But Media and Digital Bradford which held its inaugural meeting at Gumption Centres on 12 Jan 2012.  I was there as were folk from the arts, the Council, the media, the Media Museum, the University and more geeks tham you can shake a USB stick at.

Before it closed last year Bmedia had done a lot of good things for the media and digital industries in Bradford:

  • the alternate third Thursday meetings with a guest speaker and pizza;
  • Bradford OpenCoffee in Shipley;
  • a very good Bar Camp in Nov 2009;
  • my regular intellectual property clinic at Gumption every third Thursday; 
  • the courses and seminars that it arranged;
  • the information on bids and tenders that it circulated; and
  • its contacts with other groups in the city such as FABRIC and FabLab..
The end of Bmedia was a bit of a blow for Bradford.

MAD Bradford is a very different sort of grouping. Although the proposed format for regular monthly meetings and networking is very similar it is much less structured. Before the meeting we were welcomed with a pot of vegetable chili prepared by Mrs. David Robertson Brown (for which many thanks) and a voucher for a free cup of tea or coffee. 

The meeting followed the BarCamp formula. Members of the audience were invited to propose topics for discussion. These ranged from the local authority's super-fast broadband "Connected Cities" bid presented by Dave Melling, rural programmes co-ordinator of Bradford MDC, the image of Bradford, what the University can do for us and we for the University, html5 and even the future of the internet. Matt Fielding divided us into three groups to discuss those topics and sent us away to different parts of the building. These groups quickly coalesced into two which I would loosely describe as the developers and the creatives.   I tagged on to the "creatives" group in the reception area which discussed a number of interesting proposals for future activities.

These ideas are likely to be developed further in the "MAD Bradford" Linkedin group which has recently been formed. 

One thing is for certain. Any new product created by members of the group will require design right, registered design or patent protection, Every new brand will require legal protection whether under the law of passing off or the registration of a trade mark. There will be demand for advice and representation on IP and technology law which members of IP Yorkshire will continue to supply.