Friday, October 30, 2009

We are trying to do something positive - New Media Breakfast Glasgow 30/10/09

We've just got back from the 2nd Glasgow New Media Breakfast and what a great event. Over 90 people turned up and so far we've had lots of great feedback on Twitter, Facebook and via email, it's nice when people appreciate what you're trying to do and the effort you've put in to something.

There was one comment on Iain Hepburn's, "Boo Media Breakfast" that I tried to respond to on the AudioBoo site but couldn't. I don't know if Iain doesn't allow comments or if the comment function is not working so, I thought I would post it here on our own blog. First, you should listen to Iain's AudioBoo comment.

Link to Iain M Hepburn's AudioBoo

Just listened to Iain's AudioBoo comment and, yet again I despair. This was always promoted as an event for business people who are beginners in New Media; nowhere have we ever claimed it to be anything else, Iain seems to be having a problem grasping this. Yes, experienced New Media people turn up and we're happy to have them but the primary intended audience has always been business people who want to find out about new media.

There were 91 people in attendance and everybody that myself and my team spoke to afterwards claim to have learned something from it, I'm happy with that.

There also seems to be some confusion about the Dubai network site. Craig did touch on the use of competitions as a "hook” that is exactly why we use them. The competitions help us get the word out about the network, if a member has joined there is a good chance other people he or she knows will also be interested because they are in his address book or, "community". At know time did I claim that 47,000 people were interested in going to Dubai. In fact, a very very small proportion of that 47k will accept the invitation to join but the ones that do will opt in because they are interested in that niche topic.

Reference to our clients is surely understandable; they're the ones we have live experience with therefore the most knowledgeable about.

Showing this morning's audience how to set up a Ning site would have been a total waste of their time, even if every single person in the room decided they must have one of these today, only a handful (if that) would actually do it themselves. However, I concede that I know more about the attendees and their positions than you or Craig so this is perhaps more obvious to me.

Iain, you also posted the following on Twitter, "Gordon White admits he's not even looked at the Kingsmill confessional campaign. How the hell can he cite it as a good example then”. Were you in the same room as me? I specifically said I couldn't comment on whether it was a good campaign or not because I hadn't looked at it. Kingsmill was raised to highlight an example of how companies are engaging with customers and I made that very clear. If you don't agree, I invite you to come to our office and watch the video footage of what I said.

How can encouraging people to engage on other people’s networks be considered spam? The whole point of these social networks is to engage.

In summary, I am happy that you comment via Audio Boo, your blog and Twitter, all I ask is that when you do so you consider everything in it's proper context. The people this is intended for are giving us great feedback and the numbers have risen from 72 at the first one to 91 at today's event, it might only be 20 at the next one, who knows and, who cares as long as the intended audience is learning something.

Lastly, the comments about "a lack of engagement with the audience", you didn't ask any questions or contribute to any part of the conversations that went on, is there a reason that you dont speak up at the time?

We are trying to create something good for a specific audience and we are fully aware that people will have their own opinion about our motives but, the fact is there is a lot of work has to go into the organisation and presentation, It would be nice if you at the very least acknowledged that fact.

Gordon White


  1. For the record, I'm not a "techi", just a business owner trying to learn and develop my skills and I found it very useful indeed! Thanks to all for making it worthwhile getting up at that ungodly hour!!

  2. Gordon, great event this morning. as a PR person it's important to see how this all fits in with brand values, perceptions etc and how clients can get added value from a database.

    I am sure within a couple of sessions I'll be able to present something coherent to my clients about benefits and possibly use some case studies.

    keep on giving case studies to us because they help understand the different uses of social media.

    i'll be booking the rest of the briefings shortly!

  3. Have to being relatively new to New Social Media, I am more than happy to receive information, honest help and a welcoming smile from the team from Podcastmatters.

    As a small business, it really is an eye-opener for me to see the world through 'techi's ' eyes !!!!! I feel really excited about the whole Social Media concept and it has been put across plainly and clearly.

    I believe if we could all just find something positive in life and dwell on that...........aaaahhhhh bliss !!!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to organise these New Media Breakfast, I for one will be attending every one........I love getting up in the morning !!!!!

