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Blog Action Day in Birmingham – a social media surgery for voluntary orgs. October 7, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Call for help, Meeting, social media.
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Birmingham bloggers get involved in Blog Action Day. We’ll keep a track of ongoings and post any relevant stuff as and when.

18th June Meeting Roundup June 19, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Call for help, chat with us, Meeting, NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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A meeting was held to discuss any possible direction for the project and we came out of it with a few things to look into. For me, these early sessions are all about gauging interest in the idea and I now think we have a core of people ready to start moving things forward. Last night Kev, Jon and myself discussed a few ideas and straight away, I wanted to highlight the issue of participants in the project. For many different reasons, a lot of people who have expressed an interest in NBSE, simply don’t have the time to commit to what looks like a pretty big project. All three of us last night commented that we too have time and commitment issues and therefore, are looking long term for the project. As we are blogging our progress, it will be open for people to come onboard and contribute as and when. There’s a lot of experience and skill out there that this kind of project would benefit from and we’ll keep the facebook group open for those to be involved as we progress.

Location & transport
One of the first subjects raised was that of premises and location. My initial thoughts were to have any activity centralised at a possible N brum training centre. Both Kev and Jon saw the delivery as being more mobile and definitely saw the project as more of an outreach service. Both, of course, sounds ideal and this gave us something definite to start visualising and forming ideas. Jon then raised the issue of the lack of transport within the area, especially where buses are concerned. This led us to discuss Nbrum boundaries and how far and where we should provide our service to. Task born: geographical area of N Birmingham, council borders, transport links,  etc. Also, places with internet access / courses / training ongoing (libraries, schools, community centres, churches etc)

Content & Delivery
We touched upon how social media taster sessions could work for different audiences / areas such as unemployed, probation, health etc and how we’d use a selection of different applications to approach any engagement / learning / informing objectives. We thought it might be useful to try setting some taster sessions up during the summer at various locations to experience how it could work in practise, so another project task was born: To source local training providers to see if we could possibly run some social media taster sessions or even “piggy back” current courses (hijack the lesson)

We have a few meetings lined up to help us with the business side of things. A meeting with Unltd takes place Friday 27th and we’re looking to set up a meeting with some of the NIACE folk in the near future. No set date for a progress meeting as yet for members to get together again, but we will probably be looking at something monthly. Of course we have the internet to keep track of everything!

Building a social media enterprise in North Birmingham May 9, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in Call for help, Social Enterprise.
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On Thursday 8th May, Stuart Parker and I (Kevin Rapley) met up at The Station in Sutton Coldfield to discuss some ideas that Stuart had on social media and how it could be used to create a social enterprise that will be centric to North Birmingham. The areas that were immediately in our thoughts are the Aston, Erdington, Castle Vale and possibly parts of Sutton Coldfield. Stuart is interested in targeting the unemployed and under privileged. Our goal is to teach these groups the benefits of social media and how it can be harnessed to give a voice to the community in a manner of different ways. Stuart brings with him a wealth of knowledge in adult IT teaching, including the unemployed, I will let him speak more about this.

As a web designer and developer, I am immersed in social media and building internet solutions on a daily basis. This blog will be used to document our development of a social enterprise for North Birmingham, including how we go about funding, developing a business plan, raising issues in the locale, growing the ideas and getting others involved in making this happen.

This is my first port of call. If you are passionate about building a stronger community in North Birmingham or are just interested in getting involved with what we are doing then we would love to hear from you. Stuart and I have got quite a task ahead of us with learning about the funding side, how to go about this and what the prerequisites are. Again, if you have any knowledge of building a social enterprise model we would be very interested in learning from you.

We hope that this blog will act not only as a diary of our progress, but also to increase awareness of our plans, recruit others that would like to get involved and also provide a resource for any other communities that wish to implement the social enterprise model in their area.