Simon Willison’s Weblog

Nat and I had a bit of a mini-hackday this bank holiday Monday. Nat’s been doing a great job summoning local geeks out of the woodwork with Oxford Geek Nights event, but it’s still pretty hard to find other interesting events in the Oxfordshire area. It’s not that there aren’t any, it’s just that the geek community in Oxford is currently pretty fragmented.

We’re hoping that Oxford Geeks, the result of today’s efforts, will help improve things on that front. The site is a classic mashup: events from Upcoming, photos from Flickr, blog entries pulled from all over the place. We tried not to reinvent the wheel so much of the site is running on top of Planet Venus (using Django templates, naturally) with only a small amount of custom back-end code. Taking inspiration from Venus, the site is served almost entirely statically with just a few nginx-powered SSIs to share common components. See the colophon for more on the technical details.

We also spent some time collecting links to useful (and sometimes hard to find) sites relevant to geeks in and around Oxford. Finally, we’ve created a public mailing list (on Google Groups) for the Oxford Geek community. The plan is to initially use it for discussion of local events, but eventually expand it in to something more akin to the Brighton New Media list.

There’s still lots more we want to do with the site. You can contribute to it right away by adding relevant events or photos to Upcoming and Flickr and tagging them oxfordgeeks. If you know of a local blog that should be included in the planet leave a comment here or drop me an e-mail.