On Saturday Aunty hosted So! VolTech 2011 – a conference on Social Media & Technology for the Voluntary Sector – at Blackpool Central Library. We had about 50 people attend on the day – some from as far afeild as the East Midlands and Yorkshire.
The morning saw five speakers share their experiences of social media and technology. @johnpopham, @stevieflow, @josephstash, Gary Copitch (from @peoplesvoicemedia) and @jezmyers all took to the stage and in an unplanned theme we saw all of them frequently referring to community and the importance of story telling when using social media. We’ve posted some of our videos over on our YouTube channel and we’ve got a few more on the way – so look out for those.
After our speakers had finished we got them all back up to the front to take a few qestions from the attendees. Thanks to the wonderful @johnpopham who live streamed the whole conversation you can listen back to what we discussed here. The last question was about whether the panel was representative of the gender split in the sector, and this has prompted a valuable debate over on @LouLouK‘s blog here.
Before we broke for lunch we broke up into three sessions from @PlugInLancs, @MyLearningPool and @BeGoodBeSocial. Liz from @PlugInLancs did a “Top 10 online goodies for NPO and VCFS groups and orgs” which was really well attended and you can see Liz’s slides at http://www.bit.ly/pluginsovol.
After lunch the unconference sessions began and because it was such nice weather outside (unusual for Blackpool I know) @johnpopham took a group down to the beach to speak about technology in the outdoors, and his experiences of organising #twicket – the live streaming of a village cricket match. There was some really interesting discussion about using technology to live stream events in the outdoors such as football coaching and Duke of Edinburgh Award activities and how this can showcase the work of community groups.
Back in the library @stevieflow led a session about Analysis Exchange, Google Analytics, bit.ly and Klout (note: Klout do sell your information to advertisers, thanks to @phpcodemonkey for raising this). The group discussed how using these resources and tools can make all the difference when making improvements or changes to your website. Analysis Exchange is way of non profit organisations getting advice on how to improve their site with no fees or charges – and definitely worth checking out. We also heard from @phpcodemonkey about Google Analytics new realtime analytics tool, for those of us who like to see the impact straight away.
More of the sessions from the afternoon included a Social Media Surgery offering one to one advice, what the voluntary sector can learn from business (in which there was a brilliant conversation about the value of testimonials and how they can be used to your advantage from @phpcodemonkey), a technology question & answer session from our sponsors at @testled and a session on young people and social media led by @LouLouK.
You can view the photos from Saturday over on our Flickr account here. We’ve not uploaded all of them just yet but we will be adding more soon!
Huge round of applause…
We’d really like to give everyone who was involved in So! VolTech 2011 a huge round of applause, without all of you it simply would not have been possible. Our sponsors at Testled of course were fantastic as were our speakers, volunteers and everyone who wanted to spend their Saturday in a library in Blackpool talking tech with like minded people!
So what next then?
We’re currently watching the feedback come in before we put the wheels in motion for our next event – but we can say pretty certainly that there will be a next event, and we’re excited about it already!
As well as this we have set up our new Aunty Social Media email newsletter which we’ll be doing every month and will be stuffing full of information about social media, technology, events and the voluntary sector. You can sign up to get the newsletter here and if you have something you’d like us to include just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the blog-o-sphere…
As we spot more blogs we’ll update this list but if we miss any, tweet us @SoVolTech!