Media Snacking the Microbiz

Microbiz events which have been happening in the Sussex area for several years now and it  attracts local businesses, entrepreneurs, the keen , the interested and the uninformed. Microbiz events are free  to attend and the costs to exhibit are outrageously low. Whilst you are not going to see the Microsofts or Nikes of the business world theres always a chance your going to meet the next Scoble or Gates or Sugar.

The event  provide an opportunity for small business owners and those planning to start in business to get advice and ideas and services from the Tax Office to the Federation of Small business and from various local small business owners in the area.

Overall my experience of Microbiz was  very Conference 1.0  with plenty of “Authority from the Front” conversations and very little interactivity. Having walked around with my Nokia N95 snapping pictures and discussing the concept of blogging its clear people are aware of the concept  of Social Media  but delivering on it is a whole other conversation.

Having been invited by Hotdog Media to attend the event and present a couple of talks on Social Media I seized the opportunity to experiment with “one man social media” machine tools . Heres what I learnt.

Wheres WiFi ?

The venue had no Wifi available at the event. All the exhibitors and yours truly were using Data Cards or , as in my case, their Mobile Phones built in 3g Modems.  This left the Nokia N95 attached to the Laptop for the duration of the day which left me unable to walk the show and talk to more people.

Streaming Content from the Event.

I really should have put more effort into getting Phil Campbells ( )  AmmoBox down to the event. Whilst the video quality from the Microsoft  Lifecam NX-3000 was usable the Audio failed -TOTALLY . And whilst the system was saying it was picking up and streaming the audio we never got that cracked at all!

I failed on the Audio and barely succeeded on the Video.  But the streaming through my datacard on my N95 was superb and the 460Kbps transmissions were smooth.

In Hindsight I should have left the N95 using QIK and placed at the front of the audience.

Taking Pictures at the Event

When not connected directly connected to the laptop to provide internet access My Nokia N95 got a chance to take a few pictures. Though quite  a few exhibitors seemed uneasy at the lack of official “photographer” status.

Clearly theres a barrier at conference 1.0 that leaves people feeling defensive about their content being snapped by just anyone.

Using QIK

I managed to pin down at least  three conversations via QIK although one of them failed and I will contact them for a do-over .

Services like QIK are still amazing people and the concept that my Phone is now a “webcam” with “chat” has people asking about content being live and public and available so readily. It was all I could manage to not pronounce loudly “Yes this is going out Live to the Internet now!” if only to save Phil Campbells sanity.


I got caught up in the idea of what I was  to write ( namely this epic tome ) rather than focussing on the Media Snacker delivery.

There is clearly a method to writing a one paragraph comment or idea regarding something youve just experienced and setting  my standards smaller for the next trial should help in getting content out on the day.


Next time around on this journey of Media Snacking, Social Takeaway experience I will endeavour to use the following tools more consistently.

1. QIK

I think all interviews and recordings would have been better grabbed on QIK rather than Webcam. Ustream offers a great interface for content and delivery via Webcam but at the expense of locking up my phone for that duration its not worth it. I’l lbe investing in a separate Data Card.

2. Pictures/Flickr

Initially I planned to upload pictures directly as I was snapping them but I soon discovered that this interfered with Qik and using the phone as a Modem. Whilst a separate Data card would help I think I will stick to uploading pictures in batches directly to flickr.

3. Blogging

I need to reduce some of my expectations on content and re-use some of the content available from the show.  I might have gotten out the views and comments on the day.

4. Twittering.

Since my phone was acting as a data card the act of twittering is still the simplest of all the “now” communications and microblogging tools available on the day.

5. T-Mobile Web-N-Walk service

Of all the data providers my T-mobile service with its 3Gb a month data limit and its 460Kbps connectivity has left me in awe of where mobile operators will be going . I hadnt transmitted more than 400Mbps for the whole day and if I had remained with Vodafone I would soon have been past that 120Mb ( they say its enough ) limit. I am suitably impressed with the reliability of their data service and cant recommend it enough.

Overall the day was more success than failures and the the mobile platform experience in creating and managing social media content was, on the whole, satisfying.

Keep watching this blog for more on the journeys of one man social media snacking.

Thanks for Reading.

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2 Comments on “Media Snacking the Microbiz

  1. Nik, I think you are spot on with your 1.0 expectations from the general public. I also think this barrier will remain for a while yet.

    I am still amazed that some conference venues do not wifi, especially the new ‘all-inclusive’ councils.

    My thoughts however turn to the training seminars and how to maximise the value to the participants.

    The best sessions seemed to be those which went off-piste and discussions/conversations began on topics which actually answered the ‘real’ questions from the floor, rather than the percieved questions on the screen.

    I think next time having a 1-hour specialists at the front Q&A might work better than here’s my topic rammed down your throat.

    From the microbiz I did meet some ok new contacts as well as some old schoolfriends which was a bit surreal.

    Many thanks for your help.



  2. Hi Nic,

    I was at 2 of your talks and have to say I found them really enjoyable and informative and was only vaguely aware of the parallel universe you were also in to do with the functioning of your technology.



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