While the name is based on what Perth is probably most famous for - our wide, white beaches - the actual SBH is more inner-city urban chic. Despite the outback image overseas, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world - although we LOVE our beaches, and most of the population lives within an hour's drive of the ocean. Hence the name, like Silicon Valley... but with an Aussie lifestyle.
So what IS Silicon Beach House? It's a shared working space where a bunch of very promising web 2.0 startups have banded together to share overheads and develop a creative hothouse of ideas, energy and technical know-how. In a beautifully restored old building in King St, Perth's trendy West End, Silicon Beach House isn't your average poky office. It's light and airy, with high ceilings, wooden floors and a converted-warehouse feel.
I'd met most of the Silicon Beach Housemates (sounds like a geeky reality-TV show....) online and at digital content community events. I've been really impressed by each of their projects, and meeting with each of them individually over the past few months while I've been developing BM!F has been really inspiring. Each one of them is a vibrant individual with commitment and vision - an overused word, I know, but in this case it's really true.
Some of the SBH projects:
Scouta.com - a UGC (user generated content) ratings site that covers both video and podcasts. Already has a strong following in the US.
PerthNorg.com - another UGC, this one being a news-site where citizen-journalists (CitJ's) write articles, post links and comment on local and world events.
community.softteq.com - Perth's IT Blogger community. Seriously nerdy tech-speak that makes me realise I'm really just a geek-wannabe.
88miles.net - a time tracking system that can be installed as a widget, easily keeping track of billable hours etc, even when you're on the road.
More about the Silicon Beach House and other projects based there (many of the residents have blogs that are worth subscribing to) can be seen at: SiliconBeachHouse.com
Silicon Beach House is just the sort of thing that Byte Me! Festival is about... the cool stuff that's going on in Perth that the average Perth person doesn't know about.
Some of the Silicon Beach Residents will be doing a Seminar at the ICT Week Conference in October. Did you know about that? Definitely worth checking out too. Funnily enough, I'll also be running a Seminar at that Conference :)