Tuesday, 21 December 2010

What would you ask Jimmy Wales

There are just 4 shopping days till Christmas but, more importantly, just 23 blogging days till Jimmy Wales comes to Bristol.  We all know that its traditional in Britain to leave Christmas shopping to the last minute and hope that a Christmas Eve dash to Cribbs Causeway will come up with the goods.  I'm not sure if the same holds true for blogging about Jimmy Wales' visit though.  Maybe I can persuade all of you to make a metaphorical dash to Cribbs and help me with the blogging?  Or perhaps I should wrap this up in a bit of social media jargon and say that I'm "crowdsourcing".  Or how about I just come out with it and say: "Help! I need you to come up with some blogging ideas for his visit."

To make it easier, the first thing that I'm asking for are some SHORT QUESTIONS for a five minute interview that I'm hoping to do with Jimmy.  The interview will be videoed and uploaded to BrrismTV and there will also be an accompanying blog piece. 

Please leave your ideas (either for blog posts or quick questions) in the comments section below or, if you'd rather submit your question confidentially use the form below.

Remember that Jimmy does countless interviews and has heard all the standard Wikipedia questions by now. Also bear in mind that Jimmy's press office will have final say regarding whether we can ask the question. 



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Jimmy Wales is coming to Bristol!

According to Wikipedia, Wikipedia was founded on January 15 2001.  Obviously, since  Wikipedia is full of untruths and inaccuracies, I thought I'd better check my facts.  But even Encyclopaedia Britannica agrees that January 15th 2001 was the day, so it must be true, mustn't it?  ;)

In ten years Wikipedia has progressed from a tiny little backwater website into the seventh most popular website in the world and now has 3.4 million articles in its English language version.  Even more amazing is that, unlike Britannica, this was done with just a handful of paid staff - the entire encyclopaedia was written by unpaid contributors, people like you and me.  (If you want to be part of this amazing phenomenon be sure to read this page.)  But despite this global-scale crowdsourcing , none of this would have happened without the efforts of one man - Jimmy Wales.  And the amazing thing is - he's coming to Bristol!

This is a very rare opportunity to hear from someone that's created something that's had such a big impact on the world so make sure your diary is clear on 13 January 2011 12.00-13.00.  It'll be at the Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol and if you want a ticket send an email to  jimmywales-bristol@bristol.ac.uk.

This event has been organised in association with Bristol Festival of Ideas, Connecting Bristol, Bristol City Council, BBC Anchor Trust and Wikimedia UK.  I'm sure Brrismers will join me in thanking them for doing this.  :)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Brrism11 - eDemocracy/Open Data/Social Media Systems

Brrism11 takes place on 21st July at thePervasive Media Studio and we've got some interesting social media related topics to discuss. As usual we're using our short presentation/long discussion format (5 minutes from each of the presenters followed by a 45 minute "open space" style discussion where you are free to join whatever groups you are interested in). The speakers are listed below.

(For meeting time/venue details, and to sign up for a free ticket, please go along to the EventBrite Page.)

Social Media eDemocracy

During the election a local Bristol company, Evans Finch ran a Election 2010 Challenge website which allowed people to submit ideas on how the country could be run better and allowed people to vote on those ideas. The site was slick, well executed and its a good example of how Social Media can be used to find out what issues are foremost on the minds of our fellow countrymen.

Experience from that website showed that people were keen on a more open, digital and most of all participatory democracy. Fancy that! Here are just two of the suggestions:
  • “e-voting open to all UK residents on all laws, statutes,motions & other parliamentary business. Bring parliament to people OPEN DEMOCRACY!”
  • “Create a system to let the people vote on government bills being passed through the commons.”
Chris Keegan from Evans Finch will be talking about the site and ideas submitted through it and asking “how can Social Media be used to usher in an era of neo-Athenian democracy”?

