Category Archives: Events

Get visually creative at SMC_MCR March as we welcome back Mario Cacciottolo

twitpicAt SMC_MCR March we’ll be welcoming back an old friend and we’re looking for you to share your project too.

Mario Cacciottolo is the man behind Someone Once Told Me, a site that publishes a new photo every day in which a person shares something, yes that’s right, that someone once told them. It’s a simple idea that has kept the site going for six years with photos ranging from insightful and inspiring to downright hilarious.

Mario will be talking about his upcoming trip around the world and will be able to offer insights into how to keep a blog running for so long single-handedly. Oh, and he’ll be taking pictures of anyone who has something they’d like to share. He did this the first time he spoke at SMC_MCR and it led to several posts on Someone Once Told Me.

The World Bench Project

Also at March’s event, Gill Moore, a Manchester-based freelance photographer and blogger, shares The World Bench Project with us. Three years in the making, the project launched earlier this month and celebrates the humble bench using photographs and stories uploaded by it’s community. It’s free, a bit of fun and everyone is invited to submit a bench to the website.

Gill will talk about the project’s origins and the process and willpower needed to bring to life and curate a crowd-sourced photography website.

So far there are 21 countries featured on the site from Mexico right across to New Zealand. Popular benches include the longest in the world; a 120m stunner from the lofty slopes of Switzerland. There’s a huge pair of ruby red lips in Melbourne, Australia and an ornate wooden Chinese bench inhabited by sleepy natives.

It is hoped the site will feature at least one bench from every country on the globe. At the last count that would be 193 sovereign states!

A Tree Made of Real Wood

A new photography exhibition, A Tree Made of Real Wood by Manchester documentary photographer David Dunnico, takes a wry, witty look at trees in cities. David will be discussing the exhibition at March’s event.

He says: “Many of the trees we see in city centres are dotted around in tubs, like fig leaves hiding the shame of bland re-development. Nature never looked more un-natural than in suburbia – a place where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them”.

Got something to share?

Are you working on something cool and interesting relating to digital visual arts? Come and share it with us! It could be an art project, a blog or something completely off-the-wall. Whatever it is, get in touch tell us about it and we’ll book you a slot in the evening to tell us more.

If you’re coming along, please add your name to our Lanyrd page.

Date: Tuesday 5th March
Time: 18:00 -21:00
Venue: Barcelona NQ, 6 Hilton Street, Manchester M4 1NB
Entry is free, as usual

Oversharing: How is it different for men and women? Find out on 5 February at The Northern

1837188648_efdbba28d3Facebook positively encourages you to share, bloggers share every time they post, on Twitter you are theoretically sharing with the entire world. But can you share too much?

In February, SMC looks at how men and women share intimate details of their lives on the internet, but differently.

From anonymous female sex bloggers to men using Twitter for Movember to raise awareness of male-only cancers, via the “nice guys” on dating sites who are bitter they can’t get laid – everyone’s rushing to put the most private, the most taboo and also the most normal out there for all to see and read. Or are they? There are also generational differences when it comes to keeping our private stuff, well, private.

In February SMC is going back to our original format of simultaneous sessions for small groups to discuss the sharp issues such as Googling prospective dates, taking responsibility for your online profiles, sharing your sex life (or lack of it) publicly, how oversharing may have an impact on your professional life, are there things you should never share, and more…

Confirmed session leaders so far: Laura Sharpe (@sharperecruit), Ella Wredenfors (@runpaintrunrun), Helen Purves (@insnit) and Ally Fogg (@allyfogg).

If you’re coming along, please add your name to our Lanyrd page.

Date: Tuesday 5th February
Time: 18:00 -21:00
Venue: The Northern, 56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LW
Entry is free, as usual

Image credit: Bob Simmons / Flickr

We’re having a get-together on 8 January at the Britons Protection. Join us!

The Britons ProtectionAs is customary for SMC_MCR in January, we’re seeing in the new year with a simple get-together at the Britons Protection pub. Due to the first Tuesday of the month being New Year’s Day, we’re shifting it back a week to the 8th.

