Posts Tagged ‘teaching podcasting’

What it’s like to go to your first Social Media Surgery

Posted on 25th February 2010 by
Social Media Surgery February thestudio

The surgeries are informal place to find out about social media

So what if you’ve never been to a social media surgery? You might have a few questions, right? We thought it might be good to answer a few.

So what is a social media surgery?
Social Media Surgeries are just a fun, informal way for people to meet and learn how to use social media for social good.

What is social media?
Social media is a loose term that is applied to a range of tools that use the world wide web to bring people together and communicate – including blogs and social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.

How do social media surgeries work?
Our surgeries consist of patients (the people who come to learn stuff) and surgeons (the people who can answer their questions). We pair surgeons with patients, so that the patients can learn all about how to use social media.

Who should come to social media surgeries?
Our surgeries are for anyone involved in community and voluntary organisations who is looking for new, more effective ways to communicate about the work that they do. Patients don’t need to know about computers. It’s much more important that you are keen to learn and that you have something to say!

Who are social media surgeons?
The surgeons are all terribly nice people who’ve volunteered their time for free to help people. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all want other people to be able to make good use of the power that comes from effectively using social media.

What happens when you get to a social media surgery?
Imagine a big coffee morning, except it’s probably in the evening! We pair surgeons with patients after quickly finding out what people would like to learn. You get to sit with a surgeon who can help you with whatever question or issue you’ve got.

What can you expect to get out of a social media surgery?
Well, that’s entirely dependent on what you want to get. Lots of people who come want to set up blogs – simple websites where they can publicise what they are doing. Other people are interested in using Twitter, or other social networking services. Often people come back to learn more and more. Sometimes people who first arrived at surgeries as patients become surgeons themselves.

Is there anything I need to bring?
No. The surgeons have computers, so you don’t need to worry. Of course, if you have a laptop and can carry it easily then please bring it along.

Where can I find out more?
To find out how the surgeries started you can read this post. John Popham, who runs surgeries in Yorkshire, has done a good job of explaining things in this podcast. This site, Podnosh, gives details of new surgeries in Birmingham and elsewhere.

Where are the social media surgeries?

You can mostly fine them here:

What do bloggers look like?

Posted on 29th January 2009 by


This video was a quick one shot at the Social Media Surgery for voluntary groups in Birmingham this evening (should say 2009 – my bad). Despite the leading questions, I hope it gives you a sense of how people from community groups feel about the help they get from volunteer bloggers and social media folk. About 25 “recipients” (real people) plus  the social media surgeons who were in no particular order:

Jon Bounds, Pete Ashton, Jon Hickman, Joanna Geary, Gavin Wray, Benjamin Brum, Simon Whitehouse (see here), Abby Corfan, Phil Oakley, Watfordgap, Danny Smith, Katie Spragg, Mark Steadman.

For a more general view please have a look here. Pete shot this and uploaded it there and then to demonstrate embedding. Bless him!

Birmingham Social Media Surgery for Voluntary and Community Groups III

Posted on 21st January 2009 by
The third social media surgery for voluntary and community groups in Birmingham is next Wednesday, January 28th 2009 at BSVC 138 Digbeth, B5 6DR, (map).  Please feel free to drop in anytime between 5.30pm and 7pm where volunteers from the Birmingham bloggers group will show you how you can make best use of social media. It doesn’t matter if you are the head of communications at a major charity or an active citizen in your neighbourhood, if you’re at all curious come along.

To helps us predict numbers please sign up using the form you will find here:

Tools like blogs, podcasts, video and social networks can give a real boost to campaigning organisations, often for no or little cost. So these experts are offering you approachable one to one help and support because they believe it can help. You may just want to see what is possible and go away and think about it. You might be itching to set up a blog and start using it, either way you can get help appreciating the best use of the internet for your organisation. If you’ve been before please feel free to come back.

This surgery is organised as a collaboration between bloggers in Birmingham and the Third Sector Assembly.

Who’s coming to the Birmingham Social Media Surgery, BAD08

Posted on 13th October 2008 by
Pete Ashton stumbles across a 'shelter' for homeless people in Birmingham

I thought is was time to take stock, not least to ensure sufficient tea and coffee for the social media surgery which us Birmingham bloggy folk are organising (with BVSC) to support voluntary and community groups in the city on Blog Action Day.

