Saturday, 2 October 2010

Manchester Blog Meet

“Blogging is best learned by blogging...and by reading other bloggers.”
-George Siemens, theorist

Thursday, 30 September. Umbro's design studio is filling up fast. Aside from the sports brand's cardboard cut-out cartoon characters, there are also actual human beings populating the building- specifically bloggers. We're here basically to try to get more readers.

Blogger Fat Roland welcomes us and introduces the night. Here's his electronica-based blog:

He hands over to Aaron, an Umbro representative who gives us the low-down on the location. The venue is a cross between a design studio and a shop, and has very recently opened. Umbro itself has spent 85 years operating in Manchester, but now with the arrival of the new studio there will be a new slant: You'll soon be able to walk into the store and design your own football shirt... and then buy it! Hurrah.

Every year, Umbro give £60,000 to fund public events. They recently held a giant tea party in London. Got an idea that could bring people together? You might £10k to fund it if your idea's good enough. This ain't on the website yet, so there's some insider gossip for you.

I was firing blog cards with the enthusiasm of a 1980's Manhattan yuppie. Other people were shouting about their writing, and I promised I'd shout them out too.
This bizarre but interesting collection- appropriately football-themed- is “a collection of work about Roy Keane, luck, and scarves.” They're open to submissions... NOW!
In the site's words: “The concept behind 330 Words is simple. Take a photograph and let it inspire you towards a piece of fiction. Let your photograph form the foundation of your story. Choose your own genre and style. Keep the entire thing under 330 words.” I promised the editor I'd have a go. Stay tuned, my friend.

Lee Moore's movie blog. Go Lee. He pointed out- accurately- that his blog is the top Google search result if you were to query “penguin abuse”. Hmm.

Dave Hartley's blog “Do a Barrel Roll” was a winner at last year's Manchester Blog Awards. The theme? Film reviews and rabbits. Find good writing on both of these topics, here.

Here's another thing I learned on the night. Want more info on your blog readers? Apparently this site works:
It's handy to know how many readers you have, obviously. It also tells you which web page they had been on before clicking to your site. A kind-of “where they found you” device. I'll throw it on my site soon.

The night's highlight- bumping into someone I gave a blog card to about 18 months ago, who still reads my work. Miracles happen. Keep reading!


9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

It was good to meet you. Thanks for the plug! Looking forward to the next blogmeet.

Benjamin Judge said...

Cheers for the plug for Roy Keane's Lucky Scarf.

Aaron said...

Just to let you know, Umbro Industries is the scheme that you're looking for to get funding for your projects in Greater Manchester - head to for more info