On Wednesday, 11th September 2013, I attended the Lancaster Tweet-up organised between Jane's Social Media and Lancaster ESTA. These meetings have been running bi-monthly for the last two years to the delight of the local business fraternity.
However this meeting was tinged with a little melancholy. It was a great event. It was great to see regular and new faces. It was ace to try and enjoy a 'speed-networking' event. But, it was also the last event of its kind in Lancaster. The Lancaster Tweet-up, the 11th, was the last one of 2013 and the foreseeable future.
But it is not all gloom and doom, in fact there is no gloom whatsoever...
A Little Backstory
About three months ago Jane approached me with a proposal. She wanted to evolve the Lancaster Tweet-up into a new beast, the Lancaster Social. It was to take its inspiration from the Preston Social but be an animal of its own kind.
Jane had thoroughly enjoyed creating and running the Lancaster Tweet-up, but also thought that there was more that could be done. There would still be a great role for Lancaster ESTA but her ideas for the event she would like to see hosted in the future meant opening up the number or people who could host. Also she wished to expand the scope but reduce the number of meetings. And, brave soul that she is, she also wanted me to help her to do that.
Jane and I had a very productive coffee and a series of chats about the shape of the new event. Then we had a second coffee and Ian (Messr Norton of Shadowcat infamy) was along to sanity check us. From those two meetings we had an event, a plan, and a shape for the future.
The Lancaster Social Network
That shape is the Lancaster Social Network, still in its infancy, but we have a website and an aim and you can submit yourself, company or organisation to it. Some details:
- It is a free to attend (as in there are no barriers to attend but there may be a small charge by the hosts for the room so we reckon it will be a fiver) event. Any network, any background, any person;
- We want to encourage communication between Government - Academia - business - Community - Networks - Individuals;
- This is about cross-pollination, we don't care what you belong to, come join us;
- You don't have to be a resident of Lancaster, Lancashire, UK, but you do have to be there in person.
As a part of the event we also want to introduce people to 'open tools for open business', but this could also be 'open tools for open usage', for non-businesses. The basic premise is that each meeting will have a short 9ten minute) introduction to an open tool with a quick Q&A following. We want to introduce people to the tools so that they can be aware of what's available to support them.
So, please feel free to add yourself, your organisation, your business to the site, once you have submitted appropriate text we will make you an editor so you can add more material and upload images. We want to attract as many people, from as many backgrounds and walks of life as possible. The Lancaster Social seeks to be inclusive, we also seek to empower you. if you want to join in the team you can do. We ask that you be sure you can:
- Spare the time, promising and not fulfilling is a waste for everyone.
- Have the skills you say you do to help. We all want people to learn and to grow but this is not the place for that as no one has time to teach. Though if you have the skills but need the practice...welcome aboard and well volunteered.
I look forward to engaging you all more on this in the future.