Monday, 23 November 2009

Brrism 4 - the one with the daemons

Everybody brought along a daemon to last week's Brrism event. There was a snow leopard, lions, bears, mice and even a giant panda. The daemons were of the Philip Pulman/Golden Compass variety and they were all part of the Brrism icebreaker.

We'd experimented with an icebreaker at Brrism3, and now with the experience of Brrism4 under our belts, the icebreaker is here to stay. Icebreakers are a wonderful technique to use and, in the Brrism context, they seem to: Increase energy levels in the room, encourage people to open up and start talking to each other (an effect that persists long after the icebreaker finishes) and, from what I saw, foster a sense of community. Which, after all, is what Brrism is all about. And they're good fun too!

Social media is more about people than it is technology and so this post is mainly about people. Peter Tecks (Giant Panda) turned up to the meeting with more cameras and re-chargable batteries than you could shake a stick at and his photostream can be seen here. (Videos will be online soon and we'll also post the photos to facebook.) Ady Harold (Roe Deer) was "twitter scribe" and broadcast #Brrism tweets from her twitter account. Sam Downie (Snow Leopard), webcast the entire proceedings from his Mac and, much to my amazement, a few people watched the webcast from home! Karl Louden facilitated a Brrism Branding session which has started off a conversation about what we want Brrism to be (in terms of mood, brand values etc). More from Karl later. We also had some lovely catering for the event but on that topic I'm sworn to secrecy! The only thing I can say is the caramel shortbread was superb...

We actually had some serious discussion about social media too. The theme of the meeting was Social Media Machinery. The problem with "social media" is that it is a collection of disparate tools and they all need to be connected in order to achieve some overall aim. The interesting thing is that this particular "machine" consists of people as well as technology. (William S. Burroughs called this part the "soft machine".) The cogs and levers not only consist of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc but also consist of individuals, groups, process and, strangely enough, games. Hence the daemons.

The overall turnout wasn't as good as usual and I think that may have been due to a last minute date change. There were also a few people who were off sick (including one who's still suffering from the lurgy even as I write). But despite that, virtually everyone at the meeting piled over to the Watershed for Apres Brrism. Which makes me think that Brrism has turned the corner in terms of being here to stay. Social Media is alive and well in Bristol!

Monday, 16 November 2009

You and your Daemon

This blog post is aimed at people who are attending this Thursday's Brrism event. If you've haven't signed up yet, there are still a few tickets left on EventBrite.

Bristol Social Media events aren't just about social media - they are also designed to be entertaining, fun and encourage networking. That's why we had the Who Are You Hoedown at the last meeting. (If you are interested in hoedown please read the Brrism blog entry or what other people said about it on their blog: Ady Harold, Emma Newman, Team Rubber.)

The hoedown was incredibly well received and the only bad thing I heard said about it was that it was a bit long. So, naturally, we're going to do a another icebreaker - only shorter.

This one's called "You and your Daemon" and, as well as ticking the usual boxes (fun, icebreaking, networky) it also has relevance to the Brrism Branding session that we are running at the tail end of Brrism4.

The way it works will be explained on the night, all you have to do right now is to choose your daemon. In case you haven't read the books or seen the film then a daemon is the animal that represents your inner self, your hidden self. If your inner self is a perfectionist and concerned in getting things absolutely right then you might like to take a look at this YouTube video to make sure you understand the concept. Otherwise choose the first animal that pops into your head - you might find that your subconscious chosen the right one for you.

Once you've decided on YOUR daemon simply fill out this form and we'll make sure you've got a natty little name badge when you arrive at the event on Thursday. See you there!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Brrism4 - Social Media Machinery

As everyone who’s watched this video knows, its very important to “hook your twitter into your facebook and plug your blogfeed into your reader” and, in a tongue in cheek way, we’d have to agree. Plugging things together is important but the real idea behind Social Media Machinery is about using different social media tools in a coordinated way to achieve some sort of objective (business or otherwise).

The fourth Brrism meeting takes place at the Pervasive Media Studio on Thursday 19th November. It's meet at 6:30 for 7 PM start and after 2 hours we'll decamp and carry on the conversation over a drink or two at the Watershed. If a picture paints a thousand words then this photo album will give you an idea of what to expect.
Thanks once again to the fantastic Pervasive Media Studio for the use of their excellent facilities and, once again, you must sign up on EventBrite (see below).


Previous Brrism events have “sold out” so grab your ticket fast but please don’t sign up unless you’re pretty sure you can attend – otherwise you’re denying a ticket to someone else.

Everyone’s welcome, social media expert or beginner alike. And if you are a beginner then we promise that no one will offer to “hook your twitter into your facebook”. Or at least I hope they won’t…


  • Intro, overview
  • Social Media machinery – Developing systems, copying best practice, how to construct the Brrism social media machine (discuss & collect Tweet Seed)
  • Google Wave – overview & demonstration (discuss & collect Tweet Seed)
  • Mixer
  • 1 hour long unconference session where Brrismers can pick up on topics picked up in the Tweet Seed or simply discuss their own stuff.
  • Brrism branding – MakeDesignEnjoy have offered to design a Brrism logo. This is where we brief them.
  • Washup & decamp to Watershed

What on earth is "Tweet Seed"?