Next Tuesday will see the first Social Media Surgery held in Leeds – so what can you expect to find going on?
John: ” People were asking me questions about social media things but this has really come about because I was at the first year anniversary of the surgeries in Birmingham which happened about three weeks ago and people were asking why we weren’t doing it in this region.”
So he’s started it!
Nick explains how it’s worked in Birmingham: ” They are aimed at small charities, community groups and active citizens. They are resolutely informal. Volunteer surgeons pitch up and we sit them next to people who are trying to make a difference in the places where they live. They talk to each other, share skills and go perhaps help people set up web tools. The beneficiaries are welcome to come back time and again to get more help.”
He also offers this recipe to the event.
The Leeds event will be formulated in much the same way and John has already heard that other Yorkshire locations are interested in setting up similar events in Huddersfield, York, Sheffield and Hull so next week’s event could be the first of many.
Sharing some of the experience from Birmingham, Nick says a year of the surgeries in the city have raised awareness in the city about the potential of social media for social good.
“We have also helped to stitch together a few more squares in the patchwork quilt of very, very local blogging. That quilt will, eventually, prove a real democratic asset to the city. We didn’t keep track of every group that has been helped – because at the beginning it was very informal. We know of 22 sites we have helped set up – about half of those are still busy.
“We have also helped a lot of people who were already using the web. We know that the idea has spun off to places as far a field as Sydney, Barcelona and soon South Africa plus surgeries cropping up in a growing number of town/cities in the UK.”
See you there!