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

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, , , , , , ,

WxWM | The fuzzy hangover of thanks

I’m in awe of everyone who made WxWM such a success yesterday. The Birmingham social media scene never fails to amaze me with how lovely people are and how willing they are to get together, work hard and support one another. I’m not used to so many people being so fantastic for so long. Birmingham feels unique. Call it cyber-chemistry, call it the right people at the right place at the right time. Call it what you like. I absolutely love it.

A massive thanks to:

  • The panel hosts: Charlie Pinder, Jon Hickman, Jon Bounds, Nick Booth, Michael Grimes, Nicky Getgood, Kasper Sorensen, Gemma Harris, Kara Crozier, Ben Whitehouse, Antonio Roberts and Andy Mabbett. You all absolutely blew me away. You guys totally made the event, without a doubt.
  • The A-Team, Jaki Booth and Julia Higginbotham, without whom the WxWM live blogging and tweeting wouldn’t have happened as awesomely as it did!
  • Nat Higginbotham who was just fabulous and ran round sorting stuff whenever the urge to say ‘Halp!’ or ‘please can you do this?’ occurred. Which was a fair bit.
  • To Nick Booth, for gifting us his MacBook and his magic dongle to try and counteract the wifi connectivity problems we experienced for the live blog.
  • Ben Whitehouse and Jaki for being food fairies, and Nat for getting the order in in time!
  • The three impeccably behaved kids (Donato’s and Paul’s) who were with us for much of the event – they were a pleasure to have there, a credit to their parents and their presence led to a highly entertaining last-minute adjustment to Jon Bounds’ swearing meme panel!
  • Mark Steadman and Paul from Rhubarb Radio. They worked so damn hard, were at the venue before I’d arrived setting everything up, were super-professional and absolutely lovely to boot.
  • Thanks to Pete Ashton, Jo Geary, Ruth Ward, Fiona Cullinan and the other SxSWMers in Texas for giving their time and energy to talk to us for the live hook-up under very interesting connectivity conditions.
  • Thanks to Jez Higgins for turning up before the event and doing manly furniture lugging stuff.
  • Thanks to Katie Parry for her gorgeous logo, signs and name badges.
  • Thanks to everyone who helped with the set up of the room.
  • Thanks to my extraordinary taxi service, Gemma ‘n’ Kara Cabz, for getting me home at the end of a long day.
  • Thanks to Peter and the team at the Kitchen Garden Cafe who were an absolute pleasure to work with.
  • Thanks to everyone who was there and who exceeded my expectations by ensuring we had a full house. I was so pleased that everyone got stuck in and engaged with the panels so brilliantly:

Andy Mabbett @pigsonthewing

Andy Parsons @Andy_Parsons

Antonio Roberts @hellocatfood

Ben Whitehouse @benjaminbrum

Charlie Pinder @pindec

Danny Smith @probablydrunk

Donato Esposito @bostinbloke

Ed Hart @Ed_Hart

Gemma Harris @gem_27

Jaki Booth @parboo

Jon Bounds @bounder

Jon Hickman @jonhickman

Julia Gilbert @catnip

Julia Higginbottom @gabysslave

Kara Crozier @karzy_jones

Karen Strunks @karenstrunks

Kasper Sorensen @kasperbs

Katie Parry @superkoolkp

Mark Steadman @marksteadman

Matthew Somerville @dracos

Michael Grimes @citizensheep

Nat Higginbotham @exsanguinator

Neil (rasga) @rasga

Nick Booth @podnosh

Nicky Getgood @getgood

Paul Hadley @rhubarbradio

Paul Taylor @theaardvark

Shona McQuillan @graphiquillan

Simon Howes @simonhowes

Stef Lewandowski @Stef

Vikki Green @tickvg

(Joined us for the after party) Rachel Simmonite @rachel_simmo

(Kudos to Andy Mabbett for the list)

There are many things to reflect on for how I’d plan the event next time – not least to have a bigger venue! Can I just thank everyone who, whilst it was hot and cramped, didn’t whinge about it once. Not once. That’s a first for a group of people to be so understanding and tolerant in my book. I’m really interested in feedback from anyone who was there – all comments and ideas are welcome. After the event, I got chatting to Stef Lewandowski who made a really great point about how it would have been good if the panels led to tangible actions as outcomes. This isn’t something that had occurred to me, but is certainly something that I’d like to see carried forward to the next event.