If you want to know how social media can help you campaign, garner support, raise funds, change the world then please sign up through this link (Wednesday, October 15th 2008, BVSC (map) 5.30pm to 7.30 pm). Come when you can for some free, friendly, one to one support.

Sign up here:

The Social Media Surgeons:

Coming from Somerset we have Steve Bridger, once of The Guardian website and Oxfam now a specialist in online fund raising and community management. I first met Steve through shared involvement with the NCVO ICT Foresight project.  Also getting here by train, this time from Sheffield, is Paul Webster. I think I first met Paul at the UKGOVBarcamp.   Paul travels endlessly, bringing vol orgs and their suport organisations up to speed with how IT and the web can help them.

Stef Lewandowksi will be there, sharing his enormous experience of producing blog based websites which achieve things, from webby award winning sites to those that build networks around curious human ideas, Stef builds some of the most elegant pages you can find on the web. He’s also offering:

half a day of my time to produce from scratch a blog-based website for one charitable organisation that works with disadvantaged or at risk kids, at no charge.

This is a brilliant offer. Stef can achieve a great deal in half a day if he’s working with an organisation that’s keen to get on with things.

Pete Ashton – who’s the first person I know to come up with the idea of a social media surgery – will also be there to help. One of the countries first professional bloggers, Pete has won national awards and helped the cities creative community burst into online collaboration and conversation through establishing Created in Birmingham. That leads me on  to another local. Chris Unitt has run Created in Birmingham for the last 6 months or so and is a very talented blogger who’s also applied his professional energies to initiatives such as cQuestrate, an ambitious project to develop an open source solution to climate change.

Others possibly/hopefully coming who can help with everything from how to set up a blog to how to run a festival (should that help reduce poverty) are Anthony Herron, Dave Briggs, Nicky Getgood and Antonio Roberts. (Update:  Joanna Geary – a Birmingham Post journalist who’s helping introduce social media to newspapers, is also hoping to come).
I (Nick Booth) will also be there with my background in BBC journalism then community podcasting and various work with local government, schools and community groups on using social media as a tool for empowerment.

Jon Bounds and Julia Gilbert, both of whom have energetically inspired and worked on this idea, can’t make Wednesday, but just thought I’d day hello and thank you.

Social Media Patients(!?):

So far I’ve had about 15 people say they’re hoping to come from various groups, some with url, some without names!  Among them are Gerry Moynihan of the Bordesley Green Neighbourhood Forum. I’ve worked with Gerry before to make this film and podcast for a European wide group of active citizens called R4R.  I spoke to Claire Rigby of Fairbridge earlier this week and if she can’t make it she means to encourage someone else to com along.  Her charity supports young people to pull themselves out of destructive patterns, often involving drugs.
Stuart Parker is establishing a social enterprise to use the power of the social web to help people who foundered in education. I’m sure he’ll be teaching and learning.
Ally Sultana works with women in Balsall Heath and has been developing a podcast project – she’s already explored some social mediaAudrey Miller helped create the Jubilee Debt campaign which put so much pressure on the 1998 Birmingham G8 to cancel debt to Africa. Serena Malone works with Rural net, and again is someone who may be able to teach as much as she learns.

Then there’s Gary Smith from firstlightmedia and also working with young people, Colin Kerrigan of the charity Stage 2Stephen Brook is coming along from another educational charity excell3.

Linda Hines from the Witton Lodge Community Association in Perry Common is coming. She’s also a community champion for Be Birmingham (I recently worked with Be Birmingham on simple podcasts and material for their youtube channel and flickr.)  Other community champions might join us, as might community groups who’ve worked with Groundwork in Birmingham and members of the Third Sector Assembly.

If you’re coming and I haven’t mentioned you please use the comments section to say hello. For some that will be familiar – for others commenting on this blog post might be your first step in social media!—


Update. Beside the bloggers some key organisations have also offerred their support with links and publicity, including Digital BirminghamBVSC who’s providing us with space and drinks and NAVCA.