The Arts, Creative Industries and Business. Very distinct attitudes to business and creativity. Do you have an audience or a client base? Are they consumers or visitors? The social media phenomenon is ideally suited to audience engagement. Venues and Events with delegates and visitors can blossom with the correct social media tool kit to enhance their activity. But the vital link is a real person and the catalyst for success is an existing interested community. I have encountered a lot of cynicism surrounding the adoption of social media within business. What's the point? On the flip side The Arts with their meager budget and creative ideals embrace social media. What can I do with it? Watching creative organisations and creatively minded businesses adaptation, inclusion and fusion of social media services, platforms and tool is a why I enjoy what I do. From just a few discussions and the imagination fired its easy to structure a plan of attack to get them going. Digital sustainability has to be worked at and looked at from many sides. On a personal level it's your ability to listen to your inner dialogue and amplify.
For my own presentation at MCL3 I took the opportunity to reflect on my time with Amb:IT:ion. As a network of social media adventurers keen to embrace and explore the potential digital can provide its also important to have practitioners walking the walk and talking the talk to fuel, to inspire and Media Camp London delegate are a perfect complement. It was my hope that some would sign up to the Amb:IT:ion UK network and join the adventure.
Several Amb:IT:ion network members came along and I'm pleased to say a couple of Media Campers joined the network.
MediaCamp is an "unconference". Once the date of an event is announced a wiki type collaboration web presence is created. Anyone wishing to attend, assist or present are free to update the collaborative space to declare their intentions.
MediaCampLondon3 was slightly different in that an event platform Eventbrite provided a payment system and event portal for delegates with the Venue details, sponsors, event info, directions and delegates signed up to attend in an Eventbrite event page. During sign up intention to present and a request for a session title was included in the form. Links included in the body of the event page aggregated relevant web content:
Here we are at part 2 of my MediaCampLondon post... after lunch
A suggested topic caught my eye when the event details first appeared online.
Social Media Ethics
Whether its codes of conduct, best practice or end user policy the accepted structural controls laid out relating to Social Technology are in their infancy. Protection or Oppression? Safe access or restricted boundaries? Who is the protected? Knowledge is power and with it comes responsibility. Following a consistent code of behavior and practice backing up open and honest engagement builds trust.
Since my first engagement with virtual worlds and then social media acceptable behavior in a space with faceless encounters and constructed reality, who are we? Has intriged me. Who are you?
Actors play their roles in a play, become the characters they portray but when the curtain goes down they are the character no longer. Playing roles, trying on different morals and behaviours is one of the underlying attraction to actors. Being someone else. The greatest actors draw from an inner reservoir of experiences but they slowly drown if they loose sight of who they really are. Identity is wrapped up with ethics.
I spent over 6 months playing one character in a play each performance was 60 minutes living as someone else. Playing a role and living your life. This is all very esoteric, how does this relate to social media?
Ethics at MediaCamp
Sylwia Presley presented Social Media Ethics. The session began with a 20min presentation and continued as a Q&A discussion.
Sylwia talks with great authority using case study examples to illustrate her key headlines. Real stories, of successes and failings throughout the public consciousness of social media. And not illustrated ad-nausium with statistics.
The only difference between online and offline content is the communication channel. I knew I was going to learn valuable insights when Sylwia expressed this sentiment.
It was about message not method. Delivering a consistent message across an organisation needs formalising but as her presentation illustrated, not solidifying. These formalised rules set out guidelines of best practice. While referencing Twitter Sylwia noted Twitter ettiquette with ethics evolving as behaviours change. How to behave, what is acceptible? what is not. These things do change. The use of auto-response tweeting to new followers was just one example.
The field of Ethics is notoriously difficult to define. Everyone's ethics differ by degrees.
So...How to capture without distraction?
I decided to Qik, live stream to my Qik account. (with Sylwia's permission) The thing a like about this method of capture is not having content hanging around waiting for action. Point and Shoot, the upload takes place in real time and with a player embedded in my blog I have instant blog content. Qik also provides a share facility enabling me to tweet the fact I am streaming live in case any one in my network should want to watch.
Sylwia presented for 20 minutes which I streamed. The following Q&A I did not stream. This was a conscious decision one take, no distractions or frustrations that I just missed a great phrase. I listened as a delegate while capturing the content.
In mid December before the seasonal mayhem took hold I traveled down to London for MediaCampLondon3. Since meeting MediaCamp's instigator Chris Hambly in Second Life in the summer of 2007, helping out with a virtual music event and offering my assistance to MediaCampBucks this social media phenomenon has grown so it seems exponentially. MediaCampbucks's online comings and goings was the reason I joined Twitter. Time passes and here I am at the end of 2009 at MediaCampLondon3.
Working as I do very often as a communications bridge between online platforms and real world events I tend to think about end user/audience experience a lot. Are they getting an interesting and tangible stream of content and comments? Is their voice being heard and questions engaged? Following an event online is never as good as being there in the flesh but when needs must someone like me connecting conversations and not just operating tech is the best a remote delegate can expect.
The down side to this is I find it hard to turn that off. I want to share the wonder, value and freedom the web can provide. I kind of assume that anyone following me fall in to two categories, those interested in what I do to learn and develop their own social media practice and those interested in what I do ( and most importantly would consider working with me or recommending me to their networks.) Which ever camp you fall in to I hope you glean value from my efforts. I follow people online in social space for these reasons too. It's personal. Another thing I enjoy about social media, people.
