In a few short months, Britain will feel the full pain of the government's programme of public spending cuts. That makes 2011 a vital year for the progressive organisations and individuals intent on opposing the austerity Budget.
This Saturday brings an event aimed at helping activists and groups work with each other to provide a more effective resistance to cuts.
Netroots UK is inspired by the annual Netroots Nation event that takes place in the US. The main focus will be practical – it will feature a series of workshop sessions on video-making, raising funds and turning online activity into offline action, as well as presentations from a range of speakers, including politicians, journalists, bloggers and online campaigners.
The New Statesman is an official supporting organisation of the event. I will be speaking at a workshop called "How to Make Sure the Media Delivers for Us", along with Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror, Anwar Akhtar of the Samosa and Hannah Lownsbrough from 38 Degrees. The session will look at how campaigners can get their message across in the mainstream media, and practical ways of communicating with journalists to help this along.
Other workshops include using humour in viral campaigns and making videos – there is a huge amount going on. There's more information on speakers and workshops at the Netroots website.
Netroots UK will take place on Saturday 8 January at the Trades Union Congress in Bloomsbury, central London. Tickets are just £5 and include lunch. You can register here.