Author Archives: martinsfp

Manchester: A Digital Future – Join the debate at our May event

For May, we’re making a one-off change from our regular format to shift to mid-month for a special event. Read on for details, and how to register to attend.

As part of the FutureEverything festival, #smc_mcr in association with CityCo hosts a discussion looking at Manchester’s digital future. The panel represents opinions from policy makers, business and the broader digital community.

Manchester has an opportunity to become a leading connected, digital city, but there are many challenges ahead if we are to make this a reality.

Recently, Manchester was awarded money from central government to begin the process of implementing a fast data infrastructure for citizens and businesses alike. There have been several recent reports such as the Greater Manchester Growth Review, The Manchester Digital Strategy and Manchester Digital Agenda that propose ways that the city, and the Greater Manchester region will be able to fulfil its potential.

How will these plans benefit the people and businesses of the city? And will this offer a fair and sustainable future for the city? The appetite and ideas are there, but can Manchester lead digitally in the 21st Century?

To attend, please register for a free ticket.

Alex Roy – Head of Research, Commission for the New Economy
Dave Carter – Director, Manchester Digital Development Agency
Erinma OchuDirector, Squirrel Nation
Dave Mee – Director, Manchester Digital Laboratory (Madlab)
Tim Roberts  – Director, i-COM

Chair – Martin Bryant – Managing Editor, The Next Web

Date: Tuesday 15th May
Time: 18:30 -20:30
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shudehill, Manchester

Image credit: Andy Buckingham

Join us at SMC_MCR on 3 April (and why not give a talk?)

For April’s SMC_MCR we’re returning to our roots by meeting at the venue we began at all the way back in 2008 – The Northern on Tib Street.

We’ve also decided to opt for an ‘old school’ format for this month’s event. 6 talks, running across two sessions, so you get to pick two talks to listen to during the evening.

Talks can be up to 20 minutes long about any topic related to the Internet, social media or technology. The only thing off limits is gratuitous self-promotion! 🙂 If you’d like to talk, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Even if you don’t want to speak, do come along for what’s sure to be an interesting and enjoyable evening. Please let us know that you’ll be coming along by signing up on our Lanyrd page.

Venue: The Northern: 56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LW
Time: 6pm-9pm
Date: 3 April 2012
Entry is free, as usual.

Image via The Northern

Join us for SMC_MCR March: Tell us something really interesting in 5 minutes

For March’s SMC_MCR, we’re taking a different format to usual – a series of fast-paced 5-minute talks

You may have heard of Pecha Kucha or Ignite events, and this is along the same lines – people sharing something interesting related to social media or digital culture in a talk that’s strictly five minutes long. To differentiate ourselves from those events, we’re making slides optional – but the five minutes time limit is strict.

What can you tell us about? Any interesting technology, any online social movement, any online trend, any innovative digital project you’re involved in or anything else you want to share – come along and tell us about it. The only thing off-limits is promotional talks for commercial enterprises.

We should have an inspiring evening, learning about… well, that’s up to you. (Scroll down for what has already been booked, then get in touch and add your name and idea).

If you’d like give a talk, email us right away: admin AT

If you’d like to attend (whether speaking or just coming along to watch), add your name to our Lanyrd page. See you there!

SMC_MCR takes place: 6pm – 9pm, Tuesday 6 March 2012.

Venue: Matt & Phreds, 64 Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

Here are some of the ideas we have so far:

  • The strange world of Twitter bots.
  • Love in the wild.
  • Turing’s Sunflowers.

Get in touch and add yours to the list!

Image credit: Jason Cartwright

Join us at the next SMC_MCR, 7 February 2012 at Lammars

After an intimate fireside meetup in January, SMC_MCR returns to its regular format in February, and we’re at a different venue.

We’ve got two talks already lined up for you, and space for two more. Already booked, we have:

Where are they now?Martin Bryant, SMC_MCR co-founder and Managing Editor at The Next Web, talks about the ‘next big things’ of the past. From Myspace, Bebo and Friends Reunited to more quirky and obscure offerings. What happened to them and the people who built them?

Perceptive Media – BBC Perceptive Media takes storytelling back to something more aligned to a storyteller and a audience around a fire. It uses Internet technologies and sensibility to create something closer to a personal theatre experience in your living room. The BBC’s Ian Forrester explains more.

Have you got something you’d like to talk about? We have two slots free for this event, so email us: admin AT with details of what you’d like to discuss. We’re flexible about the topic – as long as it’s about digital innovation or social media and isn’t a sales pitch we want to hear about it!

SMC_MCR takes place: 6pm – 9pm, Tuesday 7 February 2012.

Venue: Lamarrs Restaurant & Bar, 57 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EJ

Sign up on Lanyrd here So we know how many to expect.

See you there!

Image credit: Hober

Join us for a meet-up at the Britons Protection on 3 January 2012

As has become traditional, our January meeting will be a low-key post-Christmas meet-up in the Britons Protection pub, 50 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester city centre.

