Last night, Wolfstar hosted the Leeds Mashable Meetup, which Phylecia and I organised.
The event was a great way to meet and discuss the current issues and topics affecting both social media worldwide, specifically in the UK and most specific of all, those affecting Leeds.
The event brought together a range of people involved in the social media circuit, from the ‘techies’ like web designers, SEO specialists and so on, to those from a PR or business background, to event organisers around Leeds. Everyone had a chance to talk about what role they played in the Leeds social scene and in their companies, as well as put forward ideas as to how to keep Leeds on the map as being a important place for both internet services and business alike.
The topics discussed sparked discussion and debate, and I took the opportunity to bring up my debate about the lack of social media teaching on PR courses. From the look on the faces of those in the room, it was clear many people had no idea that the PR course was started to look so dated and many were a little shocked that there is next to no web and social media training included.
After the debate and presentation side of the evening, when we all began to talk in groups and networks, I was approached a lot about the topic from people on other courses who also felt strongly about their dated teaching, and from PR professionals who think something should be done about it.
In fact two blog posts that have stemmed from my discussion last night have already appeared this morning, Matt Murray’s post and sum up of the evening here, Matt Saunders’ post on Digital Fusion Magazine here and on Illiya Vjestica’s Smartdog Blog here. My blog post was also mentioned on the Guardian Leeds, so I’m thrilled with the amount of coverage this issue is generating, hopefully it will be a push for Leeds Met to think about changing the course!
After the success of last night’s meet up, there has been a lot of talk on Twitter about organising one in the future, which I hope will become a reality as the people I met, things I learnt and discussions I took part in last night were all invaluable.
I also found this video on Mashable this morning, which should be useful to everyone at the event and in the UK social media scene, though I was a little surprised with some of the stats, such as 33% of people still trusting banner advertising (I’m yet to find one!).