The future of Netroots: Online at the heart of all of what we do

400 people gathered at Congress House on Saturday for #NetrootsUK and they all experienced the event in their own special way. For some it was too partisan, for some not partisan (or Labour) enough. For some the web tech was daunting, for some it wasn’t nerdy enough. Some felt there was too much focus on combatting the cuts, others felt that was the only game in town.

Instead of focusing on those differences, matters that (as Sunder correctly points out) we’re unlikely to be able to reconcile any time soon, we should ask ourselves what we do have in common, and what the future of Netroots in the UK can be about with that in mind. Continue reading

Netroots UK Live stream

Thanks to our colleague Richard, who’s managed to sort a live stream of the event this afternoon – sorry we weren’t able to get it for this morning. This is just the view in the main hall, for large workshops and plenaries. The core of Netroots has been 17 different workshops, and whilst we can’t stream them, thanks to some very dedicated video volunteers, we’ve been capturing video of as many as we can. We’ll be trying to get them online later (along with the morning main hall sessions) tomorrow and over the coming days.

A decade of activism

In the Marble Hall at Netroots UK, you can check out reportage photographer Jess Hurd‘s great exhibition: 2000-2010, a decade of activism. It features photos of protests and campaigns from around the world over the last 10 years.

And if you want tips on how to help photographers get the best images of your own actions, and maximise the media coverage you receive, get along to the workshop on getting your action across better in the media, where Jess will be amongt the panel sharing their experience.

Social media or off-line action?

Some people interested in the idea behind Netroots have asked whether this is an event just to celebrate how great blogging, Twitter, Facebook and social media generally are. Not at all.

The idea behind the original Netroots Nation, and behind Netroots UK is to leverage social media and other tools for political action. None of us believe that blogging alone will change the world: that would be absurd.

If you want to know about local organising – see the session on how local groups are fighting to defend public services in their area. There will also be a session on how to turn online activity into local action. And then how to take it hyper-local.

Netroots is not about blogging in itself – it is about how to use social media to inform, energise and mobilise people for progressive causes. Social media just makes it easier for us to connect with people and get them involved in issues. I hope that allays the fears of people who think this is just about celebrating blogging or Twitter.