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BBC to launch social calender for the north (#smc_mcr)

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This week, like most weeks, in Manchester there’s a whole heap of digital community events going on – Social Media Cafe, a Jotta session, Geek Girl Dinner to name but a few on my personal radar.

It’s also a fair bet that there’s similar in Leeds, Liverpool, Hull, Sheffield, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Each will undoubtedly be well supported and promoted by their own organisers fine – but without any central reference point or collation, no place to potentially start cross-pollination of ideas and awareness.

Enter the Beeb with an online social calender.

Ian Forrester

Ian Forrester

Speaking at last night’s Social Media Cafe gathering, Ian Forrester told the group that a soft launch of such a website is imminent in the next month – six weeks and it will cover a patch defined as ‘the north’ which runs from Scotland to Birmingham.

Ian showed the group something similar operating in Oregon – Calagator.

In answer to a question from the group, Ian said: “the scope of the project is ‘if you think something is interesting to you, it can go in’.”

But having said that, it’s intended to be used for events of interest to the digital communities and not step into competing for eyeballs on the heavily crowded general entertainments listings where media companies are pushing.

Ian told me this morning that any listings from commercial enterprises would be removed by editors.

While Ian was careful to make it clear that the BBC wasn’t getting into the commercial space of venue or event advertising, it’s inevitable there will be many media companies, professional promoters and others keeping a watchful eye on this development from the corporation.

What do you think? Is this an area suitable for the BBC’s attention? A few whispers in my direction last night expressed doubts while others seemed hugely enthuiastic about having such platform made available . Love to hear your thoughts .

* A FriendFeed commentary I did during the session with Ian can be entered here.

Written by sarahhartley

June 3rd, 2009 at 11:39 am