Some research regarding local government’s use of User Generated Content (UGC) has led to some quite remarkable results today. After trawling some local gov web sites I turned to Dave Brigg’s excellent The cool web stuff in local government wiki and started going through some of the sites on there. I became a little bit dissapointed that most local gov sites were only concentrating on one aspect of social media – using new technologies to push their information out. Whilst this is commendable for broadening the access to the information and allowing for the repurposing and mashing up of the information I couldn’t help thinking that allowing the local gov web site users to provide and input their own content was being neglected prompting this post to Twitter:

doing quick review of local gov soc med attempts most seems to be repurposing existing info = good but not much user input in evidence

This was on of those examples where the Twitter network never fails to amaze me. Here are the replies I received:

pezholio @StevenTuck I think people are still a little scared of giving residents too much control. I think it will explode this year though

ShaneMcC @StevenTuck Bristol ePetitions, www.bigvote.org.uk, Issues Forums in Oxford, www.lifeswap.org.uk – only two of those are GM projects 😉

liz_azyan @StevenTuck Thks Steven. Just wanted to see if I cud help with ur question.Brentbrain.gov.uk has a forum & UGC directory

shcinternetteam @StevenTuck in that case we allow the public to submit events to our site http://twurl.nl/b2xo6n and community portal http://twurl.nl/yk65be

ShaneMcC @StevenTuck offline recruitment is very important to building usage.

liz_azyan @StevenTuck I’ll let you know if I remember or find others… im sure i hv them somewhere in this big pile of papers & notes and audios

alncl @StevenTuck Events are submitted by users: http://tinyurl.com/7y3sfq (these then appear on our RSS and Twitter)

shcinternetteam @StevenTuck no probs, hoping to do something simular for news in the coming months as part of a site redesign

alncl Apologies, events link is here: http://tinyurl.com/7m78nd

StevenTuck bookmarking local gov user generated content examples on delicious using tag: localgovugc

ingridk @StevenTuck Cool Steven – I’ll use localgovugc for anything I see as well

pezholio @StevenTuck Come to think of it we do do UGC, we’ve got a sports club finder here http://is.gd/eMTd Will tag on delicious now

b3rn @StevenTuck http://bit.ly/18a3i localgovugc

liz_azyan @StevenTuck Has Dom told u abt www.whereilive.org for Barnet Council for localgovugc?

ingridk @steventuck r/t @stephendale Good promo piece about Kent CC use of IDeA CoPs http://snurl.com/9lfhz – and local gov UGC

StevenTuck Thanks for all that help & Just realised you’ve also all just strengthened my internal Twitter/online collaboration/social networking case

twitterfeed for this thread

As my last comment says not only did I get a wealth of information which saved me countless hours of research time, trawling through local gov websites but the process served as an excellent example of how SNS can help us all to do our jobs better and more efficiently.

Part way through I decided it would be a good idea to start social bookmarking these sites on delicious. I decided to group them with the tag ‘localgovugc’. I thought it only polite to announce this on Twitter so that others were aware of this resource if they needed access to it. I was very pleased with the response to this when other people started adding others to delicious using the same tag. Ingrid Koehler (IDea) – who also contacted me later in the evening with a link to Instant mash: empowering communities through the web and b3rn in Sydney Australia who has a very interesting blog which I need to check out: Local government, the internet & community engagement online

As well as this I also got 2 direct messages; one via Twitter from Dave Briggs and one via facebook from Kevin Campbell-Wright. Dave has offered to build a website bringing together all local gov websites using UGC and Kevin wants to meet to discuss a collaboration between Kirklees Council and Adult Education sector in researching local gov use of UGC.

A very busy and productive late afternoon which ran on late into the night.


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