As someone who’s been immersed in working with online technologies for well over a decade, I’ve gained a great deal of experience in social media as it has grown. The social web is now a jumble of competing and overlapping services, and it can be hard to know where to start. I can help by working with you to discover your social media or online needs, often the most simple of steps can really work wonders. An informal discussion—only one or two hours—will usually throw up a number of ways to increase engagement with your customers or clients.
Whether it’s using Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch, a blog to share your experience and knowledge, or something special for a campaign or event. Whatever the solution I offer training to get you up and running, or if it’s a major project can work on the production side too.
Much of the basis of my advice and consultancy comes from the experimentation allowed by my personal artistic projects, many of which involve place, identity and culture. Here are a couple of examples:
- 11-11-11 was one where I encouraged people to spend 11 hours on the Outer Circle bus route on the eleventh of November 2008. Around thirty people did at least part of that and recorded their journeys online—resulting in a collection of contemporary views of the city. The project was covered extensively in the local media and the supporting website, and repeated in 2009 and 2010.
- In collaboration with the Birmingham Popular Music Archive I invited people to contribute to an online database of music culture in Birmingham, by placing venues, artists, people or anything they felt related to music on a map. A physical artwork of the results was commissioned in the form of the Birmingham Music Map as part of Plug In an exhibition at mac.
- Twitpanto was an online pantomime which I created, wrote and directed.. It also won an award at the Webbys, in the online art category.
How I got here
I’ve been working with online media since discovering the Internet while studying Computer Science at Birmingham University.
I spent nearly four years working for the BBC – as technical co-ordinator of the Public Space at BBC Birmingham, where I designed and built large scale interactive exhibits, permanent and themed interactive displays and film. I’ve also worked as a technical editor, commissioning editor, and author on multimedia design books – including titles on Flash, Director, QuickTime and Final Cut.
I have written features for publications such as Fused magazine, and Area (culture) and Flipside (music) as well as co-editing and contributing to the Birmingham-based literary magazine Dirty Bristow. A collection of my writing is available on the Amazon Kindle store (Poorly Collected Works 2010-11). I have also contributed pieces about Birmingham and the West Midlands to such publications as The Guardian,The Birmingham Post (where I also wrote a blog/column) and bbc.co.uk.
Where I’m from
I’m from Birmingham – a city that historically has had a poor image, but I’ve enjoyed trying to change that with my long running site Birmingham It’s Not Shit and now with the art site Paradise Circus. My blogging and general Birmingham noise-making led me to be listed as the ’14th most influential person in the West Midlands’ in the Birmingham Post’s Power 50 list.
What other people say
It’s difficult to write about oneself, so here’s something that friend and sometime colleague and collaborator Pete Ashton wrote as a bio for me for an application we put in:
[blockquote]Jon Bounds is writer and psychogeographer who is currently working on a book about a two-week road trip around the surviving seaside piers of England and Wales, and previously he created a short eBook about a journey around Birmingham’s independent pubs. Jon Bounds has built a reputation in Birmingham as a social media pioneer and community organiser.
He created the website Birmingham: It’s Not Shit as a parody of the failed European City of Culture bid in 2002 and developed it into a vibrant alternative guide to the city, with the annual Brummie of the Year award attracting thousands of votes and national attention. He frequently appears in the media as a Brummie commentator and was featured in the Birmingham Post’s Power 50 list in 2008. He was honoured with a Webby award in 2010. [/blockquote]