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Communal Vision

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years ago

If there were something called the Social Media Café in London, what would you expect to see, find, pay for, experience etc.

 

Disagreement and argument is fine, we're looking for a view that represents the community, not necessarily consensus and agreement (though some of that might be nice...)

 

Please leave at least one sentence describing what you want Social Media Café to be or do for you. eg I want somewhere other than home to work; I want to meet black t-shirted slightly overweight geeks; It must smell of lily of the valley. You get the idea.

 

You may leave many more than one sentence, but one would be a start.

 

You may also define your vision in the negative e.g. I don't want it to be a stuffy club for toffs; Keep anyone with anything less than perfect skin out; It mustn't smell of cheese.


MAT - the space that will eventually create a community... a sort of theory  

 

  When you are creating a space i think it is important to think about the deatails from the beggining, at least have them in the back of your mind. For example just saying comfortible chairs i think is not enough. There has to be a balance between comfort and use so that you dont have people squirming in their chairs with aching backs or falling asleep after 2 hours. Even stuff like colours of the interior, lighting etc... since a lot of or most of people will be working on computers which is alredy hell for eyes (no matter how resiliant we geeks are 'lol') you do not want to put extra strain on them. At the same time you do not want to turn this into another office or a dry internet cafe. I suggest you (Lloyd:) look into the ergonomics and maybe even ask some interior designer for some tips on choosing the right enviroment. Through the proper use of interior you as the creator will be able to almost dictate how social this cafe will be. The way that people will be able to move around the space. See what other people are doing. At the same time work by themselves without distraction when they choose to (simple plan could be a do not disturb sign that you can put next to you "lol").

  The thing to understand is that when a person is working on a computer it is a very individual thing. There is alredy an, almost closed, interaction happening between the person and the computer, virtual world, screen etc. What needs to happen here is a bending of this idea. That will bring, or that there will be a possibiblity to bring what is happenning in this interaction out into the space of the cafe so that others might comment, look at, even change if they are intrested etc. One way maybe could be having some "public" projectors, split screens or something that people as they walk around or sit sipping coffe can clearly see and know which person is doing this or that without looking over the users shoulder. When there is person that sits at a computer that is hooked up to the public projector doing his stuff others will automatically know that this stuff is up for review and comments ... it also lets the user to maybe somewhere in the corner of the screen post a public query for others to see in case there is someone in the room that knows the answear and is willing to lend a hand or whatever. 

   Going back to the movement around the space. You have to remember that screens dont move(uness you have some briliant idea, rotating screens,projections but youd need a heck of more room for that) . Its people that move. Might sound like a silly thing to mention but again for it to be a social endouver you need people to be able to move freely. To be able to see as much as possible of others. To be able to talk to each other. (head sets might be an answear but you dont want a plathora of telly tubbies running around as it might cut down on the social factor'lol'). 

   Although, especially at the beggining, you will have the power to create, slowly the people will add to the general atomosphere. If from the beggining you will give people the freedom and encourage them with right space and facilities (from the simplest like chairs to all that other techno stuff like Dan and others mentioned below) they will explore it to the fullest and a create a sort of a mini culture around it. The more open, as in; usefull, interactive, fun and pleasent, the space will be the more interactive people will become with it and each other, which is in my understanding what this socialmediacafe is all about. 

 

hope this is of any use... ide love to see it happen. The thinking above is very much influnenced by my intreast in Social Anthopology, Psychology and hints of Industrial Psychology. I know that some of the things that i mention above seem to be obvious but if explored more deeply can give some really enlightenning results so that nothing or as little as possible is overlooked. By far this is not comprehensive and could not even be seen as a introduction to the topic as there are so many other things that one could talk about but before I do that i would like to hear from others what they think on this sort of thought about this endouver.   

 

 peace

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Dan - The cafe environment should be an immersive mix of online technology;

 

Just some thoughts;

 

- Ipod docks for charging.

- Live webcam feed over stickam or selfcast. Certain designated tables are mic(ed) up.

- RSS feed projected onto wall displaying newest SMC members blog posts.

- a digital version of the cheesy guestbook. maybe a flickr feed, on entering or leaving, cafeteer's can take a shot on a webcam which gets timestamped and dumped onto flickr.

- Streaming last.fm radio of the cafe's group profile. http://www.last.fm/group/Bar+Italia+-+The+Pulp+Appreciation+Society

- film screenings would be great.

 

- some books and magazine to read.

- free wi-fi naturally.

- A printed book of the entire of wikipedia. :)


 

Simon: I'd like a large licensed cafe area with a range of healthy options in food, furnished with large square tables suitable for laptops. There would be electric sockets freely available and connection to the internet would be free of charge. A sofa/settee relaxing area near a small stage for occasional entertainments. One or two private meeting rooms at the back. Hope this is not too much!

 

Anne Marie: Lloyd, love your idea of eventually having a practical space for media production, with some helpful tech literate folks on hand to help. I would pay for access to those facilities, and I would pay for technical help.

Look and feel of the place? Different type spaces for different collaborative functions (small tables for groups of twos and threes, and perhaps more enclosed larger meeting spaces where people could be noisy). I have links with people who have this specialist knowledge, if that would be useful. I would like very informal, a bit grungy, cool art on the walls, magazines and books lying around etc.

 

I think start off being hosted elsewhere, with the eventual intention of raising finance to set up our own dedicated space. What about somewhere like the Creation Factory in the the old Truemans brewery? Doug Mather would be your man to speak to. www.thecreationcompany.com

 

I miss interaction among different disciplines on line. I am neither creative nor technical, and I belong to creative and technical groups online (my interest is how businesses use social media and mobile communication technologies to increase social connectedness in increasingly remote, fragmanted and mobile workplaces). I feel on the fringes of most of these groups. I could ask daft questions face-to-face!

