Hmm. Three blog posts in one day. What an interesting life I lead….
Anyhoo, today it was time to put on my best smart casual wear and head for the Bonus Arena for the finals of the Digital Awards. This was all rather exciting. Firstly because the Hull Pixelbot is a finalist in two of the competition strands, secondly because I really fancied having a look around the new Bonus Arena, which is where the event is being held.
Well, the arena is is splendid. After an lovely meal, accompanied by a saxophonist with a fantastic illuminated saxophone, we went through to the arena for the awards themselves. We had a few speeches at the start which were all shot through with a theme that this is a great place to do digital business. One speaker made the point that they were feeling a bit sad about being in the bottom 48% of Lightstream users in Hull for network performance. He was cheered up a lot when he found that this still meant he was in the top 2% of network users in the country.
And another fun fact stood out for me: A third of the optical fibre in the UK is under the streets of Hull. The government has set what it calls an ambitious project to get all households in the UK connected to fibre by twenty thirty something. KCOM (the telecoms company that provides home networking in Hull) will achieve this in Hull by the end of March next year. Other cities in the UK are now playing catch up with us. Big time. And, we don’t just have networks. We have talent too. As the awards were about to show.
I’d not seen that much of Mark Dolan before to be honest. But by gum he’s good. After a brief (and very amusing) comic set to break the ice he got things going and presided over the proceedings with some wry observations and knowledgeable comments. The finalist in each award category was introduced by a short video of them in action. Which for me meant two sessions of squirming in my seat as I watched pictures of me and my stuff on the enormous screen. Although I loved the moment when the audience went “Ah…” when they saw a bunch of Hull Pixelbots doing one of their little dances.
I didn’t win. I didn’t expect to, to be honest. I’d taken a look at the field and come to the conclusion that there were much better entries in my categories than mine. But I was mightily honoured to have been picked to get into the finals. And I did get two lovely certificates in really nice frames. One for the office at c4di , one for home. And If you check the awards lineup you’ll see that the Hull Pixelbot was actually first in each category. Alphabetically…
It’s a measure of the confidence that I’m seeing in the area that it can put on what I consider to be a world standard awards ceremony. I’ve been to a few of these over the years and the whole setup, the organisation, the venue and the presentation really was world class. And, and this is the really wonderful bit, so were all the finalists. The winners were real stand-outs.
I was especially pleased to see Hayden Barton win “Young Digital Person of the Year”. I first met Hayden at a Hardware Meetup at c4di when he showed me a neat little device he’d brought along. “That’s nice” I said. “Where did you buy it?”. His reply marked him for greatness in my book. He said “I made it.”.
After the awards we staggered home tired and happy. Thanks to every one who put the event together. Great fun and great for the region.