Monthly Archives: October 2006

Jobs at NMK

My former employer NMK – based at the University of Westminster – has three roles available all at once.

They are currently seeking:

A Web Editor

A Community Manager

A Product & PR Manager

The closing date for submitting applications is 10th November 2006.

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Beers & Innovation Social By Design sold out

Things seem to be accelerating in the social media sphere, but in turn I think this means creating a space to pause and reflect on these developments is ever more urgent. 

So even though Beers & Innovation 6: Social By Design sold out this morning, the event itself should prove a useful opportunity to survey the landscape and query its direction and sustainability.

With AOL Europe‘s Consumer Experience Lead for Social Media and longstanding blogger Meg PickardMint Digital (blog) Commercial Director Tim Morgan, and Crowdstorm (blog) Co-Founder & CEO Philip Wilkinson in the hot seats, and Guardian Unlimited‘s Head Of Editorial Development (alert – new job title!) Neil McIntosh chairing, it promises to be a cut above many events on social media to date.

What’s more the debate on measuring social media – and major gaffes in the field – is cranking up a gear. More on that soon. And many, many more gaffes to cringe / crow over too, I’d wager. Plus an announcement is immanent on the next Beers & Innovation on 30th January 2007.

Aggregators and upsetters and what it’s all about

Okay, i feel pretty guilty and inadequate for not having posted about the Beers & Innovation Aggregators & Upsetters event last Tuesday until now.

Oh man, has it really been a week already?! Well, three nights out at events in a row (I also attended Swedish Beers later that same night and then the Paid Content Mixer – they’ve now launched a redesign via which I currently can’t see the comments, but hey – on Wed and and the TechCrunch UK launch party last Thurs) and having to change jobs while trying to sort two future events and a pile of other urgent stuff simultaneously will do that to a person!

So, as per usual, nada time to reflect, but a (very) quick scan of my Bloglines, Technorati and Google has turned up the following really interesting coverage and follow-up discussion of the evening’s topics.

http://www.bubblegeneration.com/2006/10/beers-innovation.cfm

http://www.bubblegeneration.com/2006/10/research-note-peer-value-of-money.cfm

http://prof.rogerkondrat.com/2006/10/19/beers-innovation-aggregators-and-upsetters/

http://www.asymmetry.co.uk/wordpress/2006/10/18/nmk-new-media-knowledge-beers-and-innovation/

http://www.broadstuff.com/archives/29-The-Disaggregation-of-Aggregators.html

http://www.theequitykicker.com/2006/10/18/vc-model-changing-but-not-broken/

(if I’ve missed anything please feel free to add it in the comments, thanks!)

If there’s one thing I have to respond to criticism-wise, it’s the view from Roger Kondrat that it’s largely the same people coming every time to B&I. First off – I’m so glad Roger was there but he’s only been to the last two B&I’s – we’ve had five and the first three varied widely in who attended depending on the subject matter.

Big brands and agencies in attendance…

Also, I would ask – did Roger talk to any of the brands, or large advertising agencies who were in attendance? If so, that’s great, but they haven’t been coming to every event, and also, a lot of the mainstream /big media types (but not all) don’t hang around afterwards because they’re not yet acculturated to the idea of a social scene around digital innovation. But I’ve had great feedback from them and more keep coming each time.

Another thing to factor in is the fact that it needs to be a relatively small “1st world” event because if we had more than 60 or 70 in the room the intimacy would be lost and you just wouldn’t have such a good discussion.

What’s more, NMK is a small, publicly-funded organisation that doesn’t have a lot of people or resources to promote its events, however much it might want to. This is currently accentuated by a staff exodus. But we are trying our hardest (across multiple channels including 2.0 channels like the fab wiki Jigsaw UK and Upcoming) in the circumstances. And I don’t even work there anymore, since last Friday…

More than your average geek…

In the event’s defense I would also note that it has a much wider audience than many geek / web 2.0 events, and also many more women in attendance.

The former is explained by NMK‘s broad audience, the latter – I don’t know why, but probably something to do with the former and (perhaps) the fact that it’s organised by a woman. Surely neither can be a bad thing? Events need to reflect the users more, and I think we all sorta know the web has a diverse audience!  😉

Finally, I’m not going to complain if a community of regular attendees is growing up around this event. It just makes it more essential that you should keep tabs on it and book early for forthcoming ones – only if you think the discussion is relevant and important to you of course.

The people formerly known as the audience

Thanks to everyone for coming along, speakers and the people formerly known as the audience alike. You are what make it worthwhile  🙂 

The point of it all is to highlight and trigger debates after all, and to try to move things forward, like Tom Coates did in his original post ‘Where are all the UK start-ups?‘ that inspired this whole Beers & Innovation series.

On a connected note, it might be of interest to you that B&I 5 speaker Paul Pod’s TIOTI (Tape It Off The Internet) got covered in the business section of The Guardian yesterday, Monday 23rd October. Was their reporter Katie Allen scanning Technorati, lurking on Upcoming or in disguise in the audience; or is it just a coincidence, who knows..?