About the Speaker

Chris is a veteran of the video games industry, working on games from WWII Bomber Simulations through to Destruction Derby via Massive Role Playing Games. He is currently the Managing Director of Evans Finch a local company specialising in producing innovative Social Media Applications. He brings a wealth of technical knowledge from the interactive world as well as deep insight into games design, which he now applies to the curiously difficult task of encouraging people to push buttons on web-sites.  Despite all that, he's not such a bad chap and may even be worth  following on Twitter.











Open Data in Bristol

The concept of Open Data is gaining momentum in the UK, pioneered by advocates such as Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and with vocal support from initiatives such as The Guardian’s Free Our Data campaign. Bristol City Council recognises the important of this global movement and has recently launched B-Open, an initiative to encourage Open Data in Bristol.


In this Brrism talk, Mark Leaver will talk about B-Open and how you can get involved. And, in true Brrism "open space" style, we've got some issues to discuss. Is Open Data still in "geek to geek" mode or is real public value beginning to emerge? Is the "digital divide" a consideration if we are trying to create public value or public services? Or is Bristol about to go through its moment of clarity where the public sector realises that other people (that means you, gentle Brrismer) are cleverer, quicker and more in tune with demand?

About the Speaker
Mark Leaver is an independent consultant concentrating on the development of projects combining creative media and digital technologies, with a specific focus on making strategic connections to international markets.
With a background which spans a range of organisational structures, including regional development agency, dot com start up, national broadcaster, international corporation and independent consultant, Mark has successfully developed businesses and delivered innovative project ideas across a range of media disciplines.
Mark was one of the originators of the Media Sandbox (with Clare Reddington) and is currently part of the 2010 scheme, including specifically the B-Open open data strand in partnership with Bristol City Council.

Understanding the social media system

A couple of Brrism's ago we briefly looked at systems modelling as a way of thinking about social media. Following that we began to develop a definition of a 'system' that could be used to describe Brrism. That work is ongoing and contributions are welcomed. In this 5 min presentation, a view of Brrism will be described that builds on this definition and begins to outline the system using the Soft Systems approach. Afterwards, as always, will be a healthy discussion on how we can further develop the systems view and alternative views that could also be used.


About the Speaker

Having taught systems theory at the University of Plymouth and developed a systemic approach to change management for his research,John has spent the last 10 years applying his knowledge of systems theory to University-Business collaborations. John prefers the discussions and shared knowledge that arise from developing systems models a lot more than complying religiously to the nomenclature of any particular theory. Follow him on Twitter.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Brrism10 Videos now available (Privacy/Inside/On the Move)

We had another great Brrism on June 17th and, if you weren’t there, the videos below will give you an idea of the content.  Remember that “Brrism Talks” aren’t conventional presentations, instead they’re more of a scene setter for the 45 minute “open space” discussion that follows.  (Read more about Brrism meeting formats.)  











The next Brrism meeting, Brrism#11, will be held on a Wednesday 21st  July and it'll be our last meeting at the Pervasive Media Studio.  


 The speakers are:


The tickets are, as usual, free and will be made available next week. The tickets will be announced on Twitter first and then via email so follow us on Twitter or sign up for the Brrism email list to make sure you're the first to know.


By the way, sorry for the late posting of the videos but I've been on holiday.  I went to Scotland and it was very wet and windy!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

What is Social Media?

At the May Brrism meeting, we asked "What is Social Media?" - here are the definitions that made it as far as the white board:

"Social media is a virtual tool that enables you to talk to people you don't know about things you care about."

"Heard it on the grapevine" Marvin Gaye

"Social media is about talking to people without leaving your house."

"Word of mouth 2.0"

"People > Power > Publication"

"Conversation > Publications :) Conversation > Publication"

"It's networking"

"Social media is nothing... unless you have something to say = CONTENT"

"We grunted, we talked, we sang, we social media'd = Evolution"

"Social media is purposeful transmission and receipt of of information. Sometimes the info being transmitted is not so purposeful - Ants have it right!"

