I want to talk a bit about appril, a “festival all about apps”, because I find i’m putting many many hours in it without getting paid cash for it. That’s bad business for any freelance. And I love it. So why?
In February 2012, I responded to a forwarded tweet, that something called appril was looking for a Dutch/English translator and copywriter. I turned out to be yet another bunch of people that had no budget. But before I knew it, I was involved in this festival about apps in Amsterdam. A team of a dozen creatives were organising and collecting events about apps because they all believed that apps are changing our soceity and they are the next big thing. I believe this, too.
So I wrote copy, edited stuff, offered names from my network as speakers. I loved the energy in the team, the easy way they worked together. When I had an office job, nobody held meetings like that. Back then, it was all endless talk and people trying to be bigger than the other. Here, we were just trying to get this happy thing done: apps are cool and we want to let everyone know why.
In ten weeks, the team put together a calender with 43 events during April 2012. It was fun, it was informative, it was something to be repeated. So this year, I jumped in. A bigger team, a bigger agenda. That meant more copy, more people from the network, more meetings. It’s still fun, especially since I’m doing way more than writing and translating. And that is something I miss in my life as a freelance writer: to network for a bigger purpose, to hang out with a team, to get things done together.
I’m battling away with WordPress, keeping the site up to date. I’m involved with the programme makers, who are putting together four Monday afternoon conferences with resounding names. I speak to the initiator and Miss Appril, Jacqueline de Gruyter, sometimes three times a day. Everyone works independently on their tasks, yet together. We use Skype, Google Hang Out, Yammer, e-mail, whats app. We even speak in real life.
A graphic designer made the logo, a web developer built de website, marketeers are making a proper communication plan, a brand specialist helped us define who and what appril really is. On a voluntary basis, people are offering their skills and talents. I suppose that’s also a form of crowd sourcing. People are out there trying to find sponsors and investors, we are all plundering our networks for speakers and session organizers. And it’s coming together. We all have businesses to run, paid work to do, yet we also find time to create this thing, together. Because we believe we should. Brand-wise, we are a hippy appie festival and we want to be the biggest event about apps in the world. It’s a grand feeling. It feels so very… NOW.