Likeminds 2010 – was it really for me?

In my previous post i shared my first thoughts and observations from attending the Likeminds 2010 conference. It was a great day and my thoughts have now started to settle down. If you wish to read other peoples views on the event, check out the likeminds site.

The question i am asking myself now is  – was the event for me?

I work in local government and i know that we can learn from other sectors and other professionals, but i’m starting to think that for a whole day event, i didn’t really come away with anything new  – that is not to say that the quality of presentations weren’t great because they were. I was very impressed with Jon Akwue, Joanne Jacobs and Chris Brogan who was one of the first 10 people i started to follow on twitter – Joanne’s Gartner style hype cycle for Augmented Reality was very interesting.

However it seems to me that we (public sector folk) are actually very advanced in our collective thinking on the potential of social software and social media. I include social software because i believe that we will gain huge advantages implementing this technology internally first before we embark externally on the road to radical transformation. This point was supported by an excellent presentation by Olivier Blanchard on “Operationalising Social Communications” – Ok so the title is a bit too “Communications” friendly for most public sector folk, but to be honest i don’t care what we call it, as long as we actually ALL understand what we are really talking about.

If you are in the public sector and you have heard Dave Briggs talk, or spoken to the following people in and around the public sector : Dominic Campbell, Jeremy Gould, Paul Clarke, Tim Davies, Mary McKenna, Steve Dale, Catherine Howe and Julie Harris to name but a few. All of these people i have heard talk about practical examples of change using social web technologies over the past 2 years. From the IDeA’s Knowledge Hub, eSafeguarding Projects, Youth Participation and Engagement, Learning Organisations, Reboot Britain, Digital Mentors and Virtual Civic Spaces. All of these in my opinion are great examples of the power and potential of social media.

Surely this is about FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE not just in businesses, public sector organisations but in society as a whole.

I appreciate that for many people Likeminds was a place where they learned about new stuff and new approaches, but for me, i have already been on that journey, but it was good to listen to great speakers.

I love likeminds and i love being part of it, but perhaps this time it was just a little to broad for me and not deep enough.

I suspect that the other likeminds offerings would meet my needs but being based in local government, funds are limited if not non existent to enable participation in some of the others.

I think that the main reason for me to feel this way was that it feels like the event was aimed at a more commercial group of people, it was no coincidence that a large number of people attending were agencies and people offering services in this space.

My thoughts continue.


6 thoughts on “Likeminds 2010 – was it really for me?

  1. Ah Carl, looks like you’ve been spoilt by ready access to the good stuff 🙂 That’s a great set of people to have heard talk and an amazing set of events to have been to. 2010 will be an interesting year in the emergence of Social Media and social software. In some senses it has gone ‘main stream’ , in that the early adopters are convinced and dragging the early majority in.

    Generally what follows is that the technology gets ‘vertical-ised’ and ‘operational-ised” in that the different sectors go there separate ways in terms of what they do with the technology, and figure out how to fit it in with ‘business as usual’ processes. As someone who spans the commercial and government space I’m aware of the similarities and differences, and you are right, Like Minds did end up veering towards the commercial audience – although with people like Hadley Beeman asking questions from the floor, .gov folks had their voice too.

    I hope that you at least got some good networking out of it, and that it has solidified what you’ve learnt over the last couple of years. It’s difficult to be everything to everyone 🙂

    1. I agree with you and I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to speak to those people.

      I think the next challenge is getting the key influencers and policy makers to engag in debate and to listen to the stories and learning that has gone on.

      One of the greatest things likeminds offers is excellent networking and it offered value for me there.


  2. @Carl. I can understand your sentiments with regard to LikeMinds this year. As part of the development of social media ans social software, my colleague and I, Jon Colmer are currently undertaking some advanced econometric analysis on the impact of social media in various spheres. Your particular niche which is the public sector, in particular local government would be very interesting to our research as we endeavour to understand the need presented by that section of the market and then how to best address that and achieve real results on the ground. The kind of variables we are testing for when it comes to the commercial side of social media would be irrelevant to your field but it would help us to meet and engage with you to get your thoughts on where public sector social media strategy is going and where we as economists need to be focusing some of our research to exploit value creation opportunities. Access to public sector data would also be nice 😉

    1. Happy to chat and meet, although i may not have all the answers you seek – but no harm in conversations. I’ll email you my contact details

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