"Social media is everything that everybody says it is... to them" (that's my one people)

So, what do you think?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Brrism10 - Privacy/Inside/On the Move

Brrism10 takes place on 17th June at thePervasive Media Studio and we've got some interesting social media related topics to discuss. As usual we're using our short presentation/long discussion format (5 minutes from each of the presenters followed by a 45 minute "open space" style discussion where you are free to join whatever groups you are interested in). The speakers are listed below.


(For meeting time/venue details, and to sign up for a free ticket, please go along to the EventBrite Page.)

Privacy and Social Media

Personal privacy and social networks are not mutually exclusive but they certainly make unlikely bedfellows, especially in light of the recent Facebook uproar. The problem is, there are so many competing - and conflicting - interests that muddy the waters. Social networking companies like Facebook, Google, and Flickr want to turn a profit; Advertisers, employers, government and myriad others want as much information as possible about individuals and their activities; Libraries and archives want to collect information about social networks use for future study; And then there's the individual, people like you and me, who just want free access to social media tools and, at the same time, keep certain parts of our lives secret.

These competing interests raise interesting questions. Can the law provide a privacy framework which meets the aspirations of such interest groups, yet protects privacy for individuals in specific contexts? Is a privacy scheme that requires understanding of a 5,830 word policy (interpreted via a 45,000 word FAQ), and the click through of over 50 privacy buttons, with more than 170 options, the best way to enable the average person to limit access to personal information? Or is it all a storm in a teacup to the congenitally open Facebook generation.


About the Speaker
Andrew is Reader in IT Law in the School of Law and Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, where he is the Director of the cross-disciplinary Centre for IT & Law. His areas of research include data privacy, intellectual property, cybercrime and e-commerce. Recent projects include work on Privacy Impact Assessments in the UK (Information Commissioner's Office); archiving of personal digital archives (British Library); and privacy in cloud computing (HP Labs). He is personally agnostic about adopting social networking technologies, but on utility rather than privacy grounds, as he does read their privacy policies. He will admit, if pressured, to being on LinkedIn.



Social Media Inside

Social Media on the Inside: It looks like Social Media isn't a flash-in-the-pan and is here to stay. Could you imagine a world without Facebook, Twitter or Brrism? Could you go back to just email? Most organisations are considering what Social Media means to them. Some are banning access to Facebook from their infrastructure whilst others are developing sophisticated social intra- and extranets. What is a social intranet or extranet? How would you justify spending your organisation's money on such an initiative (particularly in the current climate)? Where's the return? What might it look like? What are some of the technical choices? Who is the Stig? As is Brrism tradition, the plan is to put up some slides, demo. some stuff and kick-off a debate.

About the Speaker
Ever since graduating in 1989, John has been working in the IT industry and has loved (mostly) every minute of it. He wrote his first piece of code in 1983 on the BBC Micro. It drew a bunch of coloured triangles and from that moment on he was hooked. Over time, the coloured triangles turned into enterprise applications for a range of companies including British Aerospace, EDS & Sema Group. In the summer of 2008 he co-founded Surevine, specialising in enhancing communities and unleashing people power within organisations, typically using Social Media. The advent of Social Media, Mobile Computing (including the iPad), Cloud Computing and Geolocation means John is more excited than ever to be in the IT industry and truly believes we ain't seen nothing yet.



Anywhere, Anytime Access
We love using social media on the move - but what's the best way to do it? What phone do you buy, what apps do you run? Not as simple as you might think because they're not really phones - they're actually tiny computers and so its not just about buying the best phone but working out what "app story" you're buying into. Sam Machin will be asking: Apple, Android or other - who's going to win and in what timeframe. And, once you've decided that, what's the best app to use for Twitter, geo-location and many more. Sam doesn't have all the answers to these questions by the way - but as per Brrism's user generated content model he'll be facilitating discussion to allow you to discover the answers yourself.

