Social Media Cafe Manchester

Just got in from attending this month's Social Media Cafe @ The Northern in Manchester. Social Media Cafe is a gathering of like minded individuals who are interested in discussing, sharing and learning about web 2.0 and social media. The event is free and run by volunteers.

Despite having a good understanding of web 2.0 and SEO, I was still pretty apprehencious as I knew a lot of people attending were big players in the Manchester circuit. At first, I was surprised at how busy it was. SMC is very friendly with lots going on, people recording video and instantly uploading to the web, while others Twitter away during the event, something which takes a bit of getting used to while someone is presenting.

It works very simply, it's an open conference. If you want to do a presentation about a certain aspect of social media, simply let the guys know on the website and they'll fit you in. Tonight there were 6 presentations to choose from, spread over 2 sessions. I chose "How To Make Money From Your Blog" by Craig McGinty and "Using Social Media In Learning" by David Bird.

I chose Craig McGinty mainly because I enjoy reading his blog. He is a good example of how powerful blogs can be and how you can make an income through having adverts on your blogs. His presentation was about solid website marketing. Have good, relevant content, be single product focused (his was all about moving and living in France) and focus on where best to place adverts. I managed to have a quick chat later on and a really nice guy.

David Bird's presentation was excllent. David works at MMU, teaching digital marketing and social media. He discussed the problems he faces in trying to implement and improve online communications at MMU. I really feel for him. I totally believe that today's learning institutions are so far behind the times with online activity it is untrue.

David told us how he is introducing video to compliment alongside written essays. These videos allow for greater creativity, especially for those with learning disabilities, to express themselves clearly. These videos are also contributed to the marking - great idea!

Schools, colleges and universities need to start listening and investing in media which young people can relate to. This video which I saw a few months ago is the results of a survey by Google on what students are up to today. It is very, very interesting.

If you're interested in social media I highly suggest heading down next month. I've learnt I need to get more involved with taking photos and video!

Check out the Social Media Cafe Manchester website here. They are also on Twitter.

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