During the live link with Texas, Pete Ashton said to me that he thought I’d manage to organise the first barcamp in Birmingham (something he also mentions on his blog). A year ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt that I’d have managed to pull off a Birmingham social media first. All those people I’ve been privileged to meet and befriend over the last year through this very special network has had a hand in this. So thank you to all of you for welcoming me into the fold and giving me the chance to do something for others.

Filed under: Post-event, , , , ,

Attendees: Nom Nom Nom Alert


Spaghetti Western Cat says thank you to those of you who have already registered – we have a really lovely mix of people so far!

Spaghetti Western Cat need to ask attendees a question: do you want munchies at about 5pm? The lovely folk at the Kitchen Garden Cafe have to prep food for the evening menu from about 5pm, so the lovely day chef slinks off unless he’s needed. So, if a whole bunch of want to get some nommage around then, Spaghetti Western Cat needs to let them know…pronto. Remember, food and drink

Kitchen Garden Cafe have some scrummy food – if we give enough notice we can have food in a hearty, kind of mad-skillz style. We’d recommend the day menu for light bites and om-nom-nom-nom goodness, so we can keep going with the beers and not be too sleepy for our Texan rendezvous. You can see the sample daytime menu here. We just need an idea of the number of folk who will want food, please. Folks – it’s buy your own, just in case you weren’t aware. 😉

Please could you drop us a line here or DM us on Twitter @wxwm by Thursday night. I will try and get something sorted if numbers are sufficient, otherwise we can all just order when we get hungry up until about 4.30pm. Yum!

Filed under: Info, , , , ,

Rhubarb Radio at WxWM


We’re pleased to announce that Rhubarb Radio will be joining us to cover WxWM on Saturday.

Broadcasting from the dedicated channel from 3pm, we’re hoping to go live on the main station from around 7pm, just in time to try and connect with Texas and break teh internetz using a variety of different methods. You can listen live from 3pm on Saturday here.

So, please remember to ensure that you dress accordingly for radio. No, that doesn’t mean you can sit there in your birthday suit, because people would hear the screaming on the radio. Which reminds me, whilst this is optional and I wouldn’t dream of forcing attendees to dress up, we hope that a few of you will be donning your stetsons and spurs in support of the alter-Austin Dallas theme referred to in my first post on Paradise Circus.

Filed under: Coverage, , , , , , ,

WxWM Venue


On Saturday 14th March, WxWM will take place in the meeting room upstairs at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. The venue has free wifi, you can purchase food when you’re feeling a bit munchy and, importantly, it’s licensed. I’m particularly pleased about the latter.

We kick off at 3pm, with anyone wanting to come and set up their equipment able to do so from about 2pm. We’ve got the room until 8pm, and will attempt to sabotage Pete Ashton’s Texan experience via Skype at around 7pm. There have already been some fantastic suggestions for panels which I really hope will be firmed up soon, but do keep the ideas coming!

The venue can accommodate 25-30 people so numbers will be limited to this effect. Please confirm your attendance at http://doodle.com/participation.html?pollId=m2i66frwpfyw65tm. Contributors, please also confirm equipment you’ll be bringing and whether you’ll be hosting a panel.

Filed under: Info, Venue, , , ,

WxWM panel picking

SXSW Panel

(photo by mostlymouse)

Because you don’t have to be in Texas to benefit from the wisdom of others, we’re planning on running a few quick panels a la SxSW. We’d like some suggestions for panels you’d like to see there, because we love your minds. Maybe it’s something you’re involved with or something that just simply tickles you. As long as it’s about teh internetz, it’s legit. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that they will only last about 5 minutes tops!

Please get suggesting in the comments.

Filed under: Panels, , , , ,

Rootin’, tootin’, bostin Brum!


(design courtesy of Katie Parry)

On Saturday 14th March, two things will be occuring. Ok, well, more than two things, but I’m just focusing on two of them. SxSW and its counter-culture-cousin: WxWM. West by West Midlands.

The Brum babes are taking on Texas. Why? We’re all ragged that we can’t be in Texas! So, bringing a little Southern Comfort to the most landlocked city in the UK allows us to show them that you don’t need to be at SxSW to be involved.

A live blog is planned to run from approximately 3pm GMT on Saturday 14th March, following the haphazard shennanigans of the WxWM posse. Shoulder pads will be jousted, webz will be wiggled.

Stay tuned….

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