I’d like to introduce myself.
My name is Mike Ellis. I live in Bath, and I work on the web as a “Solutions Architect” for a company called Eduserv.
When people ask me exactly what I do, I struggle a bit because it’s very varied, but it’s usually something around making web technologies more relevant to non-technology people.
I’m here because Darren and I kept in touch following Siftware’s sponsorship of an event I put together with some other local people in 2008. And then, a couple of months ago, he asked me whether I’d like to get involved with Sw0p as a side project. I nearly bit his arm off.
I’m not sure Darren knew (or knows!) exactly what I do either, but he’s right in thinking that I’m passionate – actually, a bit of a zealot – about the experiences that users have on the web.
Maybe by accident, but probably by design, he also spotted that I share one of Tim O’Reilly’s latest values, to “Work On Stuff That Matters“. However great some of the stuff us geeks see, build and share on the web, a huge amount of it will be gone and forgotten in a decade. It’s almost too easy to make cool stuff now. But the question O’Reilly raises: “does it matter?” is a real one, and one I’d been looking to answer.
What I’m getting around to saying is that I believe that Sw0p matters. I think it has the potential to be one of the most exciting things I’ve worked on, and I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and months as we get our teeth into this thing. Darren and I know that Sw0p will succeed or fail almost entirely based on how people use it, how many people use it, who comes back and who we can get to become truly passionate about how Sw0p can help them.
At the heart of Sw0p are some simple propositions: barter and swop for free. Reduce landfill. Share skills. I’m hoping that I can bring some insight into how to make these things as intuitive as possible for everyone. It’s going to be a huge amount of fun.