Tag Archives: tweetup

10 questions

1. How relevant is Metcalfe’s Law to social networks?

2. If we apply modern neoevolutionary principles rather than C19th, deterministic ones, accidents and free will have an important part to play in social evolution. Does social media enable these and, if so, does social media therefore enable social evolution?

3. How instrumental is social media in creating less hierarchical organisations?

4. How are social tools changing our behaviour, if at all?

5. What is the long-term impact of the type of self-organisation identified by Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody? (We can blog on WordPress, customize our Myspace page, set up a community on Ning…)

6. Are we seeing a new type of hero emerge and, if so, what does that signify? Craig Newmark, Lauren Luke, Barack Obama and (our local hero in London) Lloyd Davis – all these people built businesses/ careers by building a community first.

7. As various factors (environmental, social, political) push for an end to the consumer age, does social media have a role to play in bringing other values to the fore (or does it simply accentuate consumerist values?!

8. How realistic is Jamais Cascio’s idea of the participatory panopticon – can we attempt to control surveillance through sousveillance? Does the Twitter/ Carter Ruck/ Trafigura episode prove we’ve turned a page, or simply that the censors will pay more attention to Twitter next time round?

9. What do we think of the UK Conservative Party’s attempts to embrace the social web? David Cameron has talked about storing NHS records on Google, his advisor Steve Hilton (partner of Google’s Rachel Whetstone) has coined the phrase post-bureaucratic age, former New Labour new media advisors like MySociety’s Tom Steinberg have swapped sides…?

10. We could argue that the many-to-many structure of social networks enables a ‘long tail’ of human opinion to be heard. But can any diverse, ‘bottom-upness’ be sustained, or will it be back to ‘business as usual’ once the Web 2.0 dust has settled? Can the durable Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) ever truly be inversed?


Tweetup lowdown

It was great to see a fab bunch of people turn out for the Monkeys Tweetup last Friday as part of London Social Media Week. The Drunken Monkey did us proud with decent Dim Sum and beer. And the weather was unseasonably gorgeous, enabling a hearty group of us to brave the 40 minute walk from Tuttle Club in Kings Cross to deepest darkest Shoreditch, with only a handful getting *lost* on the way.

The idea behind the Tweetup was to have an informal discussion around one of the themes of Monkeys with Typewriters: the ‘anthropology’ of social media – its impact on people, society and culture.

In true swot style, I’d prepared ten open-ended questions or pointers for debate the night before. But the acoustics were dire and at first there were far too many people – around 25 or so – to have a single, structured, conversation.

So I started off posting the questions on Twitter so that people could chat in small groups. Hmmm. That was sort of successful. Then – luckily – the free bar ran out. Random people politely made their excuses and left. The dedicated hardcore remained!

I’d love to post the lively, convoluted discussion that commenced. Unfortunately my note-taking was non-existent and it being a Friday afternoon, the weekend and toddler have intervened and it’s only now (Weds) that I’m trying to recall exactly what happened.

A few points stuck in my mind: Nic Butler made a lovely one all about (cultural) memes – social networks accelerate communication and therefore social development/ evolution. Re changing values, Alison Wheeler said it used to be the haves and the have nots, now we’re seeing people relate in terms of the dos and the do nots. Love that!

Keri Hudson said she felt people around her age (20) are much more into sharing everything than previous generations (partly as a result of social tools). There was one Angry Young Man who made some great acerbic observations but left (Angrily) before I got his name.

My fave humourous exchange was between FJ van Wingerde and Patrick Hadfield:

FJ: All these CCTV cameras have ruined public sex!

Patrick: But surely they’ve enhanced public sex?

He he.

Great big thanks to everyone who came along. And a special thanks to those above, plus Anke HolstDocumentally, Ben Walker, James Governor, Bill Reyn and the others whose names I didn’t get, for staying long after the free beer had gone. And last but not least Kat McMann for brightening my day after a long time no see!