On Saturday I popped up to Handsworth for a community consultation event.
John Heaven, a council officer, was there live blogging with this wordpress site that he created literally as the event started. John and I also tweeted the event (using different tags – doh) and you can find the streams for the event here and for Handsworth in general here.
If you’re not sure what a hashtag is there is a complicated explication on wikipedia here or put simply its a label than any of us can use on twitter to mark that we are talking about the same subject. When used in a search of twitter the tag then brings together every thing everyone has said about that subject.
It also helps those not in the room watch and join the conversation. So as we twittered about Handsworth from a meeting room in the neighbourhood, observations were added from other parts of the city or country by David Nikkel, Leonardo Morgado, Andy Mabbett, Cyberdoyle and Carrie Bishop.
Carrie even pointed to a new service she has helped create to allow the public to reflect their opinions of police service called MyPolice.org.
So not only has social media been used to creatd a simple and immediate record of the meeting but it has also brought new attention to what is going on and the potential of fresh ideas, input and questioning.
Non of this was planned – John and I just got on with it because we could.
Why was I there? I want to meet some people who could help me set up a very local social media surgery for the area. More on that soon.
I also posted this over at Be Vocal.