Archive for the ‘social media café’ Category

As you probably know, I encourage people all over to start their own social media cafe rather than trekking to the nearest big city and then moaning about how long it’s taken to get there.

I want to be absolutely clear, I own nothing here. I have no control over or responsibility for anything that these groups or their members do or say. Neither do they owe me or the Tuttle Club any allegiance – any affiliation is purely informal and may be as tenuous as the fact that one of the founders may have once said something to me about being interested in what we’d done. I have a feeling though that if I’d tried to franchise the idea with contracts and fees and branding and such, they wouldn’t be springing up quite so perkily.

We’re all in it together, kid.

Outside the Central London group (that’s us) I am aware of the following social media cafes, tuttles and tuttle-inspired events. I’m sorry if I’ve missed anyone out. If I’ve left something in that died long ago, let me know.

In the UK, working roughly upwards from the southernmost (though my geography isn’t *that* good) …
Tunbridge Wells
Twickenham has kukutana
Thames Valley
Bath had a meeting and there’s a facebook group but not sure if there’s any more.
Cardiff has Trydan
Cambridge has Twig
Coventry & Warks
Black Country

In mainland Europe, I’m only aware of:

In the Land of the Free:
Boston, MA
Long Beach, CA
@langley started something in Denver, CO but it appears to have closed…
Chris Heuer has run a social media cafe at Citizen Space in San Francisco, CA
New York City, NY

So who’s going to get going on Asia, South America, Australasia, or Antarctica…?

Photo by woodleywonderworks on Flickr cc-by


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This Friday, 17th April, we’ll be sponsored by Imagini both for general coffee drinking (Thanks Imagini!) but also with an opportunity for 6 people to get involved more directly with what they’re doing.

To explain:

“The basis on the session on Friday will be focused on the alpha launch of the VisualDNA Shop. These are widget-based ‘shops’ that sit on a blog and take visitors through a short quiz with picture-based answers. The answers build a VisualDNA profile, which is used to create personalised suggestions for items to be purchased. It’s a revenue generator for the blogger, and can be tailored to suit the focus of the site.

The objective would be to invite blog owners from various verticals (aligning with our travel, photography, entertainment and mobile VDNA Shops) to build a VDNA Shop and start using during the session. Each blog owner will be guided by someone at Imagini who will have a laptop to work from.”

If you want to take part (there will be a small reward to say thank you) then sign up on the special list on the wiki page this week.

As well as this little bolt-on, which will be happening downstairs, I’m sure there’ll be someone from Imagini up in the bar to give people a briefer look at the new features if they’re interested.

Thanks to Sonia Pignorel from Imagini and Vikki Chowney from Six Degrees for helping set this up.

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oxtuttle #2I took an impromptu trip to Oxford today to do a lightning inspection of the newly formed social media cafe there 🙂 Luckily everyone at the Jam Factory (also confusingly labelled The Old Marmalade Factory) had their 27B/6’s ready, in triplicate and duly signed and stamped. Also the main entrance on Park End Street was a cunning diversion from the real entrance round the corner – that will have put off any clueless opportunists who insist on reading maps and addresses literally. 10/10

But seriously, it was great to see another little outcropping of tuttle spirit with people who’d never been to another tuttle getting it straight away and seeing the benefits.

Big thanks to Colin, Donna & Robbie at 1000heads for getting it started and keeping going.

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21112008558I’ve been checking in with the folk at the ICA about how things are going from their point of view and the general picture is “Hoorah for us!” Thank you for being so well-behaved, lovely and interesting. I’m having discussions over the next few days that I’m hoping will result in being able to announce a whole other bunch of cool things to do there.

Having up to 70 people in the bar on a Friday is clearly a good thing for them and I’d like us to be able to keep it going with goodwill. One of the reasons we meet somewhere like this, rather than just camping out in some cafe or other is to avoid pissing people off, but however welcome and lovely we are, the bar is a commercial enterprise and so there are a couple of niggles with the caterers that we can easily deal with.

Firstly, generous bunch that we are, we’ve recently gotten into the habit of folk bringing along donuts and cakes. Obviously, we all love to celebrate the birthdays of our special members, but it would be appreciated if we didn’t bring stuff in from outside. They’re very happy to put stuff on for us specially if we ask in advance and they’re looking at what pastries & cakes can be on sale from this week on. I’m inclined to say that if we have a sponsor, perhaps we should include something for such sweet things and that I will let the caterers (and you) know ahead of time. And if you’ve something to celebrate and want me to arrange some confectionery to share with the throng, let me know.

Secondly you’ll have noticed me at midday encouraging you to buy some lunch or move away from the upper bar to let luncheoners in. The caterers are seeing a little dip in their Friday lunch covers. I’m interested to know why more people don’t buy their lunch there and I think there’s an opportunity for us to influence things to our mutual benefit. My first impressions are that it’s likely to be either about the cost or about the content of the menu.

So please do let me know, in the comments, by twitter DM or otherwise whether you’d be more interested in lunch on Fridays if there were a special deal for Tuttlers or if you have looked at the menu and have some suggestions for how it could be more engaging to you.

