Interview with Mark Buckland, MD @CargoPublishing and #SMWGla Advisory Board member

Please meet Mark Buckland, MD of Cargo Publishing and 2nd-year member of our Advisory Board. Mark was very active last year and, among everything else, he worked with us and InnerEar on two #SMWGla projects, the Very Short Stories Book and the crowdsourced audiobook SpokenHerdWhat about this year? “Bigger, better. That’s the challenge”, Mark says. And we will gladly accept the challenge with such an enthusiastic group of people to help us! Thanks Mark!


Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m the MD of Cargo Publishing, which includes Cargo, Cargo Crate (Scotland’s first ebook imprint) and the Margins Book and Music Festival.

What is your involvement with Social Media Week?
I’m on the advisory board for the second year and delighted to be back.

Why did you get involved?
Because I believe in social media. I think we’re at a bit of a crossroads with social media too; we’ve seen it change huge parts of the world with the Arab Spring but it’s becoming very corporate. It has the potential to expose us to new information, spread the word about important issues and change the world. I’d rather social media was used for more than just to make some advertising people a lot of money. So I suppose I got involved because I want it to stir debate and ask questions.

You said you were part of the AB board also last year. Were you involved in any other ways?
Yes, we did several events and produced the VSS competition and the booklet of winners in partnership with Creative Scotland, twintangibles and Branding Boutique. We also created the Spoken Herd project with Inner Ear and twintangibles. It was a lot of fun but the trick is to up our game this year.

Did you attend any events last year?
I think last year was the most diverse programme I’ve seen at just about anything. Sadly, I spent most of it working on stuff for SMW and Cargo, so this year I might actually try to enjoy some events.

What do you think will be this year’s biggest challenges for SMWGla?
Bigger, better. That’s the challenge. And to reach people who don’t know about it and more importantly, people who don’t know about social media. That and the logistics of running an event of this size will inevitably lead to us all having nervous breakdowns.

What would you like to see at SMWGla this year?
The same diversity as last year, but with even more engagement with the public. If at the end of the week, we’re looking at even just a few people who’ve had their imaginations sparked by what they’ve seen, then it’s a success.

How are you going to participate?
Probably by doing a lot of worrying, panicking and all those other emotions that go with organising any events. But I think the whole Cargo team wants to make the events we do really fun. What events? Can’t tell you that just yet…

How do you feel that you will contribute to the overall theme of ‘Empowering Change Through Collaboration’?
We’re all about collaboration. And that’s what social media is about isn’t it? Getting people mobilised behind an issue. So I want to contribute by bringing in plenty of collaborators but also by getting the people of Glasgow to be the major contributors.

Anything else you would like to add?
It’s gonna be good. Last year was incredible in terms of scale and ambition. If we can match that this year, then it’s going to be a special week. It’s an honour to be involved.

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