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

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!

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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, , , , , , ,

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, , , , ,

Nearly there….

So, for those who are confirmed as attending…. we’ll see you in the meeting room upstairs at the Kitchen Garden Cafe this afternoon! We start at 3pm, doors open at 2.50pm and it’d be just smashing if you could wear a stetson (or other fancy headgear)!


Bring an inquisitive mind, a dollop of wit, bags of talkability and a mighty wedge of fun 🙂 Panel hosts: bring the gear you need and your beautiful botties.

If you’re not attending, but want a piece of the action, you can follow the event live at Rhubarb Radio and on the live blog.

And remember: Sue Ellen is a drunk, a tramp and an unfit mother.


Filed under: Info, , ,

WxWM Schedule

2pm – 3pm Room available for set up only*

2.50-3pm Attendees – git your butts into the room, please!

3pm: WxWM commences. Intro, housekeeping and a major avoidance of line dancing. Broadcasting starts online and on Rhubarb Radio.

3.05pm Panels commence

Today’s panels are (running order may vary):

  • Jon BoundsArse poo shit widdle – swearing and the meme, why it’s big hard and clever (or other topic TBC)
  • Kasper Sorenson Understanding the Differences: Using Social Media for Professional Purposes vs Personal Pleasure. BirminghamRecycled’s Kasper Sorenson is faced with the challenge of getting journalists into the habit of thinking of social media as a public debate, rather than just a place for chatting to friends. From his experience, Kasper’s view is that most people use social media primarily to nurture existing social relations and not to create new ones. How can journalism students using social media tools be educated about the differences and encouraged to engage in more public debate via the medium?
  • Charlie PinderTake two devices into the shower? Pervasive technology: covering various context-aware tech like Bluetooth, ultra local blogging, QRcodes, GPS trails, RFID
  • Nick BoothMe and My Troll: Sharing experiences of irritating f-wits we meet online
  • Gemma Harris and Kara Crozier – Birmingham School of Media
    Blogging, Therapy & Social Inclusion
    An overview of a social engagement project being run by some first year undergrads
  • Jon Hickman – one or more of the following:
    Birmingham School of Media
    Launching the arguably first Social Media MA programme in the country
    (Jon Hickman)
    It’s not MA Blogging. It’s not MA Lolcats. It will have words in it like discourse. I won’t apologise for that. Find out what a postgraduate degree in Twitter Social Media is, or might be, and tell me what you think.
    The Two Jonnies
    We share stuff, and borrow ideas from Blue Peter
    (Jons Bounds & Hickman)
    We’ll explain what We Share Stuff is, and ask for you to pledge support for our Digital Inclusion Conference fringe event next month. What’s Blue Peter all about? We’ll bring one we prepared earlier to show you…
    The Brains Trust
    What the hell is a social media consultant anyway?
    (Jons Bounds & Hickman with Nick Booth)
    Last time I asked Twitter what a social media consultant was Jon Bounds called his own job title “wanky”. Find out if “Social Media Consultant” is the new “Emo” (i.e. no one wants to be described as it even if they are).
  • Nicky GetgoodA local blog for local people – doing Digbeth is Good
  • Ben WhitehouseOnce upon a time: telling stories online
  • Andy MabbettWeb accessibility (TBC)
  • Antonio RobertsA short introduction to hacking. What it is, what it isn’t and tools available to make you a really creative hacker.

5.00pm Break. Food for those who pre-order it (we’ll get your food orders at the beginning of the afternoon)

5.25-30pm Panels recommence

6.20pm Break and prep for live link. Anyone who’s accrued a penalty at this point may be required to line dance.

6.30pm Live link to SXSW in Texas! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (If it works)

6.50pm-8pm Panels. Overflow from previous panels/ chill out/ network/ banter

* People required from 2pm:

  • Shona McQuillan. Check it out – I have to remind myself of this by scheduling myself.
  • Mark Steadman /Rhubarb Radio
  • Jaki Booth (Julia and Nat Higginbotham as back up, if possible – but no need to hurry)
  • Panel hosts who need to set up their equipment prior to the proceedings
  • Dolly Parton. Ok, well not really.

Filed under: Info, Panels, schedule, , , , ,

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….

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