Camera crews and new venues: January's Social Media Surgery

As we look forward to February’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery tomorrow, I thought I’d reflect quickly on last month’s.

One obvious highlight was the arrival of television cameras. Since the last event I went down to was November’s – where a German Camera crew was shooting – I’m beginning to think the presence of a film crew is a pre-requisite to a proper surgery!

This time the crew was there to see that social media can be used for a good cause as well as a bad, as part of a BBC Midlands Today piece that concentrated on how protest groups – including the English Defence League – have boosted turnout at their rallies by using sites like Twitter and Facebook. There was a good turnout or our own for them to film and Nick Booth put them straight, pointing out that in the right hands social media can do an awful lot of good.

I got a taste of this myself as I sat in on a session helping out the blog for Danny Reeves’ and Dave Morris’s climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. Danny and Dave, as I can see from looking at the blog, have reached the summit now – and raised more than £11,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support – exceeding their own combined target by more than a thousand pounds.

We were also in our first surgery in thestudio. Yep, it’s called thestudio, not The Studio, which might seem a lot more sensible, but is presumably a lot harder to trademark. The most brilliant thing about thestudio, aside from the fact that the venue has offered itself for free, is that it is in central Birmingham. Smack bang in the middle, in fact.

Hopefully that will ensure we meet the trade descriptions act – and that it makes it easier for more organisations and people to come down and get involved. And there’s a pub right across the road. Not a bad a location, then, really.