Social media surgeries

I’ve spent my last two Saturdays at events running social media surgeries. I nicked the idea from Birmingham Blogger extraordinaire Pete Ashton, who has a regular afternoon spot in a cafe, where folk can come and ask quick questions about blogging and whatnot.

I think these work particularly well at events, where hopefully people get suitably enthused by some of the sessions they attend, and have ideas that they want to put into practice, but maybe aren’t sure how. This certainly happened at both UKYouthOnline and the Low Carbon Communities Network event.

Some of the stuff I was asked about included:

  • How to set up a simple website to provide information and also recieve feedback (answer – start a blog!)
  • How to create inline links in blog posts
  • How to insert Flickr images into blog posts
  • How to create a community site which people can use for discussions as well as providing information about events and sharing knowledge and content (answer – try using Ning!)

If you are planning an event about this stuff, could you do with having a social media surgeon on board? If so, let me know!

Thing are coming 2gether

I am looking forward to the 2gether festival this Wednesday and Thursday, lots of cool people coming, and lots of exciting sessions to attend. You can find out more at the event’s blog, or by looking around the associated social network, built on Crowdvine.

I was flattered to be asked to run a session on social media and web 2.0 tools, which is happening at around 11am on Wednesday. I probably would have preferred it to be later so that people buzzing with ideas could turn up and work out how to put them into action. This way, though, people will know what’s possible and be forearmed with the knowledge of the tools as they hear about other initiatives, which is cool.

I’m going to be running a social media game, along the lines of that developed by David Wilcox and Beth Kanter. I’m designing and making the cards as we speak, and will be printing out various guides and cheat sheets like those developed by Tim Davies, Colin McKay and Paul Caplan. I’m also going to be helped out by David, Tim, Paul Henderson, Matt Waring, Mitch Sava and Jeremy Gould, who (if required!) will be helping out the groups playing the game by explaining and demoing stuff.

That’s not all, though – I have also been drafted in by Tracey Todhunter to help develop her ideas for a ‘communiversity’ for low carbon communities. She writes about it here. We’re going to start off in my session, so Tracey and her colleagues can develop a strategy using the game; and then take the results into her session to drum up support and refine things.

Here Tracey talks to David Wilcox about the project:


It’s going to be an exciting couple of days.