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Horns and Crowds

Horns and Crowds

Mucho BassOver the weekend the West End festival in Glasgow really got underway and Kelvingrove Park was packed with carnivals, funfairs, people and music.
On the main stage was one of my favourite bands Captain Slackships Mezzanine Allstars a sensational reggae band with the best horn section in Scotland. Now, as I once earned my living as  a singer in a reggae band I love to revisit my misspent youth by following the Captain and his crew, and whenever a top class reggae band visits Glasgow it is almost invariably this jolly piratical group that fills the support slot. So seeing them on Sunday reminded me of a discussion I had at one of those gigs a few months back when, as is often the case, the main act had horns provided by keyboards and the Captains team frankly blew them away. The reasons a lot of touring bands don’t bring horn sections is cost. If you were Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – probably the best horn section in the world (no universe) – then it would be unthinkable, but too many reggae bands (IMHO) seem to think that it is an optional extra. So, in the spirit of endeavouring to find a solution, somewhere mid set of The Wailers at The Arches we hit upon a plan – why not crowdsource the horns. Seriously! Now hear me out on this!  What you do is tell your fans you are touring, that you want a horn section, put the pieces on You Tube and ask for a horn section to come together in each location to do the honours. You could even audition them by SKYPE or during the soundcheck or something. The horns get the kudos of being – well in the case of the Wailers – honorary Wailers for the night – job done.

Now – don’t tell me it’s not possible. If you don’t believe it then check this out …..yes I know I have tweeted it before but it is just well…uplifting.

If you want to know a bit more about crowdsourcing – there are still a few places left at Social Media Unleashed 2 on Thursday night where you can hear how Dell do it. No horn section though.

In the meantime why not buy a Captain Slackships CD or download a track – and no, I don’t get royalties.

Motherwell, Mindset and Meetings

Yesterday we made a breakfast presentation at the Motherwell College Knowledge Transfer Hub and what a pleasure it was. Packed house, engaged participants, intelligent questions, fabulous facilities. Loved it and loved giving them a great insight into the Social Media mindset and how understanding it is of such greater value if you want to extract real (and sustainable) business potential from the use of SM, in contrast with the transient and dubious value of just learning how to tweet.

What was particularly fantastic about being at the College is that it presents a shining example of regeneration at work. Set on the site of the former Ravenscraig steelworks, it is close by the striking Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility. The College itself has more than 20,000 students all learning rich and valuable professional and personal skills and doing so in a practical and applied way in what I can only describe as an entrepreneurial and uplifting environment. I compared it, in conversation with some of the College’s senior team, to the technical college I attended many years ago where they taught me to weld for a living, and how it and Borstal didn’t seem particularly different. But enough of my misspent youth.

The ideas around regeneration, the community of the College and the sense of reducing barriers to allow people to follow their ambition had much in common with the ensuing discussion of Social Media mindset. The sense of possibility and potential in the college is exactly what is on offer to organisations that understand and embrace the social media ethos. New business models, new value sets, new hope of change.

Later in the day we met with one of the many people who simply “get” the opportunity that Social Media Week Glasgow presents and are just bursting with ideas as to how to make it a sensational international star burst.

It’s days like this that make me reflect that our work in broadening people’s understanding of how social media mindset can truly make a difference in economy, culture and importantly society – means that I probably have one of the best jobs in the world.

The revolution will not be televised, but it might be tweeted!

The revolution will not be televised, but it might be tweeted!

One of the most profound and significant aspects of the impact of social media is its democratising power. Whilst that typically has political connotations, it is meant here in the broader sense of empowerment and engagement. The current furore surrounding super injunctions and the role of social media in challenging them is one of the more celebrated manifestations of that and, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the particular case, it stands as testament to the fact that traditional gate keeping institutions, structures and individuals are finding their position challenged by the coming together of the engaged social media mind set and technical tools that empower it.

The fact that an impromptu summit is being gathered by President Sarkozy is perhaps an indication of how concerned the institutional classes are becoming, and perhaps also indicative of how little they understand the social media mind set. Whilst it might be understandable for the traditional reaction is to pull together the apparent leaders of the revolution in form of representatives of some of the more visible applications, Facebook, Google et al. to bring about some top down negotiated settlement it actually demonstrates a misunderstanding of what is happening. This is very much a bottom up revolution and the applications will come and go, but the engaged and liberated mindset will remain.

