Posts Tagged ‘Social Media Cafe Manchester’

Social media cafe Manchester – smc_mcr – logging out

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 by Jon Clements

Social Media Cafe Manchester – or smc-mcr as it morphed into – came along at the right time to meet a ravenous appetite for digital communications.

But now, it’s no more.

I’m grateful to Tom Mason for bringing the news to my attention and for his affectionate “eulogy” to this rather modest and yet highly influential fixture in Manchester’s calendar of digital creativity. For the definitive insight into why smc_mcr is logging out, check out co-founder, Martin Bryant’s post on the smc_mcr website itself.

So, what made it special?

In the digital sector – one that has now become big business for learning seminars, training courses, day-long conferences, etc – smc_mcr offered collective insight from real-life practitioners (often early adopters of digital technologies and communications platforms) at no cost to the participants whatsoever. All those great brains in one room, willing to pass on their knowledge because, well, they were passionate about their subject and the sharing ethos seemed to meld well with the social media milieu.

At times, smc_mcr was unapologetically and hilariously shambolic in its structure and organisation. But that was more than compensated for by the wealth of interesting people and topics you could expect to encounter over a couple of hours on a Tuesday night, once a month.

On a simplistic level, it was networking with people you also had a relationship with online; but it was really so much more than that.

And, it supplied a regular flow of great material for PR Media Blog which, at the time, was itself trying to make sense of the ever-quickening revolution in digital communications.

Normally, an institution coming to an end is a sad affair. But smc_mcr has done its job, if ever it had a “job description”. It wasn’t its style to have some sort of “manifesto”; that would be far too bloody organised.

 

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Making social media networking work

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by Jon Clements

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How effective is social media for building your essential network?

Sceptics would probably say that there’s no substitute for “pressing the flesh” and clinking the wine glass. But how often do you manage to get – physically – in front of the people you really want to talk to and build a connection with?

At last night’s meeting of Social Media Cafe Manchester (#smc_mcr for hash tag followers) PR Media Blog spoke to Justine Potter, ex-BBC drama producer and now narrative content producer and CEO of Savvy Productions, about how social media has helped her do exactly that – and with a direct benefit to her business.

Listen!

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Social Media Cafe Manchester goes hopping mad

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 by Jon Clements

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How do you convert a piece of social media-driven awareness raising to a real-life, bodies on the ground, event? The answer is this: with a certain amount of difficulty.  

But given that was the challenge Manchester-based web company, Cahoona, teamed up with events agency, Ear to the Ground, to put Cutting Room Square – a redeveloped part of city district, Ancoats – on the map.

As they described at last night’s Social Media Cafe Manchester meeting at the BBC, (#smc_mcr) with no budget for big names or attractions to stimulate interest in the place, the plan hatched was to create a user-generated event – The Cutting Room Experiment – in which the public became the curators, participants and audience for it.

Using social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and others, the public was encouraged to take ownership of the ideas while promoting them to their online social connections. Using the campaign website as a destination, the activity generated more than 100 ideas and attracted 10,000 unique visitors in 10 weeks. The Facebook group amassed more than 500 members – not bad for a highly niche area of interest.

And the ideas themselves culminated in a live event, involving activites such as the “world’s smallest festival” (comprising three girls, a busker and a tent), a clothes swapping event and Space Hopper race.

Cutting Room Experiment: Space Hopper Race from Ben Holden on Vimeo.

The team hit its various targets for online engagement and turnout on the day – as well as generating £100k in media coverage. But, as David Norris of Ear to the Ground said: “It’s hard to turn a devoted online audience into vibrant offline one”.

Though some questioned the validity of using global social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote a highly localised event, the results suggest that global can be local too, especially as people in the same geographical area are often already talking to each other across the same social media platforms.

And how can you argue with a Space Hopper race – as long as the Health and Safety Executive isn’t watching.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

A geek-sters paradise

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 by Jon Clements

As a – primarily – “social media for business” resource, PR Media Blog was transported to a parallel universe at last night’s Social Media Cafe Manchester (#smc_mcr).

The brave new online worlds of artistic endeavour shared by Heather Corcoran, curator of Liverpool’s media arts centre, FACT, seemed a heady mix of Heath Robinson and the crazy cartoon inventor, Clunk, in “Dastardly and Mutley”.

The collection of “innovation communities” included artists’ collective, Dorkbot describing itself, worryingly, as “people doing strange things with electricity”,  while Node London – an “independent net art collective, exploring new creative territories that straddle between the virtual and the real” was an experiment in open working where nobody was in charge and the result was, according to Corcoran (pictured below), a “crazy nightmare that happened only once”.

But behind the art-for-art’s-sake lunacy was an interesting concept of loosely associated groups of people working together – and blending online and offline activity – to share knowledge and create something new. An example of this is the School of Everything where those wanting to learn and those wanting to teach can find one another.

So, an interesting and unexpected tangent for the #smc_mcr. But does this mean that it’s now “sexy to be a geek”, as somebody mused? Think “Bill Gates” before you answer that one.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''