Through out the Amb:IT:ion Roadshows I was frequently asked "How can anyone listen properly to speakers and constantly twitter (live blog or engage in streaming chat)? You can't be paying full attention." And the answer was "You are absolutely correct, you can't." What you have to ask your self is what you want out of an event. Are you there as a delegate, just for you or are you there to amplify the event to your networks or workplace? Two different experiences and approaches with different objectives.
Within PCM creative's 7 roads of social media this would fall under either "Personal Development" or "Establishing yourself as an authority". MediaCampLondon for me was Personal Development. Its a great benchmark for me as my big social media journey away from web design was ignited by Chris Hambly's MediaCamps. Attending MediaCampLondon 3 was (in my mind) unashamedly about me.
No Tech? !!
First I decided no tech! Huh! MediaCamp and no tech? As a pure "in the flesh" delegate the immersion and absorption of knowledge is the goal. A very close sub goal is to meet old and new, interesting, like-minded, inspirational people as well as meeting digital contacts in the flesh. No tech required. Notes? Well the capture devise of preference. For me this is still my trusty paper and pen. As a pure delegate a supply of quick draw business cards strictly rationed is essential too. Supply and demand!
But I did want to blog. This is amplifying territory. I wanted some images, I wanted to capture the unique vibe always present at MediaCamp. Finally I decided...no twitter. Twitter on the #mcl3 tag would look after its self this is about reflective blogging not sound bite attention grabbing, link sharing, authority building. Capturing media and using it, getting it in to a usable format is often my biggest stumbling block. MP4 to audio MP3 mainly. So how to capture without distraction?
One thing I've learnt from previous mediacamps is that you can't see every thing. I've tried and end up experiencing nothing to it's fullest. I planned whose sessions I wanted to sit in on, included time for chit chat and also presented my own session. Being an unconference means the schedule is open for anyone to run a session. I do love to share!
Lighten Up, Baby
I started my day with "Lighten Up, Baby" an open discussion about the somber seriousness of social media and its need to get over itself and well... Lighten Up! Lloyd Davis running the session kept it very informal and I know intelligent things were said ...on reflection I found it hard to retain details enough to blog. Conversations to have, people to meet. I took a few photos but left it at that. For recall factor decidedly disappointing.
Advanced Cat Herding
Next on my schedule was "Advanced Cat Herding" with Benjamin Ellis. A quirky team collaboration and management perspective session injecting fun, inspirational and valuable insights in to managing a successful team.
So...How to capture without distraction? I decided to audio record this session getting Ben's permission to record I captured the session on my Nokia5800. Downloaded the MP4 file to my PC. Converted it to MP3 using www.youconvertit.com which delivered the converted file to my email inbox where I uploaded it to my www.Podbean.com account for syndication before using the "embed a single track player" to include it here for you.
Very few people in my current environment will give
virtual worlds any time. I however am passionate about them as business assets
(even if only a 3D extension of a 2D website or social space) As a result I'm
little reserved in who I offer my Virtual World service to. Cynicism and
inflexible thinking towards the social web is a tough nut to crack.
The current leap of faith is social media. Businesses
are running headlong in to a light they spent most of 2008 and 09 declaring as
an absurd waste of time but now it's becoming mainstream everyone is at it for
better or worse!
Virtual worlds are still a leap too far here and now.
I'd be happy to make my skills and experiences available to your organisation
if you require input.
… I continued.
In SecondLife I have been Custodian and Curator of
Pilot Theatre's 3D presence since 2007. It's dormant but the company feel it's
important to keep it, even mothballed as it is. I am hoping to spend a little
time updating and housekeeping in the year to come. The location is Pilot
Theatre in SL search. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Earth/210/35/27
I have curated events in SL as a host in-world and as
a coordinator facilitating chat streams across group chat windows for live
music events within SL running back channels for the event team and venue chat
for the audience/delegates and live streamed real world events in
Livestream.com. A basic event includes monitoring and engaging a multi-streamed
Twitter audience too. Most importantly I'm an approachable entity in the
off-line, virtual world or online environment.
I've been described as an Internet Fairy, Event Guide,
and Ambassador, essentially I help my client’s participants/event
delegates new to online social spaces/community or event, online or virtual,
experience the events and ultimately help them feel at ease with the
technological interface. That is the highest hurdle! Just like the magic of
theatre, virtual worlds require participants to suspend disbelieve and become
immersed. You can't dip in your toe you have to give yourself over to it for
the time the experience lasts.
Where do I come from? (This was my attempt to quantify
the circumstances throughout my career that bought me to the point I am today)
I was a theatre stagemanager before moving in to digital tech development as
the social media phenomenon exploded on to the scene. Here I found my niche as an
online and virtual event curator and network custodian.
I use the research, resource and acquisitioning skills
from my theatre days. "Attention to detail and fiscal compromising
scales" to balance budgetary restraints capitalising on freemium social
media tools, services and platforms to develop digital development strategies
for creative organisations and creative thinking businesses.
A virtual world asset is a development I offer to
clients who see beyond the 2D realm of webpages. Most frequently it is 2D web
development and enhancement I am consulted on. Clients want to bring social
media consumers to their websites to purchase goods and services.
The time of the virtual community will emerge, some
are here now. Social Media consumption is the current tidal rip.
I'd welcome digital development and virtual world
commissions and be delighted to discuss any area of interest to you (and to you
blog reader – thanks for reading this far) from my response
Aside to blog readers... "When did your conversation begin?"