You know something is up when you get a blog post from me before 9am! Don’t panic, the world isn’t coming to an end, I’m not ill or anything, and I’ll even refrain from getting into some tangential debate about the cost of fresh air or the like…this post is to tell you what I’m up to today and to give advance warning of possible tweet overload; don’t worry I’ll not be offended if you unfollow me!
I’m on a train to Birmingham as I type, heading to Out of the Box a conference hosted by @patientopinion at the Deaf Cultural Centre. There is an excellent programme for today and as usual I’m struggling to know what to attend.
Box10 is exploring ‘how patients, service users and carers are using the web to change their lives and their services’. There are sessions arranged by theme. The themes for today are getting started, stories, connections and community. Within these four themes are sessions on:
- engaging communities
- reflective digital stories
- supporting people with dementia to use computers
- Big Society
- hearing more from people with learning disabilities
- using Facebook to address health challenges
- creating social capital
- using video to communicate via the web
- empowerment of isolated and vulnerable members of the community
- social networking for mental health
- opportunities in hyperlocal.
As well as these there are soapbox talks and a speed dating marketplace – two of my favourite things to see at a conference. You can see the full programme here and you can follow the discussion on the #box10 hashtag.
I’m really looking forward to today. I’ve set myself a personal challenge to try and figure out a way of ensuring that my attendance has both an impact for my own work but also is of use (hopefully) to other people who can’t be there in person. I’ve blogged a couple times about events that I was following from afar, most recently We Are Enabled By #WeEbD and #media140 in Glasgow last week. I’m particularly aware of how difficult it can be to genuinely engage with an event that you are not at, so this is in an invite to anyone to get in touch with me if you have your own question you’d like me to try and get an answer to, or an idea or reflection you’d like to share, or better still if you have any ideas for how I can share #thebox10 with you.
I am armed with netbook, camera, flipcam, iphone and blackberry, three chargers and two lots of cake, so I’m hoping I have enough ‘tools’ for the job!!