Local by Social Midlands and neighbourhood blogs

John Samuels had a good day on Saturday. Not only did he become a grandfather (again) he became a blogger for the first time. We ran a social media surgery as part of the first Local by Social event – the Midlands one. (Local by Social is a Futuregov and IDeA programme to get local government using the web in neighbourhoods)

John set up  http://unityactionforum.wordpress.com/ to help give his group a voice.

We seek to represent black and ethic interests in the WEHM – the Wood End, Hanley Green and Manor Farm neighbourhood in North East Coventry.

Whilst another group produced  http://deedmore.blogspot.com/

“..a small residents group wanting share information about what’s happening. up to date news and gossip”

Sadly I have a favourite.  

henleygreenresidents.wordpress.com was set up by a couple of people with the opening blog post:

Henley Green’s Charity Psychic night for Help for Heroes.

All are based in the former North East Coventry NDC area – which is now served by a social eneterpride thre Moathouse Community Trust.  The passion of the people we worked with is what always draws me to working directly in neighbourhoods with active citizens.

For example, we have been working Tracey Thorne,  the neighbourhood manager in Handsworth, to help her blog about her neighbourhood.  We built this site for her and gave her training and support. In less than a year she’s posted more than 100 posts and there have been nearly 70 comments.  Tracey’s site has been visited by nearly 5000 different people this year, with them looking at around 32,000 pages.  Two thirds of those visits are from the Uk – and of those more than half are people in Birmingham.

This is testament net to Tracey’s determination make her site work ann to the benefits of thinking long term – Sites like hers are a journery – sometimes you can do that on your onw – sometiems you need the support and encouragement of others.

We have also run a short series of 4 social media surgeries with Tracey.  The outcome of that has been

plus a couple more that are coming on soon.  As Tracey puts it:

I really wish them luck with these blogs and encourage them to blog as much as they can about Handsworth…the more we all blog about it the more we raise the profile and allow the rest of the world to see the wonderful spirit of people in Handsworth

Keep these sites going will take commitment and I suspect some extra support.  But I love helping people head down this path. If you think we can help get your community groups online then contact us.