My Other Valleys newsletter is now also a searchable blog: is this an interesting feature to you? Answers on this form pls!

My Other Valleys newsletter has been going for over 35 weeks now. I love writing it, and like any writer, enjoy the feedback I get from readers now and then. Recently though, I’d begun to feel that I needed a way to search my Tinyletter emails for things I knew I’d written about but couldn’t quite find in the newsletter sea of words. I wanted to reference them somewhere else, mostly, or sometimes just remember the details of a project. Newsletters aren’t search-friendly – I suppose they aren’t meant to be. It’s not a blog, right? The Other Valleys *could* be a blog on its own, but I like the relationship with readers and the general process of writing a newsletter. And being able to search a newsletter of the type that the Other Valleys is, which has profiles of interesting companies listed every week, was something I was beginning to want.

I was discussing this with my friend Paul Battley a few weeks ago, and after throwing around a few ideas, he said it might be worth trying to hack together a searchable blog based only on my Tinyletter posts. So that’s what he’s done for me. It does what I wanted it to very well – and the search functionality is way better than many other blogs. It also has an Atom feed.

Here’s what I want to know: if you write a newsletter, is this an idea that’s interesting to you? Answers below please. It might not be, which is fine, but I’m curious to know if there are other people like me…

Reminder: please fill in the @adaslist survey on govt policies relevant to women in tech


A while ago, the Ada’s List team envisioned a survey to find out what our community of 1000+ women in tech (and the women in tech they know in turn) really think about government policies and priorities leading up to the UK general elections in May. The survey is finally ready, and it would be brilliant if you fill it in if you’re a female working in tech yourself, or pass it on to people you know who are. The survey is here.

To be clear, we welcome anyone who is 18+, identifies as female and is working in technology in the UK (or, for non-residents, have an affiliation with the UK/UK politics) to take this survey, even if they are not currently a member of Ada’s List. This means if you have women in tech networks or groups at your workplace or in your community, we would love to have them fill it in as well. Please share it with all of them – the more data we have, the more robust the output will be. They are all also welcome to join Ada’s List if they are not already a member, but it is by no means a pre-requisite to fill in the survey.

The responses will be completely anonymous – we will not have any information as to who is filling it in, so please be as honest as you want to be.

Those not based in the UK – if you could share the survey with any UK-based women in tech, we will really appreciate your assistance in getting the word out.

The last date for responses is Monday, March 30th. This will give us the time we need to collate output. We intend to share our findings with the wider world by the end of April.

Sincere thanks are also due to Ada’s Lister Rebecca Martin, who has created the survey for us on Tickbox, a new platform to encourage engagement in politics, launching in April before the elections.

Here’s the link to take the survey again.

Thank you to all of you for participating in and sharing the survey in advance.

Well done @iotwatch @anabrdly @theleadingzero, @techcityiwd 2015 rocked

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the third Tech City International Women’s Day. It was a great evening, mingling with makers, authors and entrepreneurs including projects like Tara Binns (a book by Lisa Rajan and Eerika Omiyale that actually has female role models, unlike the so many that are written with boys in mind), Tampon Club, Civic Shop, Project Blush by Microsoft Research, Pacif-i by Blue Maestro, ethical fashion retailer Birdsong and many others. I was interviewed for the showcase video for the event (below), and more than anything else it gives you a sense of the vibrancy that diversity brings to technology. Really glad I went; great job organising by Alex, Ana and Becky.

Creativity does not want to be locked out: the problem in a nutshell (via @davewiner)

I guess all industries have lock-out. The moneyed people own everything, and in order to create, you have to fit in. And most really creative people don’t.

Then you have systems that are not locked-out, like Twitter and Facebook, but are subject to revision at any moment. This is imho better than not having APIs at all. At least the world can get a glimpse at the idea before it’s shut down. In a fully locked-out system, new ideas are stillborn.

Dave Winer

A few things from January and February

A few things from January and February:


As an advisor to Angel Academe, I attended their most recent board meeting, followed by pitch practice for companies that were going to present to angel investors, and finally 2 weeks after that, I attended the actual presentations to investors by Frugl, Resatech, Vitalfootprint and Abundance Generation. It is amazing how much presentations can improve with the right input; 2 weeks of tweaking and rehearsals following feedback really made a difference. On that, Angel Academe has opened applications for the second cohort of Entrepreneur Academe which is a 9-month programme that gives female entrepreneurs access to experts on business and financial planning, technology and product development, PR/sales/marketing/social media, and investment readiness. If you’re a female founder looking for mentorship, guidance and a peer group, you should apply – the deadline is March 31st. They’re also looking for (male and female) mentors – I am one and fully recommend it. You can apply to be a mentor here.

I went to The Story last week, notes of which I’ve already written up on this blog. Hack Circus had a copy of their magazine there for attendees. I’m already a subscriber so if you’d like to have a taste of what Hack Circus is like, I’d like to offer anyone who’d like it my copy of Hack Circus Issue 5: Life for free. The first person to comment on this post telling me about a project they think represents ‘fantasy technology and everyday magic’ gets it (please mention a Twitter ID so we can liaise for the address).

I’m a trustee of Photoworks, a photography non-profit that examines the role of photos in a modern world. They are currently hiring a Head of Development, to be based in Brighton, UK. If you have any networks or email groups that might have potential candidates, it would be lovely if you could share the job posting. The application deadline is March 19th.

I was lucky enough to be able to go to the home of Index Ventures’ Saul Klein for an intimate Sofar Sounds gig by Bastille, To Kill a King and Suli Breaks this week. Read my piece in the Huffington Post here.

I was at the opening of the London Stock Exchange a few weeks ago (picture above). The trading floor as pictured in the Wall Street films doesn’t exist, people! There’s a countdown to 8am and the market is declared ‘open’ on a big screen, that’s about it. No yelling, shouting, phones ringing. As you were, then.

Thought-provoking post on media, time, technology from @chrbutler

What’s troubling is the way that time interferes with gaining any insight from our media-making. As it was for Henry Bemis, time is the ultimate factor. It’s the thing that obliges us to let people know how long it will take them to read the thing we wrote. It’s why we make fancy status bars to show them how far along they are in the slog of reading the things we write. It’s why we tag things #longreads, as if to say both, “I am of the literati that reads Moby Dick more than once” and “Warning! Timesuck ahead.” It’s why it has become a legitimate critique to say, “tl;dr.” I used to take pride in my wordcount; as it climbed so did my confidence that I was more clearly communicating myself to the outside world. Now, I fear that with every additional word, I’m less likely to be read. Lost in a sea of words. And as that sea-level rises, what right to I have to expect anyone to read what I write?

Christopher Butler: Everyone is someone else’s marketer.