Tag: brumbloggers

The perfect mix for June’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

Social Media Surgery May 13th 2009
On our way to the June Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery, I worked out that it’s been six months since our first event in the Studio – the first that I was sort-of involved in. In all that time I don’t think we’ve had a better turnout – for the type of people that have come down and the variety of things that they are interested in.

Scanning down the list of names and organisations that turned up, we had – in no particular order – representatives from two hospices, a city centre residents’ group, a campaign for sustainability in Solihull, a basketball club, a neighbourhood forum and people from two social enterprises.

The help

While the Civic Centre Residents Group continued to get help on their posterous blog (it’s their third time down to a surgery), it was great to see people from two hospices come along. Tony Coulson and Daphne Welch of St Mary’s Hospice in Birmingham received help from Michael Grimes with their website. Mark Binnersley, who is also at the St Mary’s Hospice was helped with Twitter by Catherine Howe – who had come from Brighton to learn more about what the Social Media Surgeries are like here in Birmingham and very kindly stepped in when it looked like we were running out of surgeons.

Given that was only five minutes into the evening – and we already had a pretty full set of tables – it was something of a relief. But she wasn’t the only person more than happy to help out with some of the great variety of different issues that we dealt with that night.

Goodbye to Heidi

Heidi Blanton, who has only recently become a social media surgeon, was charged with helping Paula Mitchell and Jane Hartnell of Acorns Hospice. Sadly this is likely to be the last surgery that Heidi can attend, because she’ll be heading back to the USA for a while, but we hope to see her – at least for a visit – in  the not-too-distant future.

Paula and Jane were looking for help with using social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook to better communicate with the many people who have an association with the hospice. But they also had an inquiry about how they might be able to get news feeds onto their websites with RSS – after Paula was approached by someone trying to sell them the service for a very large amount of money!

Transitions Sutton Coldfield

Another particularly interesting arrival was Lenka Moore, from Transition Sutton Coldfield. I’d not heard of Transition before tonight, but you can learn more about it by visiting the Transition Network site. Andy Mabbett helped Lenka to set up a WordPress.com blog (which I’m trying to find the url for) for the organisation – which looks to make local communities more sustainable in a time of environmental and economic challenges. I asked Lenka a few questions about her organisation and what it hoped to get from setting up a blog.


Looking forward to June’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

May's Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery in thestudio

We’re now looking forward to the next Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery, which will be at the Studio in Central Birmingham on Tuesday June 8 between 5.30pm and 7pm. The address is 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B2 5EP.

If you’re from a Birmingham-based voluntary or community group and would like to receive some friendly advice on using social media, then you can sign up for the surgery by following this link to the Social Media Surgery Plus site.

There’ll be another surgery in July and then we’re likely to take a break in August, before being back in September. I’ll give you a dates as soon as possible.

If you’re new to the Central Birmingham surgeries then you can find out a bit more about them by looking at this link. And, if you’ve never been to a social media surgery before, it might be worth reading this blog post, which attempts to explain what there all about.

It’s worth reiterating our earlier thanks to the folk at thestudio for allowing us to use their restaurant area for free. The staff have been brilliant – always very helpful and quite patient with our sometimes slightly tardy departures from the building. Hopefully the weather will be good on the 8th and we’ll be able to enjoy the terrace, too.

Although our last surgery was pretty quiet, there were some really interesting outcomes. In particular, it was heartening to see Emma Neil and Hannah Severn, who are both volunteers at the Birmingham Conservation Trust. I’ve written a little about the last surgery, which also includes a video interview with Emma and Hannah where they talk about their experiences.

It was also great to see a number of our brilliant surgeons down, including Gavin Wray, Mary Horesh of Friends of the Earth, Simon Gray, and Heidi Blanton. The surgeries wouldn’t be able to work if it wasn’t for members of the Birmingham Bloggers group, like the people I’ve mentioned above. They volunteer their time absolutely for free and have helped dozens of people.

May’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

February Social Media Surgery

We’re heading towards our next Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery, which will be on Tuesday May 11, 2010 at the studio, 7 Cannon Street, which is just off New Street in central Birmingham.

If you belong to a Birmingham-based community or neighbourhood group or charity please come and join us. You can drop in any time between 5.30pm and 7pm. All local charities and voluntary organisations are invited.

At the last SMS in April we launched the beta version of the new Social Media Surgery website, which is where you can sign up for this event and learn more about other social media surgeries that we’re organising, here.

The surgeries are organised by volunteer members of the Birmingham Bloggers group. Surgeons work as friendly advisors giving informal one-to-one help to show you how to make the best of social media. If you’ve never been to a surgery before then it might be a good idea to look here. And, if you’re interested in finding out a little bit more about what the surgeries are and their history have a look here.

Report: April's Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

Jon Law (left) and James Robertson at Apri's Central Birmingham SMS

Last night was a really interesting surgery  at thestudio – not least because it saw the first introduction of the Social Media Surgery Plus website.

We were blessed, quite surprisingly, with a large number of people happy to help others, which was great to see. Nick Booth helped the Civic Centre Residents’ group with their efforts to use Scribd with their residents’ blog, which they set up a few surgeries ago.
Karen Caine was helped by Andy Mabbett and learned about using data sets in conjunction with her long-established site, BrumCityCentre.com, for Birmingham City Centre Neighbourhood Forum.
John Newson was helped with his blog by Danny Smith.

Another busy Social Media Surgery

Heidi Blanton very kindly came down to help as a surgeon for the first time and helped Nancy Langfeldt with the blog for the South Birmingham Food Cooperative, which she had set up at a previous surgery. Jon Law of the Balsall Heath Housing Co-operative was helped by James Robertson with his site.

As I indicated earlier a great number of other people came along. And we had more people ready to help than those needing help, including Mary Horesh of Birmingham Friends of the Earth.