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!

My UKYouthOnline session?

Tim is inviting people to put forward ideas for sessions at the upcoming UKYouthOnline conference on the event’s social network.

I have put forward mine: a social web surgery:

My idea for a session at the unconference is to run a surgery on how youth web projects might work. If people have ideas but aren’t quite sure how they could be put online then I can help out.

This could be an all day session, taking place wherever there is space, or maybe as a more formal designated slot on the programme.

I’m hoping that people are going to be walking around, buzzing with ideas for new ways of using the social web to engage young people. I’ll be on hand to do some digital enabling and help them decide which will be the best tools to use, and how they might go about getting things up and running.

I have already has some positive feedback on the idea. Any more thoughts or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below or on the thread at UKYouthOnline.

UKYouthOnline date and location confirmed

Tim Davies has confirmed when and where the UKYouthOnline unconference will be taking place: 27th September at the HQ of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, on Victoria Street in London.

The event promises to be a fabuolous opportunity for people to get together to talk about youth engagement and participation, especially following the good reception Tim got at 2gether08. Am hoping there is some way I can contribute on the day!

Do join the event social network and the discussion group and get involved.

Youth Engagement Barcamp Postponed

Sadly the UK Youth Engagement Barcamp, planned for the 17th May, has been postponed, due to a lack of venue. This is a shame as I was really looking forward to what was bound to be a cracking event, but with a bit more time to plan and figure things out, it should be even better.

The other upshot of this is that with the 17th now free, I could make MediaCamp Bucks, being held at New University Buckinghamshire, which looks pretty exciting. Thanks to Paul Henderson for pointing it out.

UK Youth Online

Tim Davies has blogged again about UK Youth Online, the barcamp he is arranging for somewhere in London on 17 May. It reminded me that I have totally failed to post about it yet.

What’s it all about? Well, according to the rather lovely invite Tim has designed:

We are a collection of youth workers, participation workers, youth website managers,  innovators, technology developers, optimists, open minded sceptics, young people,  consultants, practitioners, managers, and many more things.

  • Between us we are interested in topics that include:
  • Online information services for young people
  • Supporting young people’s online interaction and activity
  • Researching young people and the internet/blogging/social networking etc.
  • Developing online tools and platforms for young people
  • Exploring online technologies in education and participation
  • Young people’s civic engagement online
  • School councils, youth councils and local e-democracy
  • On-line video and web radio

And we’re coming together on 17th May 2008 in London for a BarCamp – and informal conference where we set the agenda on the day and have creative, constructive and dynamic demonstrations, discussions and knowledge sharing.

Sounds good to me. I will certainly be popping along, and I would encourage everyone that reads this blog to do so as well. you can sign up using Tim’s nifty Google Docs / Pageflakes mashup wotsit at http://ukyouthonline.org.

Oh, and if anyone knows of a venue, do let Tim know. Thanks.