I’m not able to speak for everyone else who attended but as far as my first social media event goes, what an absolute corker! The discussions were stimulating and the topics interesting, I’m just sorry that I couldn’t get into all of the sessions but the building was just too hot for me to risk cramming into the busiest ones as I’d doubtless have passed out and made a tit of myself..
The main message coming through in the sessions I did attend was that there is a lack of education in using social media tools within business that prohibits employee buy in. I’ve found that this is true not only in business but in education, my course leaders are trying to push the use of wikis, discussion boards and blogs with very little uptake amongst the students, perhaps if there was more in the way of explanation for the reasons behind using these things with an understandable incentive in place then this would change.
There was also a lot of comments along the lines of how ‘green’ the business world is and how Social media tools can help
“Corporate culture needs to accept that technology can be used anywhere that there is power – an employee can be more constructive spending an extra hour in bed on their laptop than struggling through commuterville hell. ..Social media tools help you cut the crap by establishing a relationship, it’s an informal way of keeping tabs on what’s going on around you ie you know a persons mood and can gauge when is a good time to approach them with an idea or to tap them for cash”
Ok so the ‘tap them for cash’ comment made me chuckle but in business it’s a valid observation; most start-ups are always on the look out for funding. If you know someone is having a bad day through comments on their facebook page or twitter stream you know that today is not the day to bug them for help with your project.
In the ‘Talking social’ session before the lunch break there evolved an interesting mini discussion on the differences gender makes to the use of social media and the privacy aspect of leaving information online, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with unwanted telephone calls after leaving contact details visible where there was also a photograph available. From the show of hands in the room it appears I’m not the only lass so affected – even a couple of the lads had experienced something similar, this is why I’m loathe to give out that kind of information and value twitter so much; people can still text me using the dm feature without knowing my number – social media tools allow me to participate in a virtual social life while still keeping a ‘safe’ barrier in place that allows me to screen the people wanting access to me.
Obviously for me this works, but as former accountant James (whatleydude) of spinvox said; if his contact details were not available online he’d have missed out on three very interesting phone conversations. Speaking to Vero of Pepsmedia by the drinks machine also shows that contact details online are not necessarily a bad thing; she received an offer of work based purely on her blog – perhaps it’s the luck of the draw but this is definitely an area in which you need to weigh up the pros and cons before putting yourself out there – after all, you’d not leave your phone number attached to a short bio of yourself on the side of a bus would you?
..or would you?
The best part of the day for me though was meeting so many people. I finally put physical form to both Nik (aka loudmouthman) and Suzy (aka SuzyMiller) as well as discovering a whole host of intelligent and interesting people.
The aforementioned Vero is a cracking lass with a great sense of humour (and I may well have to purchase Mario carts on the wii just to take up her challenge) Melissa Norman of the London Games Fringe is also someone whom I’m looking forward to meeting again when I attend the (tba) games fringe events happening in October, Melinda of the missgeeky blog – I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next geek dinner event with glee.. CJ seemed like a great person to know, sadly newt started making his/ her presence felt during the html/ css talk and I had to leave to find some air.
On the plus side, I then got talking to folks in the chill out room and Mike (Waugaman) gave me the name of a podcast to check out and suggested that I make use of spinvox when the time came to announce the arrival of our screaming little lump of humanity – a suggestion I will most definitely be taking up now that I know more about the service provided by the whatleydude (who by the way is also a great guy, funny, engaging and ridiculously enthusiastic about what he does)
I also enjoyed chatting to Tom Holder of Simpleweb and Jof Arnold of BrainBakery in the pub afterwards, yes, much of what they discussed was well over my head but the parts I understood were tantalising and whetted my appetite for leaning more of the joys of programming – I’ve also decided that hovercraft racing sounds like the coolest thing ever and while Tom may be a programming god, it will be that little nugget I keep on hand whenever I think of him *grin* if he and Jof didn’t live so far away I would definitely be proposing a building project – I may not be able to ride motorbikes anymore but no one could complain about me sitting on a racing hovercraft!
Well.. Not that I’d listen to anyhow ;0)
Chris Garret is probably one of the most switched on young men I’ve ever met – the guys on my course could definitely learn a lot from him! While he may be young he’s pretty damned brilliant from all accounts (and not his own either, Tom was singing his praises from the rafters) I may well be bugging him for wordpress tips in the near future 😉
The person I spoke most with in the evening was Adi Ben-Nesher (whilst being force fed chips by Chris Hambly) and despite repeated claims of laziness throughout the evening, is definitely a busy lad and someone everyone should know – he has excellent taste in music (we were both amazed that Jenny turned down free Iron Maiden tickets to stick around for the drinking portion of the event) the poor taste to have once owned a Harley Davidson (though he does have a point that a pocket rocket would have been too small for him) and makes it his business to connect people.
So despite feeling like all I did was talk about the belly all day I’ve gleaned a few pointers on things that could prove useful in the future and have several projects and products to check out when I finally have some time.. Yup, Mediacamp London was a definite success as far as I’m concerned and I seriously cannot wait for another event of it’s kind to take place at a time and location within my power to attend!