About the Speaker
Sam Machin has worked in the Mobile industry for 12 years, most of that time has been spent at the convergence point of mobile and the Internet. After seeing far too many false starts he has a real hope that the truly mobile Internet is here. He likes to think of himself as a 'well rounded geek' he writes occasional code mostly in python and even more rarely blogs about the mobile industry. You can also follow him on twitter.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Brrism9 - Videos now online

We had another great Brrism on Wednesday and, if you weren’t there, the videos below will give you an idea of the content. Remember that “Brrism Talks” aren’t conventional presentations, instead they’re more of a scene setter for the 45 minute “open space” discussion that follows. If you want to understand more about the full Brrism treatment of the topics, you’ll have to come along to a Brrism meeting. We’re trying to overcome that restriction by encouraging Brrism attendees to write blog posts so, if you have written something, please add a link to it in the comments section below. Or, if you manage to write your blog post before Michael writes his (i.e. this one) then you'll get your outbound link for free - like John Bradford did with his blog post.

The next Brrism meeting, Brrism#10, will be held on a Thursday (rather than the usual Wednesday) on the 17th June. The speakers are:



The tickets are, as usual, free and will be made available next week. The tickets will be announced on Twitter first and then via email so follow us on Twitter or sign up for the Brrism email list to make sure you're the first to know.






Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Good News/Bad News


Brrism was launched in August 2009 at the Pervasive Media Studio and we’ve since met every month, apart from December when we took a much needed break for mince pies. The PM Studio is a really nice venue in the centre of town, with wifi and overhead projector and is a nice size – it can comfortably hold 30 people but any more than that and it gets a little cramped.

Engineering the Brrism meetings so we hit that magic 30 figure has been a never ending struggle and the EventBrite event booking service has been a big help. Over the months I’ve hit on the strategy of releasing 40 places with the expectation that people will cancel at the last minute. I’ve also taken to releasing the tickets in two batches of 20, the first of which I publicise via Twitter, the second via email.

Over the months, Brrism has gained a reputation as a being a well organised, informative and fun event, and hitting the “magic 30” is no longer about drumming up demand but more about controlling numbers. For example, last week the 20 twitter-publicised tickets went in the space of 10 hours and the 20 email tickets in the space of 2. After the tickets go, I still get emails from people asking to be put on the wait list. (But, due to the fact that I oversubscribe the event, there isn't a wait list.)

So, in the immortal words of Roy Scheider "we're gonna need a bigger boat".

So that's the good news. The bad news is that the Pervasive Media Studio are getting busier and I’ve just been told that, irrespective of the size of the boat, we need to find another one. So, sad as it sounds, we’re hunting for another venue.

This is what we need:
  • A regular venue (Brrism needs a permanent home)
  • Capacity - about 40-50
  • Location - city centre preferred
  • Facilities - Wi-fi and overhead projector.
  • Price - free or close to free
  • Other - OK with food/drink being consumed on the premises

Does anyone have any suggestions? Please comment on this blog or message Brrism on twitter.

Given that we’re looking for free/close to free its worth pointing out what the venue could get out of this:
  • Attract a new audience - a group of bright, technically literate people will walk through the doors of your venue each month
  • To get to sponsor Bristol's burgeoning social media community for little cost
  • To be able to put social media onto your organisation’s agenda
  • To be able to engineer knowledge transfer between your organisation and Bristol’s social media specialists.

Given that you’ll be assured of a guaranteed place at the monthly meetings you might prefer to look on it as a debenture…

Update: Thursday 13th May

Thanks to everyone whose helped with getting the message out there about our need to find a new venue. I've got a couple of leads, one of which being Spike Island which I am following up on tomorrow and I'll keep you posted on progress. Some of you have asked about the upcoming Brrism meeting and I'm happy to say that that's going to be at the PMStudio as normal. We've also got a few dates already booked with the PMStudio so we won't be needing to move for a month or two.
Retweeting thanks to:

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Brrism9 - Ask Bristol, Monitoring & Systems

Brrism9 takes place on 19th May at the Pervasive Media Studio and we've got some interesting social media related topics to discuss. As usual we're using our short presentation/long discussion format (5 minutes from each of the presenters followed by a 45 minute "open space" style discussion where you are free to join whatever groups you are interested in). The speakers are listed below.


