I’ve just had a whirlwind few days and (for my own sanity, mainly) want to put some markers down here and maybe develop some of the topics a bit later.

On Thursday and Friday this week I was privileged to attend the third Likeminds conference in my home town of Exeter. Likeminds is a conference that is largely about social media – at least there were a lot of social media consultants there, and the sessions were definitely angled that way for a lot of the time – and I am in no way a social media guru. Somehow, this worked for well for me.

After the last Likeminds back in February I blogged a load of things that I wanted to see changed to improve my own (selfish) experience. I’m delighted to say that a lot of those ideas were acted upon – although I can’t take all the credit, Scott and Drew (who set it all up) are a couple of sharp cookies who know what will work and what won’t – and it made the whole thing much more satisfying for me – less rock concert and more symposium.

I met a lot of great people and had a lot of interesting conversations, and (of course) learned a great deal. Perhaps I don’t learn as fast as I should and I have been since reflecting that this is probably an attitude problem on my part – I feel under a lot of pressure to demonstrate my expertise in my day job, and this restricts the sort of open-minded vulnerability you need to have in order to really allow yourself to be influenced.

On Friday night, a group of local Tweeters ran a 24-hour tweetathon in aid of some great local charities – HospiceCare, St Loyes and HeadwayDevon. As far as I know it hasn’t been done before in this format and it was a nerve-racking experience and my respect for people who have run interactive broadcast media (like the superb Matt Young from RokkXpress) has deepened – you really need to plan carefully as well as responding spontaneously to whatever happens.

It was also a struggle getting up at 5:30am for a 6am tweeting start on Saturday morning after all the excitement of a highly challenging two days at Like Minds! Now I am very tired and emotional but want to thank all the great people who have made the last few days such fun, in no particular order:

– my crew for the lunch on the first day of Likeminds – Ann Holman, Fabian King, Gary Day-Ellison, Patrick Hadfield, Julie Ellam, Kathryn Mcann, and at least one other person who I stupidly haven’t noted

– the people I met on the conference floor: Jonathan Alder, Ann Dempster, Ash Mashhadi, Matt Young, and many many more

– the second day lunch conversation which had me gripped, with Jon Akwue, Crispin Heath, @markofrespect, Sue Windley, and at least two other people who I haven’t noted

– my 24hr tweet companions Karen Clarke (awesome idea and organisation!), Adam Stone, Becky Moore, Jennifer Riach, Matt Young, Julie Harris, Judy Caley and Sue Windley.

ok, I’m done. If you met me and you’re not on the list, let me know! I need to curate my social life much better 😉