Posts Tagged ‘Digital Mentors’

7 principles for digital mentors

Posted on 29th October 2012 by

Low Hill Social Media Surgery 11th October 2012

Last week I worked with VCS Learning Solutions in Manchester to train a group of people who are, or will shortly be, running social media surgeries in different areas of north west England.

A slide I showed describes seven principles for digital mentors, originally created by Stuart Parker. The principles aren’t online now, so I’ve reposted them here with Stuart’s permission.

These principles closely match the skills and qualities required of a social media surgery manager, in my view, and I hope you find them useful.

Attentive: Listen up and listen well. Understand needs, fears and desires.

Impartial: While you may be a fervent believer in a service or platform, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for others.

Social: Bow down to the network. Your fellow mentors are the key to achieving digital mentor nirvana.

Friendly: Confidence won’t improve with negative vibes.

Passionate: Believe in the positive changes technology can bring to everyone’s lives.

Lifelong: Understand that this is lifelong learning for everyone, Digital Mentors included.

Innovative: Recognise new and developing technologies and how they can be of benefit to everyone.

Photo: Low Hill Social Media Surgery courtesy of Wolverhampton Homes.

Stuff I've seen February 7th through to February 12th

Posted on 12th February 2010 by

These are my links for February 7th through February 12th:

  • What do people talk about at social media surgeries? | Gavin Wray – So, what really happens? What do we talk about? Here’s a summary of a chat from a surgery in Fazeley Studios on 19th August 2009.
  • Welcome to TweetyHall – “TweetyHall is an easy way to find out what the people who represent us in our local communities are up to; for councillors and candidates it’s a simple way to tell people why they should vote for them.”
  • Digital Inclusion Unconference – defining digital inclusion | We Share Stuff – “I was surprised that we were all pretty much agreed on what we meant by “digital inclusion” — that it was (and this is my wording, worked out now):  the confidence to use technology when appropriate, and to know where to get help if neede”
  • Richard Taylor | Should We Buy Our Councillors iPads? – “I think councillors ought be free to choose the technology which suits them best; be it pen and paper, a laptop, or even a tablet. I would expect councillors to equip themselves with the tools they need for the job out of their allowances, or independently.”
  • mutuo » Commission on Ownership – “Modelled on the highly influential ‘Commission on Social Justice’ (1992-1994) the objective is for the Commission on Ownership to produce an authoritative report that establishes a new and clear understanding of the influence that ownership has on the governance of our country.The key questions for the Commission are:

    • Does ownership matter?

    • Does ownership affect fairness in Britain?

    • What, if anything should Government do about ownership?”

Birmingham Social Media Surgery No: 6 – May 13th 2009

Posted on 30th April 2009 by

So we’ve made it to a full half a dozen  surgeries, cracking. Scroll down for a report on Surgery no 5.

If you belong to a Birmingham based community or neighbourhood group or charity please Come and join us for the May 13th 2009 Surgery.

When & Where

Next Surgery: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 drop in anytime between 5.30pm to 7.00pm at Fazeley Studios, 191 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR,  link to map. (not BVSC) It’s opposite the bond and a go kart track. Push the large pale blue door with the silver door knob.

To sign up please go here.

Social Media Surgery in Birmingham, from HNM_1977 on Flickr

Social Media Surgery in Birmingham, from HNM_1977 on Flickr

So what happened last time?  Well, Paul Henderson took the photo above whilst Chris Ivens summed up the point of the surgeries rather neatly:

Q: What is a Social Media Surgery?  A: With an abundance of buzz-words at every tick and turn and an almost daily mention of twitter in the news we try to look at what technologies could really help your organisation and we’re here to explain in plain English what they are. It’s not a sales pitch nor are you obliged to do anything after the meet, I guess it’s the old cliché; ‘Giving Something Back’. If you come and find the session useful, please pass on the word so more people can benefit.

As with most of our surgeries, people went away having set up new blogs or picked up tips about how else they can use the social web to help their project, programme, campaign or neighbourhood.

Cannon Hill People’s Park came along for the second time. Tony Fox said of his first surgery:

Thanks to the brilliant advice and support we got last time it inspired us to put our up (just), and we’ll be along to discuss building on our Social support!

