West by West Midlands Social, Saturday 13th March 2010, Birmingham UK

WxWM – Sue Ellen Haz A Thirsty | Saturday Social 13th March 2010

One year ago, I was frantically organising the first WxWM event. It was slightly chaotic and nerve-wracking but what came together in the space of the week was mad fun. With it came the acquisition of 3 fellow team buds.

In 2009, we ran 3 successful events – the original WxWM (in which we were narked that we weren’t going to Austin); WxWM 2: Sue Ellen’s Almighty Hangover (in which I was narked for another reason – tee hee!) and Moseley Barcamp, son of WxWM (in which I was not narked at anything at all!), ran as part of the Moseley Festival line up.

In 2010, many things have changed. I’m busier than ever with my artwork and the day job; one of the team has escaped to Southern shores; one has juggled being a mother, seeing her business grow with exciting pace and bouts of poor health; and the fourth, our technical guru, is naffing orf to Austin Texas as our WxWM ‘delegate’ for this years SxSWi. These challenges and pressures have meant that we’re not hosting an event as we did last year.

However, all things said and done, Sue Ellen is still a thirsty girl. Some call her greedy, I just like to think of her as a tad parched…..

On Saturday 13th March, we invite all those who feel right proper miffed that they ain’t going to SxSWi to join us to mark the anniversary of the pivotal shoehorning-about-thirty-people-into-a-smallish-room-and-making-them-talk event. We are not asking for anyone to prepare talks or ‘owt fancy; just a social event to get together and banter. If anyone wants to being a question to the table, please feel free to do so – hopefully we’ll have a few of those lovely beggars who know what they’re talking about to get a good discussion churning. You can even wear a hat if you want to.

At 3pm, we’ll be meeting in the Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham – a nostalgic return to the original venue. We’re not booking out the meeting room – we’ll just scrabble around gathering bodies and tables and food and drinks with joyful abandon. This will allow those with chiddlers to join us for the initial stint of the get together. Bear in mind we’ll be descending on a public venue, so there’s no reservations – git your bum on a seat and grub on a plate.

At 5pm, when we get booted out of KGC, those who are after my own heart will merrily skip (I expect some mad skipping) to the Hare and Hounds over the road. They have beer. We like them.

Depending on how we’re faring, later we might even stumble back across the road for a curry. There are no tables booked. We live life by the seat of our pants and guffaw loudly in the face of caution and planning.

Please indicate on our wee Doodle thingy if you’ll be joining us!

And so, what will occur this Saturday will be the original plan that I for the event one year ago. It was going to be about people in a pub, talking and tweeting about webby/soc media stuff or what their nan had for dinner. But I got a bit distracted along the way….. 🙂

All are welcome. Please join us for, what will hopefully be, a pleasant afternoon and evening.

Filed under: Uncategorized

WxWM 2 Panel Audios

Courtesy of the fantastic Rhubarb Radio, here are the panel audios for WxWM 2:

  • Ben Whitehouse – How Contact Leaves a Trace
  • Daniel Cremin, Adam Sylvester and Mark Steadman
  • Dave Harte
  • Gavin Wray – Geotagging Emotions
  • Jon Bounds – Birmingham: it’s Not Shit
  • Jon Hickman
  • Jon Hickman Part II
  • Neil Houston – How to Commit the Perfect Murder
  • Nicky Getgood – Digpuss Launch
  • Nick Booth and Paul Hadley
  • Jaki Booth Debate
  • Paul Taylor Debate
  • the

    Filed under: Audio, Coverage, Panels, , , , ,

    WxWM 2 Footage from Nicky Getgood

    Nicky Getgood caught footage of some of the talks at WxWM 2. Check ’em out:

    Rhubarb Radio at WxWM2 from Nicky Getgood on Vimeo.

    John Hickman at WxWM2 from Nicky Getgood on Vimeo.

    Jon Bounds at WxWM2 from Nicky Getgood on Vimeo.

    Ben Whitehouse at WxWM2 from Nicky Getgood on Vimeo.

    Thanks, Nicky!

    Filed under: Coverage, Videos, , , , , ,

    WxWM 2: The Hangover’s Hangover

    Well, true to form, I had a teensy hangover this morning. Par for the course, I say. Needless to say, WxWM 2 went brilliantly – in its anarchic, chaotic, wibbly way. Just how we like it!

