Tag: upyerbrum

Birmingham Social Media Surgery for Voluntary and Community Groups III

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:   www.paradisecircus.com/social-media-surgeries/

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.

Big City Plain and two nubs.

Big City Plan Talk.jpg

Many, many evenings of voluntary work went public last night with a site to complement Birmingham’s Big City Plan consultation.

www.bigcitytalk.org has been built by Jon Bounds who’s worked patiently with other Birmingham bloggers Julia Gilbert, Nicky Getgood, Michael Grimes and myself to translate council speak into clearer speak. Stef Lewandowski has also been among a number of people who’ve supported and encouraged this, not least through conversations with the council.  I don’t think it’s flawless – so please feel free to comment about the site, but more importantly please use it to comment about the big city plan before February 6th.
We want to help move beyond the traditional consultation approach of citizens or organisations making comments to government and for government. Instead we are keen to create an online place which will encourage a more public conversation about how we will shape the city centre over the next 20 years.

Fortunately it has been met with some enthusiasm from other people.

Midge describes it as “something that Joe Public could actually get involved with AND comment on”. Shona has already used it to have her say on the options for Digbeth. Mark Steadman wants people to use the site – pronto (consultation on this phase of the plan ends on February 6th), one Simon is chuffed to see the it built on free and open source software WordPress whilst another Simon is impatient to see more people commenting.

BiNS reminds us of one fundamental truth about planning for our city: “You know how big and complex Birmingham is, well it is. Very.”   Digital Birmingham reflect on this as “another example of how far ahead Birmingham is in its use of social media. Digital technologies coupled with a highly-motivated group of citizens makes for a very powerful combination.” Something I think is very true!

For me Dave Briggs gets to one nub here (I declare a situation can be double nubbed)when he asks two questions:

Readers working within local government: how could you make the most of the civic energy in your area, to work with residents to create something really worthwhile?

Everyone else: What’s going on in your local area that you could take a bit of time out to help out with, or improve?

So I’d like to add that extra nub with a third question aimed at publicly funded media like the BBC: Should you be doing this sort of stuff? If so how will you need to change your rules of engagement?

Isowish for the unselfish gene.

I so wish that I could become a film making, illustrating, small holding farmer » I So Wish | Making wishes that come true.jpg

A couple of my friends, Stef and Dubber,  set up this simple site a few months ago. It is much more interesting that it may at first appear.  After all this looks like a selfish site. Tell us what you want, it says.

But what makes Isowish social, worth joining and interesting is not making a wish but being part of a community that might help grant one.  Some of the wishes are deeply personal, beyond anyone’s power to grant. Yet even these elicit encouragement and support from the Isowish community.  You may not be able to fix a problem, but you can make people feel better.

Isowish demonstrates a simple truth, that generosity is the key to social web.

Hurrah to everyone on this list. (have I missed you?)

Created in Birmingham Linking up Birminghamâs Artistic and Creative Communities-1.jpg

I just want to list a few bloggers who’ve thrown their weight behind Created in Birmingham to win the UK blog category in these awards. CiB is run by a number of my friends and the impact they’ve had on Birmingham in the last year or so deserves recognition. When I last looked it was running just behind Melanie Phillips, the Daily Mail columnist.


You can vote every 24 hours (click here) from each computer you use between now and 10pm UK time on Jan 13th.

Thanks and a little bit of link love to:

Ian T Edwards “CiB is a great resource for keeping track of creative endeavours in Birmingham.  It’s not run by the council or some company.  It’s run by ordinary people who are doing it in their spare time.  It supports artists and other creative types.  In return the Birmingham online community which is strong, is getting behind CiB to support and canvas for it in these awards.”

Digbeth is Good “CiB is thoroughly deserving of this award, it’s done a brilliant job of covering the arts and creative output of Birmingham and has been a true inspiration to others interested in blogging. I’m pretty certain Digbeth is Good wouldn’t have been born without it”.

Daniel Davies “When I moved to Birmingham I didn’t know a soul. Thankfully, I had the Internet and I stumbled upon a pokey little blog which advertised creative events around the city. Created in Birmingham is vital asset to Birmingham, connecting the creative community and providing a simple enough approach for anyone to find it useful. Its also independent, free from the pressures of advertisers to plug content and its readership is actively encouraged to contribute

Birmingham Hippodrome urging people to vote for Created in Birmingham

Birmingham Hippodrome

Karen Strunks: ” I am grateful for CIB’s support, and if it wasn’t for them, this wouldn’t have happened. It was through CIB’s website that the magazine found me.”

Laura Whitehead:  “as an ex res of Brum it is a fine and creative place”

Ordo Paginarum: “the blog is doing an excellent service for creative types in Birmingham”

Ed Russell Community Matters

Paul Henderson:

Clare Edwards: Blogging Solidarity “all the key blogs in the area have got behind it and it is a great example of how the good work of Created in Birmingham has gained them respect from all sorts of quarters.”

Ewan Spence:  “Go Brum… there is something special about every blog, but one that promotes the arts and culture that’s away from the mainstream is extra special; and if you need to find abstract artists in the Aston Area, then CiB is a perfect fit.”

Mail Watch

Pete Ashton (also in the race but the bloke who set up CiB)

Rachel Gilles.
Chris Unitt (CiB is his baby at the mo) “I’m not sure of the chances of winning, especially as this is essentially a popularity contest and the other blogs have huge readerships, but I’m doing my damndest to get people voting. It often feels like I’m stretching goodwill to breaking point every time I send another reminder and for that reason I’ll be pleased when the voting period is over”

Bob Piper


Blue Gal

Liberal Conspiracy (this is one is mostly anti Mel)

Other Excuses

The Stirrer

Podnosh (!)

Nosemonkey is sacrificing their own vote. Thank you:  ” vote often. To those still voting for me – thanks, you’re very sweet, but even I’m not voting for me any more.”

Citizensheep twice! Here he tries to help Neil Clark, who’s also on the shortlist, appreciate the extent of real support CiB has.

Indymedia Ireland

Indymedia England

Never Trust a Hippy.

Matt Bowles
John Band

Art Stalking “I’m keen for them to win not just because I think their hearts are in the right place, but because it’s a way of saying that Birmingham has a strong creative community.”


Bostin (through a facebook group)

Spaghetti Gazetti

Joanna Geary “It has changed the way I think about my industry, about the businesses that form it and the organisations that claim to support it.”

Gavin Wray

Peter Bacon “Strength and influence are both crucial to the vitality of the arts and creative industries, and strength and influence are greatly enhanced by those who link us all together.”

Shona.  (politer than sometimes) “If you don’t, I will scweam and scweam and scweam and scweam. And you wouldn’t want to be responsible for a breach of the peace now, would you?”


Sunny at Pickled Politics “You’ll be doing humanity a favour.”

Anthony Herron  “It was started by Pete Ashton, who is also up for the award but who has already asked people to vote for CiB instead. Pete is renowned for his blogging and he puts a massive amount back into the community, along with Chris Unitt, who has been running CiB for the last year now. CiB is about to be taken over by Kate Spragg for the next year or so I guess. Let’s not forget the contributors and people who’ve help CiB start up – Stef Lewandowski, Danny SmithFrankie Ward, I’m sure there have been a few more.”

Birmingham City Council Webteam, for linking from the front page of their site.

The Birmingham Post sums up what’s going on. If I’ve missed you off please leave a comment – if you blog vote CiB in the next few days let me know and I’ll add you to the list.