EDL, Bradford and Social Media

Just spent a few hours reviewing the events in Bradford with the English Defence League. Obviously I wasn't with them I was just looking at what was going on with them in West Yorkshire's second city.
That the the EDL were allowed to protest in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country – Bradford has a huge Asian population - was travesty. However, reviewing the conversation on the web it’s heartening to see that the bulk of the social media platforms are being manned by people who clearly deplore what’s going on and are resorting to Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, podcasts etc to register their disgust.
A few EDL members are also using the same tools. I saw one Tweet by a bigot boasting how he had punched a paki! However, the bulk of the conversation appears to be lead by people who deplore the EDL.
What has been heartening for me is that the EDL-meme has been captured by social media. I say this because I have just pulled together a presentation entitled What Is Social Media Now? Which I hope to use for new business pitches but also at a few conferences and BarCamps I will be attending shortly.
My main point is that social media IS THE MEDIA. Today there has been little coverage of the events in Bradford on mainstream media – either on the nearest radio stations at BBC Leeds, Real Radio or others.
Most of the first-hand accounts I have picked up have been on Twitter (Twitterfall is particularly good for this), blogs, flickr and YouTube.
Social media works – and the EDL can f**k off.


Star Wars in the silent era

Uploaded by LesSingesHurlants. - Arts and animation videos.


Feel the HEAT

Just back from my holidays and having cleared out the emails and other new business propositions we are working on I have finally alighted on this month’s edition of Insider which has devoted a whole feature to public relations companies in Yorkshire.
Of course a lot of the feature was given over to social media. However, the most sensible quote on this issue was: “No-one is an expert in social media… we’re all still learning as we go along. If anyone tells you they are a real expert don’t believe them.”
I broadly agree with that although there are some genuine experts out there and I can think of three operating in Yorkshire.
However, what heartened us most at GREEN was that we were among the top three PR agencies ranked by “heat”. HEAT was calculated by votes submitted by agencies for other agencies.
GREEN was ranked third behind Finn and Wolfstar _ two agencies which we genuinely like because of the work they have done and their innovative approach to the total communications mix. So it’s good to be in such exalted company.
It’s also encouraging that in such a competitive sector other agencies are willing to cast aside any gripes and vote for their peers - which must say something good about the regional business community.


Halewood Village Memories

Some fascinating pictures from the town I grew up in - just outside of Liverpool - found at the Halewood Parish History Website.
My parents moved here in 1964 when Liverpool city council was shifting the white working class communities out of the city centre into the brave new world of New Towns like Huyton, Halewood and Kirkby with their sprawling council estates. We moved from Netherfield Road, just north of Liverpool city centre - a sprawling landscape of back-to-backs and Georgian and Victorian town houses which have now all been swept away.
In spite of perjortive associations of "council estate" we still regarded it as a village - we all knew each other, went to the same schools, worked in the same factories(14,500 of them in the Ford car plant) and drank in the same clubs and pubs. And, while the population of Halewood bulged from a couple of thousand to 20,309 in the Sixties - a village (the posh part) remained at it's heart. Here are some pictures from the "old" village much of it recognisable from my childhood still, much of it gone but lot's remaining.
Bailey's Lane - these cottages remain in place.

The Barracks - still there and still in disrepair.

Bridgefield - I used to play on the rubble, year's before it was demolished in the woods behind Bridgefield School. It was obviously surrounded by grand gardens with rhodedendrons, Japanese maple and azallias.

Brewery Lane, adjacent to the Eagle and Child Pub and, eventually the road down to the local comprehensive school.

The Eagle and Child Pub - when we first arrived my Dad remembers them serving beer from a jug from the cellar.

Leathers Cottage - presumably why the street on which we lived was called Leathers Lane.

Interesting that the map also shows the River Mersey to the west.


Ghost Tube Stations

The Ghost Tube Stations of London - courtesy of via How To Be A Retronaut