    The Gwyneth-Paltrow-Gushing-Oscar-Speech Bit:

    A massive thanks goes to our speakers Dave Harte, Jon Hickman, Nicky Getgood, Jon Bounds, Gavin Wray, Neil Houston and Ben Whitehouse whose input made for, yet again, interesting and diverse content and acted as pivots for interactive discussion, debate and, in the case of La Getgood’s Digpuss talk, a chance to win a damp, muddy hat.

    Jon Hickman on the floor
    Jon Hickman speaks (It’s the bear on the screen behind Jon that makes this picture sooooo right!)

    Rhubarb Radio were, once again, superheroes of the highest order. Paul and Alex showed their usual grit, spirit and professionalism to help us take WxWM 2 to those who couldn’t be there. We’re very fortunate to have their support and can’t stress enough the excellent job they do.

    I’d slap myself senseless if I didn’t thank my fabulous WxWM (and Moseley Barcamp) team Nat and Julia Higginbottom and Jaki Booth. Slick, smooth and organised, they made getting it all together a breeze and were totally unflappable. Nat had to put up with me yelping at him across the room on several occasions when there were technical issues, and he just got on with it and sorted everything out. Jaki valiantly drove the WxWM twitter account for the bulk of the event and did clever things with gaffer tape. Julia provided much needed support and prep for the event – she also attended the Screen WM event, too – so was a link to their event and encouraged a few of the folk there to come over and see us once their event had wrapped up!

    Alex Hughes‘ live cartooning skills have to be seen to be believed! Give Alex a tablet PC and a pen and he’s like a kid in a sweet shop. He deftly captured speakers in his own inimitable way – his rendering of Neil Houston as a knife-wielding psychopath was one of my particular favourites!

    Alex Hughes live cartoons Neil Houston

    A huge thanks to John Tighe and the staff at The Spotted Dog who let us have the venue for nothing. They opened up early, kept us stocked up with liquid refreshment and let us get on with the event! The Spotted Dog is a fantastic boozer in the heart of Digbeth and I’ve never had a bad night in there. Highly recommend it if you’ve not been there before.

    To all attendees, thank you all for making the event such a success. I mentioned at the beginning that you all make the content – not the WxWM team – and you did exactly that. You lot knock me for six at how utterly brilliant you all are. As Ben said in his closing talk, “awesome” people.

    Other incidents of note:

    • Jon Bounds and Danny Smith announced that they will be attempting to set a world record attempt at radio broadcasting on Rhubarb Radio in the near future.
    • Jaki Booth and Paul Taylor generated interesting discussion and debate from the room when they were picked to set a random question/topic to the room.
    • Ben and Nicky plied us with a load of cake. Amazingly, I have not managed to get my mitts on any cake provided at either WxWM event!
    • Morocco watched as Jon Bounds spoke – Clare Edwards was Skyping with a colleague in balmy Maroc and gave him a flavour of what WxWM was all about.
    • A nice chap in Twitterland piped up about starting up ExEM as competition to WxWM. We threw down the gauntlet and encouraged him to go for it!

    The ExEM challenge

    Who was there

    Good-humoured MP, Tom Watson, joined us for a few after-event cheeky vimtos – was great to see him, even if I did start poking fun about MP’s expenses!

    My favourite little diva Gaby Higginbottom and her excellent brother James were with us for the duration too. Amazing, amazing kids and a huge credit to Nat and Julia.

    ..and then there everyone else who made the effort to come along (please pipe up in the comments if I’ve missed your names!)

    Who’s blogging about it

    So far:

    Dave Harte

    Gavin Wray


    Please pop a link to your WxWM 2 blog post in the comments if you’ve scribed one and it’s not mentioned above.

    And finally….

    Once again, thank you to all of you for making it a success. Our next venture is Moseley Barcamp on 28th June and we’d love it if you could join us for a larger and slightly more structured event taking place as part of Moseley Festival. The stetson’s back on the stand and I’ve kicked off my spurs for now, but the WxWM spirit goes on unabounded!

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    WxWM 2 Broadcasting Live on Rhubarb Radio

    Listen to WxWM live on Rhubarb Radio

    We’re broadcasting WxWM 2 live on Rhubarb Radio from 7pm – 11pm GMT on Thursday 28th May. If you want to catch the action live, tune in online here.