(For meeting time/venue details, and to sign up for a free ticket, please go along to the EventBrite Page.)

Ask Bristol

Social media has increased the opportunities for local authorities to connect with residents in new and low cost ways. This talk will introduce Bristol City Council’s use of social media in the Consultation Team which has focussed on increasing the use of existing e-participation tools at www.askbristol.com and providing new opportunities for two way communication between the council and residents. Discussion will look at what social media tools the council should be getting involved in and if some should be avoided? How can we make better use of the tools that we are using such as wordpress, twitter, youtube and cover it live and should we make more use of facebook? How should the council use social media to increase people’s involvement in neighbourhood partnerships to allow them to have more influence over their local area?

About the Speaker
Anna McDermott is a Consultation and Research Officer at Bristol City Council. Over the past 10 years the team has built up a very good reputation for e-participation. Anna was project manager for the Citizenscape e-participation project using web 2.0 for citizen engagement, which enabled the trialling of interactive mapping, video, online discussion and petitions for public participation in one online space which acted as a pilot for the ‘virtual town hall’ approach. Anna has worked in the team to build on this experience making use of social networking and online participation tools.


Social Media Monitoring

Social media is all about conversations but the problem is that there are just so many of them. Its like walking into a cocktail party in a room the size of an aircraft hangar. Who’s talking about you? Who’s having the conversations with which you should engage? And, given the nature of the conversations, what should YOU say?

Nigel Legg will be talking about the role of social media monitoring in all this. What tools are out there and how should they be used – both in context of the corporation and the individual.

About the Speaker
Nigel works with media and marketing agencies, and businesses in the hospitality industry (bars, clubs, and cafes) to help them use social media to promote themselves and their clients, to increase brand awareness, and potentially improve sales. Follow Nigel on Twitter.










Social Media Systems
We live in a world of systems: financial systems, eco-systems, solar systems, one-way systems and many more. Social media has made this system-soup worse. Most social media tools can be plugged into other tools that can give rise to all sorts of unintended consequences for that big connecting thing sitting in the middle of the system – YOU!

Understanding systems is therefore very important and so John Bradford will be talking about systems theory without ever using intimidating words (like “systems theory” or “Weltanschauung”). Instead he’ll be using common sense examples and, during the open space session, marker pens and whiteboards will be provided to allow you to use your new found systems knowledge to work on improving a system that we are all
familiar with – that of Brrism itself.

About the Speaker
Having taught systems theory at the University of Plymouth and developed a systemic approach to change management for his research,
John has spent the last 10 years applying his knowledge of systems theory to University-Business collaborations. John prefers the
discussions & shared knowledge that arise from developing systems models a lot more than complying religiously to the nomenclature of
any particular theory. Follow him on Twitter.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Brrism and the Ash Cloud


Brrism 8 was due to feature a session called Social Media on the Move but the presenter, Sam Machin, has been marooned in San Francisco by the ash cloud.  Sam was in San Fran for the Twitter developer's conference Chirp and so the ash cloud has a big silver lining: Twitter are letting him work out of their offices until he can get home.  

This leaves us with a minor hole in the agenda for Wednesday and so I'm currently preparing a session called Social Media and the Government.  In it I'll be summarising the views of the main parties with respect to social media technologies, quickly revisit the Digital Economy Bill (which has now received Royal Assent and is therefore law) and also look at the long term influences that social media promises for the way we'll be governing ourselves over the next few decades.

Let's hope that Eyjafjallaj√∂kull calms down and that the wind changes so Sam can come home and, hopefully, present at May's Brrism.  (You can follow Sam's return home on his Twitter account.  Sam, I hope you’re going to be geocoding your tweets!)

As I write this I see that there's only one ticket left for Brrism8 and so if you can no longer attend then please let me know so that I can make your ticket available to someone else.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Brrism8 - Mobile/CoWorking/Personal

Brrism8 takes place on 21st April at the Pervasive Media Studio and we've got some interesting social media related topics to discuss. As usual we're using our short presentation/long discussion format (5 minutes from each of the presenters followed by a 45 minute "open space" style discussion where you are free to join whatever groups you are interested in). The speakers are listed below.


