TeaCamp / BrewCamp by John Popham

By John Popham.

Following on from the success of TeaCamp in London and BrewCamp in Birmingham, I am now looking to bring this concept to the North.

TeaCamp (see here) is a regular, informal meeting of London-based people who use the internet and social media to help the public sector do more interesting things and do what they already do more effectively. The concept has also been successfully transplanted to the West Midlands, where BrewCamp brings together people from local government, police, NHS and other parts of the public sector to support each other in their pioneering work with the internet and social media.

TeaCamp / BrewCamp are held in the early evening, after work, in a coffee shop with wifi, and continue the longstanding tradition of people getting together over a cuppa and a piece of cake to chew the fat. They normally involve one or more people giving a little talk about an interesting project, or something they feel passionate about, and often result in people being able to help each other overcome obstacles, and perhaps even work on joint projects.

Being an internet or social media pioneer in the public sector can be a lonely process, so the principal aim of these events is help people get some mutual support. If something more concrete comes out of it, that is a bonus. Following TeaCamp and BrewCamp events, Twitter is normally full of people expressing their joy about meeting people face-to-face in similar circumstances to themselves. Archived live video of the latest BrewCamp can be found here.

So, do you work with the internet and / or social media in the public sector in the North West, Yorkshire or the East Midlands? and, if so, would you be interested in an informal get together on a monthly basis in the early evening (say 5:30-8pm)?

I am looking to run CuppaCamp North in Leeds and Manchester, and my good friend and esteemed colleague, Paul Webster is testing the water about support for a MashCamp East Midlands (if you don’t know “Mashing” is a term used for brewing tea in parts of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire). If you think this is something you might be interested in being part of (you don’t have to commit yourself to anything), then please add your name to this Google Doc. There are three separate tables, for Leeds, Manchester and East Midlands. Feel free to add yourself to more than one table if you could attend in either location.

If there is enough support I will go about sorting venues which will be in the city centres in Leeds, Manchester and whichever of the East Midlands cities is most convenient to attendees.

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Winners: C’llr Achievement awards 2011

Blimey this bloke must be good if he beat Barnsley’s Cllr Tim Cheetham – @CllrTim. Well done Cllr Barber – @CllrJamesBarber.

Extract from the LGIU Local democracy blog

Online Councillor of the Year

Winner: Cllr James Barber, London Borough of Southwark

Highly Commended: Cllr Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire County Council

Cllr Barber’s use of online media demonstrates how councillors can engage citizens within their own space in order to make a difference in their communities. He has established a presence on a citizen-run neighbourhood website by engaging and responding positively to local people’s issues, providing information, giving responses from officers and inviting residents to submit their problems and questions to him. Cllr Barber has been cited as a pioneer in this field in research for London Councils; by offering his services in a citizen centred space.

Unlike other nominees in this category, judges really felt that Cllr Barber’s achievements stood out as being different because he has managed to assert himself on existing media that residents of his local area use – he has gone to them rather than expecting them to come to him. The judges noted that ‘if social media is about anything, it is about being where people are’ and this is an excellent example of this.

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voluntary gritters and viral tweets

I keep coming across nice little case studies and not getting round to recording them. So I’d better make a start with this one from today. A simple tweet from the Holme Valley South Lib Dems looking for volunteers to help spread grit in areas to help maintian access to and for vulnerable people in the local area. The image shows how even though the @HolmeValleyLD twitter account only has 40 followers the subsequent ‘retweeting‘ of the original message gave it a potential audience of over 9,000 people.

The chronological order of the tweets is from the bottom to top. Numbers on the right are the number of followers for the person retweeting the message.

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jack’s bass is back

By Jeff Button

Jacks Bass has been recovered. Couple had taken great care of it. They refused reward and only accepted a ‘token’ after pressing. They put an ad in Examiner, alerted their local police on Sunday morning, Police had got in touch. Couple not impressed with hypnotist seen on the Saturday night but are music fans So Bass back & EC might have two new fans 🙂

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jack’s bass update

By Jack Button
We think we have found the people who took the bass for safekeeping. They kindly put an ad in the Examiner today – the same day as I put an article in there! Will keep you posted…

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help jack get his bass back

5 String, Blue, "Shuker" Jazz Bass

5 String, Blue, "Shuker" Jazz Bass

By Jack Button.

On 30th October my bass was taken by someone outside the Mechanics in Marsden, Huddersfield. I hope that by creating this group that someone might know the people who did or, that the people who did pick it up get to hear about this group and return my instrument.

There is CCTV footage of two couples picking up the guitar at 12.40am where I had (very stupidly) left it propped up against a lamp post. An eye witness had seen them leaving The Shakespeare pub a few minutes before this. CCTV footage from inside the pub shows that, whilst they were possibly not local residents of Marsden, they did know some people to talk to.

If you were in the Shakespeare that night or you are a regular there I would massively appreciate you popping in there and looking at the image that Des (the landlord) has of these people.

For anyone else please keep your ears to the ground about anyone saying they have found it (I know if I had found something like this on a night out it would be something that I would mention to people). Also, please spread the word that I am looking for this instrument, add your friends to this group – they say your only ever a few people away from everyone in the world, luckily this world only has to extend to Marsden and the surrounding areas!

Just to be 100% clear, the bass was not stolen from my person nor was I there when it happened. To all intensive purposes the bass was propped up against a lamp post in the street and I think most people in that situation would have taken it for safekeeping to be returned to the rightful owner later. From the CCTV footage they are hesitant about picking it up and don’t try to conceal what they are doing – I hope they were just doing what they thought was right and, in due course, they will return the bass to me. The police are involved and are currently trying to further piece together footage including trying to retrieve the registration plate of the car.

Thankyou so much for reading this, I really appreciate the support I’ve had so far from everybody. This instrument is my livelihood and with it I hope to build my future and career as a professional musician – it would mean the world to me if it was returned!



Description: 5 String, Blue, “Shuker” Jazz Bass. Have a look at the picture for this group. I had this bass made for me personally by John Shuker in Sheffield so there is only one of these basses in existence. If you think you have seen it, it will be my bass.

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twitter cop

Greater Manchester Police are today tweeting every incident that they have to deal with over the next 24 hour period http://twitter.com/gmpolice. This is to create awareness of the number and variety of incidents and services that they provide on a daily basis. They are also claiming that two thirds of the incidents that they deal with are of a social (care) nature – dealing with domestic incidents, people with mental illness, dealing with homeless people etc. They are hoping to highlight this issue before the spending review I suppose in the hope of either avoiding cuts getting that work diverted to other agencies. Interesting use of twitter though I thought.

Manchester Evening News:  Live – Police use Twitter to post 24 hours of incidents in Greater Manchester

Sky News:  Day In The Life Live: Bobbies On The Tweet

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