EU Conference on Social Activism Online in Ireland – Take aways

EU Conference Dublin
Organise, Activate and Influence: Social Activism Online in Ireland

EU conference

Hopefully the next few months will show that people have organised, activated and influenced as a result of the really good conference that was held on Saturday in the EU offices in Dublin. A huge congratulations must be given to Philippe, Ruth and Cian for doing so much work and putting a really good and diverse day together.

Zack was brilliant and insightful as usual and it was nice to meet him after chatting on GMail Chat for years and I was very impressed with Damian O’Broin‘s presentation. You can see it here. He’s one of the best Irish presenters I’ve seen. He should get into training people on how to do it right. (Seriously Damian, most Irish business people cannot do it right. Teach them.)

I met loads of bloggers and non-bloggers too and had a great chat, gossip and bitch with Keith Martin about politics. He’s fairly normal for a guy that’s into politics. That’s rare! The networking was really good and it was great to see a lot more non-political people at it and there was a good gender balance at it. In the audience at least…

There were many views about Irish blogging from people that didn’t blog, some constructive, some moronic. Oh yes, nothing is WRONG with Irish Blogging just because an area isn’t covered by bloggers. We’re not the public service. A gap in the market doesn’t mean all other markets are wrong.

What I would love though is maybe for a group, perhaps the EU, to run an event where members of the media talk and train people to do research the way journalists do, how to verify sources and turn gossip into hard facts or find out what they have will never hold. Bloggers could become an R&D army for journalists if those journalists guide them on how to do it. The vast vast majority of bloggers want nothing more than attribution, they don’t want to be in the papers writing their own columns, they prefer the freedom of a blog. Why not up the quality of all media by getting the amateurs to up their game?

I’d love to see more Europeans come along to the next event and show how they’re using blogs and social media for political and campaigning uses. Be great to see Simon Dickson asked to talk about his work with the UK Gov and Downing Street. Blogs, vids and Twitter for example.

A fantastic event, I don’t want to wait another two years for another though. For those that went or were interested in this, what would you like to see if there is a future event?

Photo above is by Red Mum and some brilliant ones from the day are here.

20 Responses to “EU Conference on Social Activism Online in Ireland – Take aways”

  1. Keith says:

    >I met loads of bloggers and non-bloggers too and had a great chat, gossip and bitch with Keith Shirley about politics.

    Ahem. It’s Keith Martin… 😉 As for the normality, it’s just a really good front.

  2. […] and Social Media Conference in Dublin by the European Commission Representation in Ireland: more: EU Conference on Social Activism Online in Ireland (Mulley) The Chancer Hearts Slugger O’Toole […]

  3. Damien says:

    I wrote that at 2am…

  4. Eoin says:

    Glad to hear it was written at 2am because I just couldn’t get your enthusiasm for this ideas otherwise:
    “Bloggers could become an R&D army for journalists if those journalists guide them on how to do it. ”

    Call me self-protecting for the researchers among us but many journalists don’t do much research on a daily basis. There are a select few who do but they’re mostly those who write regular columns. If we’re recruiting an R&D army, we could do worse than start with a few professional researchers.

  5. MJ says:

    hmmm, R&D army… Capt’n Damo 😉

  6. Keith says:

    >Capt’n Damo

    Commandant, surely!

  7. Damien,

    I think your idea about journalists training bloggers is an excellent one. I think journos can learn a great deal from bloggers, too.

    Clear Ink would be happy to talk to you about this – we’re Irish Times journalists and trainers. Give me a shout!

    I’d also love to hear from bloggers out there – is this something that would interest you?


  8. *blushes* ah shucks, Damien.

    It was great to finally meet you in person, sorry I couldn’t hang around for a longer chat afterwards.

    In terms of future events – it would be nice to look at some online campaigns in a bit more detail. Really dissecting the Obama campaign could be interesting, but even closer to home, looking at how some of the UK NGOs have managed campaigns would be great.

    Another area I’d like to see (although it might be a bit too techie) would be to look at some of the tools that are out there for online campaigns and the sort of infrastructure and planning that a campaign needs to run.

    That’s my tuppence worth anyway.

  9. Darragh says:

    It was my first conference of the type here and though late, really enjoyed it and got a lot from it, particularly in the role that could be played by bloggers. There’s talk of setting up a bar- or creative camp for social entrepreneurs and this was a great idea setter for how it could be done.

    Like Damian above, I’d like to look at how social/charity campaigns could be helped by bloggers and online evangelists. Perhaps too a bit on what they actually need vs what they get already. Amnesty were there Saturday and I’d love to have heard from them what could be done. The training on how to properly research a story is a good idea.

  10. I was just wondering what the implications are when Damien Mulley calls you normal and then the post was corrected to the proper name. Now I’m not sure if I’ve been labelled abnormal. 🙂

    It was a very good day – I thought the posters with peoples blogs and the idea of the mini presentations at lunch was good.

    I don’t know if I like the idea of bloggers being an R&D army in the sense that so much stuff is already taken as the truth just because it was posted in a blog. On the other hand – training on good research methods is a great idea. I’m very much in favour helping people find their own truth. I always get annoyed when I see terms such as “statistics show” in an article with no sign of what stats and who made them.

    Never believe any statistics that you have not invented yourself!!!!

    Keith Shirley

    P.S. We did actually talk briefly on the day – but it was more about drinks at the Webawards and not politics.

  11. Suzy says:

    Training from journalists? In what? How to think? How not to print a story straight from a press release?

    I’m all for more chances for discussions about the interaction between journalists and blogging and the pro am model as mentioned on Saturday but I think training by journalists would not be high on my agenda for bloggers.

  12. Alexia Golez says:

    Darragh++ on the need to for proper research. A death to the Walter Mittys and their half-truths.

  13. Alexia Golez says:

    need for* obviously 🙂

  14. Simon Dickson says:

    I’d be delighted to come along. I’ll even overlook the fact you lumped me in as ‘one of them’ rather than ‘one of us’ (he says, waving his Irish passport). 🙂

  15. Kevin Peyton says:

    I think having Simon along for another event would be a great idea.

    Given that Damien has mentioned that waiting another 2 years seems like an awful long time away, that we have local elections coming up in 9 months time would an event with a theme focused on those elections be a goer? the context in terms of energy and interest could be good?

    have people like Simon, Damien, Damian, Suzy (and others) disect existing campaigns (like the obama one) – what’s good, what’s bad, what’s relevant, what’s not relevant.

    I only saw a part of Zacks presentation on saturday – and in fairness to him, that was via the stream; What I felt was missing was applying the smarts to the local context ??


  16. […] This post is kind of in response to Damien’s yesterday. […]

  17. Training from journalists? Now there’s a thought.

    Would we be talking about the few dedicated, well-informed journalists who tell it as it is, or would we be talking about the hundreds of bumbling, semi-literate clods without an original idea between them?

    I think those trainers are going to be busy.

  18. TUG says:

    Any windymedia reps there, at least those kids do it for real…

  19. I can’t tell you how crushed I am. I was at work in the library last week when one of my regular customers mentions that was very complimentary to me in a post this week. So I was chuffed until my vanity made me look up the post only to find it is the other Keith Martin, the other blogging Keith Martin, the other political Keith Martin.

    Frankly, it hurts.