(For meeting time/venue details, and to sign up for a free ticket, please go along to the EventBrite Page.)


Social Media on the Move

Anywhere, Anytime Access

We love using social media on the move - but what's the best way to do it? What phone do you buy, what apps do you run? Not as simple as you might think because they're not really phones - they're actually tiny computers and so its not just about buying the best phone but working out what "app story" you're buying into. Sam Machin will be asking: Apple, Android or other - who's going to win and in what timeframe. And, once you've decided that, what's the best app to use for Twitter, geo-location and many more. Sam doesn't have all the answers to these questions by the way - but as per Brrism's user generated content model he'll be facilitating discussion to allow you to discover the answers yourself.

About the Speaker
Sam Machin has worked in the Mobile industry for 12 years, most of that time has been spent at the convergence point of mobile and the Internet. After seeing far too many false starts he has a real hope that the truly mobile Internet is here. He likes to think of himself as a 'well rounded geek' he writes occasional code mostly in python and even more rarely blogs about the mobile industry. You can also follow him on twitter.


CoWorking

Working for yourself, not by yourself

Work used to be a place you went rather than a thing you did but then came along email/mobiles/the web and then, all of a sudden, the life-work boundary became very blurred. This was even worse for freelancers whose place of work is also the place they live and so, a few years ago, some freelancers from New York decided to start the "Jelly" coworking movement. Social media and the web has enabled this meme to cross the Atlantic and Bristol now has a thriving coworking community. New kinds of physical workspace are being constructed to complement the virtual worlds in which many of us work. What will these places do for our productivity, creativity and community? Will they be able to restore the work-life balance to equilibrium?

About the Speaker
Lee Cottier is a Bristol-based freelancer. As well as his "day job" as a teacher/trainer/coach, he's somehow accidentally carved himself a sideline as a local "champion" of the coworking movement. Under his twitter alter-ego of @CoWorkingWest he's spreading the message of "working for yourself, but not by yourself" and has been organising Jelly coworking events locally for the last 6 months.




Social Media and Me

The Commerce Free View

At last month's Brrism Richard Churchill presented "Social Media is Rubbish, discuss" so this month we're redressing the balance with "Social Media and Me" which takes a more Panglossian approach. This is presented by Heike Harding Reyland who, despite being a voracious user of social media in all its forms, does not use social media in her job. This makes her perfect to talk about social media from the personal perspective and all that entails.

About the Speaker
Heike is living proof that social media is the great equaliser because although she "only makes cakes for a living" (her words, not mine) she is more adept in her use of social media than many social media professionals. She tweets from HeikeM and, as you can see, listens to Radio6 and cares very much about what's going to happen to it.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Bristol, Search and Group Dynamics

Brrism7 takes place on 17th March at the Pervasive Media Studio and we've got some interesting social media related topics to discuss. As usual we're using our short presentation/long discussion format (5 minutes from each of the presenters followed by a 45 minute "open space" style discussion where you are free to join whatever groups you are interested in). The speakers are listed below.

(For meeting time/venue details, and to sign up for a free ticket, please go along to the EventBrite page.)


Connecting Bristol

Creating a world-class Digital City

Connectivity, Technology and Media are the cornerstones of a prosperous and ambitious city like Bristol. These three ‘Digital Elements’ enable the city to, do more business; to present a modern face to the outside world; and to engage effectively with local citizens and communities. Bristol already has a wealth of digital expertise and talent, in private and public sectors, in academia and in our communities. However, we believe that Bristol and the city region can reap wider benefits from this success if we adopt an approach based on "open" "green" and "social" innovation. This talk will explore what this might look like in practice.

