Posts Tagged ‘New Media’

Make a film for the big city plan.

Posted on 9th March 2009 by

Dominc Campbel phot of Big City Plan poster Birmingham

I’ve just received an e-mail from Richard Rees at the city council encouraging me to mention the digital challenge which the council is throwing out for anyone who wants to contribute more to the big city plan process. Thanks for prompting me to do this, I meant to write something when the competition launched last month.

The council want you to use video or still photography to express your opinions about the plan.  You can win a flip camera. It’s a great idea and I would encourage you to use any combination of video, still and or audio to show what you want changing in the city centre.  How about a two minute world wind tour of your neighbourhood?

Sadly I can’t enter because the rules appear to prohibit people who are professional image makers from doing so.

If you want to take photos or make a short film then the closing date is April 20th and the rules are here.  If you want to read the big city plan (work in progress)  as the council expresses it please go here, if you would also like to look at a plainer English version please go here.

Some of you may know I took part in creating a plain English translation of the plan for the bigcitytalk site. It was mentioned as an example of the future of consultation (link to mentions of Birmingham) in the Cabinet Office sponsored Power of Information Report:

The original Power of Information report was one of the first to be re-worked and presented on CommentOnThis as an experiment.  CommentOnThis was an early innovator in reworking government consultation documents online so that they can be used more easily.   More recently a team of civic bloggers in Birmingham has translated and re-purposed Birmingham’s ‘Big City Plan’ on the web in Big City Plan Talk.

These technical developments could improve the effectiveness of policy development in consultation, but will require new skills amongst policy makers and communicators.  A plan for supporting the change needed in policy development skills should be developed by Government Skills by end 2009, with a concomitant training plan from the National School for Government.

The big city talk site saw a conversation emerge involving 274 comments.  Not sure how those comments have accounted for in the consultation report itself. The council tells us:

All attributable comments submitted to date have now been processed on our consultation database and are visible to all. As of 4 March, a total of 1,864 comments from a total of 273 contributors have been logged as follows:

Directly into the consultation portal:  719

Via e-mail:  679

Post 409

Other 57

I’m imagining big city talk would best be covered by other? What do you think?

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.