It is ironic that the institutions most discomfited by the turbulence arriving on their shores will be the same ones that applaud the unifying and anti-establishment power of social media in the Arab Spring and rail against the attempted restriction and censorship of powers like China who still are sufficiently closed to bring about an element of control.

Democratising power is not just a political issue, it is about engagement of tribes in many arenas that have traditionally had constrained access either by design or intent. This is why the social media mindset is having impact in economy, society and culture. Traditional approaches in such a globalised and connected world are increasingly redundant, just as Taylorist top down management structures are crumbling.

To realise value and benefit from social media one must first understand the mindset that underpins it and to recognise this as an opportunity. To grasp that opportunity requires both understanding and action to change and evolve with it.

twintangibles helps organisations understand social media and manage the change needed to generate value from the social media mindset.

Social Media Week Glasgow in September of this year will be an opportunity to demonstrate just how wide and deep those changes go and just how engaged Glasgow and Scotland is with the advent of the crowd.

SMU2 – Meet DELL and learn about crowdsourcing.

SMU2 – Meet DELL and learn about crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing – know what it is? We heard a little about it at Social Media Unleashed when Richard Moir of CISCO touched on the I-Prize competition. What about crowdsourcing’s  little brother crowdfunding?  Spoken to any people practicing it recently?

If you answered no to any of the above then why not register for Social Media Unleashed 2 to find out a bit more in the company of speakers from leading organisations in the field like Dell and learn from their experience.

Jeff Howe – the man credited with coining the term crowdsourcing in 2006 describes it as

“When a company takes a job that was once performed by employees and outsource it in the form of an open call  to a large undefined group of  people generally using the internet”

There are nuances to this but it remains a sound description. What it sometimes doesn’t convey is the wealth of opportunity this represents.

Since that time it has become increasingly widely accepted as not just a valid approach to addressing perennial business challenges, but a mechanism that can present entirely new and disruptive business models. It is seen in many many areas, including R&D, content generation, innovation and fundraising to name but a few. But under it all the important factor is that it is tapping into what we refer to as the social media mindset.

In keeping with our aim to broaden out the appreciation and understanding of how the social media mindset is impacting society, economy and culture, SMU2 is an opportunity to learn a little more about crowdsourcing.

You can join us to hear how Dell used crowdsourcing for its Idea Storm and generated thousands of innovative ideas for their products. Experts will explain some of the key legal considerations when thinking of engaging in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and you get the chance to network with a fascinating group of  people in the sophisticated surroundings of  The Lighthouse.

Register here to ensure you place – remember SMU was over subscribed and some were disappointed they could get a place – so don’t miss out this time!

Don’t forget SMU2 is free!

Register me for SMU2

The SMU series is a jointly produced by twintangibles and New Media Corp , the people bringing Social Media Week to Glasgow


Image cortesy of PacHD

Busy Times

You haven’t been hearing from us for a while, so just a brief post to update you on what twintangibles have been doing in the past few weeks.

As you know, on the 9th of June we will be hosting a new Social Media Unleashed event at the Lighthouse, in collaboration with our friend Arvind from New Media Corp. Things are finally getting together and a post about the theme and some of the speakers of SMU2 will follow shortly.

We have been doing some preparation for running a couple of our heads-on hands-on introductory workshops on Social Media in the next couple of weeks. You will find all details here..please spread the word!

We have also been finalising our paper for MSKE 2011, which will take place in July in Portugal. We will be presenting a case study on the use of Social Media in the brewery sector, as part of our ongoing research activity.

We’ve been doing a lot of networking as well.. A special mention goes here to our friend Jackie and all the wonderful banterers at the Thursday’s TDBB at Esquire’s coffee. Without forgetting anyone, we take the chance to thank in particular Jim of Shirlaws and Benedetto of The Loft Creative Studios for their wisdom and insight!

Last but absolutely not least, we found ourselves totally overwhelmed by the successful outcome of the application to bring Social Media Week to Glasgow!!! Great news for our city, proud UK host of this exciting global event. We have been in a continuous brainstorming session with – guess who – Arvind again (crazy minds think alike..) since last Wednesday, date of the global launch.. We are doing our best to make SMW Glasgow a most successful and useful event for everybody.  But we want you to be involved too! Please follow @smwglasgow on twitter and spread the word, stop by our FB page and like us, not just for the sake of liking us, join or start the conversation, share your views with us, tell us what you want to see at #SMWGla, you can be part of it too.. that’s the right spirit, join in!

More to come…have a wonderful week everyone!

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