I had an enjoyable time on Saturday at the Talk About Local unconference, where lots of people involved in hyperlocal websites get together to share stories and experiences and to figure out answers to tricky questions.
There tends to be two angles with hyperlocal – the future of local journalism stuff which I tend to find rather dull; and then the community activist side, which is a bit more interesting.
I enjoyed the session organised by Vicky Sargent on neighbourhood planning and hyperlocals. We’re supporting a local neighbourhood plan initiative with web stuff – see A Plan for Holbeach – and of course there is our site for NALC too.
Vicky has a web tool coming out soon to support local groups in putting together neighbourhood plans – which ought to be pretty useful and I’m looking forward to seeing more on that.
OGP Take Aways : Tim’s Blog – "In an attempt to use reflective blogging to capture thoughts from the Open Government Partnership meeting in Brasilia I’ve jotted down ten key learning points, take-aways, or areas I’ve been musing on. "
If we want to build hyperlocal communities, we have to change the way we think about them. This isn’t a technology problem to solve (Facebook-style). Enabling everyone to start a hyperlocal community wont make it happen. This isn’t a content problem to solve (local news style). Pulling in RSS feeds and encouraging user generated content wont solve the problem.
What we need is a genuine community building approach. You identify your first members, initiate discussions, invite members to participate in those discussions, write content about what’s happening in the community, and repeat as you grow.
Nelson Mandela Digital Archives – "Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment."
Control issues around social media in local government – "I would argue that in terms of capability maturity, most local governments are just starting up the ladder and it would be more effective to focus on a few key controls and use a bit of common sense, and allow for a lot of process improvement and lessons to be learned"