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Ignite Des Moines Tonight!

Social Networking 2.0
Over the past year, Social Networking has taken the Internet by a storm. In its simplest form, social networking is an online cocktail party revolving around a common theme, interest or medium.  One of the hottest tools for exploiting the benefits of social networking is Twitter. Twitter is a Web site which allows you to write one hundred and forty character micro-blogs, which others can read in a scrolling "feed". Some Twitterers subscribe to Ignite
hundreds of feeds, allowing them to be a part of dozens of simultaneous conversations. Sound confusing? It is actually very simple. Carolyn Elefant of, explains it best. Twitter bridges the gap between more passive online networking activities, such as blogging, and more traditional networking activities such as attending a sporting event with a prospective client.

Twitter Des Moines
A group of online entrepreneurs converting virtual conversations into real world handshakes may not seem all that unusual. What is unusual is that nowhere is this happening to a larger proportion of the population than right here in Des Moines. Des Moines "Tweeps" from sixteen to sixty not only share an exponentially expanding online conversation, but they regularly translate the conversation into impromptu real world meetings.

Coworking in the Capital City
One Tweep rising to the top of the local Twitter pack is entrepreneur Daniel Shipton. Shipton is the brains behind Iowa’s first coworking venue, Impromptu Studio. After building an impressive following online — as well as off — Shipton has decided to give a little something back to his community. Tonight, November 6, Shipton and Impromptu Studios will be hosting Ignite Des Moines.   

What is Ignite?
Ignite events revolve around a series of presenters allowed 20 slides and only five minutes to give what at most events would cover an hour or more of presentation time. This affords attendees the opportunity to take in a dozen highly-charged informative talks in the time it would otherwise take to see only one. The densely packed presentations are simultaneously informative and entertaining.

What Else Will I Experience?
In addition to the Ignite presentations, Ignite Des Moines will also include the 2008 Iowa Web Awards presentation by 48 Web, free food and libations, and an egg catapult engineering contest. The entire event is free and wraps up with several "150 second Expert" presentations. These closing presentations involve experts reprising their rapid-fire presentation style, albeit using slides they have never seen before and covering a topic far outside of their own expertise.  As results range from the hilarious to the often embarrassing they are not recommended for the easily offended.   

Most Importantly
While Shipton has gone out of his way to ensure the Ignite Des Moines program rivals that of far larger cities, the real draw is the Ignite community. From artists to entrepreneurs to those just interested in learning more about the vibrant entrepreneurial environment thriving in Greater Des Moines, Ignite Des Moines will draw people of all ages, experiences and backgrounds. The only commonality is that the attendees are all people you should get to know.

See you tonight!

Brett Trout

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