Devon Social Media Cafe

What next for Devon Social Media Cafe?

with 15 comments

Over the last eighteen months, since Devon Social Media Cafe got going, a lot has changed. There are a lot more people using social media locally. The online to offline principle is becoming increasingly adopted, and we are seeing all sorts of local social media inspired meet ups happening. Social media is also developing.

When we were set up, the intention was to move around the county, this has not really happened. In reality we have become rooted in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. We are aware of similar things happening in Exeter, Totnes and Topsham – and soon to be in Torbay. We know of groupings that have established around design and another around lunch.

We have always battled with where, when and what. We have been asked to have them on different nights and at different venues each month. We’ve been asked for stability of both. We’ve been asked for more formal discussion groups. We’ve been asked to keep it informal. We’ve delivered two PlymTwests (and in doing so have raised over £11,000 for charity) and been the source of other small scale local charitable fundraising activities. We’ve been asked to do more of these things, but at our core there have always been only one or two volunteers (boosted by lots of lovely extra people for PlymTwest events) so we have been limited in what we can do.

So now seemed like a good time for reflection. Should we look at change in the way that DSMC works? How could we build on what we have achieved so far? We thought we should, and have come up with a range of ideas. We’d be really interested to hear what you have to say about them.

We think:

  • What happens in the Plymouth area should have a name that reflects its locality. We’re still thinking – but so far we’ve had PlymSocMed, PlymTweets and PlymChats suggested. We’re open to suggestions that will work well on Twitter as a name and a hashtag as well as being able to be good (possibly if expanded) for FaceBook, LinkedIn, blog, etc. We’ll carry on using Devon Social Media Cafe until we sort this out, then…
  • The name Devon Social Media Cafe should be changed to Social Media Devon, and used to promote all the different social media focussed events around the county, focusing on those that happen on an ongoing basis and have twitter accounts and/or use hashtags (this will make it easier for us to spot and promote things)
  • That we should see the impact of using a different night of the week, and trying different venues. So we’re going for two events a month for the next few months. As well as the last Wednesday of the month at Stanley Casino, we’re going to be using the second Thursday as well (starting from 14th April at the Treasury)
  • That we should try some more formalised presentation/discussion. This would be happen before the Stanley Casino evenings on the last Wednesday, so people could come from work network, engage and leave; or arrive a bit early, engage chat and saunter off later; or come and join in the whole lot. Basically doors open at 6, presentation/discussion from 6.30-7.15, chill, chat and drink from 7.15 until we naturally wind down (we’ll confirm nearer the time what we will be doing later in April)
  • We should build on the success of PlymTwest to look at how we, as Plymouth’s social media community, are able to come together to do social good, celebrate our city, build new networks/relationships and have a lot of fun

We’d be really interested to hear what you think about all of this – leave comments below, Tweet us, come along to the Treasury on 14th April from 7, or Stanley Casino on 27th April.

And if you’d like to become one of our organising team, please let us know

Written by Devon Social Media Cafe

7 April 2011 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

15 Responses

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  1. Hi Chris (and/or Mark!)

    I love the ideas for changing #dsmc. With all the brilliant meet-ups happening around devon I think using the #dsmc name as an umbrella for them all is a brilliant idea, which will make it easy for us all to promote each other.

    I also love the idea of having one social meet-up in Plymouth a month which is more relaxed and another with discussions or presentations. I haven’t been able to come up with anything better than #plymsoc in terms of a hashtag though, but I think it works as it doesn’t discriminate between different social media platforms.

    I am more than happy to be a part of any organising teams if extra hands are needed, so just let me know if and how I can be of use.


    Jed Langdon

    7 April 2011 at 4:12 pm

  2. Hi All,

    I also like the idea of using #dsmc an an umbrella for everything that is taking place across the county. The name Social Media Devon (#SMDevon) works perfectly.

    With the meet-ups in Plymouth, I say the easier the name to remember and the fewer syllables the better. Anything complicated is hard to share. I really like Jed’s suggestion of #plymSoc. #PlymouthTU could also be used as it does for many other tweet ups but the TU part doesn’t cover other platforms.

    Another suggestion is Social Media Plymouth, changing the name of the Twitter account to @SocialMediaPlym and using the hastag #SMPlym. That would be my shout.

    I think there will always (well, hopefully always) be a demand for the social meet up. It’s a good idea to hold the seperate events for 3 or 4 months. By the 3rd or 4th event, you will have a much better idea if there really is a demand for it.

    Thanks, good luck and see you soon!


    Robert Pickstone

    7 April 2011 at 4:40 pm

  3. This is very interesting and I’m delighted that #DSMC is expanding to twice a month. I have a few questions though:

    1. Why does the name have to change so dramatically? I don’t see why we need to change the name to include “Plymouth”. This is the origin & engine of DSMC is here so Plymouth is kind of the ‘Head Office’. I’m in favour of keeping the well-established hashtag and changing the name (never did like Cafe) to something like Devon Social Media Community

    2. What is the ultimate aim & purpose of the group?

    I am hugely in favour of including presentations/discussion points to the meetings, but then I was before as well 🙂

  4. Hello everyone,

    I have found a real hunger for SM information from the city’s business community. Surely there’s an opportunity to capitalise on this by offering post-work networking events with an SM-focused speaker?

    As far as the #DSMC name is concerned, I agree with Ash, why change something that is established? However, this could be the wider umbrella tag for the SM events across the county and if so, I really like #PlymSoc as an alternative.

