A great turnout again at Edinburgh Coffee Morning in Centotre last Friday.
If you don't know about EdCM, it's an informal weekly blether engaged in by the Edinburgh Social Media Community.
You can find out more about us here, in this short film.
Or why not just come along and say hello, no invite necessary. Every week wwee welcome newbies to the fold, so you won't be alone. Just bring an interest in social media and a willingness to enjoy sensational coffee and breakfast goodies.
This week, true Digital Royalty, the legendary @marismith came all the way from San Diego and give us some great social media insights, while uber-traveller @ShannonRTW stopped off on her world tour, and the Twitter success superstars; @showerguys came all the way from West Lothian. Even the illusive original stalwart @ewanmcintosh found time to forsake his air-miles and make a surprise and welcome stop-over.
Garry and Lee with friends, family and staff at Clic Sargent.
For the past few weeks, I've been working with some pals from Edinburgh Coffee Morning to help the @300miles boys with fund-raising for their epic challenge.
But to be honest donations haven't gone as well as we'd hoped. (So far? Ed ;-)
At the time of writing this, (and with just a few hours to go of Lee and Garry's extraordinary feat of hammering through 300 gruelling miles in under 60 hours), we are still way short of our 25k total with just £7,655.00 in donations.
I think this might to a couple reasons:
1. I am a useless fundraiser. (Don't give up the day job then Mike.)
2. I/We didn't start drumming up support and pledges of money early enough, allow enough time to generate buzz for the event, and indeed I was probably too hopeful/naive that Twitter would deliver, in terms of encouraging donations. (Mike Coulter criticising twitter. Now there's a first. The words Poor, Worker, Criticises and Tool come to mind, but I'd prefer not to pursue that particular saying in too much detail.
In an attempt to try and figure out the slow donations flow, I looked at the list of who's actually contributed on the JustGiving site, and compared this with 400+ followers on Twitter, (and incidentally the 200+ on FaceBook) to see what 'percentages of generosity' we'd achieved.
I'm sorry to report the answer is that less than 10% of followers have donated.
Ten. Per. Cent. (That's out of a possible hundred percent incidentally if Maths isn't your thing. Or if donating isn't your thing come to that. 'Don't get snarky Mike. Ed.')
Which means, to look at it another way, (hang on while I get a calculator for this one...)
Over 90% of the @300miles Twitter followers have felt unmoved/uncompelled to donate. (So far. Ed ;-).
My further thoughts to explain why such a small percentage of (very welcome follows and tweets of support), has translated into money finding it's way into the donations tin are as follows:
Maybe people are waiting until the end of the challenge? (5.30 pm today incidentally.)
Maybe waiting for pay day?
Maybe people (and I count myself very much in this category, looking back at my own procrastinatory history of giving) sometimes need a nudge or three before they actually get round to donating.
Maybe people care enough to follow @300miles on Twitter and be seen to support by way of 140 character tweets, but don't actually care enough to put a real-live tenner or so in the bucket?
Maybe people need Bob Geldof to hijack a TV studio and scream at the camera as he did at LiveAid "Just give us the flippin' money!" (At least I *think* he said 'Flippin'" might got the wrong word there.)
Maybe charity giving fatigue is at work.
Maybe I've been too pushy trying to get money in the tin. (Me 'pushy" schurely, schome, mishtake? Ed.)
In fairness, I did fairly forcefully DM privately a fair few people on Twitter asking for a tenner and for them to DM the appeal to 10 friends. But not only did this 'brilliant' wheeze fall, (in the main, and bar a few notable exceptions) on deaf ears and empty pockets , it also earned me a polite, but pointed clip round the digital ear from one supporter who suggested I was 'spamming' followers by soliciting donations by DM.
(Oh well, you don't ask, you don't get. Worth a punt says I.)
Anyway if you have given, or just simply just followed online, ReTweeted and shouted out: Sincere thanks for doing what you can/could.
But I would like to ask one final favour: If you do follow @300miles on Twitter, and happen to be one of the 90% of folk who haven't been motivated to donate, (yet. There's still time folks. Ed ;-), it would help us enormously if we could figure out exactly why, and so become more effective fund-raisers next time.
Do please let us know.
Comment here, on what we got wrong and why you think so many followers are/were unwilling to put a tenner or so in the bucket. (If you don't want to comment publicly and want to keep your reasons off the radar here, please e or DM me.)
I don't imply, nor intend any criticism, rather I'm simply curious, why such a worthy cause has had, (so far, Ed. ;-) such a disappointing response.
Oh and actually, I lied about asking just one last favour, there is one more thing you can do, if you haven't already:
I'll soon be like Joe Bilden and forget my own "website number" (sic.)
The more observant of my readers, (I know there are one or two of you out there who fall into that category) will have noticed that I haven't posted here for quite a while.
I blame it all on Twitter, luring me away with it's charms.
Oh, and also the fact that I have to work for a living, and can't be poncing about all day here swapping blog small talk and tittle-tattle with the likes of you.
(No matter how much fun that might be.)
Anyhow, the 'missing blog post' syndrome is being rectified as I write.
And I will endeavour/promise/try/attempt/commit to post more frequently.
Particularly when there's so much good social media stuff to write about these days.
Edinburgh Coffee Morning at Centotre is now really flying. We're now up to 2 booths, with overspills numbering 20 or more of Edinburgh's "Social Media Elite". (Just popped that in for Google's benefit ;-)
In a sense it's getting too big, in that I miss out on some many great conversations going on across our Friday morn get-togethers.
