An Exciting Week for Social Media in Yorkshire

Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery -1st Anniversary

At the end of my presentation at last year’s National Digital Inclusion Conference I said that we were aiming to make Yorkshire & the Humber the “Social Media Region”. I think quite a few in the audience realised that I hadn’t really thought through the path to this objective at the time. However, I think we may now be well on the road, as this week sees Social Media Surgeries in three of our major conurbations on consecutive nights.

Huddersfield Social Media Surgery is on Monday 1st February, Leeds SMS on Tuesday 2nd, and Sheffield on Wednesday 3rd. With the second York SMS imminent, and plans in train for surgeries in Hull, Grimsby, Barnsley and Hebden Bridge, the idea spawned in Birmingham by the amazing Nick Booth and Pete Ashton is taking root around Yorkshire & the Humber.

It promises to be an exhausting week for those of use involved in all three of this week’s Surgeries, but the cumulative satisfied glow that always follows a successful event will make it all well worthwhile.

Barnsley Twestival 10th September 2009

I will be speaking at Barnsley Twestival on Thursday 10th September 2009 at around 5:30pm UK time. As part of a “Big Debate” I will be putting the case for Twitter, being opposed by a proponent of face-to-face networking. The irony of this is that I am a great fan of face-to-face networking, and will be saying so in the debate, and I think Twitter is a fantastic adjunct to f2f, it finds me new people to f2f network with, and helps me keep in touch with them between f2f contacts.

I would very much like to demonstrate the power of Twitter during the debate and I hope that you will help me out by feeding in comments, particularly your experiences of how Twitter has helped you build and maintain your professional networks. It looks like we will be using the hashtag #tweetbsly Please help me by contributing from the many and various talents of my Twitter community and re-tweeting the message which led you here


Great Expectations in a Gents Toilet

OK, I should have taken photographs to illustrate this post; but it is related to a gents toilet and I am nervous about photography in a toilet, it can get you into all sorts of trouble, or so I believe, I don’t have any experience to call on.

Today I was at a meeting in Barnsley Council’s shiny new offices, all steel and glass, and a prominent sign of the Council’s confidence in the future of a town which has gone through some pretty tough times; and the ubiquitous glass means that the Council Tax payer can see pretty much all of what is being done in their name and with their money.

And so, I needed to visit the Gents. I walked in, and did a double take – no urinals. I walked back out and checked the sign on the door. It wouldn’t have been the first time I had mistakenly wandered into the Ladies toilet in a strange building. But, no, it was definitely the Gents. So I walked back in, went into a stall and did what I needed to do.

Then, as I was washing my hands, my eye was caught by a sign on the wall which read thus:

“If anything in this toilet fails to meet your expectations, please let us know”.

Now my expectation was that there should be urinals in a Gents toilet. There were none. It had failed to meet my expectations. Should I have let somebody know about this? Perhaps not, but it seemed I was being asked to comment, so I am doing so here.

Nice building though, well done Barnsley Council, even though we couldn’t manage to close the blind when the blinding sun shone in on our meeting.