Wednesday, 5 October 2011

September reviewed - Part 2

Part 1 is here....!

What else did I get up to in September....

Birmingham Mail's Your Communties Day

I was invited to the Birmingham Mail's Your Communities day along with some other local bloggers. The Birmingham Mail have been working along side community bloggers in Birmingham for a while now. They have established a good working relationship with the bloggers and feature the hyper local blog updates on their Your Communities page, and weekly in the Tuesday edition of their newspaper.

The event was held the the Birmingham Mail's offices in Fort Dunlop (where I cut my teeth as a photographer), and we were given a tour, got to meet some of the staff behind the paper and swap some hyper local blogging social media tips.

A worthwhile day and it was great to meet the people behind some of the other hyper local bloggers in Birmingham!

And I even got a bonus roof top tour of Fort Dunlop (video). Thanks Steve!

Imagining I'm at the Empire State Building's Observation Deck :)

Millennium Point's 10th Birthday Party

I got an invitation to Millennium Point's 10th Birthday party! I've never been to a building's birthday party before! Of course MP is more than just a building, it is home to a huuuge cinema, and the Birmingham Science Museum and Think Tank.

I felt like I was 10 again! There were clowns, and cakes, and birthday cards and candy floss, and food and drinks, and clever science experiments involving flames.

The Weasley Twins from Harry Potter made an appearance.

Tall, colourful people!
Birmingham Vintage Festival

I missed the first Bham Vintage Festival so was keen to make it along to the second one. It didn't disappoint with some fabulous stalls selling all sorts of delicious vintageness. I wish I had taken more photos, but you can check out their website and see who there's and what's on offer. There's going to be another event coming up, so if vintage is your thing, you'll love it!

I picked up a vintage lady in red broach

Debra gave me a 'tattoo'! Red of course. It stayed on for nearly a week!

Social Media Training

St Basil's is a Birmingham charity that help young homeless people and they needed some guidance on how to make the best use out of free social media tools to help the people they work with, and engage with communities online as well as raise their profile.

I did a fair bit of research before me and Nicky held the workshop on how other charity and homeless groups are using social media and found some outstanding examples, but my overall observation is that the USA is really embracing social media to talk about what they are doing, sharing stories, making connections, offering help and resources, more so than the UK.

I'm not going to say too much hear as I've written a really lengthy blog post about the day for the talk about local blog which will be published on Friday, so do keep your eye's peeled over there!  

St Basil's head office is actually in an old church!

Career interview

Sharon Howard from the 'Day in the life of a busy girl blog' asked to interview me about my creative career, and you can read all about it here!

I answered questions such as:

How did you get into your career? What are the challenges? What's you favourite thing about your work? What advice you would give to others? I hope you enjoy the read!

BBC WM interview

One morning last week, I had barely woken up properly and the phone rang. "Can you come and comment live for BBC WM on Lonely Planet's comment that the Selfridges building in Birmingham looks like a peanut with acne?"

It was for Joanne Malin's breakfast show. Lonely Planet likened the store to a peanut with acne and the news ran with that. Lonely Planet also recommended it as a must-see building, so it wasn't all bad!

I've taken quite a few photos of the Selfridges building over the years (the one below is my personal fav) and so I was asked about what I thought about Lonely Planet's comment (it was a bit silly) and what do I think of the building (I like it). Well, I said a bit more than that, but you get the gist!

The 'peanut with acne' - much more beautiful that that in reality!

With James Bovill, BBC WM reporter
Birmingham Social Media Cafe

It was a fab event! (And I'm not just saying that because I organise it!). It was the BSMC's 3rd birthday and there was a great turn out from Birmingham's creatives and business and some Birmingham City University's student who are just embarking on their MA in Social Media!

Dave Harte made a brilliant video (mixing photos with audio) and captured people's thoughts on why they come to the social media cafe. It's really worth a watch.

The next event (it's FREE!) is on Friday 28th October at Birmingham Town Hall. I hope you can make it!

Last, but not least! The best meal in a restaurant this year

I've got to rave about this place. After a lot of moans this year about eating out and gluten free choices I have finally found somewhere that has wowed me!

After the social media cafe, we (some of the talk about local crew and twitter friends) went to Bodega, a south American restaurant on Bennett's Hill.

They had a really great gluten free menu. I chose the slow cooked pork, sweet potato fries and spicy coleslaw. I haven't enjoyed a meal out so much for a long time! It's really made me want to go back (and it very rare that a restaurant will make me want to do that!), and I've booked a table for my birthday (I can't wait!)

And that's brought the best of September to a close! Whew!

What's in store of October?

I'm glad you asked!

Last weekend I went to Ludlow to Storycamp. It was a day long event organised by Nicky that was based around digital story telling. Why tell stories, how to tell stories, what social media tools can be used, the fun, the ethics, it was all covered! There's a brilliant round up of the day over on the Storycamp blog. Thank you for a great day Nicky!

This weekend I'm off to the Women's Institute's Tech Fest day with talk about local to do some social reporting. This will be my first encounter with the WI, so I'm looking forward to meeting some of the ladies.

AND... case I haven't mentioned it before.... ;)

It's going to be my 40TH Birthday soon! On the 15th October. I wanted to have a party, but I haven't had the chance to really think about it properly or plan anything. I should have started working on it bit by bit at the beginning on the year. But I will be spending the day with my two favourite people in the whole wide world, my mum and my best friend and I know it's going to be a good one!

Do I have to grow up when I'm 40? I hope not. I have absolutely no intention of that! :)

Say hello on twitter @karenstunks

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