Moving on from NMK

Second and last post of the day, hopefully!

After snoozing for 3 days, the NMK email has reawakened.

But after this week I will be moving on from NMK.

I’m going to be editor of Chinwag. In turn, soon the old Chinwag site will be gone too, to be replaced with a new site that builds on the achievements of Chinwag Jobs, which recently celebrated it’s first birthday.

More on that soon.

In the meantime, what happens here?

More Beers & Innovation!

Yep, Beers & Innovation 6: Social By Design on Tuesday 14th November is all sorted and looking like another one to watch.

The line-up features Meg Pickard, Consumer Experience Lead in Social Media at AOL Europe, Tim Morgan, Commercial Director of Mint Digital (blog) and Philip Wilkinson, the Co-Founder & CEO of Crowdstorm (blog). Chairing is the wonderful Neil McIntosh, Assistant Editor at Guardian Unlimited.

We’ve already taken quite a few bookings, so if peering deeper into the social media sphere floats your boat, don’t hang about!

I’m also in the final stages of putting together another B&I for January, which should start to face up to some of the very cogent points  – about the UK’s strengths, not just it’s weaknesses – outlined by Tom Coates in the original post that inspired this whole series.

I’ll still be introducing the November and January nights, and blogging around the subject.

What then?

Beyond that, a lot depends on:

(1) NMK hiring 3 people to work here in light of the recent staff exodus (apparently they are advertising these jobs soon).

(2) One or more of those people taking on the development and organisation of Beers & Innovation (in tandem with community input of course).

(3) One of them starting a blog.

I’ll be keeping this blog, but as the title differs from the URL (I’m now really glad I did that when I started this blog in March!), I can keep the blog and handover the Beers & Innovation title if and when needed.

What happened?

Overall the NMK experience has been much broader and more absorbing than I ever could have foreseen or expected. I’ve developed, organised and “marketed” a lot of events, which isn’t in my job description but which was required by circumstances. I’ve done it before though, and it seems I’m not too bad at it. Content 2.0 wasn’t even the half of it.

I’ve not been able to do much writing or analysis, which has been less satisfying. But the role has given me an incredible overview of the evolving digital media sector in the UK and beyond. And don’t get me started on SXSW Interactive or I might go on for hours  😉

Best of all, I’ve got to meet, discover and collaborate with loads of amazing people and hopefully (mostly through organising events) helped shed some light on interesting stuff that’s happening, facilitated some meaningful debates and brought other people together in ways that couldn’t be construed as unpleasant.

It’s all a work in progress 🙂

I’m still here

It’s one of those irksome announcements again.

The NMK email has been down since Saturday, but in all other respects I am still here  😉

The responsible parties are working on getting the email back up, which will hopefully happen later today.

However, as we have both a course (Open Sauce Live) and the sold out Beers & Innovation happening tomorrow, I might be missing some important missives, perhaps even from readers…

In which case I recommend calling the office on 0207 915 5412, or calling my mobile number if you have it (it’s in the signature of all my emails).

Aggregators and upsetters event nearly full

There are just a handful of tickets left for Beers & Innovation next week.

If you want to join the discussion about content aggregation, user-generated content, edge economies and disruptive business models on Tuesday 17th October, book your ticket now.

Umair Haque of Bubblegeneration, Paul Pod of TIOTI (Tape It Off the Internet), Richard Anson of Reevoo and Mike Butcher of mbites will be exploring this issues and reflecting on their experiences in tandem with the equally quizzical audience.  😉

Once the event is full we won’t be operating a waiting list this time, due to the current NMK staff shortage.

Evolutionary scepticism and the bubble

I went to see scientist Richard Dawkins speak at the Institute Of Education last night about his new book The God Delusion after hearing about it on Upcoming.

It was a packed out hall (of about 500 I think) and luckily I got a ticket on the door, after queuing for 40 minutes.

Anyway, I won’t go into the entire contents of the talk and discussion here, although it was very engaging and lively.

You can check out Dawkins resources and coverage elsewhere.

But one woman in the audience mentioned the fact that Dawkins’ Channel 4 series ‘The Root Of All Evil’ (which Dawkins disagreed with as the series title – he thought ‘The Root Of A Lot Of Evil’ more accurate, albeit not such a catchy title…) is available on YouTube! (and also here, and here)

Science of aggregation?

Interestingly, Dawkins voiced no comment on this (what Channel 4 might say is another matter).

Then overnight this breaking story on Google’s aquisition of YouTube first dropped into my inbox via PaidContent.

So perhaps the days of the YouTube copy are numbered… (BTW, does this run counter to the theory that Google is the ultimate aggregator?)

In turn, while I’m fully aware that online has now eclipsed print media in Europe, the soap is still stinging my eyes  😉

[UPDATE: Turns out there’s a God Delusion tour of the UK, USA and Canada with Cambrige, Birmingham and Cheltenham all happening this week and the tour finale in Oxford on 14th November … via Dave, via Tom]