About the Brighton Farm

When are the meetings?

Every Wednesday evening, starting 8pm. Please check the home page for the venue.

What's it all about?

At it's most basic, the Farm is a weekly meeting for freelancers in the new media / technology industries where they can get together, chat about work, issues of self-employment, and generally get some human contact after working on their own all week.

More completely, it's a place where people can gain encouragement and help developing their own companies, get work referrals, set up partnerships, meet interesting people and find out about the latest technology on-line. And drink beer.

We've been going since February 2003. We meet every Wednesday evening. You can find out the venue for our meetings on the home page. We generally get 25-30 people at each meeting.

We're a very friendly, casual group, so don't be scared about coming along. Someone will talk to you, probably several someones. It's not a drinking contest, although beer is drunk, and it's not a large group of beardies talking programming, although some of that does happen. It's a group of generally cheery, self-employed people who like meeting people. If you'd like to meet us, please come along.

History

The Farm started on Febuary 6th, 2003, thanks to an initial suggestion by Joel Hughes on the Brighton New Media mailing list. Joel couldn't actually make the first meeting as he got a full time job, but many other freelancers did and thought a regular meet up was a good idea.

To publicise the group, several members got together to create the first Farm website - Paul Dalton registered the domain and supplied hosting for the site, and Bernard Claydon created the initial design. Matt Zandstra set up a mailing list where we could talk about exclusively freelance things, or indeed complain about clients in private.

After a few months of weekly gatherings a core group of people investigated the possibility of becoming a more formal co-op or partnership to bid for larger pieces of work. The difficulty of trying to organise many independent, highly individualistic freelancers with a varied skill base looked like causing the dissolution of the group.

Current organiser Paul Silver started to run the general weekly meetings as he didn't want that side of the group to stop while those interested in a co-op tried to work out the organisation of their group. The idea of a large co-op was abandoned but several smaller partnerships for projects and on- going work came out of that time and the Farm has proved very useful for bringing interesting people together so they can go on to work on bigger things than one individual could.

More advertising of the meetings saw membership rise, we have a core group of about seven or eight who come to most of the meetings, and another dozen or so who come often.

Site Design: Simon Bloom   Construction: Paul Silver   Hosting: Paul Dalton