What's more, I don't know who half the people are now. Not a great claim for a host to make I admit, but I'm among friends here right?
('Perhaps you should less time Social Media pontificating & outbursting Mike, and more time remembering names?' Just a thought. Ed. aka Wifey who often proof-reads/changes my stuff before posting.)
Next week, Carina has suggested the staff set up tables for us, along the back of the room to make for less cloistered conversations.
Let's give it a go and see how it works?
ps. I've linked to all the people above via their Twitter accounts. My thinking here is, yep, I could have sent you to their respective blogs, but if anybody has been as tawdry as me, there might not be too much fresh stuff there. However by following their Twitter links, you'll often get not only a link to a web site anyways via their profile, but a more up-to-date picture of what's going on for them right now. And as an added bonus, a few suggestions for friends of theirs to follow on Twitter.
It also of course makes entering all those urls a lot easier for me, as a twitter users name is a doddle to remember/find as opposed to a web site url.
Last Friday saw the 2nd Anniversary, and so, not co-incidentally the 2nd birthday party of the Edinburgh Coffee Morn.
We celebrated this auspicious event, with a Quiz at Centotre for the great and the good of the city's Social Media Community.
And what a turn out it was, a veritable who's who of bloggers, blaggers, and twittering classes. Web developers, digital agencies, search, mobile, start ups, entrepreneurs, film-makers, writers, community managers, commissioning editors, educationalists, slackers, hangers-on and reprobates were all not only wholesomely represented, but wholeheartedly welcome.
With, in all, well over 30 hardy souls turning up for the bright-lights and cameras at our usual Scottish Presbyterian 0800 start. (Flickr set here.)
7 teams did battle, and wrestled with over 40 fiendishly difficult social media questions.
A damn close run thing, the eventual winners were Nev, Fraser, Jim and Jamie. (A boy-band in the making if ever I saw one.)
Prizes for the winners, appropriately enough, were scented candles, fragrant bath salts plus other sensual goodies from Juliet's Little Dishy collection.
It will take place this Friday, January 16th, at usual at our techie, geeky, marketingy, social centre and home from home, Centotre, 103 George Street, Edinburgh.
Doors open at a somewhat Scottish Presbyterian 08:00 (yes that is a.m.), with competitors in place with fingers over buzzers for the first question by 08:15.
With the grand prize-giving, hugs, tears and acceptance speeches; 0900.
Friends old and new are welcome to come and compete or watch.
You can enter as a team of 4, or individually, and entry is free, however we will put the hat around to support Edinburgh Twestival and it's chosen charity.
Questions will be based on social media, web 2.0, knowledge of Channel 4's 4ip fund/38minutes, SEO, mobile tech etc.
Questions will also cover the selected works of JR Tolkien, the history of t-shirts with ironic slogans, Pizza Hut menu options from memory, and the care and maintenance of those wardrobe essentials of Gap combat trousers and Vans skateboard shoes.
(Only joking about those last 4 subjects from Tolkien onwards, I just planted them to stimulate the interest of any web developers reading this.)
And, as I'm the only person at ECM to remember who Bambi Gascoigne (sp?) actually was, will be setting the questions and and giving a shambolic impression of a quiz-master.
As is the convention, points mean prizes, with the best team and best individual competitor picking up a little something donated by the fragrant and lovely littledishy collection of Coffee Morn regular Juliet.
Numbers are limited, and I need to let Centotre how many to expect on the day, so please let me know by e, sms, IM, comment or tweet, if you are competing, (or are just coming to watch), by Noon this Wednesday 14th.
Unbelievably we hardly discussed the iPhone or any iApps this week, (a first for quite a while), though we did cover Darcie's series of photographs of a Leith based tagger who's been spraying her initials everywhere. (She's 'repackaged' the work to promote herself via a lovely set of Moo post cards.)
We couldn't wheedle a damn thing out of Ewan about any top secret Channel4 stuff he was up to, but he did talk about/show us some lovely C4 animation/trailers currently being aired.
Jon told us about a book on creativity that influenced/influences him; Richard Ogle's Smart World.
I made a prediction that a new social media job title to watch out for is 'Social Profile Manager.' A bit like a Community Manager, (Jon's job), but babysitting/mentoring the digital footprints/social media usage of key executives, for the benefit of both brand and curious consumer.
(I also banged on again about how FriendFeed, or at least the concept behind rich content aggregation, life/brandstreams, brand/key executive orientated 'rooms' & threaded comments is/will be a 'big-deal'.
As usual, everybody smiled politely, said, "yeah, yeah, yeah Mike." Then found something much more interesting and fascinating to look at in their coffee cups.)
Chris told us about his new method of dealing with loud iPod music spilling out irritatingly from fellow travellers' headphones: He starts dancing to it.
We talked a bit, randomly, and not really worth linking-to-ly about the Edinburgh Entrepreneurs Club, looked back nostalgically and a bit piss-takingly at the early days of First Tuesday, Wondered out aloud why the Edinburgh geeky, gamey, techie, marketing, web 2.0-y groups, don't meet each other more, (like they did at the Guardian gig a while back.), why I was wearing a suit again, the Twitter FAIL! Whaleindustry, and creative 404's on flickr and in general.
Er, that was about it, then it was time to go to work.