    Filed under: Audio, Coverage, Info, , , , , , , ,

    WxWM 2 – Fully Booked

    WxWM 2 is now fully booked – thanks to all who’ve registered to attend!

    Filed under: Info, , , ,

    WxWM 2 – Thursday 28th May: The Unagenda and other information


    Being the antithesis of anything formal is a tough job, but one we adore. We’ve been approached by a few fantastic folk who are happy to get up and talk – after possibly an intriguing warm-up (hope you’re all feeling limbered up after it) our first speaker will pick up from where we left off at the original WxWM to ease us back into the spirit of rebellion.

    Agenda shmagenda – we run on adrenaline and beer and not by rigid timeframes and stuffy rules, so we’re hoping to keep it all mixed up with speakers, ‘live tweeting’ of topics randomly picked from the throng (so have those questions or topics at the ready) and live cartooning from the excellent Tribune cartoonist Alex Hughes. So make sure you’re lookin’ purdy, as Alex may well capture you in your full glory!

    What to bring

    • Stetson, of course (or if you can don another piece of utterly ridiculous headwear, we’ll go for that. I’m thinking feather fascinators for the boys, then 😀 ). If you’re anti-hat, fear not, we’ll still let you in.
    • A means of connecting to teh internetz that won’t need to use wi-fi. We’re maxing out the broadband to broadcast the event live via Rhubarb Radio, but would love it if those who can bring their own 3G/dongle connection thingummies (phone, laptop, whatever floats your boat) would do so if they want to put the social into media!
    • Those who’ve agreed to bring equipment – please can you be there early so we can have everything set up by no later than 6.40pm. We fancy a beer before it starts!
    • Speakers – if you’ve said you’re running (or might want to run and haven’t mentioned it to us yet) a presentation, please bring whatever equipment you need. There’s a pre-installed projector and screen for speakers, and we’ve had the kind offer of additional projector/screen from Jon Bounds for Alex’s artsing.

    Putting it out there

    Hashtag is #wxwm if you’re tweeting about us. Follow us on Twitter @wxwm. If you can’t join us in person, use Twitterfall to set up a custom search for the #wxwm hashtag and get interacting. Want to just sit back and listen? Watch out for us publicising where to find the audio feed from Rhubarb Radio shortly – it’s the best way to keep up with the action as it happens if you’re not at the event.


    We’ll start at 7pm prompt. WxWM posse will be at the Spotted Dog from about 6pm, so feel free to swing by for a cheeky beer and to muck in if you want to. Would be excellent if everyone could be in the venue by 6.50pm, so you can sneak in a beer and bag a seat. If you’re joining us later, this is fine – just pop in when you’re ready or willing.

    Where are we going, again?

    It’s at The Spotted Dog, Warwick Street, Digbeth (make sure you go to the one in Warwick Street, as there is another Spotted Dog in Digbeth. I found this out last night as my taxi driver took me on a magical mystery tour). Please note, food’s not served at the venue, so please ensure you are suitably fed!


    Any questions? Email us or stick ’em in the comments. Otherwise, we are very much looking forward to seeing you on Thursday night. Yeee-haw!

    Filed under: Coverage, Info, Info for Volunteers, Panels, schedule, Venue, , , , , ,

    The numbers game


    For one night only, attendees will become numbers at WxWM 2. In addition to those who’ve come forward and offered to speak, we asked you to bring a question or a topic (and a stetson and a dongle). You will be assigned a number. If your number is drawn, courtesy of the magic of random number generation, you’ll be asked to tout your question or topic, with it opening up to the floor to discuss, debate and share experiences. You don’t need to have a speech prepared, or anything fanciful, just be prepared to pipe up. It’s all about starting a conversation in a pub and having an element of the unknown to boot.

    The WxWM posse are really looking forward to seeing you all next week and are thrilled at yet another excuse to get some beer down our necks chance to do something a bit different. Thanks to all of you who have signed up so far – it’s fantastic that so many of those that joined us for the original event are back for more, and it’s equally fabulous that we’ve got some new blood coming along! Inclusion is important to us, so the fact that this has given an opportunity for new people to be a part of it all warms the cockles. Or summat. Anyway, this is how we roll.

    Not signed up yet? Better be quick – only a few spaces now remaining! You can register at our Eventbrite page.

