Thursday 31 March 2011

LJMU Tweetup

For a while now (since last May to be exact) I've been thinking about the value of tweetups (read Twitter meetups) in the local community, and how I might transfer that to my work setting.

With 3000 staff across 50 buildings, and 25000 students Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has a community all of its own.

As a new member of staff last year, I found it incredibly difficult to meet colleagues outside of my range of 'normal' business, and having come from a campus based University I struggled with the nature of the multi-site beast.

Tweetups are an opportunity for people who are interested in, or engaged with Twitter to get together and have a chat. They are very informal events, some have entertainment and a bar, some don't. Some happen over a picnic, others in coffee shops - they are driven by the twitter community, for the twitter community (or those interested in getting involved). There is a very real value in taking virtual conversations into the real life world, and connections made online are strengthened by meeting face to face. There is no agenda.

I've noticed in the past year that there are many LJMU twitter accounts sprouting up, some personal, some professional, some used in teaching, some for marketing, and I've tried to follow anyone with LJMU in their bio so I can learn more about our place of work.

At a recent twitter training event run by Alex Spiers (@alextronic), there was a genuine feeling among participants that they wanted to know more from people who were already doing it, add that to the disparate nature of staff all over the City and I think we've got a demand.

So - LJMU Tweetup 1 (#LJMUTWUP) is born:

Where: Parr St Studio 2

When: Thursday April 7th, 4pm onwards

Who: Anyone who wants to come.
If you're on Twitter, great. If you're not, great.

RSVP here:

Come and have a chat, meet like-minded souls and leave better connected.

I'll be there, will you?

Mandy AKA @m8nd1

Open Letter - Liverpool's digital community

write this letter to you, if you have ever attended, participated, contributed, organised or re-tweeted about any of the events that make up Liverpool's digital 'scene'.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being an active participant in our community and have taken on several roles during the last two years, leading, assisting and just plain turning up to a wide range of events. Those I haven't made it to physically I've championed and watched as they have grown and developed.
(Twestivals, tweet ups, ignite, social media cafe, TedX, mashed libraries, dev days, hacks and hackers, cathedral valley, oggcamps, how-why-diy, fabcamp, maker nights/hackspace, howduino, barcamp, geekup, Liverpool Wordpress Interest Group, Linux user group,  have I missed any?)

Lately I've been thinking about where it's all going. Yeah, it's great that we get together often, drink coffee/beer and have amazing social events on where we also learn stuff but I've begin to wonder about the future and I find I'm asking myself a few questions;

What are we trying to do?
Have we got a goal?
How can we sustain this activity going forward?
Do we want to?

Given that I don't have all the answers I felt it would be timely to write my thoughts down and ask what you think.

I feel that as a community we have huge potential, that we can (and are already) doing great things - but with an agreed vision that gives clarity to us, and to our audiences we can achieve much more.

So - what can you do to help?

We (the collective organisers of said events) would like you to tell us what you think. We don't make you fill out evaluation forms every time we meet, and therefore we're working on a premise that you like what we're doing, but that may be a huge assumption. Huge.

If you could reply to this blog post (or any others that are saying the same thing) or tweet @livdigcom with answers to the following, we'd be very grateful:

1. What are we doing well that you'd like to see us continue with?

2. What should we stop doing, and why?

3. What should we start to do, and why?

4. How do you want to be involved? (Are you happy to turn up, speak, volunteer, lead?)

If you're responding about the general list of activities, great - if you're being a bit more specific about certain events, please let us know which ones. 

This information will help us to consider the BIG questions up above, and think about where we go from here.

Thanks for listening,
Mandy Phillips @m8nd1 | Neil Morrin @defnetmedia |  Adrian McEwen @amcewen  | Dan Lynch @methoddan

Ella Wredenfors @runpaintrunrun  | Andy Goodwin @franticuk  | Andy Freeney @technofreen

Stu Robarts @sturobarts  | John McKerrell @mcknut

Replies to @livdigcom if you're a person of not many words!