I missed a bit of work yesterday to attend Social Media Day at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe. I really had no idea what to expect. The News Cafe is a new, and rather unique, idea of the local newspaper, to allow the public to interact more directly with its journalists. How exactly that works, I haven't had much of a chance to find out, but today was my first look.
I've been at the cafe a couple of times before, when there were no events. The food was excellent, and there's a pleasant ambience for a news junkie like me, with copies of the Free Press scattered around, and free internet (apparently - I haven't tried that yet).
I thought I was going to be late, but it started at 2 pm, not 1. That guaranteed I would be late for work. By 2 pm, there were very few open seats, and very little capacity left in the air conditioning. The session itself featured three speakers: John White, who spoke about the concept of the New Cafe, and the various social media that the Free Press uses to allow the public to interact, including Facebook and Twitter. The second speaker, John McDonald, talked about the importance for businesses of keeping up with what's being said on social media, and how to create new business opportunities from it. The third speaker, Alisha Paul, spoke on moderating comments on websites, but that was the point I had to leave for work, so I missed most of her talk. Fortunately, the speakers' talks are available on the Free Press website. I will see her talk yet.
This was a great introduction to the potential of the News Cafe. I look forward to more events like this.
1 week ago