    The #DSMC opened my eyes to the potential of SM and the incredible things that can be achieved by amazing people. Congratulations on the twestival totals. Whatever the name of the group, there’s a lot to be proud of.

    Sam Joseph

    8 April 2011 at 6:36 am

  5. Hey all,

    It’s great news that as social media is becoming more widely used we as a local community are expanding our own social media events. I love the idea of having two nights (one formal and one informal) as this gives different opportunities to those who feel they either want to have a chat or learn more about social media through presentations/discussions.

    With regards to the already existing #DSMC, I agree with keeping it as the main source for all social media within the Devon area, but I do feel we need something specific to Plymouth and #plymSoc seems to be the popular choice. This would enable us make the ‘Plymouth branch’ in particular a more marketable, easier to recognise team which would no doubt help with future social media for social good events!

    Really exciting times and it’s so good to know we have a community that are passionate about social media!

    Jason Stanley

    8 April 2011 at 8:28 am

  6. We didn’t change the name of Devonport back to Plymouth Dock! Plymouth is at the Port of Devon, hence Devonport. I like Devon Social Media but do see the point that there are other social media groups now in other locations of Devon, but if we are the first and original Devon SM group, we could still keep it the same and the same hashtag and just change Cafe to Community as Ash said, or Club? Or I don’t really mind to be honest if it’s Plymouth Social Media something. Just saying my initial random thoughts really! :o)

    Sarah Greep

    9 April 2011 at 1:39 pm

  7. As for the ideas of changing to twice a month and the other changes of the structure etc. that all sounds good!

    Sarah Greep

    9 April 2011 at 1:40 pm

  8. Call me awkward if you like but I’m afraid I don’t like #plymsoc – keeps making me think of a foot garment! If we must have a ref to Plymouth, how about Plymourh Social Media Community/Club? Is the tag available? #psmc

    Ash Mashhadi (@inspirationguy)

    9 April 2011 at 5:51 pm

  9. I like #DSMC cafe Its established and has an informal feel and sounds inviting to a non business tweeter.It’s a good idea to use it on it’s own as a banner for all of Devon for general county info etc…would be nice if local groups could just add individuality by adding ..#plymdsmc or #exdsmc or #tordsmc etc etc. I like the idea of 2 meetings with the second being mobile and social …. see you thurs hopefully 🙂 #plymdsmc ?? Heather x


    9 April 2011 at 11:14 pm

  10. As DSMC organiser it is really encouraging to see responses to the original post. The ideas we suggested have all come from people who have been involved, and it is interesting to see what the response to them is.

    I’m pleased people like the 2 events a month informal/slightly more formal mix idea as we’re working on the plans to make this happen as an experiment (nice to know time is not being wasted!).

    Just to let you know we’re tracking everything you’re saying about the ideas here, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – but have decided that we will let the discussion happen and see what people have to say on Thursday at the Treasury before we make any response. After all, we want you to feel that you’re getting the most from the events we host.

    So keep the comments coming…


    Chris Penberthy

    10 April 2011 at 10:50 am

  11. Hi all,

    After the name -changing idea was first raised a few weeks ago I came up with some random ideas such as: plymtime, southwest cluster (sw cluster), plymcrowd (all of which I now hate!). I think Plymsoc is the best so far (I thought of Plymchats too but thought it sounded like a dating site).

    I was not put off by the #dsmc name when I first came across it, so I don’t think it’s crucial to change it. I think as long as this site is really clear about what to expect (how to get into Stanley Casino, that it’s not actually a cafe, that new people are welcome, that you don’t have to be there at 7pm! etc) that’s the main thing.

    Very much like the idea of post-work business networking event with (short) presentation/speaker as I think a lot of people ARE curious.

    Claire Meredith

    10 April 2011 at 4:35 pm

  12. I reckon ! something like a virtual Chamber of Commerce – an Internet Mixer with monthly get togethers would be superb


    David Saunders

    10 April 2011 at 8:52 pm

  13. Hi, having never been to DSMC, because I am never available on a Wednesday, I am very happy to hear about the extra nights.
    I am not sure if I am qualified to comment on the change of name but it seems to make sense, #Plymsoc sounds easy to remember to me. and keep the devon as an umbrella for all the groups in the county.
    Hopefully Marion and I will see you all at the Treasury bar tomorrow.

    Bob Bignell

    13 April 2011 at 9:45 pm

  14. I haven’t been along to DSMC yet due to work and home commitments so I’m very happy to see the extra dates becoming available.
    I look forward to meeting old and new social media friends and learning lots of new things.

    Dee West/VenusTraining

    14 April 2011 at 9:57 am

  15. Here’s my 2 pence…

    As far as naming, tracking, tagging etc goes I really like Heathers idea of an umbrella tag tied with a local tag. So keeping #dsmc (maybe community over cafe) combined with the hosting town. #plymdsmc #torbaydsmc etc. An umbrella of recognition and unity. We all do our monthly meets in our respective towns #torbaydsmc instead of the current #TorbayTU, attend each others when possible but organise between us a touring monthly formal meet for all #dsmc peeps with speakers, invite local businesses to come along etc. Each respective town organises the venue etc.

    ps. I know of current dmsc, pop_up and now TorbayTU, are their many others we can involve in the dmsc umbrella?

    Nick Ellison

    15 April 2011 at 10:27 am

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