  4. Gordon, I think you're being a bit harsh on Iain there. He's always acknowledged that the event isn't aimed at the likes of himself or some of the more knowledgeable social media professionals in Scotland but he comes along to support the event, see what is being said and what pops up. After all, you don't think that if you guys - or someone in the crowd - mentions something newsworthy that he'll be all over it for his day job?

    Also, he's the sort of guy you want at your events - Scotland's premier digital journalist/editor - hell, there are events that would pay for him to come, but Iain comes (in his own time and out his own pocket) because like you guys, he believes in this stuff.

    I know when something is your baby/project, people's comments can seem harsh - and I'm one to talk about anybody with being a state at the moment - but Iain's points were fairly on the ball.

    For the Spectrum site, you said that it was set up for staff in Spectrum and for Spectrum staff to make the move to Dubai seem like a better idea.

    So it does seem strange that it then turns into a site chasing big figures and 47,000 invites out there to people. It just didn't seem to mesh with what the original aim of the site was. Similarly, as you pointed out, it's about people opting in and coming to the conversation which seems to jar a little with the big push on the invites being sent out to 47,000 people.

    But you explain what you are trying to do and it would be a dull world if we all wanted to do things the same way, so that's fair enough.

    (similarly, from a PR angle, I wouldn't advertise the invites, only the acceptances but each to their own)

    As for reference to clients, I don't see a problem with that. It's your show and event - and as you say, you have the most knowledge of them.

    Also, when you say: "How can encouraging people to engage on other people’s networks be considered spam? The whole point of these social networks is to engage."

    Well, it depends on the method. If you just blanket emailed 47000 people then that could be seen as spam, but again YMMV. I know some people who consider following people you don't know - but may be writing about a similar topic to you - on Twitter spam. Everyone has their own line.

    Nothing Iain (or I) have said has been meant in harshness. It's opinion and our viewpoint. And we've both said that we know we aren't the target market. But at the same time we choose to write about what you are doing because it is good to see it being done in the west coast and because you are getting the people in.

    And, as you know, Iain and I have both said since days after last month's event that we would be happy to do guest talks at the events and no doubt when we're doing that, others will make points and comments about us and what we say - it's that interaction that makes the communication stronger and develops strong, rational arguments.

    (I must admit I was surprised there wasn't more explanation about why you use Ning for your platforms and what you feel makes it better than the other forum options out there, but that gives you a good follow-up blog post for the site and gets you the traffic from the event to your site.)

    On the point of competitions for driving traffic, it's a fair tactic but my worry was what happens when the freebies dry up? I mean if you stopped offering your prize draw at the events, it wouldn't stop people attending because your content is considered worthwhile and that's why they attend.

    Anyway, it's these conversations that make us all better at this, so it's important we keep having them - here, on podcasts, in the flesh (even at 8 in the morning!)

    Meant to ask: was today's fundraising for New Pyjamas as well? Is that always the charity of choice?

    Have a good weekend guys,


  5. Craig

    I've just had a big Ah-Ha moment!

    I think there has been a big misunderstanding here; I didn't say that Daubai Spectrum was created for Spectrum's staff, I said that Dubai Spectum was created for Spectum Personnel - "Spectrum Personnel" is the name of the company, it was not a reference to the personnel of Spectrum. The site was created as an open network for anyone (globally) to join if they are interested in working, living or, doing business in Dubai. In fact, there are members from over 80 countries already members.

    I think this is where the confusion is about why would we would actively encourage members to invite other interested parties.

  6. Sorry Craig, I forgot to say that the charity was New Pyjamas this morning but it may not always be. I think it wouldbe good to let guest speakers select a charity of their choice.

  7. I posted a point-by-point response to Gordon White's somewhat hostile comments above earlier today. However, Podcastmatters felt the need to moderate this post and thus it was never published on this blog.

    Rather than repost the whole thing again, my response to Mr White's comments above can thus be found at

  8. I explained fully the problem with the blog this morning and, as I commented on your blog, Craig and any of the commentators above will verify that this blog is not moderated. You and I both know that I personally asked you to post the response here, why then claim that "Podcastmatters felt the need to moderate this post", the first time I saw it was on your own blog. For the record, there is no evidence that you ever tried to post it on here.

