As you may not know, Wannabe Hacks had its first birthday over the weekend (time flies when you’re having fun-damental health issues over late night blogging!) so we’re looking to see in the site’s second year with a bit of style. And while there’s no A-list guestlist or thousand-pound goodie bags, there will be a lot of like-minded individuals keen on breaking the world of journalism…
We’ve always said that Hacks events don’t really deserve to have any pomp or ceremony – this isn’t our chance to shout about what we do – we just like to keep it quiet and casual and make sure that the Wannabe Hacks community can meet each other face-to-face and talk about journalism and anything or everything else. Want to meet @Tweetmonster666 in the flesh? He’s probably there. Want to know more about using WordPress? There’ll probably be someone there who knows… Want to make some new friends or talk footy? Both are very doable.
But if you could do those things AND learn something at the same time, those pint-fuelled convos could actually be chalked down as “work”… So here are three things you can expect and could be preparing for this Friday (fedora hat with a “press” card tucked into the rim not mentioned, but get on it, now!).
1) Talk to us!
We don’t bite! Well, most of us. Although we like to think these meetup events could and should survive without us – we want you to meet like-minded journos – we do love to meet the readers, writers and Twitter conversationalists who make the site such a success.
We don’t want you to massage our egos by going all doe-eyed and asking for our autographs, we just want you guys to feel more connected to the people who run the site (and who’ll still be involved even after the new Hacks are announced).
It’s also a great opportunity to pick our brains. What a lot of people don’t know is that we five Hacks give a lot of personal advice behind the scenes to those who ask. We don’t for a second think we’re the kings of journalism, but we have always wanted to represent the vast majority of journos our age by covering the common and not-so-common bases. So if you’ve got a question, the chances are one of us has done it, succeeded in it or cocked it up,
2) Talk to each other
We really don’t like the nametag-fake-smile-fests that are networking events (*shudder*) but that shouldn’t stop you making contacts, sharing email addresses, learning a few valuable lessons and gaining some significant insight.
Business cards have been passed around at Hacks events, but they’re not mandatory. Just ask people how you can get hold of them and most will be happy to give you an email address, Twitter handle or mobile number. It’s all too easy to come down with a safety-net of mates, venturing out of the corner only to chat to the more familiar faces once in a while, but the key is to outstretch your hand to those you don’t recognise.
Leave your mates and go wander, you never know who you might be talking to.
3) Have a drink!
… responsibly, of course, but do relax, even if you don’t drink. These events are about socialising and coming out of the ‘official journalism’ shell a little bit, because – and this is the main point about out Wannabe Hacks meetups – they’re a good laugh and a lot of fun!
Just look at the photo below, which is by no means alcohol induced!
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look