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So UK GovCamp 13 isn’t going to happen tomorrow. It’s definitely a *postponement* rather than a cancellation: as well as people finding it difficult to travel from outside London and risking getting stranded till the weather subsides, it seems our venue hosts understandably didn’t want to take that risk for their staff either.
I spoke to Steph from behind his stacks of sponsored t-shirt boxes today and he’s basically just having to rearrange with IBM when we can use the space for sometime in February.
But I was looking forward to it. And I know a lot of you were too.
James Cattell is doing great stuff trying to get online interaction going and he’s going to focus on that. But the thing I was most looking forward to was not so much the content as the catching up with people in the gov/web world. And as my hosting duties for the day were already sponsored, I’m up for helping make something happen in addition to the online shenanigans.
So I suggest the following for anyone who’s in or around London and can get into town easily enough:
James and I will be on Level 5 of the Royal Festival Hall (next door-ish) to the original venue from 10am (that’s when they open) tomorrow, Saturday 19th January.
You can let us know if you’re coming by signing up on this wewillgather page
Whoever turns up will be able to get involved in organising the rest of the day, we can have as many sessions as we can make happen, we might all sit behind laptops communing online, or we might have a day-long tuttle-like conversation that people drop in and out of. Whatever!
Keep an eye on the hashtag #altUKGC13 to see how it’s going, whether we’re still there.
There is delicious coffee and sugar-infused dough things available for purchase on Level 2 of RFH and there is free wifi available throughout (although finding power sockets can be trickier)
Naturally, please don’t make a special journey to see us if the powers that be have told you not to go out unless your journey is essential.
I invariably over simplify everything so do ask questions either in the comments here or of me directly on twitter @lloyddavis
We launched #wewillgather at Nesta on Tuesday. I did the live demo – code just out of beta, interfacing with third-party software (twitter) in front of Nesta’s head of innovation and the Minister for Civil Society not to mention some of my dearest peers from the various corners of the social web. So no pressure…
But it worked!
Not as quickly as it had done in the dry-run a week before, but nonetheless, I set up an event in the system just by sending a tweet.
I was inspired at that moment to make it something close to home. I’ve just moved to Wandsworth and Wandsworth Town railway station has just got new ticket machines and ticket barriers. However, it doesn’t have new bins handy to deal with all the unwanted receipts and other tickets that get left behind in the mad commuter rush. These tickets just pile up and don’t seem to be dealt with by station staff or the streetsweeper.
There’s a choice of solutions: ignore it and hope someone else will do something about it; write to South West Trains who manage the station and Wandsworth Council to encourage them to do something about it; or use a newly minted social website to arrange to meet some people there and take a small broom and clear it up yourself.
So I used this as my example in the demo and set up for people to come along this morning to pick up tickets.
Of course I did nothing further to organise people yesterday as I was mostly dealing with other people using the site, and so no-one else came. Except my long-suffering girlfriend, a bit embarrassed that I’d brought the tatty dustpan brush that was supposed to have gone in the rubbish itself. But I was undaunted – I’m used to playing Billy No-Mates when things are in their early days.
When we arrived, as luck would have it, the station staff were refilling the ticket machine. You can see the mess around the front. It’s clearly not their job to clear that up at the same time.
So I waited for them to finish before I started poking around with my broom around the back and sides of the machine. They disappeared quickly (I think they might also have been collecting cash from the machine) and I couldn’t find them to talk to afterwards. My broom wasn’t long enough to get all of the tickets from behind – it’s a really awkward space, if I had brought a bigger broom then perhaps the head wouldn’t have fitted into the gap. Anyway I did what I could and photographed what was left behind
as well as what I managed to collect (which then went straight in the nearest bin)
Hmmm… it looks as though I picked up less than I left behind, but that’s not the case, the perspective on that Sainsbury’s bag is misleading.
Anyway, you can do better than this – go and organise something in *your* neighbourhood!