Posts Tagged councillor2.0

voluntary gritters and viral tweets

I keep coming across nice little case studies and not getting round to recording them. So I’d better make a start with this one from today. A simple tweet from the Holme Valley South Lib Dems looking for volunteers to help spread grit in areas to help maintian access to and for vulnerable people in the local area. The image shows how even though the @HolmeValleyLD twitter account only has 40 followers the subsequent ‘retweeting‘ of the original message gave it a potential audience of over 9,000 people.

The chronological order of the tweets is from the bottom to top. Numbers on the right are the number of followers for the person retweeting the message.

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Social Media Surgeries and Council webcasts

That's what it's all about

Well we must be doing something right at the Huddersfield Social Media Surgeries (@huddsms)! Surgeons are turning up. Patients are turning up. @podnosh is turning up! Patients – some of who are keeping excellent blogs – are even becoming surgeons. Result!

But yet  I feel uneasy…

Why is that?

I’ve got my own ideas but really could do with some objective and inspiring debate to thrash a few ideas into shape.

On another strand I had one of those days at work today that makes it all worth while. Our first live webcast of a council meeting. The first full Council meeting after the election – Annual Council – apart from the sound being  a little low and a few other teething problems, it couldn’t have gone better. There is huge potential here, I’m hoping that’s recognised and embraced.

The Ning thing is a mess and, in a way has heightened of some of my concerns. I’ll feel a bit better about this when/if a method to export content from ning is revealed.

but…

Facebook is changing its privacy settings from 26 May in response to complaints from users.

It’s taken me long enough to do this to know that it’s enough so I’ll stop there 🙂

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leader on youtube

Great! Kirklees Council Leader – Mehboob Khan – makes his debut on youtube.  Problems with commenting on the video at the moment so the comment I’ve tried to leave I’ll post here until it’s fixed.

This is brilliant! Well Done! Embodying the true spirit of innovation, using the tools and having a go. Yes there are mistakes. Yes it could be better but for a first attempt it’s great. A bold step in a new direction. Great to see a leader innovating and setting an example.

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21st century councillor

townhall01 copy

On Friday I took part in an event at Huddersfield Town Hall for  Kirklees Local Democracy Week to demonstrate the work we are doing on the 21st Century Councillor Project and how social media and technology can be used to assist ward councillors in their role by providing better communication, information and intelligence. local-democracy-week-2009

The first part of the event –  a session in the  council chamber outlining the work – was very well attended.  After a brief and skillful definition of blogs by David Woodhead he went on to talk about his experiences  keeping a blog as a councillor and wrote his next blog post. The stats for David’s blog are incredible reaching up to 3,000 hits per month yet he modestly warns “don’t expect much traffic…” as it’s still early days.

Next up was Andrew Cooper who talked about his use of facebook and video as tools to help engage with communities and groups. Cllr Cooper is making good use of video to explain complex issues  and  (as he showed us with a video that is sadly only available on facebook) demonstrate the results of some of his campaigns.  Andrew also talked about his recently started blog which he is using to inform and start conversations about ideas and possible solutions to problems.

We have also been advising The Leader of the Council – Mehboob Khan – on blogging (something which he is keen to do) and, though not quite ready to launch on Local Democracy Week 😦 the audience were told to expect this in the next couple of weeks 🙂

The question and answer session felt possitive with people keen to know more. The usual concerns regarding: moderation; control of content that may appear on the “organisation’s web site”; the separation of professional and private life; increase in workload were raised. Though I was glad to be called upon to answer some of these concerns I am getting tired of hearing myself say the same things so I’m now on the lookout for more and different ways of saying them.

We broke out to the the Old Court Room where we had previously set up  ‘stalls’ where people

doing a double act with Cooperman

doing a double act with Cooperman

could view examples of what we were doing in more detail and even have a play with them for themselves.  This too was equally well attended and the buzz of conversation around the room indicated the level of interest and – dare I say – excitement around the work.

It was great to meet a social network aquaintance – John Popham who turned up for the event after I mentioned it on twitter. John – who is interested in the work we are doing  setting up a Social Media Surgery in Huddersfield – was fresh back from Birmingham where he had been to check out Birmingham’s Social Media Surgery the night before.  John posted – Every City, Town, Village & Neighbourhood should have a Social Media Surgery – on his blog which includes a really useful video of Nick Booth talking about his ‘recipe’.

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breakfast in the crypt

Sorry, going a bit mad with this blog tonight. Doing a quick post audit I’ve realised I’ve got nearly as many posts in draft as I’ve published. Decided to just to publish ’em warts ‘n’ all anyway otherwise what’s the point? Also decided to just blast posts out in a stream of consciousness style from now on to save time, so apologies in advance for bad spelling, grammar and BS (I’m no writer me).

Finally got some time to set up a social media group. This is intended to bring together people together who have an an interest in using social media tools. I’m a bit concerned at the amount of web team people in the group but apart from that I think the mix is quite a good balance between between people with a good deal of experience and people looking to research use. I’ve set up a ning sns for the group to collaborate and share info, arrange events, hold discussions etc. The  group has got to be private for now but would benefit from being opened up in the future.

Been using doodle to arrange the first meeting of the group. Though we’ve not yet been able to get everyone together in February, this is proving to be a really useful tool which has saved me hours of busy searches on people’s diaries.  

Met Shane McCracken this morning for a breakfast meeting in the ‘Crypt‘ and I’ve got to report they do a really good full english. Seriously though I spent a good couple of hours talking social media with Shane who’s citizen engagement and e-democracy experience with other local orgs may well prove useful for the potential locality work currently being looked into.

I would like to thank Shane again for all the help and advice besides Civic Surf that he has generously given me to guide our project to assist councillors to develop their own blogs. It comes as a coincidence that on the same day I met Shane that I learnt about our first councillor’s blog which is great news.

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