Introducing social media surgeries – notes from Hyperlocal Govcamp West Midlands

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Last Wednesday I spent a great afternoon at Hyperlocal Govcamp West Midlands, an event in Walsall bringing together a mix of local government officials, hyperlocal bloggers and people interested in open data.

I ran a session introducing social media surgeries for voluntary and community groups, looking at how surgeries can help active citizens tell stories and collaborate online.

The session was slanted towards encouraging people to run their own surgeries and to make use of to promote, manage and evaluate events.

With IT hiccups at the venue, I wasn’t able to show slides or demonstrate the webite so, with Nick’s help, I busked through on the hoof. As it happened, this worked out quite nicely with plenty of discussion.

Here are the slides I had up my sleeve.

One of the ideas we talked about was community groups telling their stories through their own websites specific to a local area or subject, such as health, unemployment or local news.

This continued into a chat with Jason Antoniewicz, a social media student at Birmingham City University. In relation to the surgeries, Jason asked Nick Booth how to avoid the same old story of neglected people not being heard, for example the unemployed or mentally ill:

Jason also asked me what advantages community-based websites have over websites managed by bureaucracies.

You can read more about the Hyperlocal Govcamp day in Paul Bradshaw’s post: ‘Making it findable’ – the creed of the hyperlocal blogger.

Photo credit: Hyperlocal Govcamp West Midlands by Jason Antoniewicz

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