  9. Actually, for the record, what you said was: "You must have tried to post this very quickly after my post on our blog, the blog should not have been moderated and the settings were changed very quickly".

    So, are you calling me a liar? Because you are more than welcome to look through the browsing history on my laptop and see when exactly I posted the original response, which when posted was greeted with the message 'comments on this blog require approval'.

  10. I really enjoyed the Breakfast seminar this morning.This is a sector that is so easy to fall behind on so I found it very informative. I look upon this like our education system, you do not go to a breakfast seminar for Maths or English, you have a sustained learning process that mixes reinforement with new learning. For me this is why I will be going to as many of these breakfast seminars as I can. I work with many business people through some of the business transformation work I do and through being the Chair of the membership committee on the Board of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and I can tell you that most people are behind the pace with new media.I was at a dinner last night with some very successful business people and their knowledge of new media was extremely low. (I include myself in that) However I look at this as an exciting challenge and applaud Podcastmatters for blazing a trail with this. Unfortunately for them they have a mixed audience who are at different stages of learning and this is always hard to cater for. Althoug I took adavnatge of the free place through my membership of 29 I have to say it was a great value for money £10 spend.
    Brian Williamson

  11. What happened to this quote from the comment n your blog? "...nor I would imagine would have much desire in any kind
    of conversation with you or your company in future, either personally
    or professionally."

    I said I have no evidence of it, that is fact. Two posts came in before I changed the settings, I have an email notification for them saying they required approval, this alerted me to the fact the settings needed changed. I don't have any for your post, this is fact. Nobody called you a lier, I just don't have any evidence of them, that's what I said but, you seem to have a problem listening to what is actually said.

    Why don't you stick by your quote, "...nor I would imagine would have much desire in any kind
    of conversation with you or your company in future, either personally
    or professionally." I think it would be best all round.

  12. As a relative newcomer to the benefits of New Media I've found both brekkies enormously helpful and informative. I take off my hat to Gordon and the team for taking the initiative in setting up the events. I've come away on both morning with new learnings and ideas. Thanks again. Roll on the next one...
    Peter Samson

  13. Hi Gordon & the team from Podcast matters,

    I came down from Aberdeen for the event and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially as it was free as I'm a member of No29!

    I liked it so much that I've asked Gordon if he'd repeat the first couple of sessions at a breakfast in Aberdeen as I feel that many of my colleagues and business associates are completely blinkered when it comes to new media.

    I'm at an age where I'm trying to keep up with Facebook (and failing), have never "tweeted" and have never accessed Bebo or any other site including Friends Reunited (in case some horrors from my past return!!).

    However, I do realise that my business and the way that we market the business is changing and in this respect I found the New Media breakfast informative, engaging and most of all fun! And it was free ~ with a bit of networking thrown in!

    I've listened to and read some of the previous comments and whilst everybody is entitled to their opinion, I think Gordon & his team have done fantastically well and must be congratulated for preparing & presenting snazzy presentations at an early hour and also for encouraging so many people to attend!

    I had a Grandmother who couldn't keep quiet and when something came into her head she used to say it, even if it had nothing really to do with her. She felt it was her right to say whatever she wanted no matter if it upset or annoyed people around her.

    It was a lesson for me at an early age about not upsetting people when there is no real reason for doing so! Unless you're being controversial of course...

    I dont know Iain Hepburn so I'm uncertain as to why has made such a personal attack on Gordon/Podcastmatters but he could have learned from my Granny, kept his negative opinions to himself and saved a bit of a stouchie!

    You'll never be able to please everybody but I was delighted with the event and will pass the word around ~ in a positive manner.

    Steve Cook

  14. Hi Guys

    Just a quick line to say how much I enjoyed the event on Friday. Both events have been very educational and I've already started to review how we and our clients should use social media.

    Like the majority of your audience I think you pitch the seminar at the right level - case studies are good and as I know personally you've been great at providing good info and pointers after the event.

    Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing you and your team at the next one.

    Helen Livingston

  15. Kingsmill Confessions:


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