Social Media Café

by Valentin Dellieu, Jeroen van Looy, Andreas Wagner

Curious, hesitant, but eager to give it a try, is how my pet hamster seemed to react to her new toy-wheel, and how my colleagues and I felt after being asked to look into Manchester’s Social Media Café. For our first meet-up, we found ourselves in the cozy cafeteria of the iconic BBC, the Social Media Café making good use of the building’s appealing facilities.

The evening started with socializing overrefreshments and we immediately felt welcome amongst the comfortable sofas and friendly faces. We found ourselves in a large crowd of about 70, in their mid-20s to mid-40s, of which at least a third were women. The next days’ tweets chirped about the event being: “The biggest Social Media Café ever.”

Striking up conversation was easy in such an inviting atmosphere. People were there to meet others “offline”, as opposed to maintaining an exclusively online relationship.

A real meeting, I quickly learned, has an added value: you just cannot download the pint offered by @green_hamster67.

Three items were on this particular meet-ups’ agenda: Fan Art and Fan Subs; the Manchester Twestival Launch; and a brainstorm session regarding Manchester City Camp.

The main theme enfolded as “share and let know”, Social Media Café presenting and discussing ideas on how to spread the word and attract people interested in collaborating.

As experienced, the “social” in Social Media Café not only reflected the social character of the event but also the topics discussed. Manchester Twestival’s call for collaboration was not only for people interested in helping setting up the event, but also for local charities to be helped by the funds raised at the Manchester Twestival 2011.

A meet-up with a mixed and friendly crowd interested in social media not only from a technology enthusiasts’ angle, but with social as the focus for meeting and collaborating to benefit the community.

Want to know more about Social Media Café? Follow @ smc_mcr on Twitter or check out there website http://socialmediamanchester.net

(Feel free to comment in a constructive way)

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