Posts Tagged ‘New Media’

Links: Trust, collaborative planning and google maps

Posted on 17th February 2009 by


On Demand Micro Volunteering by mobile phone from the Extraordinares. Hat tip Thriving.

All the News that’s fit to Network. “So if there’s trust to be created, there’s money to be earned. Trust is the foundation for a value proposition. All else equal, it stands to reason that users will pay more for the news in which they have more trust. If so, then it follows that users will pay more for the news they use based on a relationship with creators, in whom they can place more trust than they can in newspapers as brands.”

Michael Grimes on The Big City Plan:  “I truly believe there are lots of people in the council who really want this to work. But the bureaucracy of Birmingham City Council seems incapable of understanding how public engagement works.” Jon Bounds on the same: “The resources needed to produce the Big City Talk site were only time (the domain name cost £2.99, and I used existing hosting), the skills we used would have been readily available within the council structure — and experience if needed is already in the city. The only thing stopping Birmingham City Council running a “social” online consultation was the organisational will. I think there may be more of that now.”

Steven Tuck uses Big City Talk to get tongues wagging in a Social Media Session at Kirklees Council
Google Maps created with a spreadsheet of addresses.

ESRC report on Future Management of the UK's Creative Industries.

Posted on 1st January 2009 by

The report (pdf link here) was funded by the ESRC and written by Aim Research.  Their conclusion on the impact of digital technologies on the future of the UK’s creative industries could be paraphrased as “Whoah – this is all a bit confusing. Can we do some more research please?” (see also Dave Harte) or in their words:

1  Firstly, research is still needed on creative practices and skills requirements for the creative industries. We have as yet a rudimentary understanding of how creative products and services are designed, produced and delivered in the light of new technologies, organisational practices and user expectations. The development of the necessary technical and managerial skills is an important area for research.
2 Secondly, the creation of products and services by users themselves is increasingly important, yet we lack both intellectual and practical frameworks for understanding the impact of user centric innovation on existing business models and how it should be managed in its own development. This will require cross-disciplinary skills and knowledge in managerial, technical, policy and legal domains. An important factor is the changing nature of Intellectual Property systems, given the brittle texture of existing structures in the new era of mash-ups, modding and mass downloading.
3 Thirdly, the new international markets and how the UK should engage with them: for example, the question of outsourcing of creative services and the related issues of country specialisation. Should we worry about the relative weaknesses we have in the UK e.g. online video games, or big budget films? Should we direct resources to those weaknesses or instead focus on our relative strengths and feel confident in
outsourcing what is peripheral? Research is needed in business and academe on how these important decisions are made, and should be made by managers.
4 Finally, a fourth area that will benefit the creative industries and stimulate scholarly insight is the linking between creative industries, in terms of mobility of people, the cross-pollination of ideas, the unrealised opportunities for cross-marketing and technological convergence, and the application of skills and tools in new domains for which they were not originally intended. Considered by many to be the basis for creativity, opportunities for spillovers across sector are too little understood, searched for, and exploited, yet hold significant potential for continued, and greater success.

I don’t want to be to rude here but couldn’t they come up with something more positive than a whole bunch of questions we already know exist?

Hat tip d-log. Image courtesy jscardia.

The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

Posted on 29th September 2008 by

I’ve got real concerns about this (see the bottom of the post). According to this news release it will:

• establish a comprehensive public information and awareness and child internet safety campaign across Government and industry including a ‘one-stop shop’ on child internet safety;

• provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour;

• promote responsible advertising to children online; and

• establish voluntary codes of practice for user-generated content sites, making such sites commit to take down inappropriate content within a given time.

This is what Tanya Byron thinks:

“Every parent will know that know that video games and the internet are a part of childhood like never before. This is extremely positive; giving kids the opportunities to learn to have fun and communicate in ways that previous generations could only dream of. But it can also present a huge challenge to parents and other adults involved in the welfare of children.

“That this why we need industry, regulators and parents to work together to protect children against the risks. Setting up UKCISS was a key recommendation in my report and I’m delighted that the Government along with industry, education, law enforcement, and the children’s charities have acted so promptly to make this a reality. “The Council will be a powerful union of some of our key players giving support to parents and guidance to children as they come more and more accustomed to the virtual world – it will also give families, teachers and most importantly children and young people the ability to input experiences and concerns. The UK is a world leader on internet safety for children and I look forward to others adopting this partnership approach.”

I’m worried this organisation will be risk averse, burdened with the pr fear of any internet abuse being laid at it’s door. Already the government has been looking for ways to police the internet.

The country that manages to balance the risk/opportunity that the web represents for young people is the one that will be best placed to enjoy the economic benefits on offer.  Having run a quango once, I know that you don’t create an energetic and imaginative attitude to risk by creating a new quango.

However it is easy to carp.  I think UKCCIS should start with teachers. If we can warm them up to the possibilities that come with an open attitude to the internet, rather than a closed or mistrustful one, we then have a hope of encouraging them to teach children to manage risk rather than run from the slightest suggestion of it.  Until teachers have high levels of digital literacy we’ll struggle to have schools that are anything but freakishly fearful of the web.

Groundwork UK, twitter and how about a map for funding applications?

Posted on 21st August 2008 by


The image above is some of the feedback from asking my friends on twitter how Groundwork might use the service.   The group I was working with were a little surprised (“wow”) by the speed and quality of the input from a network tool like this – so to Laura, Michael, Jon, Dave, Alice, Katie, Paul and Charlotte thank you – even amongst your number there was evident support and affection for the major national community and environmental charity.

The session was a general get-the-juices-flowing-see-whats-possible-start-to-get-your-head-around-whats-out-there 90 mins and to that end I think the one clear factor that emerged was that a bit of rss is needed in Groundwork towers.
The group I was working with manage grants for one of the projects and have to record and evaluate what’s being achieved, so the possibilities of digital media in terms of capturing what happens and starting a conversation about applications etc are self evident.

The conversation that really aroused my interest though hapened at the end once most people had floated away.

What if you use something like google maps to publicly share every single application you get?  You put all of them on the web and tie them to a map.  Green for approved red for rejected.  How will this change the dynamic betwen the grant givers and the apl;licants?  Will such transparency improve the system or weaken it?

It got me thinking about social media and market forces.  My A Level economics teacher frequently told me that a perfect market means everyone has perfect information.  Imagine a market for funding bids where everyone who is applying knows about every aplication that has happened, where they took place, whether they were approved and if not why not.   Could that improve efficiency in the distribution of grants?

The folk in East Anglia might understand that their area is already saturated with approved grants – so seek support from another fund or change their plans.  Groups in Northumberland might see there’s a real opportuntiy because their patch is under represented. Those who write the applications can see exactly what others have been saying so it will give them a realistic level of confidence in their ideas.  Those who hand out the grants can be more easily held to account – or better still the minds of the public can be put to helping them constantly refine and improve their decision making.

Sit around it a conversation about the rights and wrongs of particular grant applications and you can begin (with careful nurturing of the online community) to crowdsource a sense of where people want to see their money being spent.

Now don’t expect Groundwork to do this tomorrow – or even at all.  It is a big cultural leap for any organisation and it may not be that useful or warrant the effort.  This was simply one of those conversations that went deep down into the possibilities and cultural impact of social media.  But I share it as an idea. What do you think?