Category Archives: socialmediaclub

Social Media Café – Zagging

One of Dave Winer‘s best bits of advice is “zag to their zig” and that’s what I’m trying to do with the Café. Just when it seems that *everyone* in the entire world is getting into online social networking, I want to open a coffee shop and help people meet each other face to face.

There have been suggestions that we use another space to get started. I don’t understand the reasoning for this, so can someone please explain? The space is more important to me (at the moment) than the group. We have loads of ways of meeting up already – I’m talking about meeting the needs of that group in a novel way rather than extending the group, although I’m sure that better facilities will draw new people in.

Thanks everybody for your thoughts on the Communal Vision – do carry it on, but let’s also start talking about how much it will cost.

I’ll be writing on the wiki later but I’ve got to go out now to report on a drop-in centre for young people for the Surrey PCT blog :)

Social Media Café

RFH Cafe SocietyI just want first to distinguish this from the events that Chris has facilitated through Social Media Club. I am involved with Social Media Club in London, and what I’m talking about might well be a place to host Social Media Club (or even Social Media Cafés!) and I love both concepts – but neither are what I want to talk about here – I’m talking about a place, not an event.

Phew! Perhaps I’d better start again…

This comes from a number of conversations I’ve had with people in London about having a place to meet, hook up, get groups together, socialise, train people, co-work etc. I blogged about something in a slightly different context about 3 years ago and the idea has been frothing in my head for a long time. I’m thinking of a confluence of the creative, tech and entrepreneurial tribes who are currently gathering around social media and online social networking. I’m talking about the kinds of people who are regulars at Coffee Mornings, Open Coffee, Social Media Club, Chinwag Live.

So far it’s as concrete and as fluid as this:

We (whoever we are – the united socialmediatistas of hereabouts) acquire a space that we can use for the above-mentioned types of activities. It might be laid out as follows (though do not get hung up about physical orientation, upstairs/downstairs front/back doesn’t matter as much as the ideas of separate spaces for different activities).

Ground floor is open to the public, a café style space with good coffee, tea, snacks, fussball, space invaders and the like – maybe the odd plate of eggs bacon chips and beans. Plasma screen shows a rolling twitter timeline from all our mates. An alternative to constantly having to find somewhere to meet up and have coffee and a place where people love you using the wifi.

First floor (don’t get hung up on the physical orientation, just a separate space) is for members & guests. Not a posh exclusive (male) type of private members club (you know where I mean), but something softer, gentler, more suited to creative & geeky types than just to the thrusting entrepreneur. Facilities are flexible meeting rooms, desks and co-working spaces and more exclusive lounging, chatting space with coffee & tea. It’s a bit quieter up here.

Second floor (again really just another separate space) is for media production – podcasting & video-blogging equipment for hire – soundproofed studios, maybe some helpful techies to guide the uninitiated.

Questions:

Why? Why not take an existing institution and warp it into what we want? Now that we are, just, starting to see that there’s a group of us interested in the same things, I think it would be good to have a place of our own.

When? I may be biased by the number of people I mix with who don’t keep normal office hours but I think this is an all-day & evening thing, though possibly not at weekends?

Where? London, I’m pretty certain, but where is our spiritual home? Soho, Shoreditch, South Bank? Somewhere that doesn’t start with ‘S’?

Who? Who will come, who will be members, who will use which facilities? I’m starting a group in Facebook to guage interest and carry the conversation forward. Also what kinds of people do we need to make it happen – property development, deal-makers, investors, staff as well as potential members and customers.

What? Salons, open spaces, meeting (verb), meetings (noun), training, improvising, podcasting, eating, talking, working, collaborating, farting about, other activities with no predefined or explicit purpose, interesting pursuits. What else?

How? Yes.

More questions please – and answers if you have them.

[UPDATE: If you want to help, there’s now a wiki for you to scribble on and a Facebook group to join.]

Head down

Want to blog today but no can do as the Perfect Path editing suite is at capacity working on the rest of the videos from Second Chance Tuesday and a top-secret super hush-hush and really quite evil thing which may or may not be related to this.

Very nice Social Media Club meetup last night, not least because I met Rupert Howe, who rocks.

Prolly see you after the weekend.

Charming

funny adwordsNo I’m not using adwords on this site, but I wanted to share the selection that came up on a ning social network I’ve just set up for SMC London. All there is on the page for reference is my picture and an introductory post from me, and the title with strap “If you get it, share it (in London!)” which still doesn’t quite explain (at least to me) the link to gay bikini wearing chauffeurs with ringworm.

Btw, of course, if you’re interested in joining the network and thereby generating some more relevant advertising, please do get over there and sign up.

SMC London goes videoblogging

The London experiment with weekly media-making meetups continued this evening with another member getting his first taste of videoblogging. Guy West has been a regular at our discussion groups and kindly recorded some audio at one of the meetings.

We sat in the brand new foyer of the British Film Institute/National Film Theatre which only opened last week and chatted about our social use of the internet. I was showing off a bit pointing the camera in my general direction which results in the people standing behind me being beautifully in focus, but my face (some will no doubt say this is a blessing) is a bit blurry.

No Palme D’or for this one, but at least we had some footage – and it wasn’t just of me! I showed Guy how to transfer from the camera to PC and then do some simple editing tasks and then we topped and tailed it with some titles and credits. We’d stood around for long enough, occasionally getting odd stares from the patrons of the Lesbian & Gay film festival that’s currently running there so I didn’t make Guy watch while we uploaded it to YouTube – he knew how to do that bit anyway.Next week the clocks will have gone forward, we’ll be into British Summer Time, and hopefully it will be a bit warmer for our first Blogwalk.

Cross posted from the Social Media Club blog

Lloyd’s slow Torification part 1

Daily Telegraph News RoomThis is the new Daily Telegraph news room which I had the privilege of seeing at the end of last week. I’d seen the bit on BBC News the other week where some poor Torygraph hack was shown having to make a podcast and video interview in addition to writing a story and complaining that this meant he didn’t have the lunches he’d been used to, but I’d forgotten until I started writing this that ironically for such a bastion of the establishment, the Telegraph was remarkable for being one of the first papers on the web. Nice to meet Shane Richmond & Ian Douglas and interesting to think about the new premises as a possible venue for a Social Media Club.