The freewheeling, one-time social media transit van-turned juggernaut, the Social Media Cafe Manchester, was two years old last night.
Organised, yet endearingly chaotic, it has become the unostentatious hub for sharing social media savvy and collaboration in the city.
Though itinerant – moving between venues diverse as BBC North and MadLab – #smc_mcr has maintained the momentum initially fired up by people including Martin Bryant, Julian Tait and Sarah Hartley on a similarly inclement November night in 2008. For history buffs, PR Media Blog captured the spirit of that first happening here and here.
Social media activity springing from Manchester’s most creative communicators reached a new zenith recently: its city police force used a 24-hour Twitter-thon to simultaneously publish every police enquiry in that period, demonstrate the scope of police work that’s, in fact, social work and gain several thousand new and engaged Twitter followers in the process.
So, it was apt that Kevin Hoy and Amanda Coleman of Greater Manchester Police provided the main attraction for this milestone in Manchester’s social media evolution.
Equally, the Manchester Social Media Surgery – an off-shoot of the cafe designed to hand out free social media advice to organisations new to the medium – has gained traction in the past year, mainly due to the hard work of organiser, Chi-chi Ekweozor.
And so, two years on, what do the unconference-like organisers of #smc_mcr – past and present – think about it now?
Listen here to Martin Bryant and Josh, aka @technicalfault, summing up its impact.