About the Speaker
Stephen Hilton leads Connecting Bristol, which is Bristol City Council’s Digital City Partnership. Stephen’s varied interests include Web 2.0, Digital Inclusion, e-Democracy, Next Generation broadband Access and ICT and the Environment. Previously, Stephen worked as Bristol City Council’s Consultation and e-Participation Manager. During this time Stephen established a leading role for Bristol City Council in the area of local e-Democracy and e-participation. Politech Institute named Bristol as European City for e-Democracy and Stephen received a personal award as BT Government Innovator of the Year in the National Government Computing Awards. You can follow Stephen on Twitter.

Search in the Stream

How Live Content is changing Search

Social Media has not only changed the way that web content is generated but it has also changed the way in which web content is found. This session centres around the realisation that the web is now a stream and that content is now fragmented, distributed and much more real-time than it once was. What are the new rules? How can we exploit new content types. And live content types.

About the Speaker
Justin Gale is based in Bristol and has a senior worldwide role focusing on search and digital strategy for Hewlett Packard. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.




Internet Classics

A group is its own worst enemy

The internet isn't that old but its old enough to have its "classics" - i.e. articles (or blog posts) that have passed the tests of time and are still being cited long after their writing. These articles deserve to be brought to the attention of a new audience and discussed in 2010. We're starting off with an article that was written 7 years ago which, in internet time, was eons ago. Its called "A Group is its own worst enemy", its by Clay Shirky and it talks about group dynamics, specifically group dynamics in the context of social software.

About the Speaker
Michael Corbett is Bristol Social Media's founder, organiser and master of ceremonies. He's an independent consultant who specialises in social media and its socio-technical implications for organisations. You can connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Three Speakers and a Hoe Down


Brrism's second meeting of the 2010 will take place at the Pervasive Media Studio on the 17th February. Read more and signup below.

Not only is this Brrism's second meeting of this new decade, it is also the second meeting with the new YouTube format. Here's the lineup:




Writing the Social Media Future. Writers such as George Orwell, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Neal Stephenson have created fictional futures exploring the impact of future technologies on humanity. Despite only being works of imagination, speculative fiction can stimulate discussion about how humanity could be affected by technology in the future and, as Orwell demonstrated in 1984, these can be frighteningly close to the bone. In a unique blend of social media future gazing and fiction writing, Brrism is collaborating with local author Emma Newman to generate themes relating to the future of social media, leading to the creation of an original short story written by Emma after the meeting for the Brrism community. (Editors Note: Emma is a soon-to-be-published author who writes novels, short stories and flash fiction (stories of 1000 words or less). She got her publishing deal through networking on Twitter, and has been podcasting her novel a chapter at a time for the last six months. If you have a few minutes, I'd recomend a quick peek at her website before the meeting.)


Social Media is rubbish, discuss. Did you know that social media is a cure for cancer and will single handedly reverse all climate change problems within our lifetime? OK, so I may have made that up, but don't you think that all this social media hype is getting out of hand? In order to make sure we don't all get carried away by this shiny new internet stuff, Brrism asked Richard Churchill to put on his best Victor Meldrew voice and ask us if we're not getting just a tiny bit carried away by all this shiny new internet stuff. He takes a common sense tour of social media and points out that it's important to use the right tools for the job and not get sucked in by the hype.


The WikiMedia Foundation. Wikipedia has already changed the world. From its launch in 2001 its become the 6th most popular website in the world and is the boon for enquiring minds the world over. But Wikipedia is just one project borne out of the Wikimedia Foundation and so we've asked Steve Virgin, board director of WikiMediaUK, to talk to use about the foundation's other projects and what local initiatives are being led from the UK.


The Hoedown. Every Brrism has a hoedown and February is no exception. This one's called Arranging the Comic Strip and will get you talking, get you on your feet and get you in the right frame of mind for the Brrism OpenSpace that follows. Take a look at the pictures from previous meetings to get a feel for what happens when a bunch of interesting and intelligent people come together at a Brrism meeting.

Thanks once again to the brilliant Pervasive Media Studio for lending us their premises for the event.

Events

Monday, 18 January 2010

Brrism enters the Video Age

I first heard a recording of my voice when I was 7 years old. My dad had this funny old reel-to-reel tape recorder (purchased in the 1960s) and I was convinced that it was the recorder that was making my voice “sound all funny”. I soon discovered that it wasn’t. I really DO sound like that.