Tony and his team have now begun making good use of google maps.  Karen and Geoff Caine are the first people who’ve made the move from patient to surgeon, having now made good use of their newish blog for the City Centre Neighbourhood Forum, explored with google maps and begun to encourage people to use services such as the excellent fixmystreet.

It was a good evening for neighbourhood groups.  Ged Hughes of the Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum came along, her first time at a surgery. She left saying she would love to come again and the following day created a blog for the forum. (Hurrah!).  The first post tells us that their AGM is on May 14th, the day after the next social media surgery. It also pointed me to another local group already using social media, the Acocks Green Focus Group.

Other neighbourhood interest came from the East Yardley Neighbourhood Forum who went away with a head crammed full of ideas and established this starting point for conquering the social web world. Also John Heaven was with us looking for help on how to build on what is already being achieved at

Laura Creaven  of LUCIA Charity set up this personal blog and has got off to a roaring start. Her take on the surgery:

I have to say it was a fascinating meeting and I’m really glad I went. I’m all a bit keen about what we could achieve with it. So I’m a little excited about going to work tomorrow – sad isn’t it?!

Also with us was Mary from Birmingham Friends of the Earth and Attiya from the Health Exchange who left having set up an experimental personal blog.

The ever brilliant all-volunteer surgeons were Ben WaddingtonNicky Getgood, Chris Ivens, Pete Ashton, Paul Henderson, Gavin Wray, Daniel Davis, Simon WhitehouseNeil Houston – who blogs about food – joined us for his first session and Rob Annable gave some great help on open source mapping. I love the way the people who help at the surgeries vary from month to month, so endless thanks for their help and a particular thank you to Diane from Fazeley Studios who also volunteers her time to keep the place open.   I always forget at least one person when I list these, so apologies in advance and please just tell me and I’ll put it right.

Stuff I've seen April 27th to April 29th

Posted on 29th April 2009 by

These are my links for April 27th through April 29th:

  • Job listing for Innovation and New Markets Executive, Screen West Midlands, Birmingham – Audiences Central – Your job will be to assist in delivering a programme of support for digital projects and companies in the region including events, project development and production funding and identifying new trends in digital media, technology and emerging business models. Experience in the digital media sector is highly desirable, as is successful partnership work, project management and familiarity with media contracts – particularly in the digital sector.
  • After the crunch | Andrew Dubber – Ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, I will reply: It is people, it is people, it is people!
  • The mystery of the missing London parking tickets | News | – This fab use of data to reveal curious patterns shows how citizens and news outlets can work together to ask interesting questions: ”
    Nobody has parked in a loading bays illegally for 18 months, and nobody has overstayed in a parking place across the whole of London? That’s a flipping miracle. You’d think TfL would be shouting the new-found behaviour of London drivers from the rooftops.”  Except … apart from a couple of low totals at the end of 2008 (which may be due to delays in tickets issued working their way through the system), total ticket numbers have generally risen; indeed they hit an all-time high in November 2007. Clearly, people aren’t really behaving better.
  • revealed: groundbreaking study of user generated content use at the bbc – The majority of respondents to the MORI poll commissioned had favourable views of user generated content and thought it played a positive roll in reporting yet few have actually contributed. One of the questions was whether people would take a photo if they saw a fire break out – just 14% said they would, and just 6% of those said they’d send it to a news organisation. Great differences were seen across classes – 16% of higher management would take a photo, with all saying they’d submit it to a news organisation, but in other groups (middle-management to manual laborers) only between 4 – 5% would take a photo.
  • Job listing for Aspiring programme makers – Audiences Central – Our initial aim was to provide the area with its first local television channel and provide an outlet for video productions made with the various groups we work with. Now with the help of Aston Villa Community Interest Company and Data Pacific we have created We intend to produce and schedule programmes that directly or indirectly support, enhance, promote or deliver local concerns & initiatives directly to the Web and other broadcast platforms.
  • Digital Mentors FAQs — Media Trust – “Is this about getting people online?  No. If more people get online as a result of Digital Mentors, that’s great. But digital media is as much about offline technology. But digital media is as much about offline technology, as long as it helps communities to express and exchange their views.”