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Definitely the busiest tuttle so far – we had nearly 70 people signed up on the wiki and although they didn’t all make it, the numbers were swelled by many more who hadn’t said they’d come.

For the first time, for those who still have no idea what happens at a tuttle, I did what I’ve meant to do for ages, I wandered around with my recorder and captured reactions from some of the folk. Mike doesn’t like it being called podcasting, as you’ll hear, so welcome to Tuttle Radio.

This is also for those lovely Lawsons who are clearly pining for something tuttlish.

Download (13MB)

(cross-posted from Perfect Path)

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****** UPDATED 22/11/08 ******

  • The ‘Tuttleoke’ is now being held @ Lucky Voice ISLINGTON
    (Soho was fully booked)
  • We’ve bagged two rooms for a total of 20 16 Rockstars;
    (8 & 8 respectively)
  • Currently have 13 16 folk confirmed, that means 7 0 places left kids
  • Get in touch if you want to play watch – we’ve filled the places now but people are allowed to come along and drink before and swap in and out etc…. Drop us a line and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Original details below…


This has been a long time coming…

We’ve talked about it,
We’ve attempted it and
We’ve even threatened to just go out and do it…

Well, the time is NOW folks and Vikki Chowney and James Whatley have stepped up to do the organising.

So… It’s Karaoke Time!

The Time: 7:30pm
The Date: Friday Dec 5th
The Place: Lucky Voice, Soho Lucky Voice, 173-174 Upper Street, Islington
The Event: Can you not READ? It’s Karaoke!

So recently, when Whatley got back from his brief stint in the US, one of the ‘chief learnings’ that he returned with was: From Las Vegas to NYC – The US Tech Scene has a proper hard-on for Karaoke…

…and let’s face it, the conversations we’ve *all* had at Tuttle, London really isn’t that different…

We know you’re out there – we’ve secretly been watching and listening, and every now and then some of you have even threatened to organise a night out… well, here it is.
Karaoke kids, let’s do this.

There is already got a bunch of people confirmed (you know who you are), but obviously – as with any event like this – the more the merrier.
We reckon we need a minimum of 8 of you to really raise the roof (we’re not far from that now) however, the more of you that come, the more rooms we’ll be able to book!
Works out about £15 per head and ideally we’d like to book it ASAP.

Numbers and places shouldn’t be hard, but we may hit a limit eventually so the sooner you can reply, the better. Either leave a comment on this post or email James on james at whatleydude dot com and let him know you’re up for it…

Speak soon Singstars,

@vikkichowney & @whatleydude

PS – If you’ve already said yes to this privately, please reply anyway as it helps with filing! 😉

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photo by futureshape on flickr

Mike and I have been joking in public about “phase 2” for some time and I’m really glad we can stop joking about it and say “Yes! It’s a Go! Go! Go!”

Here’s the simple version: From Friday 10th October, the Tuttle Club will hold it’s Friday meetups at the ICA in The Mall instead of the Coach & Horses.

Of course there’s a more complicated version too:

1. More space – when we push above 40 people, the Coach can be very tight and uncomfortable. There are a couple of separate spaces we can use in the ICA cafe and capacity for up to 200. Which bloody well better be enough.

2. It’s still a little bit secret. The place doesn’t open properly normally until 11am and we’ve been given special permission to go in at 10am. So admission will be through the “back door” in Carlton House Terrace, maintaining the grand Tuttle tradition of entering in a manner that feels a little bit special and naughty.

3. It gives us a foot in the door to do all sorts of other events at the intersection of contemporary art and social media (an intersection which is HUGE). Yes my lovelies, this could well also include some evening events for those poor souls who are brutally chained to a desk every Friday morning. But don’t worry, slack-fans, it could also mean more morning stuff too 🙂 For example, having got his Meet Harrison Ford merital badge earlier this year in Cannes, Mike is now setting his sights on the Dennis Hopper firestarter badge.

4. The wifi is strong and just works and I’m guessing that there’s someone whose job it is to ensure that it stays that way.

5. It will be slightly further to walk for those in Soho (but really, no really Allix, not much) Here’s a map of the route from the Coach and Horses though I can’t for the life of me understand why it sends you all the way over to Regent Street. See me if you want a short cut. Also see me if you want to have a race to decide once and for all who is right about this. (Hint: it’s me, me I tell you).

6. On the other hand it will be nearer for those who come from Westminster or Victoria. Anyone with an office, say, overlooking St James’s Park will no doubt be pleased.

7. The proximity of the venue to the Palaces of Buckingham, St James and Westminster has caused a few raised eyebrows – are we selling out our bohemian roots? Not at all. I love that we’re doing something anarchic and subversive in a Regency House a few hundred yards up the road from Her Madge. The ICA is deeply bohemian.

8. The bar is equally well set up for tea as for coffee and from midday, I believe they are licensed to sell the native beverage known as bee-urr.

