Tag: Snnprofit

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

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.

Blog Action Day in Birmingham – a social media surgery for voluntary orgs.

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

Over here Jon Bounds has reminded us of our collective Birmingham blogger wish to mark Blog Action day next week in some shared way. When Tom Watson asked us about this a while back there was plenty of enthusiastic muttering.

The theme for blog action day 2008 is poverty, considered in it’s widest sense. So rather than simply blog, we’re arranging to do something more practical:  run a social media surgery for voluntary and community groups in Birmingham. Many of these deal directly with poverty in the city, I think all of them contribute in some way to creating life opportunities or alleviating suffering or disadvantage.

The aim is simply to get a group of volunteer social media savvy people together who can give one to one advice on which bits of the social media palette might be able to help these groups accomplish more.

Perhaps we might set up some blogs, get people using video or images in a new way, help them map problems?  Who knows? I’m quite certain everyone who takes part will learn something. (I’m wondering if this will help me imagine what a digital mentor might do.

Half an hour ago Candy Passmore at BVSC  agreed to provide a room at their place (138 Digbeth, B5 6DR, map). The proposal fits very closely with their attempts to encourage the voluntary sector to find new ways to communicate, lobby and network. The offer also comes with wifi and some food between 5.30 and 9  on the evening of Wednesday 15th October 2008. Once we’ve got something written she will also pass the invitation onto their networks within the city.

So who fancies helping and who knows any community or voluntary groups who might like to come?

Update: It’s on.
Birmingham Voluntary Services Council love the idea and are happy to help us with space at their place, tea coffee and perhaps a morsel for those who want to stave off their tea time pangs. time is 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm Wednesday 15th October 2008.

Sign up here: http://birminghamblogactionday2008.eventbrite.com/  any problems with that don’t give up – leave a comment below or call me on 0777 909 5692.  If you want to find out about this stuff we want you there!

This is a no brainer for the UK.

Free Debates is an important democratic movement. They are demanding that a condition of a network getting to screen presidential debates is that they make the material available with open source/creative commons licensing, so it can be rehashed and mashed etc.

It is a great idea and any public sector broadcaster like channel 4, ITV, BBC  here in the uk should be delighted to make the resources available for what could be a blossoming of political engagement. So David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg just imagine citzenship lessons where people are mashing video of political debates.

This is their open letter to Barack Obama and John McCain:

Dear Senator McCain and Senator Obama,

We are a coalition of people and organizations across the ideological spectrum asking you to make this year’s presidential debates more “of the people” than ever before by bringing them more fully into the Internet age.

Specifically, we ask you to embrace these two “open debate” principles for the 2008 debates:

  1. The presidential debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be “owned” by the public, not controlled by the media.
  2. During the primaries, a large coalition asked that media companies release rights to presidential debate video to ensure that key moments can be legally blogged about, shared on YouTube, or otherwise shared without fear of legal repercussion.CNN, ABC, and NBC agreed to release video rights. But one media company threatened legal action against Senator McCain for using a debate clip to spread a message. Such control over political speech is inconsistent with our democracy.

    We therefore call upon both candidates to commit to a principle that whenever you debate publicly, the raw footage of that debate will be dedicated to the public domain. Those in charge of the video feed should be directed to make it free for anyone to use.

  3. “Town hall” Internet questions should be chosen by the people, not solely by the media.
  4. The two campaigns recently said of the October 7 debate, “In the spirit of the Town Hall, all questions will come from the audience (or Internet), and not the moderator.” We agree with the spirit of this statement. In order to ensure that the Internet portion of this debate is true bottom-up democracy, the format needs to allow the public to help select the questions in addition to asking them.This cycle’s YouTube debates were a milestone for Internet participation in presidential debates. But they put too much discretion in the hands of gatekeepers. Many of the questions chosen by TV producers were considered gimmicky and not hard-hitting enough, and never would have bubbled up on their own.

    This “bubble up” idea is the essence of the Internet as we know it. The best ideas rise to the top, and the wisdom of crowds prevails. We’d propose debate organizers utilize existing bubble-up voting technology and choose Internet questions from the top 25 that bubbled up. We ask you to instruct the October 7 debate planners to use bubble-up technology in this fashion.

    This is a historic election. The signers of this letter don’t agree on every issue. But we do agree that in order for Americans to make the best decision for president, we need open debates that are “of the people” in the ways described above. You have the power to make that happen, and we ask you to do so.

    Thank you for your willingness to take these ideas to heart. If you have any questions, please contact: OpenDebateCoalition@gmail.com


    Lawrence Lessig; Professor, Stanford Law School, Founder, Center for Internet and Society

    Glenn Reynolds; Professor, University of Tennessee Law, and founder of Instapundit.com blog

    Craig Newmark; Founder, Craigslist

    Jimmy Wales; Founder, Wikipedia

    David Kralik; Director of Internet Strategy, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions

    Eli Pariser; Executive Director, MoveOn.org Political Action

    Adam Green; Director of Strategic Campaigns, MoveOn.org Political Action

    Mindy Finn; Republican strategist, former Mitt Romney Online Director

    Patrick Ruffini; Republican consultant, Former Republican National Committee eCampaign Director

    Arianna Huffington; Founder, Huffington Post

    Markos Moulitsas; Founder, DailyKos.com

    Jon Henke; New media consultant, including for Fred Thompson, George Allen, and Senate Republican Caucus

    Mike Krempasky; Co-Founder of RedState.com

    Matt Stoller; Founder/Editor, OpenLeft.com

    James Rucker; Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org

    Robert Greenwald; President, BraveNewFilms

    Kim Gandy; President, National Organization for Women

    Carl Pope; Executive Director, Sierra Club

    Micah Sifry; Co-Founder, Personal Democracy Forum and TechPresident.com

    Shari Steele; Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Josh Silver; Executive Director, Free Press

    Carl Malamud; Founder, Public.Resource.Org

    Roger Hickey; Co-Director, Campaign for America’s Future