Aunty Talks Tech

Blackpool Central Library

Blackpool Central Library

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.

Talking tech on the beach

Talking tech on the beach

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 auntysm@auntysocial.co.uk.

In the blog-o-sphere…

Liz Hardwick tells us about the Plug In Lancashire workshop & more.
Louise Kidney talks about female speakers at technology events.
@socialbedia shares her photos and thoughts on So! VolTech 2011

As we spot more blogs we’ll update this list but if we miss any, tweet us @SoVolTech!

Pop-up Picturehouse: Monthly film screenings

Aunty’s Pop-up Picturehouse project will be screening this Wednesday evening (6pm, 16th November) at Blackpool Central Library.

To come to the free screenings, you will need to join the email distribution list (part of the Eventbrite ticket request). Form more information, visit the Pop-up Picturehouse Facebook page or email Richie

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission and British Council.

Aunty goes to ‘that London’: European Year of Volunteering #EYV11Tour

Last week Aunty took part in the London stage of the European Year of Volunteering (EYV) tour at Coin St Neighbourhood centre in London.

The London EYV Tour events lasted a week and were designed to inspire volunteers.  The events, backed by the European Commission, offered anyone interested in helping others the chance to meet voluntary and community organisations and their volunteers.  It was also a chance for volunteers to get together, share their experiences and discuss issues that affect them.

It was great to meet other organisations and their volunteers and a special ‘shout out’ goes to the lovely Mark from Consortium and May from Greater London Volunteering Also, a big Blackpool “thank you” to the EYV Tour staff who looked after us well and gave us some very bright orange t-shirts to fashion into something tasteful *cough* and oh so *cough* stylish.

For more on EYV, visit www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/eyv11tour or take a look at the #eyv11tourUK hashtag on Twitter.