 

Paul D: Need some funding for this baby - or some free space... how do we do that? We can't have tables, round or square, without it. Remember Cyberia? Maybe this is the return to the internet cafe to fund the primary purpose of the space? Or blog-funded, through a series of notable bloggers who monetize their blogs for the benefit of the community? Or maybe it's about approaching a panel of notable philanthropists who can fund the thing? Or maybe it becomes funded through residents - so we in effect start up a shared office space and rent out sections of it to fund the overall thing. Thoughts?

 

Sam: nice idea, an affordable space with great drinks, quiet corners, meeting spaces, big TVs, comfortable seats as well as desks, reading material, top grade Wifi, central location (I'd go for Soho) - what about whiteboards or similar, round the walls to informally braindump?

 

Roger W: Can we please have some unhealthy food options and round tables too? I think this should be a comfortable space with comfort food, plug sockets and wi-fi for equipment, comfy sofas and arm chairs, a decent bar with a reasonably priced range of drinks (wine - but please no semillon chardonnay! - beer, spirits etc.), and a reasonably priced, small menu bistro-type eating place. The aim would be to create a space where we could go to both recover from the heat and dust, cut and thrust of creative business generation etc. and find meeting rooms etc that could be booked for discussing projects amopng ourselves and with clients. It would also be great if there could eventually be some space to stay over, especially for people who come in from out of town - perhaps we could start with some hammocks. I also love the idea of aiming to have a practical space for media stuff (production etc), and access to people who know what they are talking about, whatever the subject. I would also pay for access and help.

 

Tia

 

This is a great idea Lloyd and there are so many interesting suggestions. I'd definitely be up for a space where I could meet, work and collaborate, especially if there were helpful tech literate people on hand for a small charge. I'd also welcome meeting rooms and event space, and know friends outside London who'd be grateful for space to stay over. The food and drink should be part of the experience too. With so much average (and expensive) food in central London, this could be a major opportunity.

 

I'll go out of my way for good coffee and real homemade cakes (as opposed to Starbucks/Costa ones that only look home-made and taste of nothing but sugar). How about the smell of baking as a way to get people inside? I'd also like comfy sofas and a place to chat without intrusive music, plus clean, airy toilets.

 

My one major concern is feasibility. How much will this cost to start-up and is it a long term proposition? I think you need serious investors/connections to make it work. Perhaps putting together a business plan would help you get your head round its commercial potential? I think the people who've suggested you use existing space have a point - if you can prove that it works, you're more likely to get people with money interested in the idea.

 

PIPPA

 

 

 

http://www.eoffice.net/location/office_london.htm

 

Helen says: With mine and Lloyd's luvvie background a greenroom for geeks kinda appeals (although not sure about the 'geek' moniker as it *does* have negative connotations - let's not discuss it here though!). My point being that it's a relaxation space, next to a rehearsal or work space so there's productive energy there and a creative energy. Thinking outside the box, in the short-term, could we camp somewhere to test the concept where there's a cafe or relaxing space in a building that's not generally used during the day ... ummm... like a theatre? Ok, if there's a matinee on, then we wouldn't be able to play there (but you know when the matinees are on) and evenings would be out from 6ish I guess, but maybe it's a way to test the concept. Worth chatting to Rufus about a space? The geeks could put in the technology for wifi and the like, and the theatre would make money on using the space during the day (assuming they have a nice cafe or rest room area). It might be fun to test it somewhere for a few weeks and if the concept works, then we could look for our own space, or look for more similar premises where we could use their dead time.

 

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 11:15 pm on Aug 9, 2007

I'd like a large licensed cafe area with a range of healthy options in food, furnished with large square tables suitable for laptops. There would be electric sockets freely available and connection to the internet would be free of charge.

A sofa/settee relaxing area near a small stage for occasional entertainments.

One or two private meeting rooms at the back.

Hope this is not too much!

Anonymous said

at 12:53 pm on Aug 10, 2007

Can we please have some unhealthy food options and round tables too? I think this should be a comfortable space with comfort food, plug sockets and wi-fi for equipment, comfy sofas and arm chairs, a decent bar with a reasonably priced range of drinks (wine - but please no semillon chardonnay! - beer, spirits etc.), and a reasonably priced, small menu bistro-type eating place. The aim would be to create a space where we could go to both recover from the heat and dust, cut and thrust of creative business generation etc. and find meeting rooms etc that could be booked for discussing projects amopng ourselves and with clients. It would also be great if there could eventually be some space to stay over, especially for people who come in from out of town - perhaps we could start with some hammocks. I also love the idea of aiming to have a practical space for media stuff (production etc), and access to people who know what they are talking about, whatever the subject. I would also pay for access and help.




Anonymous said

at 12:08 pm on Aug 20, 2007

agree with both of the above. I think there should be creative spaces too - either for performance, training, brainstorming or whatever. And space for art and installations to inspire us. A quiet corner for reading and research.

oh, and mobile phone signal please. I don't have a problem with having phones on silent, I do have a problem not being able to make and receive calls at all a la Adam Street!

Late night access would be good if it was financially feasible, but I guess if other clubs can do it, then we could.

Not so bothered about look/feel of furniture (in that it doesn't have to be new and shiny) but it does need to be practical and we'll need lots of powerpoints 'n stuff like that for laptop working. But they manage it at the hospital, so shouldn't be an issue.

Themed areas might be good like we had at Major Players. Not sure we need a teenage bedroom, but I liked the space room and the garden room with astroturf and deckchairs.

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