Huge credit for getting this whole thing off the ground goes to the combined forces of @sizemore and @whatleydude who have acted as lloyd-pushers, string-pullers and lubricators extraordinaire. James Scroggs, man of vision (who ancient tuttlers will remember brought us the Spinvox Future of Voice bolt-on) is the dude on the ICA board who is encouraging them to make us so welcome.

I do also want to heartily thank Alastair and his staff at the Coach for their hospitality over the last few months. He took a punt on this weird bunch of (mostly penniless) geeks continuing to turn up regularly when we really had not much more than a twinkle in our eyes. I’d urge you to continue to use the Coach for free wifi and good food and beer whenever you’re in the West End, singalong on Wednesdays and jazz on Tuesdays plus a new comedy club and of course remember that Alastair has the two upstairs rooms for hire during the day as well as for lunches and a damn fine dinner service for private parties.

Photo Credit: futureshape on Flickr cc:by

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Josh Russell has been along to a few Friday mornings now and has talked about opening up a Tuttle branch in Brighton. Now lots of people do this, they come along and go “Wow! This is great! We should be doing this where I am. Can we?” And I say “Of course”.

And until now that’s all it’s been – until now…

So Josh will be hosting the first Tuttle Club outside of London on Saturday 16th August at 11am upstairs in the Quadrant bar at Brighton’s Clock Tower. The plan is to have it as a regular spot, so if you can’t make it this week (like I can’t), I’m sure there’ll be a weekend soon you can do.

More details than I can be bothered to retype here are at http://brightonsocialmediacafe.pbwiki.com/

So. Next. Birmingham. Calling Birmingham.

Pic by ‘Speculando on Flickr
cc : by

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I kid, I kid.

I heard yesterday in regards to a meeting at the Creative Coffee Club (and full disclosure: I didn’t attend yesterday and the info came at least third-hand) that the regular meeting at the Heights was “only for the Tuttle elite“.

We have a Tuttle elite? Do we get the same fascist uniform as the guy in Pan’s Labyrinth? Shades and braces is always a good look. Where was my memo?

As I say I missed the original comment so it could have been in jest, but just to clarify: both the Tuttle and Creative Coffee Club are open to one and all. We even have Tuttlers who haven’t been able to make a Friday morning Social Media Cafe yet.

We’re hardly exclusive and all the decisions about what we do are in the wild, either up on the wiki, in a previous blog post (as Lloyd so elequantly pointed out as I was writing this rubbish one) or discussed over a croissant. We’re also more than happy to open the blog up so if you wanna be a regular contributor, do a couple of guest posts or just help out more then please get in touch.

Creative Coffee Club isn’t affiliated with the Tuttle in any way besides the fact that some of the same faces pop up at both events. Generally CCC is a much smaller gathering which leads to a single conversation around varying topics as opposed to the larger free for all we have on a Friday in Soho. It meets every other Wednesday in London and normally the slack is picked up by a regular CCC in Leicester (but that’s mothballed for the summer). Everyone is more than welcome to the CCC and indeed the more the merrier. I regularly attend both, but don’t let that put you off.

The fact that CCC is sometimes discussed at the Tuttle and vice versa is just a happy accident due to so many of the same people appearing at similar events. At CCC we’re also joined by people from a number of other networks and we always try and promote the Social Media Cafe as well as all the other cool stuff going on in London that we’re aware of.

To take that interaction and crossover a step further, Tuttlers may be interested in checking out Network of Networks: a plan to put together a large regular event that brings us all together in the same manner as tonight’s Moo party, run unconference style. And I’m in danger of getting old saying this, but that too is open to everyone and I’d love more input on it, both online and/or in person at any of the various events I drink coffee and beer at.

I’m usually the guy in the corner trying to look as anti-elite as possible (those of you that have already met me know I can pull this off with daring ease).

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What is it?

I’ve been thinking about what makes us special and different in a number of contexts:

For a busy person who gets asked to join lots of networks or go to lots of events, the question is “What is different, preferably unique about this gathering, that means I will get lots out and be able to put lots in?”

When we’re talking about “Network of Networks” what is it (apart from scale and numbers) that differentiates it from what we’re doing at tuttle? Because I’m not aware of any of the networks that make up NON or whatever it gets called that aren’t represented on an average Friday morning session.

When we’re talking to sponsors or potential patrons, I get asked “Who are these people, why do they go, what do they do?”

My hope (sometimes I say ‘design’ but ‘hope’ is more honest!) was always that it would simply be the intersection of a variety of groups that represented those people in each group who had realised that social media was going to do something interesting to their industry, sector, profession, nation whatever.

My hypothesis was that bringing together such a group, with minimal very simple rituals and structures (we meet every Friday; upstairs in the pub; speeches (deprecated, but if totally necessary) at the end, not the beginning; come and go as you please etc) would create the potential for interesting collaboration and innovation. And so it has – to the extent that I’m now much more interested in how we exploit and realise the potential.

The @sizemore & @danlight & @giagia collaboration that put Steven Spielberg on Seesmic has it’s roots on the balcony of the Coach and Horses – without interfering too much, I’d like to hear more about stuff that’s gotten done because you met somebody on a Friday morning.

Pic by vance42 on Flickr
cc by-nd

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