Provocative opinions aired on the clothes line of life.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cardiff Blogs Summer Social

Yesterday evening Cardiff Blogs hosted a special meet up at the Maldron Hotel, disengaging bloggers and social media enthusiasts in Cardiff and the surrounding areas from their laptops and out into the offline world to engage face-to-face instead.

With the purpose being to introduce the new admin team, due to the recently departed co-founders, Hannah Waldram and Ed Walker (who aren't dead but just newly employed). They've handed us the torch (or set us alight with it depending on how pessimistic your outlook is) and we wish them the fondest of goodbyes and the very best for their future - all the while through forced smiles and gritted teeth as we have tremendously intimidating shoes to fill.

Not to mention very high expectations to meet from the regulars who remain (or the Twitterati as I like to call them) as well as the abundance of fresh faces who are eager to be lavished with media related nutrition.

But who are the admin team? Well mosey on over to their Twitter accounts to view them in all of their photogenic and witty conciseness...

Back? Good. They're seriously attractive aren't they? And yes. They're available for children's parties.

So the summer social was always intended as just that - a social. It was never intended to follow the structure of the previous meet ups and was instead an opportunity to mingle with people without the 140 character restriction, bag yourself a guest post and generally be merry through the complimentary Pimms - provided again by the lovely people at Warwick Emanuel. And conveniently we were also welcomed to free nail files from the ladies over at Escentual. (They're also generously offering a 15% discount on their products with a special voucher code which can be found after you've liked our Facebook page here).

I arrived as the social media surgery was in full swing. (And this will be held before the main events at future meet ups between 5 and 7pm. With the purpose being to bring your laptop along and trouble shoot any technical problems, seek inspiration and share ideas. Or steal them to pass off as your own). I didn't bring my laptop along as it swiftly turned into a Mac orgy and I'm a Windows girl. What can I say? I need the right click.

As more people started to filter in, the surgery wound down and everyone was provided with green name badges accompanied by their Twitter alias. (The admin team were in yellow in order to establish a hierarchy). We then proceeded to introduce ourselves and say a few words about what we intended Cardiff Blogs to be.

Some of us (me) selfishly promoted themselves and gave no mention of the project. (I come across much better in print you see). Dan however swore, so he was worse than me. Which I was pleased about. Thank you Dan. While Liz, Louise and Tzevai eloquently made the point that the meet ups are not just open to bloggers or people who live in Cardiff. We welcome anyone who is interested in blogging and social media, in the hopes that our networking will prompt them to start their own blogs. But Sarah really came through (thank the love of Christ) and provided a structure for the future meet ups.

She read a farewell piece taken from Ed's blog - it was emotional. And now probably has first dibs on doing his eulogy. But most importantly she reiterated that we've inherited something really significant and we want your input as much as possible. She then briefly spoke about the future topics which the meet ups will be exploring through guest speakers and panel discussions. Which are as follows:

‘For love, not money’ - people doing creative and cool things online in Cardiff for the fun of it

Social media errors and your reputation online

How politicians are using the web

Making Twitter work for you, how to handle the social media beast

Going you can do it

Foursquare and location software, who uses it?

And that's just a few topics we have planned. We also intend to break up the meatier talks with mini discussions on things like popular memes and blog key wording. I make it sound all very exciting and discussion worthy I know. It's a gift.

The guest blogging free for all then took place, with the likes of
 @ITVJayneL and @CardiffBites announcing their desire for shared content on their blogs. I in turn switched back to shameless self-promotion and appealed for lifestyle or dating bloggers to guest post for Singles Warehouse - DM them @Singles_Whouse for details.

And also mentioned my dating poll which I'm still taking votes on Where Shall I Go On My Date? Get involved. Life drawing is currently the front-runner. @TredzBikes found this particularly amusing. Very nice guy. Married. Aren't they always?

All the while tweeting was encouraged and indeed going on via the #CdfBlogs hash tag. Which provided people who were too shy to shout out with the opportunity to tweet their guest blogging requirements. Of course I'd inhaled my large glass of Sauvignon by then and spotted that someone had tweeted their missed opportunity at addressing the room. I swiftly appealed for them to stand up and he did. @steviephil - good man.

Finally we distributed questionnaires to our crowd. Feed back means everything to us. Unless it's from @cardiffblogger

After that we proceeded to mingle and be merry. And collect all important questionnaires. Which we are very thankful for everyone completing and being so willing to do so too. The ideas I perused were great. You're going to make our hierarchy look so good. And tweets such as this have really boosted our confidence.

So thank you Geoff. You're great.

We promise we'll be back bigger and better than ever for the next one. At the moment we're busy collating all of the data you've provided us with. We love data. Especially a good pie chart. So in the meantime you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and read about us on our official Blog.

And please engage with everyone else on Twitter. I've created a comprehensive list of everyone who attended (and didn't attend but said they were going to - jerks) here Cardiff Blogs #CdfBlogs

Please continue to contribute to the conversation here #CdfBlogs. We're currently sniffing out news stories for @brendanhughes64 to get his teeth into next. We're thinking it's probably going to be mutant seagulls with a taste for cannibalism. If you have a better idea, by all means drop him a line. But for goodness sake simplify it. He's Irish.