Where next for Lib Dem Bloggers’ Internetty Meetup Thing?

John Barrett MP at Lib Dem Bloggers' Unconference

Just two weekends ago, we helped run a moderately successful Bloggers’ Unconference in Edinburgh, the guests of the Scottish Liberal Democrats at their HQ in Clifton Terrace. The Scottish Lib Dems were generous with their facilities and their time, giving us a room for a day, feeding us, and making sure lots of interesting senior Scottish Lib Dems came to talk to us. In the end four English bloggers made the journey north to meet three Scottish bloggers(*).

An “unconference” is supposed to be a little anarchic, and participant driven, and given there were such a manageable number of us, we essentially discarded the draft agenda we had prepared in advance, and had a much less formal day. I think everyone present had a good and interesting time, and I hope everyone found it worth the investment they had made. For us out-of-towners, staying in Edinburgh wasn’t cheap, and getting there was all shades of interesting. Another meeting of up to 10 people could probably get away with being similarly managed – but if an event attracted more than that, we would need to be a bit sharper on the organisational front.

I should definitely like there to be another of these meetings, but the essential purpose of this post is talk about timing. We have outstanding offers of venues in Reading and Manchester, and I think I could rustle something up in Nottingham too. We also have a slightly mad but maybe brilliant idea of hopping on a Eurostar and holding a Europe-themed unconf in Brussels.

So, two key questions: are we now too close to the General Election for Lib Dem bloggers generally to think it’s worth spending their time away from their campaign activities? Is there scope for another meeting in the Spring – or is that too close to conference and too close to putative dissolution? And what do people think of the venues on the table?

(*) technically, I think, a group of Edinburgh residents who were actually an English blogger, a Scottish blogger, an Irish blogger, which sounds the like start of a awfully bad joke. Huge apologies if I’m misattributing nationalities to all those concerned.

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