Day three of (unofficial) Yorkshire Social Media Week

Sheffield Social Media Surgery - 3rd Feb 10

It’s Wednesday, so it must be Sheffield! (sorry United fans). The third Social Media Surgery on consecutive days in Yorkshire took place tonight in the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. Another well-attended event, with lots of positive conversations. The fact that the Surgery was organised, by the indefatigable Jag Gill to run immediately before one of the regular Sheffield Geekup events meant that there was a very good turnout of surgeons, and there we plenty of willing patients, despite the heavy snow which fell outside throughout the Surgery.

Sheffield station in the snow

Shortly, I hope to be able to reflect on the three Yorkshire Surgeries that have happened this week, but in the interim I will simply bask in the cumulative positive glow they produce, and look forward to the York Social Media Surgery, which is scheduled for 1st March.

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.

The Social Media Train?


This is a fanciful idea at the moment, but it may come to fruition.

The idea is this. To coincide (roughly) with the opening of the new station bar at Sheffield station (after a 40-year break without one) in December, we run a Social Media Train on the Penistone Line between Sheffield and Huddersfield.

The Penistone line is a beautiful scenic railway, which wends through Pennine countryside. But, I hate it, for three reasons:

1. It takes an hour and 20 minutes for a journey which, by road, is 26 miles and can be driven, at off-peak times in 40 minutes

2. It is populated by some of the oldest, dirtiest, most uncomfortable, rolling stock on the UK rail system; and

3. Although it runs through beautiful countryside – after dark, this benefit is lost completely, and, as much of the journey is through areas with no lighting, you can sit there for ages not being able to see anything outside the train. The experience of sitting on a dirty, rattling train, hurtling through total darkness, is what has led me to call it the Ghost Train.


The Penistone Line Partnership does a great job of making life a little better for the people who use the line, running music and beer trains on a regular basis. My idea (which is not really my idea, but taken from an original concept of @timdifford ) is that we run either a Social Media Surgery, or, perhaps a Social Media Cafe on the train one evening in December.

My concept was that we do this on the 18:36 from Sheffield; returning on the 20:13 from Huddersfield, and finishing up in the new Sheffield station bar.

Brockholes Station

What do YOU think?