LLP Inclusion Conference: Aunty’s trip to Birmingham

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On the 19th and 20th June, we took a trip to the LLP (Lifelong Learning Programme) Inclusion conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.  As a result of our Youth in Action project Pop Goes The Workshop, we had been invited to exhibit by the YIA coordinators at the British Council.  We jumped at the chance as this was an opportunity to find out about other learning and skills-sharing opportunities, see what other organisations across Europe were doing and say thank you to Youth in Action/British Council for taking a chance on a rather bizarre project!

We learned about so many fantastic projects and met lots of lovely people who have given us plenty of ideas including some possible trans-national projects… squee!
We <3 Grundtvig!

We came back to Blackpool, buzzing with ideas and with a notebook full of contacts, good job!

P.S. if there was a prize for stall that looks most like a craft fair, we would have won, hands down!

Aunty Talks Tech

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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!

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

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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.

Hey Ho, let’s So!VolTech

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We’re very pleased and excited to announce that the FREE tickets for So!VolTech – Social Media & Technology conference for the Voluntary Sector – are now available.

Testled LogoThe conference will take place on Saturday 19th November 2011 at Blackpool Central Library, Queen Street, Blackpool, FY1 1PX.  We’re also rather chuffed to tell you that this event will be absolutely free for you to attend, thanks to our lovely sponsors at Testled.

Social media can offer your not-for-profit organisation lots of opportunities to reach and engage with wider audiences, whether that’s awareness-raising, problem-solving, recruiting volunteers or getting people involved in discussions on issues that affect them.   We have a variety of fascinating speakers lined up including the creator of Riot Clean Up Manchester (and JCI contribution to the community award winner) Jez Myers, who helped to mobilise hundreds of volunteers literally overnight to clean up their
community, using the power of social media.

Full details of the speakers can be found at http://sovoltech.co.uk along with a link to the registration page and a full agenda.

We have two types of ticket available:

  • Voluntary Sector Ticket: For representatives of not-for-profit Voluntary and Community sector organisations.
  • Social Innovator Ticket: For social media/web/technology developers and practitioners

We’re really keen to make sure that lots of organisations from the North West get the
opportunity to be there on the day so book your ticket today to make sure you don’t miss out. It’d be really great if you could share this email with your networks as well to ensure that as many organisations can take advantage of this opportunity.

You can of course join the conversation before the day on Twitter using #sovoltech11 and you can follow us on twitter @SoVolTech. We’ll also be blogging every week in the run up to the event giving a taste of what is in store on the day at http://blog.sovoltech.co.uk!

August Connected and future developments!

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Announcing Aunty Social Connected Part 3!

connectedposter3We have been hard at work since the second Connected event that took place last week arranging venues and dates for the next couple of evenings of social media. With that in mind we are pleased to be able to announce that the next Aunty Social Connected will take place on Wednesday 24th August 2011 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Connexions on Market Street. We intend stick to the last Wednesday of every month for all of the future Connected events so that you can put it as a permanent date in your diary.

As always we need you to sign up for the evening in advance so to do that just visit http://asconnected3.eventbrite.com/ – you can also follow all the conversation on the night (and at any other time) by following the hash tag #blackpsms on Twitter! We’ve also created two nifty twitter lists for surgeons and patients who come along, so you can find everyone with easy!

…now to the even more exciting stuff…

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We’ve been lucky enough to be offered some sponsorship from the lovely people at Testled. Testled are a development company with offices in Fleet, Blackpool and Sheffield who make web & mobile applications and websites.

After careful thought and consideration we’ve decided to put on a social media and technology for the voluntary sector style conference (bare with us – it’s working title!) in early November this year right here in Blackpool! We’re conscious that we don’t want to set the agenda ourselves and end up with lots of you guys turning up being talked at about things you don’t really want to know, so with this in mind we’ve created a little questionnaire which we’d be really pleased if you could complete. Ideally we need responses back by early September to give us time to find interesting speakers and get tickets out (we’re pretty sure we’ll be able to offer this to people for free by the way!) so please complete it below!

Update – to keep up with the latest developments with the So! VolTech conference click here.

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If you’ve got any questions about what we are planning before hand or want to find out more information then you can get in touch with us by tweeting @_AuntySocial_ or @TawdryMe or by emailing info@auntysocial.co.uk!

Aunty HQ: Cocked, locked and ready to rock!

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On Friday evening Aunty Social opened the new HQ at 25 Deansgate, Blackpool, FY1 3AU.

We managed to secure an empty shop (due to be demolished for the Talbot Gateway project in November) through the Blackpool Culture Shops Programme run by Blackpool Council Arts Service.  The agreement allows us to display in the windows and provides us  with a temporary central base for of Arts/crafts workshops.

Over 20 volunteers donated their time, skills, decorating and cleaning materials and we were able to make this transformation in only 5 days.  We have had extensive positive feedback not only from members, but also from local residents and members of the public.  Neighbouring business owners have also commented positively on the improvement we’ve made to what was a grotty, disused space.

The project has really brought people together, doing something positive for the Blackpool arts scene and for the community as a whole.

It’s a tremendous achievement, so thanks to all the volunteers, you are ace of base!

 

AuntySocial Connected (Part 1) a huge success!

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Last Wednesday evening Aunty’s first “Connected” event took place at the Number 5 Cafe. For those of you who don’t know, Connected is our evening where we help third sector organisations get to grips with social networking and how it can help their organisation. On the night we had nearly 30 organisations show up to listen, ask questions and begin their social media journeys.

First up on the night was Nathaniel Cassidy who delivered a brilliant presentation giving insights into the various social networks out there as well as some real life examples of when employees from private companies have got it wrong and suffered the concequences online and in public. You can view Nathaniel’s presentation below!

Next up was Duncan Hodgson who gave us some more localised statistics about internet and Facebook usage in Lancashire and Blackpool. Duncan also incorporated a short ice breaker to get everyone in the room sharing – attendees were asked to tell the group their name, who they work for and three hash tags (facts, things or interests) about themselves. You can view Duncan’s presentation below!

After the presentations had finished we got into the social media surgery time. Attendees had the opportunity to spend some time one to one with a “surgeon” who could answer their questions in real time and actually do – rather than discuss. Between our surgeons we managed to get quite a few of our local organisations signed up to Twitter including Blackpool Advocacy, Libery Church Blackpool and UK Online Centre (Blackpool). You can also check out photos from the evening on our Facebook page!

We’d like to thank John Popham, John Walker, Nathaniel Cassidy, Steven Flower, Liz Hardwick and Mel Evans for being our social media surgeons and helpers on the night. Without them the evening would not have been possible!

We’ve already seen a number of blogs spring up reviewing the event so if you’d like to check these out visit Duncan Hodgson’s blog, John Popham’s blog or John Walker’s blog! If you’ve done a write up then make sure you let us know so we can share it on here.

We’re already plotting our next “Connected” event for some time in July and we’ll be releasing details very soon! Keep getting involved in the discussion on twitter by using #blackpsms and we hope to see you next time!