Reflection on #mdot part 2: process and content


The whole point of our live interactive mindmap event #mdot (see previous post) was that we could use it as an experiment to find new ways of brainstorming and holding events that lead to some real debate and action.

In the spirit of doing that, here are the main things I learned from the event, both from the things that went right and the things that went wrong. The wall will be up until the end of the week. Next week we will start gathering together the comments and trying to draw up some action points on where we go next.

Like Jon Hickman, I’ve split the thoughts into process and content


Most people were positive about the event, but one comment that caught my eye was from @urbanfly: “Struggling to understand what #mdot actually is. Seems to be a lot of people who already know each other talking about twitter.”

I get his point as no other online networks or communities were mentioned and our initial aim was to look at ways of using social media. Also we didn’t fulfil our aim of getting twitter novices along to chip in. I think that was largely down to the title – I think the mention of the word ‘twitter’ isolated people who ‘just don’t get it’ from coming along. It would be great to use this format of online meets physical on a broader topic that might get a mix of people along.

However, I think having professionals reflect on twitter was really useful. I am very new to twitter. I’ve done it for about 2 months. I put off starting because I thought I’d do it wrong. Also, I don’t “know everyone” in the twitter community. I went to my first social media cafe the other day and loved it. Again I’d not been for a while because I thought it was just for the social media professionals and I’d stick out as a bit of an amateur, but it was one of the friendliest and welcoming network events I’ve been to.

I think lots of useful stuff came out when the ‘social media glitterati’ stepped back and took a new look at twitter. Marc Reeves made a really good point that companies need more guidance on using twitter, to help them use it in a way that’s about building relationships. If they just send constant sales messages they’ll annoy people and get blocked.

It also raised the important question of how twitter can become more welcoming and how we can stop putting new people off with the different symbols and etiquettes. Dave Harte didn’t like the idea of ‘twitter mentors’ because it suggests a hierarchy or a ‘right’ way of doing it. But maybe a less formal buddying up scheme? I’d have benefitted.

When I started @peteashton encouraged me to do give it a go, then @Beckycad swayed me to make the leap because she told me that she’d recently started from scratch too and she’d help me. @ChrisUnitt gave me a nudge to do it properly like update my profile & picture & let people know I was there. Sounds simple, but I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’d’ve just been randomly tweeting and wondering why no one followed me. And @podnosh encouraged people to say hi to me. Without all that I’d probably have stopped before I’d started.



  • The wall: I worried about the wall during the event. Nobody wanted to get up, grab a pen and join in with the cartoonist after each speaker. But as Jon Hickman said, afterwards there was a flood of activity. In fact, for two hours I couldn’t get anyone into reception to drink the wine because they wanted to draw on the wall and read what other people had written.


  • I think it worked because it makes people feel like a kid again and taps into that creative part of the brain that is (dare I say it) often put to sleep by formal things like conferences. Maybe next time we should give everyone a pen so there’s more encouragement to draw during the main part of the event. Also maybe if the people who were at this #mdot came they’d be willing to lead the way and get others to follow? Maybe some warming up to get everyone comfortable too – at our digital Britain Unconference Julia Higginbottom led with stretching and getting everyone to tell funny anecdotes about their name and it worked a treat.


  • Video streaming: I couldn’t fault this, I thought Crushhouse did an amazing job and we even got comments from America saying it was clear.


  • Live blogging: Again, we got lots of twitter following and thanks to Nick Booth and Chris Unitt people were engaging online. I suppose the problem is that it was mainly targeted at twitterers. Maybe if we are looking at rolling the format out to a different community we should consider at how to use other applications in addition to twitter.

3 Responses to “Reflection on #mdot part 2: process and content”


    […] Fazeley Studios […]

  2. Out and About (part 2) | Alex Hughes Cartoons and Caricatures Says:

    […] Jon Hickman (and the response from Karl Binder), usual suspect Dave Harte (again), reflections (part 2), another Flickr set, and, finally, the wall in more […]

  3. Happy customers of Drawnalism « Drawnalism Says:

    […] Digital thinker and academic Jon Hickman has a nice round up of the event here and here as do event organisers, Fazeley Studios. […]

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