It’ll be an opportunity to meet likeminded folk and chat over a drink in an informal setting. There’ll be no formal programme, just friendly people having a chat about the Internet, social media, digital innovation and whatever else they feel like.

We’ll be back to the usual programmed events from February.

So, join us from 6pm onwards on Tuesday the 8th of January 2013 at The Britons Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5LE.

Image credit: Adam Bruderer / Flickr

Join us for SMC_MCR December: The lawyer, the politician and the journalist

SMC_MCR returns on Tuesday 4th December at The Northern, from 6pm. Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating open debate on the law, the media and their intersection with social media.

As the use of social media has exploded over the last five years, one undisputable truth has emerged – existing media law, with all its complexities regarding libel and court reporting and ethics, has been completely outpaced. The boundaries were once sharply defined – the press reported, sometimes under restriction and often pushing at those boundaries, and the public read or watched the news.

Now the boundaries are gone or at least very blurred – anyone can “report” on Twitter but it means libel spreads rapidly through retweets, for example. With the backdrop of the Leveson enquiry and report, and the libelling by 10,000 people of Lord McAlpine in November, our panel will offer their perspectives.

The lawyer: Steve Kuncewicz – interprets the law and advises on it.

The politician: Loz Kaye of the Pirate Party – wants to change the law.

The journalist: Iram Ramzan – NCTJ-qualified freelance journalist – trained in, and subject to, media law.

If you just want to come along and see what everyone else has to share, please add your name to our Lanyrd pageIt’s always a fun night with a friendly crowd.

Date: Tuesday 4th December
Time: 18:00 -21:00
Venue: The Northern, 56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LW
Entry is free, as usual

Image credit: Bloomsberries

SMC_MCR October: What Lies Beneath – Unseen Journeys Through the City

Map drawn by Fredrich Engels 1844

SMC_MCR Tuesday 2nd October, 6.30pm – 9pm – The Northern, Tib Street, Manchester (Directions)

Please register to attend here.

This month’s SMC takes a different twist and looks at the hidden Manchester

During 2008 a tipping point was reached where over half the world’s populations lived in towns or cities. To some, cities seem to be the pinnacle of human evolution to others uncontrollable sprawls relentlessly encroaching on the countryside.

Manchester has a unique place in the pantheon of cities. It was the first industrial city, which allowed some to accrue tremendous wealth whilst workers lived in desperate poverty. It was from this crucible of inequality that globally important new ways of thinking about wealth and society were formed. Manchesterism or Manchester Liberalism was a school of economics, born out of the injustice of the corn laws that promoted free trade over the protectionist mercantilism of the time. It also created the background through Marx’s friendship with Engels – whose father owned a mill in Ancoats – for Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto.

That Manchester became the world’s first industrial city is probably not an accident. It had the right climate for processing cotton, was proximate to the sea and had its own supply of coal. Because it was the first industrial city it is also the oldest and the traces of that city still echo in the weaver’s cottages, mills and canals that still exist.

The Manchester of today is a complex organism of infrastructure, people and systems. It has subterranean passages, department stores with ballrooms and places where things of consequence once occurred. Much of this is hidden and this month’s SMC_MCR hopes to offer a glimpse into this hidden Manchester through four 15 minute presentations.


Dr. Steven Millington

The Mancunian Way Walking Tour was devised by Manchester Metropolitan University and The Manchester Modernist Society, as part of the URBIS Research Forum in 2009.  The Tour has been repeated many times as a device to engage the general public in critical ideas about urban geography, architecture and planning, affording participants to explore the sensual and material qualities of place of the unique landscape created by The Mancunian Way motorway.

This presentation explains the rationale behind this walking tour, loosely inspired by Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital, to highlight the qualities of walking as a means of urban exploration.  Finally, the presentation explores alternate ways of discovering Manchester which utilise multiple sources of geographical data to create new traces and routes across the city.