    Filed under: Info, , , , , , , , , ,

    WxWM is back: Sue Ellen’s Almighty Hangover | 28th May 2009


    Dust off your stetsons: we’re back! Naturally, most people would assume that, as Moseley Barcamp is our current priority, we wouldn’t have time to organise anything else. Well, we got a bit itchy – 12 weeks isn’t the sort of lead time we’re used to. We needed a challenge: something to get us a bit cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof dancy. So, we’re running Sue Ellen’s Almighty Hangover on 28th May. It’ll kick off at 7pm in the Spotted Dog, Warwick Street, Digbeth.

    wxwm2map copy
    (map blatantly stolen from Paradise Circus and subsequently adapted with some truly amateurish photoshopping)

    Why are we doing this? Ok, well in the same way that a few folk wanted to get involved in something because they couldn’t be in Texas for SxSWi, we were a little bit surprised that we weren’t aware of Screen WM’s sold-out Postcards from the USA event. It’s proved popular – so much so, that by the time we knew about it all the tickets were gone, which we most certainly doff our caps to the organisers for – and very bloomin’ interesting it looks, too! Clearly, a rogue plague of cable-chewin’ varmits got at Screen WM’s database and ate our contact data and, having spent some time talking with Jason Hall from Screen WM, I have instructed him to seek out the varmits and start feeding them proper stuff – fudge cake – to keep their pesky teeth away from the wires. As Jason says:

    “Having failed spectacularly at bringing together SXSW and WXWM under one roof, Screen WM is delighted to lend our official support to your defiantly no-approval-necessary-from-the-likes-of-us event in a non-officious way. Let’s continue this thing as it started … Two groups joined in spirit, separated by distance (hundreds of yards instead of thousands of miles) and communing through blogs, tweets, Qik, Flickr or any other means necessary. Heck… May even see you for a pint after. Should be fun!”

    So, if you are lucky enough to have bagged a ticket, we sincerely hope you have a fab time at the event! But… if you weren’t able to get a ticket, fear not – because you are very welcome to come and join us for an evening of beer and banter to talk about a plethora of things relating to WxWM, social media, the web….. and maybe even special running pants. There’s no set agenda as such – but hopefully we’ll have a couple of talks from some of our finest cowboys from the original event. This is about likeminded folk who’d like to get together to talk about things that they’re interested in and find out more about the what’s, when’s and who’s of Brum social media mayhem in true WxWM style. If you want to share your experience of the original WxWM event, debate a relevant issue, have a question or want to talk about your latest online project, then please be our guest! In fact, bring a question with you – a question, a dongle (see below) and a stetson, that’s all we ask!

    We haz a delegashun

    Because we felt really sorry for Screen WM’s varmit infestation, we offered them the opportunity to send some delegates from their event, so they wouldn’t miss out. Fingers crossed, we’ll be joined by a few fab folk from Postcards from the USA to join in our inimitable banter.



    Naturally, because we are complete and utter media whores, our lovely friends from Rhubarb Radio will be joining us to capture the rapture and to document what will, hopefully, be another great fringe event.


    Filthy talk. Oh, sorry – those kind of dongles. We need your dongles. We’re running on a very limited wifi connection on the evening and, basically, we need all the wifi bandwidth there is to broadcast live that night. So, in politest and sweetest of voices, please avoid hooking up to the venue’s wifi or I will have to borrow a varmit and put it down your pants. Instead, save yourself the horror and, if you want to be connected, a 3G or dongle tool (fnar) would be your friends! Thank you.

    Wanna come?

    The venue’s limited to 45 people, so if you’d like to join us please sign up at our eventbrite page!

    Filed under: Info, , , , , , ,

    Moseley Barcamp

    Moseley Barcamp is our new bouncing baby – born out of the lovely fun that was WxWM. We’re taking over the upstairs of The Cross in Moseley for the afternoon and evening of Sunday 28th June. The main event brings a range of folk with something to say about social media or the internetz to the floor to talk, with attendees very much a part of the action adding two-way dialogue, opinions, anecdote sharing and a great big dollop of fun.

    Register now at http://moseleybarcamp.eventbrite.com/.

    Visit www.mozcamp.wordpress.com for the latest news and updates.

    Filed under: Info, , , , , , ,