#TAL11 – unconference updates and the glittering #TAL11 unawards


We have some useful updates for next Saturday’s #TAL11 unconference for you, which are:

Sponsorship: Rightmoveplaces are sponsoring #TAL11 which is fab – we’ve enjoyed helping them out with their emerging hyperlocal product and it’s great they are helping us stage #TAL11 with the Guardian and the Cardiff School of Creative Industries who run the Atrium.  We may yet have some more sponsors….

#TAL11 Google Group: There is some great pre-unconference discussion and session suggesting happening in the event google group.  Topics so far include covering sport on hyperlocal sites, how to get started with a hyperlocal blog, experiments in Facebook and hyperlocals gaining access to council press offices.  Come and join in the conversation!

#TAL11 twitter and reporting: As usual, we’ll be tweeting and reporting throughout the day. Be sure to follow @talkaboutlocal and hashtag your unconference tweets #TAL11. We’d also be grateful if you could tag any blog posts, video, audio or photos of the event published online ‘TAL11’ so we can keep track, as we’ll be creating an archive of unconference content.

#TAL11 timings: Please get to the ATRiuM by 11.30am for the main unconference, which will carry on until 5.30pm. Refreshments and WiFi will be provided (the WiFi password will be released on the day, please notify us of any special requirements for food).  When the unconference ends at 5.30pm we’ll be heading straight to nearby bar The Gwdihw for post unconference drinks, chats and the glittering #TAL11 unawards (see below).

#TAL11 travel: Karen has collated some train times to/from Cardiff for central UK points (Birmingham, Manchester, London, Sheffield, Lancaster, Leeds).  Double check your trains with National Rail Enquiries before traveling.    The nearest rail station is Cardiff Queen Street but Cardiff Central Station is also within walking distance.

Click here for driving directions to ATRiuM. The postcode for ATRiuM (for a SatNav) is CF24 2FN.  There is a large NCP car park opposite ATRiuM Building on Adam Street.

#TAL11 accommodation: Those who want to stay in Cardiff on Friday and/or Saturday night would do well to check out cardiffandco.com, which has good listings and deals. The nearest good budget hotel is Ibis Cardiff, which is right next to ATRiuM.

So now the main points of unconference business are taken care of, here’s our Mike with some exciting #TAL11 unawards news…


As is now almost a tradition at talk about local unconferences there will be the talk about local unawards again this year.  The tradition is that we reward excellence and endeavour but not with worldly goods – last year’s prizes included an oven glove and a broken walking stick.

Unbelievably, we have managed to do even less planning for these for #tal11 than we did in Leeds for #tal10, on our part that is quite a feat of disorganisation.

Last year we had a least come up with some ideas and been shopping for prizes. This year we have done none of the above – no ideas, no shopping, nothing.

prize-winning lolcat

We have a small kitty that we are going to sell* and all, yes ALL the money we get for our small kitty can be spent on prizes.


We’ll go shopping at Latif’s and buy some stuff and you do some crowd sourcing to come up with not only a few more categories but also the nominations for the prizes, then the judges will look at all the nominations and award prizes.

Categories we have carried forward from last year’s unawards are:

  • Overall winner
  • Best story/post
  • Best investigation/investigative reporting
  • Best community engagement
  • Best council coverage
  • Most innovative use of data

Remember we give away everything we buy, we take nothing back, so unless you get working you could end up with a prize by default. We have our eye on an inflatable ball pit and balls that is sold un-boxed – how much fun will that be to get home on the train while it is inflated?

Use the google group to go discuss.

*we won’t really sell the kitty, we may weigh it and then convert it’s weight in to a commodity and use the £ value of the commodity as the prize fund.