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Anyone for Social Media Cricket? 28th Dec. Walsall

December 18, 2009

Just as you think social media is over for another year, the Black Country Social Media Cafe are having one more – very informal – meet-up:

Social Media Cricket, 28th December 2009, Bar Sport, Bridge St., Walsall. 10 am – 3pm.

[Google Maps]

If you like to watch cricket, drink beer, or just want to discuss how Jesus could have used social media, feel free to come along and join us.

Be warned, however, after a few beers it is highly likely that I will start a lecture on the role of my great-grandfather as the thin edge of the 20-20 wedge.

The Future of the Black Country Social Media Cafe

December 10, 2009

Last night was the last Black Country Social Media Cafe (BCSMC) of the year, with a Christmas feel provided by roaring open fires and the toasting of crumpets provided by @Cybrum. The end of one year and the start of another seems an appropriate time to start a discussion about what people want from the BCSMC, if indeed they want anything at all. Over the past year we have experimented with a couple of formats: structured talks during the day, and informal gatherings down the pub in the evening. Meetings have been held in Wolverhampton, as well as in Walsall and Stourbridge. We’ve had as many as 25 people turn up, and as few as six.

So. What do you want from the BCSMC? Feel free to leave a comment.

Log Fires and Real Ale: BCSMC back in Wolverhampton

November 30, 2009

After two months on tour the Black Country Social Media Cafe is returning to Wolverhampton for the final meetup of the year:

Wednesday 9th December, 6.30 pm, The Great Western, Sun Street, Wolverhampton.

[Google Maps]

[Photo courtesy of Matthew Black]

The Great Western is a great pub next to Wolverhampton train station with great beer, open fires, and the opportunity to toast your own crumpets if you bring some.

So, if you are interested in the possibilities of social media, and want to meet like-minded people in convivial surroundings, then come along and join us for a pint or two.

Nb. In case you are wondering why it is being held on a Wednesday rather than a Tuesday, our Tuesday slot has been stolen by the dastardly Derby Social Media Cafe.

BCSMC in Stourbridge: Tuesday 10th November, 7pm

November 3, 2009

After last month’s Black Country Social Media Cafe in Walsall, the general consensus was that social media and beer are extremely well-suited. Therefore month’s social media cafe will once again be an evening event in a pub, although this time it’ll be in Stourbridge:

Old Crispin Inn, Church St, Stourbridge. Tuesday, 10th November, 7pm.

[Google Maps]

As the Black Country SMC made its name with its world class speakers on various social media topics, we have decided to include a bit more structure at this month’s event with a round table discussion on the future of social media: What comes next?

So if you’re interested in social media, like beer, or just want to hear @danslee talk about routers, come along and join us. If nothing else Stourbridge Town branch line has the best train in the world!


BCSMC visits Walsall: Wednesday October 14th, 6.30pm.

October 6, 2009

After seven gatherings in Wolverhampton, the Black Country Social Media Cafe is finally living up to its name and moving around the region. By popular demand the next Black Country Social Media Cafe will be an evening event in Walsall, allowing people to come along who can’t usually make it:

Wednesday 14th October, 6.30pm, The Fountain Inn, Lower Forster Street, Walsall.

[Google Maps Link]

This time there will be no talk, no theme, no sponsor, just a bunch of people interested in social media chatting to like-minded people over a pint of beer. So if you are interested in social media, or just fancy a pint of beer on a Wednesday evening,  then come along and join us.


Tuesday September 8th – BCSMC with some thoughts from Guyana

September 1, 2009

Somehow we find ourselves at the seventh Black Country Social Media Cafe, a place to chat with some other people interested in social media in the Black Country.

This month @Chris Unitt, who spoke at the first open event back in April, has agreed to come along and share his experiences of his recent visit to Guyana to teach a web skills course.


Whether you are interested in the problems of teaching web skills, the global digital divide, or just want a coffee and a chat with some people interested in social media, come along and join us.

Tuesday 8th September, 2.30 – 4.30pm at Alchemy, 1A North St, Wolverhampton [Google Maps].

Politics 2.0 at the Black Country Social Media Cafe

July 25, 2009

The next meeting is Tuesday 11th August, 2.30-4.30pm, at the Alchemy Bar/Cafe Wolverhampton. [Map/Sign-up page]

This month we have local MP Tom Watson, general social media evangelist and the first MP to have a blog, coming to talk to us about the role of social media in politics.

So if you are interested in politics, social media, the politics of social media, or just want to hang out with a local MP, come along and join the debate.

This month’s event is sponsored by Clarity Digital.

Clarity Digital is a specialist digital marketing agency who provide strategic planning and evaluation of clients’ online marketing activities.

This Month’s BCSMC: Announcing the Line-Up

July 8, 2009

This month’s Black Country Social Media Cafe is on Tuesday 14th July, 2.30 – 4.30pm at Alchemy, 1A North St, Wolverhampton [Google Maps]. As always it is a mix of informal mingling and a panel discussion.

Due to popular demand this month’s panel discussion is on the topic of ‘Social Media Non-adopters‘. How do we engage with users who are not already involved in social media? How important is social media to civic engagement? Is the digital divide far more subtle than our notions of technology haves and have-nots? These are just some of the issues we can expect the panel to discuss as they explore the subject with help from the audience.

Confirmed panel members for this month include:

Michael Grimes -Web manager for the Citizenship Foundation.

Marlon Parker – Social entrepreneur from South Africa who uses technology to empower local communities.

Jon Hickman – Academic at Birmingham City University, and participant in Birmingham’s Social Media Surgeries.

Paul Henderson – Works with the social web for charities, social enterprises, and the public sector.

Thanks to Wolverhampton Development Company who have kindly sponsored this month’s event:

Wolverhampton Development Company Logo

As always you can let us know you are coming by signing up on the wiki ( ), or like most people, just turn up on the day.

Announcing 14th July’s BCSMC: Social Media Non-Adopters

June 15, 2009

Rather than having the next BCSMC topic of discussion being made arbitrarily by me, I decided to do a quick survey-monkey of the members (based on suggestions other people had made). The big problem with asking members what they want is they don’t always come up with easy answers.
July Survey

Whereas it would be relatively easy to create a panel on How social media is boosting creativity or Ultra-local publishing, the members who voted decided that they wanted the topic to be Social Media Non-adopters. Who are the social media non-adopters? What are the barriers to social media? What attempts are being made to reach out beyond the core group of social media users? It would be good to create a mixed panel of people both inside and outside of social media. So, if you want to be on the panel, or know someone who would be perfect for a panel discussion, please let me know.

Put the event in your diaries and sign-up here.

N.B. The ‘something else’ suggestion was What benefit has social media had on my business? This will be added to the options next time we survey members for a topic (as will any other suggestions made).

BCSMC featured member – Donato Esposito

June 9, 2009

Donato Esposito, also known as @bostinbloke is the founder of the Bostin Group.