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  • Mainly about engagement and collaboration using social media and events, with some asides on living in London. More about David Wilcox and also how the blog started.
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We broke just before 8pm into a more social form, but several people left at that point completely too, I didn't stay much longer.

As a veteran party-within-a-party activist I favoured changing the system from within and spoke to Jackie who seemed quite open to other formats in future & promised to put me in touch with Chris (Heuer, I presume) - I don't see conspiracy or cock-up here, just a format designed for a different sort of people that turned up. I can understand your (and others) annoyance at what seems like an obvious mistake but I think the key is to roll with it and make it work next time.

Looking forward to seeing the e-democracy stuff! :-)

Sorry you did not get what you expected - we have been hosting these as round tables and discussing them as the same. The unconference experience is one format we hahave been facilitating for more than a year, but not anything we have done at a relatively short evening event such as these hosted discussions. Interesting thought though - unfortunately in my experience, hosting ongoing open space events generally leads to the same people talking about (or rather promoting) the same ideas each successive gathering.

One of the guiding principles we are embracing is to find the balance between lightly structured and ad-hoc formats. In my experience, round tables have been generally good for getting things started (particularly with a variety of people and their often vastly different expectations).

At the first round table we hosted back in September in London (same location, different room) this went very well, but only a few people joined us out for drinks. I guess my favorite Howard Rheingold saying is more true than ever these days - "What it is --? is up to us."

Any other suggestions are welcome - as well as other venues and other topics. The point is to figure it out together, so I hope I read correctly your willingness to participate in that conversation constructively so we can all be the better for it.

Thanks for the comments and the rather immediate feedback - I am looking forward to hearing about what happened in Phoenix, Arizona tonight...

PS - there wasn't any powerpoints or podiums was there? Hopefully next time, more people will see the primary post about the event and contribute more of what they would like to see in advance of the gathering as we requested http://www.socialmediaclub.org/2006/10/31/social-media-club-london-meeting-2/

Of course, I realize now that the Wordpress theme I chose for our Blog merely 'looked' cool and in fact is not very practical for our purposes - this is one thing I hope to be fixed soon once we gather some funds and get more help with resolving the problem with my inability to clone myself (our president doesn't care for such science, though thankfully our governator in California does)

To Lloyd's point (thanks for making it), this was no cock up or conspiracy at all, merely trying to do something that works for everyone without knowing who 'everyone' is...

Lloyd - thanks for the update, and Chris - thanks for the good humoured response and explanation. On reflection perhaps I was being over-sensitive to the environment ... or expecting my preference to be other people's. However, what would help in my view - and reflecting some of your points is: clearer statement of format and purpose beforehand; an invitation at the event as well as online for people to put their own issues for discussion; and more opportunity for networking; different venue if similar numbers are expected.
Small room, plenty of interest ... that's easy to deal with! I'll look out for the next event, and the chance to make a more positive contribution. Thanks to all concerned for the opportunity.

Just wanted to point out (as I should have made more clear last night) that I'm not employed by Fleishman Hillard - I was just hosting as a favour to my good friends Chris and Kristie, who founded the SMC. There is definitely much to be said for expectation management, but the unstructured (read: drink and talk) portion of the evening lasted a good deal longer than the roundtable. It was very good of Fleishman to let us all linger in their office as long as we wanted, and to donate the space and refreshments for this free event.

Thanks Jackie, and apologies for any confusion in my post.

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