Tag: Big Society Network

What would you show from Birmingham to demonstrate how the web can do local better than local tv?

Earlier this month Will Perrin wrote a blog post setting out why Local TV  probably won’t work and, more importantly, doesn’t need to. He was responding to the government’s announcement of plans to encourage the development of up to 20 new Local TV stations by 2015.

He echoed a huge number of my thoughts on linear media, transmitters/printing presses and local-ness.  Will  challenged the government’s concentration on Local TV with a series of statements (for Will’s expansion on these visit his blog post here.):

  • Why use television as a medium of transmission at all?
  • TV is not local
  • For small audience local TV there is no need to regulate news in the traditional way.
  • The footprint for any of the 80-odd transmitters is orders of magnitude too large for a real big society impact.
  • If you start with the internet, instead of TV low cost public service models are apparent.
  • Of the hundreds of good local websites in the UK very few regularly use video to tell stories.
  • Public service news done in the traditional British broadcast way is too expensive for local TV

There are a number of other thoughts I could add: Read more

Government Reservists 2 – an idea for the Big Society?

I’m on a train to London for the launch of the Big Society Network  and pondering.  This week Nat Wei described the Network  as having a

…mission to be – in partnership with government, business, and the voluntary sector – an action-orientated remover of barriers to mass civic engagement where people live – enabling the change we want to be.

He also wants what The Guardian described as

an army of community organisers that will become the “catalyst” for communities to band together and challenge the apparently arbitrary decisions made about public services in their name. “I want them to be the glue bringing community together. They will be financially independent of government. They will be able to have different views from government. There can be healthy debate and this can build social capital. [Organisers] I hope will end up as trusted as the local GP,”


In 2008 I wrote a post musing about the idea of a sort of Territorial Army for government. I was thinking about the implications of a growing band of self organising citizens Read more