Posts Tagged ‘hyperlocal’

Age isn’t a barrier! Birmingham East and Sheldon Community Website

Posted on 22nd April 2013 by

At the same time as running the project we’ve been working on in South Birmingham with the Community safety team we’ve been engaging with communities in east Birmingham in the same way. In fact we’ve just wrapped up the first lot of surgeries in Shard End and it looks like we’ve had some great results with people coming to learn about twitter, facebook and blogging.

One of the patients who attended was Lol Thurstan.

Lol came along to a Social Media awareness session we held at The Pump on Kitts Green Road and subsequently attended our Social Media Surgeries at Shard End Library. Chair of his residents association and lead coordinator with his neighbourhood watch, He wanted to learn how to use social media to support his Neighbourhood Watch group

In just 4 sessions (including the initial awareness session) Lol has established B26 Community, A neighbourhood website for the Sheldon community that allows him to not only share Neighbourhood Watch news but can also involve other groups in the community to improve communication in the area -

By his own admission Lol was a late comer to starting to use technology but he came with a willingness to learn and as I think you’ll see from this video, age isn’t a barrier to learning something new and getting stuck in !

 

The value of Social Media in neighbourhoods and appealing to communities

Posted on 24th January 2013 by

Yesterday a sad thing happened; 2 children went missing. It was presumed at the time that they’d gone of their own volition and they were later found well and safe, but none the less it was an awful thing to happen.

This all happened in Darlaston, 5 miles from my house, in Wednesfield and as such when the press release went out appealing for witnesses we posted it to the WV11 site and Facebook page. We were aware that while the children weren’t strictly from the WV11 area our readership expands beyond our borders, and friends,and friends of friends,  would most definitely cross over into Darlaston and the surrounding areas.

We posted the photo from the appeal along with the copied the police release verbatim,  all we added to the post was two words at the end “please share”

And share people did.

Within an hour 565 people had re-posted the news direct from our facebook page and less than 2 hours later that number had jumped to 1984!

It seems to me 2 things had happened to make the numbers jump like that  - every parent that uses our site could empathise with the  situation these parents were in, no one can imagine, or would want to imagine, what it feels like to find your child missing like that, and going on the old adage that “it takes a village to raise a child” everyone wanted to help raise awareness to bring these children home safely.

The other thing that happened was we were there, we were local and we we part of the community and we appealed to them directly with the “please share”!

Darlaston falls under Walsall Council  but it is fairly close to the border with Wolverhampton. Both Councils picked up the police release and shared to their facebook pages, Walsall’s post was shared 20 times, Wolverhampton’s 136.

The local radio station, Free Radio also picked up on it and shared to their page too, Their story was shared 550 times.

Looking at those figures it seems clear that being community based and very local really had an impact on the way the community interacted with the appeal.

The important thing here of course is that the children were found and returned home safe and well,  but as an observation it is interesting how much being part of a community can make a difference

 

 

Birmingham Hyperlocal Website for sale on e-bay

Posted on 22nd October 2012 by

an image taken from e-bay of the auction

Jon Bounds has a talent for the unusual. He’s just listed Birmingham It’s Not Shiton e-bay.  Stating price £1000.00. Previously he’d been asking for offers over £5000.00.

The site is one of the longest standing of it’s kind and gave Jon a remarkable platform over the years to innovate in using the web and represent another view of his native city.   This will be interesting.