Several decades later, the same thing happens but this time with digital video. Once again, I think it must be the camera that’s making me “look all funny”. And once again, I realise that it isn’t…

This Wednesday, Bristol Social Media (Brrism) will be holding its monthly meeting at the Pervasive Media Studio. People have complained at previous Brrisms about the difficulty in finding the studio (we've even had people who've given up and gone home without getting there) and so last week I decided to do something about it. Sam Downie and myself went out and shot the video below. Sam did a great job of shooting and editing the video – I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him – but, despite his video skills, I still look and sound funny. Strange that...



Seriously, if you haven’t been to the Pervasive Media Studio before, I’d suggest you have a quick look to familiarise yourself with the location of Bristol’s very own “Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross”. Just remember to turn the volume down. ;)

Constructive feedback on the video is welcome too – please leave a comment on the YouTube page.

If you click on the video frame you’ll be taken to YouTube and you might notice that Brrism has its own YouTube “channel”. This is because, at this coming meeting, each of the guest speaker’s 5 minute presentations will be videoed and uploaded to BrrismTV. These videos can be embedded on other people’s blogs (just as the video was embedded in this blog) and its hoped that the videos will be used as a prologue to all other social media items about that particular topic. (In other words, people start with the video and follow links to other blogs/websites/tweets about that topic.) Is this taking us towards a meeting format for the social media age? Judge for yourself at the meeting. It won't be perfect and I’m sure it will need a bit of and tweaking around the edges. Brrism aims to be as innovative as the social media that it focuses on.

The three speakers for Wednesday are Paul Smith, Lee Cottier and Colin Rainsforth. Break a leg, guys and don’t worry if you think the camera will make you look/sound funny: It does that to everyone!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Brrism5 - Time, Politics and Community

It's a brand new year, a brand new decade and Brrism has a brand new format. Every Brrism meeting now consists of three topics and an icebreaker. For the first meeting of 2010 (which takes place on Wednesday 20th at the Pervasive Media Studio) the line up is as follows:
  • The Digital Economy Bill with Paul Smith (twitter, blog). Paul is a PPC which I normally take to mean "Pay per Click" but Paul assures me that it means "Prospective Parliamentary Candidate" which gives him an added incentive to be interested in the Digital Economy Bill which is currently making its way through the House of Lords before progressing to the House of Commons and being made law. This is your chance to find out about the bill, discuss it with fellow Brrismers and decide what action to take (e.g. change ISP, write to your MP, etc etc). Pre-meeting discussion can take place here (registration required).
  • Social Media versus Time Management with Lee Cottier (twitter). The first of January is the day that we traditionally make our New Year's resolutions with the second of January being the day that we traditionally forget them. Lee will be telling us how we can rethink our habits around social media such we can work more effectively and not get sucked into the Twitter/Facebook/etc time-waste. Pre-meeting discussion can take place here (registration required).
  • Social media tools for the Brrism Community with Colin Rainsforth (twitter, website). Brrism's "pattern of use" so far has been a great deal of activity in the week of the meeting followed by 3 weeks of inactivity. It would be great if we could generate conversations that would transcend the meetings and allow us to act as an integrated community throughout the month. Colin has much experience with social media tools as well as being involved with online communities before the likes of Ecademy and Facebook made the term popular. Pre-meeting discussion can take place here (registration required).
  • Icebreaker: The 2009 Memory Game. 2009 was chock full of interesting news stories concerning social media and this game refreshes your memory, gets you talking to other people at the meeting and allows you to have a lot of fun.
As usual, Brrism is free though we do like people to chip in a quid or two to cover the food and drinks that are provided. Also be aware that there will be digital cameras at the event and if you are on the run from the police it would be best to stay away as your mug could end up on the internet. You will also have to sign up on EventBrite by using the form below.

Events


The venue is always hard to find. There is a map here or email the venue for directions.