Brum Bloggers – venue for Part 3?

I’m losing my voice. My fault for being too voluble last night. For those who listened thank you. Like Stef I too was pleased to see the room swell with growing numbers at the 2nd gathering of the Birmingham Bloggers Group and also to see the conversations splinter.

I was absolutely engrossed in talking to Joana Geary, not least about the future of the business model for newspapers. Brum bloggers Andrew Dubber and Paul Bradshaw really understand how the music industry is a precursor for the disruption that is leaving conventional publishing bemused.

alex hughes cartoonistStill on the publishing side of thing I was excited, nay moved, to be able to say hello to Alex Hughes. It was the first time I’d met him, but when I used to produce Midlands at Westminster I did commission cartoons from him.

I had a happy time talking to image makers, including Steve Gerrard, who remains keen to find new ways to allow young photographers access to bigger gigs.
Hello blogger from birminghamStef has already written to encourage us to be more welcoming of new Birmingham blogs after we received Emily’s crisp new photo blog with a mutter and a lurk. He also crafted a wonderful badge to express our local largesse. I think we should be more thoughtful in supporting each other, however blogging remains a personal thing and each blogger will choose what interests them and where and how they want to comment.

Heeding his words, these faces and blogs are new to me: Jonathan Melhiush, Ben Neal, Paul Burns, Danny Trinkett. I’m also pleased to find Matt at Zenbullets and his Midlands’ New Media aggregator. (Hat tip Pete – is there a blog post written in Brum that doesn’t link to Pete?)
I missed saying a proper hello to d’log, who proposes different styles of meeting to work in different ways and appeal to others – with the same idea from Antonio. These suggestions are one of the reasons why very soon after the first meeting I made a whole bunch of people admins for the group – so people can do what they feel is right. I’m thinking we’re still at a stage where informal is good – there are loads of people who haven’t met who should. Of course names on a sticky label makes some sense.

I am though also keen on Lloyd’s (brought up in Moseley) work in developing a social media cafe in London. This is a more structured way to offer individual social media specialists a space where they can collaborate, meet, learn, share, work. Lloyd first talked to me about it at last years podcampuk. Dave Briggs made the connection after the first Birmingham bloggers meeting. If I’ve missed your post on the evening please shout and I’ll update this one.

One enormous thank you to Jon and Jules for driving me in and out of town – especially for Jules for stying sober despite celebrating here first day in a new job.

So..what about a venue/ideal time for the next one? Suggestions?

11 comments

  1. Lloyd Davis says:

    Nick, I’m really glad to hear it went well.

    While I greatly appreciate your description of the social media cafe work, I need to raise a point of personal historical accuracy. I was *born* in Moseley, my parents rented a flat in a house in Trafalgar Road. But most of my actual bringing up was in Northfield until the age of 11 and then Bromsgrove (where we escaped to avoid the fascist bully boy 11-plus) I’m sure that these details will delight and fascinate your lovely brummagem readers.

  2. Nick Booth says:

    Lloyd every tiny detail has warmed the cockles of my born in Northern Ireland, raised as a BBC English Buckinghamshire type until 12 and then thrown into the maelstrom that is a 1970’s Birmingham Grammar School heart.

    You are doing a brilliant job with the cafe.

  3. DigiKev says:

    Nick I think it shows from the turnout that keeping it central was a big hit and encouraged more people to come along. I may be wrong, so correct me if so but I think I only saw a laptop out of its bag for around 10 minutes so possibly the wifi access is not really necessary which opens up the possibilities. Can we go non-internet access?

  4. Mark says:

    I really enjoyed Monday night, and for me it was a really helpful way of getting connected to a world that it’s harder to do strictly online. When you’re going between one RSS feed and another it can sometimes be difficult to make a real connection with the blogger and find that spark that makes you want to read on. But since the meetup I find it much easier, and myself more willing to make a connection with people’s blogs and such.

    I’m awful when it comes to suggesting meeting places (and Kev will probably have a smirk when he reads this) but I really like the Junction in Harbourne. Don’t know if it’s central enough but the music is kept quite low, there’s a nice atmos and a useful seating area “up the back”.

    Just a thought! 🙂
    -M

  5. DigiKev says:

    😀 Believe it is all wifi’d up too, or am I thinking of the Varsity? Any way, yes, true enough it would be a good setting. We have been frequenting most Friday lunch times which is why Mark says I will smirk. I like it and it is fairly central.

  6. Antonio says:

    @Kev

    If there was some sort of agenda that required laptops/laptops and wifi then yeah, get a wifi venue. But otherwise there were only two laptops present on Monday and even then they were seldom used.

    As for venue, unless the meet was arranged for afternoon Saturday or Sunday (giving us time to travel) I think keep the venue central.

  7. Si says:

    A couple of venue ideas…

    Central is good. The Briar Rose is a nice Wetherspoons with a good range of beers or, if you want something a little ‘classier’, The Old Joint Stock has one or two rooms at the rear which are easily commandeered.

    I also don’t think wifi is a clincher. I brought mine only because I was straight from work. I think the value is really in the face time.

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