Columbus Social Media Cafe

As a staff member of WOSU, I attended the Columbus Social Media Cafe last night. Attendance was low — I’ll blame that on the weather.

I’m new to the CSMC and this was my first meet-up with the Cafe as a whole. I’ve participated in a couple of planning meetings at WOSU/COSI. Following are my random observations about last night’s meet-up:

  • Though attendance was low, I’ll agree with “Open Space Rules” that the people who showed up were the right people. I heard a diverse number of opinions about where this project is going/should go. I appreciated Walker‘s take on the project, which really propelled us in a new direction.
  • I am not sure that the “non-WOSU” attendees got a clear message that the WOSU/COSI staff really wants this to be an effort that is guided by the cafe as a whole, not a specific agenda that WOSU wants to push. The framework for a webspace WOSU presented was an idea borne out of planning meetings, but I don’t think we/WOSU are extremely invested in it. I hope that was clear, but I fear it wasn’t.
  • I hope that some of the participants in the cafe start coming to planning meetings with WOSU/COSI staff. That would be a great addition.
  • I took away two main themes from the event: 1. The Columbus Social Media Cafe could become a way for bloggers and others engaging in social media to improve and expand what they do. This can happen both online and with face-to-face instruction. The Cafe could very well become the source for bloggers to find someone with more experience to help them, share tools, offer helpful information to others, and support each others’ blogging efforts. I think this is right in line with the missions of both WOSU and COSI. 2. The Cafe can also become a place to showcase the talented content that is “out there” on the internet by aggregating it together under the umbrella of content produced locally. This is also right in line with the missions of WOSU/COSI.
  • Voices of Columbus — what a great name for this effort. I agree that Columbus Social Media Cafe is cumbersome.
  • I wonder how this will come together. I hope that those who attended will start blogging about what they took away from the event. I also hope that we can garner more participation from other area bloggers/constituents.
  • I would like to see more technical-types become part of this effort. I invited Ben Bleikamp to attend, but haven’t heard from him. I’ll redouble my efforts with him.
  • Finally, I admit to a lot of “blog envy” as I read more local blogs and meet the bloggers in person. I’m definitely not on their level!