Saturday, 6 February 2010

Leeds Social Media Surgery

It is important to note that I am writing this article from the perspective of a University student who wishes to develop a career in technology/web/digital/social media consultancy, and not that of a patient or surgeon at Leeds Social Media Surgery.

On the 2nd of February I attended the 2nd Leeds Social Media Surgery, located at The Round Foundry, with the intention of becoming a future surgeon.

I contacted John prior to the event asking if I could be a surgeon, having spent my time at university studying the practical uses of social media as a tool for communication, distribution of digital content (as well as having the personal experience, of using a wide range of social media tools for various purposes) I felt I would have some valuable knowledge that I could pass on to other people.

As the event approached I felt a little uncomfortable with being a surgeon as I have no prior experience in consultancy. This made me feel a little uneasy and I felt it would be better for me to watch and observe at my 1st session just so I could get a feel for how the surgeries worked.

From my observations I found the surgery to be a relaxed informal chat (as most social media events tend to be) where by patients had questions and surgeons talked through and demoed software / tech that could address the patients problems.

I sat in on a session where by a local community paper (Black & White News UK) wanted advise on re-establishing their paper, they wanted advice on how to take the content from the paper and publish it online, and if taking the content online was the right way to go.

Rick, (the surgeon who I sat in with) advised on how taking content online removes printing cost, there is no longer the need in investing time (and) or money in to physical distribution if the content is online. He also demoed how twitter can be used as a simple way to publish content up to a website and furthered this demo by showing that it is possible to interface with twitter from your mobile phone, thus allowing a website owner to publish fresh and engaging content to a website, while being on the move and away from a desktop computer.

When ever I attend any social media event I always find that I learn something new and inspiring and this was not an exception at the social media surgery. Rick talked about a concept I had not heard of before called 'reverse publishing' where by you take a selection of your best online content and then use this to generate a print article for distribution.

I know I have the knowledge and ability to advise people at future surgeries as I am often advising friends and family ways in which they can get leverage from social media to make their lives easier, talk and interact with people who have similar ideas and interests, or as a way to find prospective clients who would be interested in the services their business has to offer.

Although currently I do not feel I am fully equipped to take on the role of a consultant I do hope that with the right guidance and by further building my experience in this role I am able to rise to the challenge at the next surgery and advise my 1st patient.

Below I have included some images I took while at the Leeds Social Media Surgery, I am happy for other people to use them in their own blog posts, I just request you credit them to me and link back to my twitter page.






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