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.