G20: DFID Youth Bloggers

Sunball and Joe are two of the DFID Youth Reporters, a group of young people who are part of a mentoring programme to help them bring a youth perspective to debates about “poverty, climate change, growth, stability and jobs”

My experience of them both was that they combined a startlingly deep knowledge of current affairs with the determination of the young to call the previous generation out on the mistakes that we have made so that together we can all put the world right.

They were a great reminder, if one were needed, that I’m too much of a grumpy old man most of the time.

[disclosure: DFID are a client of mine, I have advised their web team on using social media to get information quickly out of crisis areas. I’m not involved with the Youth Reporters scheme.]

G20: Tom Watson MP

I also asked Tom why people should care about what goes on at the summit and he explains the importance of what the bloggers were doing to help us all make sense of the high-level economic stuff from our own perspectives.

Tom is one of the earliest adopters of online social tools among national politicians and he uses them to complement the doorstep manner that makes him a popular local MP. I remember hearing about his early blogging through Tim Ireland in 2004. He’s matured well with the rest of us – he’s a top choice to follow on twitter, skillfully navigating the line between speaking as just another tweeter and speaking as an MP and Government Minister.

Tom sat with us on the G20 Voice desk all day, even when he was in danger of being crushed by the hack-pack when Bob Geldof passed by.

G20: Todd Lucier

Todd was one of my fellow bloggers with G20 Voice. He’s a passionate Canadian nominated to be in London for climatecafe.org and he explains here just why it was so important that a bunch of bloggers were given accreditation to come along to the summit.

I only found out during the day that Todd is also a fellow seesmic-er. If I’d known and thought about it beforehand perhaps we could have done something together to get people talking on seesmic. I’m writing a post about the lessons we learned – one of them is how to get the bloggers to know each other better and ready to work together better before going into the event. It’s hard.

The video may need some fiddling with – I’ve not been used to using such a flash camera of late and the HD from the Canon HG10 I was loaned might still need compressing down a bit.

G20 it’s lunchtime already

020420091180There’s simultaneously nothing going on here and loads of stuff going on. The bloggers desks have been visited by Bob Geldof and Douglas Alexander. The first of those brought the biggest crowd – you can tell when anything’s happening here in the hall because there’s a crowd of photographers gathered round it and a bunch of TV cameramen walking on your desk trying to get a better shot.

I realised last night, thanks to Nick Booth, that the thing to do here is to focus on what I’m interested in. I’m going to try and get some interviews this afternoon about leadership and the real meaning of this sort of event. And I’m thinking a lot about the difference between what we’re doing and what the folk who followed the “Broadcast” sign above are up to.

In the meantime, you can of course see me on twitter, I’m popping up photos on flickr and I’ve got one bit of video on blip.tv but am struggling as I forgot that since I last used a Canon HG10 I switched to Linux… so the high quality video may take some time.

G20 Voice starting

IMG_0121Still not entirely sure what to do with this opportunity. My instinct is to look for the stuff that other people aren’t covering or noticing. So I included in my intro tags #hiddenstories.

So I expect mainstream media to lead on soap opera stuff between Brown, Obama and Sarkozy.

I expect many people to lead on the sorts of things being talked about here by Oxfam – a rescue & financial stimulus package for poorer countries.

I’m interested in how social media is actually being used to open up the conversation – you may have seen a reference to me in Rory Cellan-Jones’s post yesterday and it’s the middle bit that is interesting, how “ordinary people” who aren’t directly involved in the summit and who aren’t interested in throwing bricks at bankers can take part in the important decisions that are being made at the moment. I’m not suggesting that we can be a direct line between you and the Prime Minister or Mr President but can we be more of a two-way medium? Can we, should we, how should we be doing more than either being a reporter or being a lobbyist?

Keeping thinking and talking and listening here.