The First Yorkshire Social Media Surgery for Musicians

First Yorkshire Musicians' Social Media Surgery #1

Last night, the long awaited first Yorkshire Social Media Surgery for Musicians finally happened. And it was well worth the wait. As we planned it, the wise words of Nick Booth, the originator of the Social Media Surgery concept kept running through my mind. Nick says that one of the pre-requisites of a Social Media Surgery is “zero expectations”.  I was trying to follow Nick’s advice, but I think I failed miserably, and I ended up having quite high expectations of the whole thing, but, nevertheless I was prepared for failure. As it turned out I need not have worried, the event was a great success. For me, and for everyone else I spoke to who was part of it, it was one of those genuinely uplifting occasions when everything seems to go right. It actually exceeded expectations, and left us all with a warm glow as we wended our way home (via the Midnight Bell pub in many cases).

First Yorkshire Musicians' Social Media Surgery #2The first part of the evening saw the foyer of the Round Foundry in Leeds a buzz of conversation as Surgeons and musicians debated the merits of different social media platforms and worked to develop strategies for reaching audiences more effectively. All the time, Rich Huxley of Hope and Social flitted from table to table passing on his knowledge of music-specific platforms, and inspiring people with his stories about how Hope and Social uses social media to create special events and engage its audience around them. All the feedback I got about this was very positive both from the musicians and the Surgeons. Nearly everyone I spoke to wanted to know when we were going to do it again.

We were very grateful to the guys at get-ctrl for their sponsorship that enabled us to lay on some food and drink for the evening. Please do me a favour and check out their great platform which does more or less everything a musician needs on the internet

First Yorkshire Musicians' Social Media Surgery #3The evening was rounded off by some musical entertainment. And, what entertainment! We were treated to some storming performances by David Henshaw, Gary Stewart and his band, and Wilful Missing.

And you don’t even have to take my word for how good it all was, the video evidence is below.

Scenes from the first Yorkshire Musicians’ Social Media Surgery

David Henshaw

Gary Stewart

Wilful Missing

10 thoughts on “The First Yorkshire Social Media Surgery for Musicians

  1. Brilliant example of a peer to peer support mechanism and everyone getting something from the event. Round Foundry get to showcase their wonderfully flexible building and prove once again how great they are as people. Social media bods get so richly entertained by musicians. Musicians learn a bit from social media bods. get to raise awareness for their service, local business Out of the Woods get to sell a few platters of wonderful canapés and it seems that everyone is a winner.

    No evaluation forms, no sign in sheets, no flimsy evidence of GVA created, jobs retained or any of the usual nonsense to be sent to a funder for rubber stamping to release funds.

    No event management teams handing out name badges and ticking lists.

    No pop up banners reminding everyone how great we are in providing this service and ramming a very expensive, publicly funded, soon to scrapped brand down their necks.

    Just a great experience shared by people who might not otherwise have met, networks built and strengthened, opportunities uncovered, smiles on faces, tunes in hearts and I suspect some really talented people who now have ideas about how to get their music heard and perhaps some more revenue too. We have known for a long time that conviviality matters. But mainstream business support rarely manages to achieve it.

    No ‘gurus’ or accredited advisers either! There is a debate about the future of business support in which I advocate for a greater emphasis on peer to peer networks and problem based learning as more cost effective ways to support enterprise than a model of business advisers and brokerage. And the main criticism of what I am advocating is that ‘we can’t assure the quality of the advice given’. Well apart from not being entirely true (we use an informal peer review to check out the quality of our work in social media surgeries) it also shows a lack of faith in the ability of lay people to help other lay people make progress. Of course information is offered on a caveat emptor, or ‘you might want to think about…’ basis, and people are advised to talk with more than one surgeon to get a different perspective. In short, people are taught how to get value from ‘would be’ helpers.

    And when we look at advisory regimes that are fully quality assured, supervised and regulated – like the finance industry – are we really supposed to think that this is a model that provides guarantees of quality?

    Let’s just open every single event with a reminder from Buddha – “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

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  3. I really enjoyed the event and picked up some useful tips, which will make things a bit easier for me. All the surgeons were extremely helpful, and there was a great atmosphere throughout. Also, have to say what brilliant performances by David Henshaw, Gary Stewart & Rich Huxley and Wilful Missing – what a privilege to see them!

  4. This was a great evening, for me, just discovering how much musical talent is “out there” in Leeds. The fact I was also able to share some of my social media experience with people, so that they can be better equipped to share their music was a bonus!

    I’m very grateful to the participant who showed me how to send messages out using Facebook’s Fan Page, so it isn’t always the surgeons who impart the knowledge!

    I was encouraged at the level of knowledge about socmed that a number of the participants already had. This was, on the whole, more than the average participant at a normal socmed surgery has.

    Thanks to Rich for the idea and John Popham for pulling it together.

  5. I’d echo what Mike said. Well put.

    4 of us went along to this event, one already web 2.0 savvy but thirsty to know more, while the other 3 were starting with a far cleaner slate, for want of a better phrase. We all came away with new contacts and knowledge that will help us. The first thing we have done after the session is to create a new blog. We had wanted to move away from simply using the basic blog provided on Myspace, and have now set up stall on WordPress, so we now have

    One of the best things about the social media surgery was that the ‘surgeons’ were so happy to share their knowledge. They all seemed to have an air of “look, I know this stuff, I use it, and I want you to know about, and use, it too”.

    My only problem is that personally I could quite happily have spent another couple of hours there, as I still wanted to learn more! I will soon actually be a social media ‘surgeon’ myself, helping to run the next Bradford session for the VCS. I hope to be able to attend a future Musicians’ Social Media Surgery. The more I learn, the more I can pass on! And as Graham said above, we can all learn something in a peer-to-peer support situation like this.

    Alb, on behalf of Wilful Missing.

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