Saturday 8 January 2011

Netroots UK: online left activists talk and tweet

Netroots UK conference hall during morning session. photo credit
The big event today for political activists and their followers was the Netroots UK conference in London. The conference aimed to bring together 'progressive' and 'grassroots activists' for a day of workshops, discussions and networking activity.

The programme of speakers included Brendan Barber (TUC), Sunny Hundal (Liberal Conspiracy), Sunder Katwala (Fabian Society), Polly Toynbee (The Guardian) and Clifford Singer (False Economy) amongst others.

The day focused on "how to use social media to inform, energise and mobilise people for progressive causes" though it was not just about blogging and twittering.  Discussions were about tactics for opposing the cuts agenda of the coalition government. As you can imagine, this is a huge challenge given the rainbow of groups which will need to be accommodated within the tent. Some just want to save their local library whilst others are aiming for revolution.

I posted recently about being a newby to Twitter and mused about its benefits - well today I was able to dip in and out of the live tweeting from the conference which was pretty entertaining, sometimes informative (and certainly voluminous!) and gave me instant links to longer write-ups.

The event is just about finishing now - they're having a 'networking session' (aka drinking lots of wine), though well-deserved I'm sure after what reads like an intensive day.  An early report from the New Statesman says that "Hackitivists of the world, unite!" was the main message and that "Despite its focus on technology, the overall message of the event was a more traditional one: to fight the cuts, the left needs to work together." Sounds good to me and is what I was trying to say in this post last year about cuts in the Borough of Lewisham.

I'll be watching with interest what comes of today's event. I very much support the broad agenda and hope that a role can be articulated too for those who cannot be 'active activists' (due to work and family commitments, and the onset of middle-age...)

You can read the Twitter feed (if you have lots of time!) or view video recordings of some sessions, when uploaded some time soon hopefully.

For now, I rather liked this top tweet from the barbed pen/cursor of Penny Red:

was amused by this one:
Christie Malry RT by DavidWhe
@ while they were all at arguing that all property should be collectivised I was round their flats nicking their iPods


hilly said...

the idea that the left should work together is to my mind at least, truly absurd, that would be like asking cameron to team up with nick griffin (well, perhaps until we have PR anyway).

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hilly. My reply was getting longer and longer, so I've done a new post in reply, just for you...

Raven said...

Not Anonymous - it's me! don't know how that happened!