Morag Rose – Remapping the city through Anarchoflaneurie

The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is an open interdisciplinary collective interested in exploring and sharing our love for Manchester. We embark on psychogeographical drifts to decode the palimpsest of the streets, uncover hidden histories, challenge power structures and discover the extraordinary in the banal. We aim to nurture an awareness of everyday space, (re)engaging with and (re)enchanting the city. This talk will share field notes from our experiments in anarchaflanuerie and introduce a range of tactics that we use to transform the streets into a playground as we search for new ways to look at, feel and remap Manchester.

Yuwei Lin – Mapping your world

Yuwei Lin of Salford University talks about the importance of having freedom to access, view, change and (re) distribute geographical information and how people can get involved through the free/open source platforms like Open Street Map. For more information about Yuwei’s work visit or

Julian Tait – The Systemic City

Please register to attend here. See you there!

SMC_MCR September: Something interesting in 5 minutes

We have something a bit different lined up for October’s SMC_MCR (more on that nearer the time). In the meantime, for September we’ve got another chance to share something interesting in 5 minutes. If you missed it last month, Northology has videos of the talks (thanks Nathan!).

This is a chance to share interesting new technology, discussion about online social movements, online trends, innovative digital projects 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.

So far, speakers include:

Ben Light of Salford University discussing his work with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Imperial War Museum. Both projects are concerned with how you might engage people via digital media and he has some initial thoughts to share about the visitor/audiences perceived appropriateness of this.

Lee Evans of Stockport-based mobile startup SurveyMe on how the latest mobile technology developments are rapidly pushing the boundaries at the cutting edge of customer experience management.

Adrian Slatcher discussing a transmedia fiction project that formed part of the recent AND festival in Manchester.

Christopher Hackett on why you’ll want near-field communication (NFC) capabilities built into your next phone.

Duncan Hull on what Manchester and its universities can do to keep students from leaving to pursue science, engineering and technical careers elsewhere in the world.

If you want to take part as a speaker, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

If you just want to come along and see what everyone else has to share, please add your name to our Lanyrd page. It’s always a fun night with a friendly crowd.

Date: Tuesday 4th September
Time: 18:00 -21:00
Venue: The Northern: 56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LW UPDATE: We’ll now be at Barcelona, 6 Hilton Street, Manchester, M4 1LA (map)
Entry is free, as usual

Image credit: Christopher Sessums

Share something interesting in 5 minutes at SMC_MCR August

After last month’s SMC_MCR made international news as the BBC launched an exciting experiment in Perceptive Media, this time we’re back at The Northern and opening up to short, five-minute talks about… well, that’s up to you.

Interesting new technology, online social movements, online trends, innovative digital projects 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.

If you want to take part as a speaker, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.

If you just want to come along and see what everyone else has to share, please add your name to our Lanyrd page.

Date: Tuesday 7th August
Time: 18:00 -21:00
Venue: The Northern: 56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LW
Entry is free, as usual

Image credit: Squidish

Perceptive media and digital art at SMC_MCR July. Join us!

After taking July off following the success of our Manchester: A Digital Future debate in mid-May (catch the video here if you missed it), we’re back for July with a couple of exciting demos of emerging technology:

  • The word on the street says BBC R&D has a demo of Perceptive Media which only a selected few have experienced to date. Ian Forrester from BBC R&D will lead a discussion about the technology and it might include a demo too. If you’re into the future of storytelling or media, this promises to be something you won’t want to miss.
  • Elliot Woods is a media artist, technologist and educator from Manchester. Discussing the process behind his most recent digital art installation in Korea with studio Kimchi and Chips, Elliot will reveal his practice and reflect on digital aesthetics and the open source digital arts community. Elliot will also introduce ScreenLab, a digital media arts residency that he co-curates as part of the University of Salford Arts Programme, and will reveal details about upcoming personal research projects.

To attend, please add your name to our Lanyrd page.

Date: Tuesday 3rd July
Time: 18:30 -20:30
Venue: Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH
Entry is free, as usual

Image credit: Pit-Yacker

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