We won’t have any programmed events, just suitably social chat about technology, social media and more.

We’ll be there on Tuesday 3 January from 6.30pm onwards. Seek us out in the rooms on the far side of the bar from the door. If you can’t make it, we’ll see you on 7 February when we’ll be back to normal – details of that event will follow soon.

[Image credit: Adam Bruderer]


The University of Salford showcases digital creativity this Saturday

The University of Salford is holding a “celebration of the latest in digital entertainment and creativity” called Believe at its new MediaCityUK site on Saturday 12 November.

Works on show will include:

  • Lowry to Life. This is described as an ambitious digital re-imagining of LS Lowry’s Piccadilly Gardens painting. Members of the public walking through Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre on Saturday 12 November can literally become part of the art as special motion capture technology will transfer their movements to Lowry characters shown on a giant projection of the painting at MediaCityUK, so the picture will come to life with moving men, women and children.
  • A chance to star in the BBC’s Dinosaur Planet thanks to green screen technology.
  • A spectacular 3D film of digital dancers, courtesy of renowned Austrian art technology group Ars Electronica,

SMC_MCR: Exploring the #Occupy movement, 1 November at Matt & Phreds

This Tuesday, 1 November sees November’s SMC_MCR take place, and we’re looking at one of the most interesting, and perhaps the most important, social developments of the year – the #Occupy movement.

From OccupyWallSt to the protests around the world that have followed, we’ll look at what has spurred this new type of protest to form, where it could lead and what it means for the future of society. Panelists will include the University of Salford’s Helen Keegan, whose work explores the impact of online networks. More panelists are to be confirmed.

Please sign up to our Lanyrd event page to confirm your attendance (so we have an idea of numbers). See you there!

Venue: Matt & Phreds, Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

Doors, 6pm, starts 6.30pm

[Image credit: Silveira Neto]

The next #SMC_MCR: 4th October at Matt & Phreds – Pick and Mix

The next #SMC_MCR takes place on 4th October at Matt & Phreds, and we’re set to provide a ‘Pick and Mix’ of demonstrations of innovative digital projects.

While we don’t want to give away too much about exactly what will be shown off (it would spoil the surprise!), our demonstrators include projects called ViewRL, n0tice and Crowdfm. So, come along, find out more about some of the latest digital innovations from Manchester and beyond, give your feedback and ask probing questions. If you’ve got a project that you’d like to show off, please get in touch: admin[at]

Of course, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for informal networking, catching up with like-minded folk and enjoying the fine pizzas on offer at Matt & Phreds. As Apple’s event to announce the next version of the iPhone is also taking place on the same evening, we’ll be giving updates on that throughout the evening for those who care about such things. For some reason, they didn’t want hold the announcement in Manchester. Maybe next year!

Please mark yourself as attending on our Lanyrd page. It’s quick and easy to do with your Twitter account. See you there!

Location: Matt & Phreds, 64 Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

Date: Tuesday 4th October 2011

Time: Doors open 6pm, we’ll start at 6.30pm, running through until around 8.30pm, although you’ll be welcome to stay later if you choose.

[Image credit: Kitroed]

#SMC_MCR needs a new logo. Could you design it?

While the relaunch of #SMC_MCR has gone well, one thing we still haven’t got is a new logo. Our existing one is three years old and it’s time for a change.

We want a logo that embodies digital innovation in Manchester, and we’re looking to the community to come up with something great that really shows SMC_MCR in the best possible light. In order for it work best as an icon on social networking services, the logo or a version of it should also be square

How you interpret the brief is completely up to you, but here’s how it will work:

  • Save your design as a .jpg, .gif or .png file.
  • Upload it to the special gallery on our brand new Facebook page. Anyone who ‘Likes’ the page will be able to upload to it.
  • Others can then browse the uploaded designs and ‘Like’ the one(s) they want to win.
  • Finally, the core organisation team for SMC_MCR (Julian, Josh and me) will decide the winner from a shortlist of the five designs with the most ‘likes’.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 11 November 2011. The winning design will be displayed on our website, Twitter account, Facebook page and other locations. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Help us make #SMC_MCR even better

Following the success of our return on Tuesday, we’re looking for volunteers to help make SMC_MCR even better.

If you want to get involved, we want to hear from you. Some examples of what we want:

  • People to help plan future events and to get involved with arranging guest speakers.
  • People to help with organisation on the nights themselves.
  • Sponsors to help us make more of our events.
  • A logo (but more on that in a separate post soon).
There are probably lots of other ways too, if you’re keen to get involved, so please do contact us with any suggestions of how you could help out.
Please contact us at and we’ll get back to you ASAP, as we’ll be arranging a meet-up with everyone who wants to be part of the team soon.

Volunteer meet up will be at 6pm in Common on Edge Street, Manchester on Thursday 29th September

[Image credit: bgottsab]