Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Social media cafe and blogging and men and stuff

Last night I went to the 3rd Birmingham bloggers meet. Organised by Nick Booth, Podnosh. Overall I have to say it was kind of fun, and interesting too. First of all I thought I would share the rather mischievous notes/observations I made (verbatim) at the event and if I have time I'll expand on them sensibly.



  • SXSW(M) bit- tech savvy scale?

  • Birmingham Bloggers appox 30

  • Women 2

  • Dubber - very smooth camera holding/beer reaching action

  • Digital media passé - apparently

  • Applying what was learnt at SXSW to other areas beyond creative inds - (Re: Michael Wolf)

  • Strikes me - I must invite my single girlfriends next time (1/15) "Girls I found where all the men are!"

  • Co-working movement - Re: San fran

  • Man from London – ‘wanted folks to know how 'cool' this stuff was.... ‘

  • Refreshing to know, that at least in this area London doesn't appear any cooler

  • Social Media cafe and co-working space (sounds kind of familiar~)

  • Bert and Ernie

I'm humming YMCA while I type - wierd....


  • CUBIT....back in da day, 90's and custard factory - also thing in Wolverhampton

  • def recalling research around co-working spaces etc empty spaces

  • Increasing chance of serendipity

  • Appreciating canteen at work in a whole new way

  • Thinking how great in some ways working in a University can be - constant opportunities to network cross faculty/collaboration/serendipity ago go

  • 'Evangelist' totally soo 90's - no?

I couldn't help pointing out that the group was seriously lacking in diversity. All but, I think, three were white, male and around the late 20's early 30's mark. In the pub afterwards it occurred to me however, that as a community it was as much my responsibility to help diversify the group as it is anyone else’s. But I do have some confusion about the purpose of the group.


Is it a group for folks that happen to blog and live in Birmingham?


Is it a group for folks that blog about technology and live in Birmingham?


Is it a group for folks who blog, have an interest in new media/social networking/digitally stuff and live in Birmingham?


Is it a group for freelancers working within new media sector to come together?


It was interesting for me to see how this is developing. From the Creative Enterprise perspective there was a definite focus on how small businesses, sole traders and freelancers can make use of social media both on and off line and I could sense a business plan or proposal to an RDA percolating from some of the group. One thing I would say is a lot of this stuff had been tried before. It is not new that there are a lot of freelancers (particularly in the creative inds) about, who seek out space to network, work, share space and collaborate, even the internet as a conduit to this collaboration isn't all that new, the tools may have changed a bit (was email, newsgroup, discussion lists etc - now blogging, facebook, twitter etc) but not necessarily the application.

I'll expand on some of my bullets at some point.

Homework done 517 words ok Pete?

Oh and just noticed Stef Lewandowski has some pics up

12 comments:

Andrew Hemmings said...

Personally, I’m hoping that the group is your first option “a group for folks that happen to blog and live in Birmingham” – it feels the most inclusive and label free to me. I find it really strange that on one hand the group has been extremely welcoming and supportive to a newbie – but at the same time uses titles such as “evangelist” – that could really put people off. It sounds a little strange to me at least.

I really hope that the group remains as open as possible - especially given the potential benefits of the technology for everyone.

Pete Ashton said...

Will deal with the bigger issues later but "bert and ernie"? Who were you thinking of? Dare I ask?

Antonio Roberts said...

But I do have some confusion about the purpose of the group.

I kinda do as well. Although in either case I fall into the group well, the name Birmingham Bloggers Meet is a bit misleading. Most of us have blogs, but we talked a lot about technology and whatnot... Rename ourselves to Technology Talk Birmingham?

Good to see that you wanna diversify the group somewhat ;-) I wrote a bit about my thoughts in my post. I think I was the only Black guy there! (though probably not the only from an ethnic minority background)

Charlotte Carey said...

Thanks Andrew - I gues the identity of the group will evolve but perhaps Bham bloggers is a little misleading.

Pete - couldn't possibly comment;-) although quite fun applying a Sesame st characters whos who to Bham bloggers....or muppet show for that matter.

Thanks for your comments Antonio - it is an interesting point, it is good that the discussion is open - On Stefs blog some comments about the make-up of the group have also emmerged.

brendadada said...

Well they would probably be a different Bert and Ernie than the ones I knew. Who can say? ;)

Just dropping in to say hello and that I've just put you in my reader.

Emily Quinton said...

Hi Charlotte,

I am pleased I am not the only female noticing the lack of women at these events and wanting to do something about it!

I haven't made it to one yet purely because I haven't had any childcare. Perhaps I could suggest to Stef that we take it in turns if we haven't got a babysitter but I'm not sure that would go down very well!

I need more notice, so I can get a babysitter booked and then I'll be down there.
However, I do hope that I am not put off by it being too male and too geeky. I fear it won't make any sense to me or have any relevance. And yet as a creative blogger living and working in Birmingham I think it should.

Hope to see you there at the next one. Perhaps we can talk more about how women can get involved?!

Charlotte Carey said...

Brenda: hi!

Emily: yep the babysitting thing all sounds pretty familiar. I wont comment here on my personal situation or make any assumptions about yours. But having seen a lot of women going around the proverbial baby sitting block, it would seem that the onus is frequently on them to organise/cover childcare.

Ana Milgram said...

Good post, I really will try my hardest to get to the next one, although I can't seem to drag Nikki Pugh into the group (she won't admit she's a 'Blogger')

Charlotte Carey said...

Maybe we need a different name from blogger? Bloggelle, Bloggette, Lady blogger, Bloggertina, bloggetta??

Ana Milgram said...

Oh please no!

: )

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