Tag: Journalist

April’s Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery

March's Social Media Surgery in the Studio

After a couple of brilliant and very busy Central Birmingham Social Media Surgeries in February and March we’re looking forward to our next surgery, which is now on April 14th at thestudio, 7 Cannon Street, B2 5EP.

It’s the same night as the Birmingham Bloggers’ meetup, but that seemed to work OK last month, so we’ve opted to try doing it the same.

Members of voluntary and community groups are free to drop in between 5.30pm and 7pm. Below I’ve included a form to fill in if you’d like to come, so we can keep track of numbers and what kind of help people need.

We had to move the surgery, which had been booked for April 7, because of the Easter holidays, so sorry if you can’t make it. The next two surgeries are both at thestudio, booked for May 6 and June 8.

The surgeries are organised by volunteer members of the Birmingham Bloggers group. Surgeons work as friendly advisors giving informal one-to-one help to show you how to make the best of social media. If you’ve never been to a surgery before then it might be a good idea to look here. And, if you’re interested in finding out a little bit more about what the surgeries are and their history have a look here.

How do I get to the new venue? From New Street Station walk down the ramp out of the Pallasades, turn left onto New Street (past H&M) and Cannon Street is the first road on the right. The studios are further up on the right (opposite Jigsaw), and the restaurant is on the second floor.

Big City Plain and two nubs.

Big City Plan Talk.jpg

Many, many evenings of voluntary work went public last night with a site to complement Birmingham’s Big City Plan consultation.

www.bigcitytalk.org has been built by Jon Bounds who’s worked patiently with other Birmingham bloggers Julia Gilbert, Nicky Getgood, Michael Grimes and myself to translate council speak into clearer speak. Stef Lewandowski has also been among a number of people who’ve supported and encouraged this, not least through conversations with the council.  I don’t think it’s flawless – so please feel free to comment about the site, but more importantly please use it to comment about the big city plan before February 6th.
We want to help move beyond the traditional consultation approach of citizens or organisations making comments to government and for government. Instead we are keen to create an online place which will encourage a more public conversation about how we will shape the city centre over the next 20 years.

Fortunately it has been met with some enthusiasm from other people.

Midge describes it as “something that Joe Public could actually get involved with AND comment on”. Shona has already used it to have her say on the options for Digbeth. Mark Steadman wants people to use the site – pronto (consultation on this phase of the plan ends on February 6th), one Simon is chuffed to see the it built on free and open source software WordPress whilst another Simon is impatient to see more people commenting.

BiNS reminds us of one fundamental truth about planning for our city: “You know how big and complex Birmingham is, well it is. Very.”   Digital Birmingham reflect on this as “another example of how far ahead Birmingham is in its use of social media. Digital technologies coupled with a highly-motivated group of citizens makes for a very powerful combination.” Something I think is very true!

For me Dave Briggs gets to one nub here (I declare a situation can be double nubbed)when he asks two questions:

Readers working within local government: how could you make the most of the civic energy in your area, to work with residents to create something really worthwhile?

Everyone else: What’s going on in your local area that you could take a bit of time out to help out with, or improve?

So I’d like to add that extra nub with a third question aimed at publicly funded media like the BBC: Should you be doing this sort of stuff? If so how will you need to change your rules of engagement?

Sunday Links:

Try our new map.jpg

The National Trust creates this google map which helps people find National Trust properties and make their way there. No substantial techy shakes,  but what is most significant though is a sense of collboration here.  They tell us it’s a beta and ask for our iddeas about how to imporve it.  That attitude is good news.

The people who contribute to online communities are special – don’t lump them in with the rest of the members, urges Museum 2.0

“And so imagine if, instead of launching a community project and stating, “this is a place where anyone can contribute,” you launched and said, “Only one in a hundred people will share something here. Are you that one?” The idea that the user might be someone special, someone in the minority, is evocative and immensely appealing. If everyone can do it, why bother? If only YOU can do it, the motivation goes up.”

Andy Duncan of Channel 4 talks to Nesta about the future of digital Britain. (hat tip Dominic) He reckons:

  1. we must have universal access to broadband services.At the moment we rank fifth of the OECD countries for access, but in terms of speed we are some considerable way behind countries like Korea and Japan.   If we are to
    be a fully digital society, then every citizen must be able to participate.  Anything less would be an implicit denial of full citizenship to some.
  2. stimulate demand and here the best way forward must be a combination of public policy and private provision.when by the government’s own admission only 20% of schools have really ‘got it’ in terms of exploiting digital technology to drive next generation learning, we need to ramp up the integration of digital technologies with our formal and informal learning services.   Media literacy is as essential to a full and productive life today as basic literacy was in the world of our grandparents.
  3. My third boundary marker for Digital Britain concerns what you could call the supply side of the equation.  For example, there’s the hugely complex question of how to regulate and reward the exploitation of intellectual property in the digital world.  Children and teenagers don’t differentiate between content they access on television and what they access on the net, but our regulatory system still treat them as totally separate.  One way of dealing with this may be to learn from the advertising industry where responsible self-regulation has been a
    success, and it’s clear that, however they do it, the big internet service providers need to take more responsibility for the services they carry.  I’m not pretending it’s easy.  If ever an issue belonged in the ‘difficult box’ for parliament and for society at large, this is it.  But we can no longer dodge it.

MySociety reckons we have 6 days to prevent MP’s burying the details of their expenses.  Click here to see how you can act: “NB. mySociety is strictly non-partisan, by mission and by ethics. However, when it looks like Parliament is about to take a huge step in the wrong direction on transparency, we’ve no problem at all with stepping up when changes happen that threaten both the public interest and the ongoing value of sites like  TheyWorkForYou and WhatDoTheyKnow.”

Seth Godin and Charlie Beckett get clever about journalism

Seth Godin reckons that

“Newspapers took two cents of journalism and wrapped in ninety-eight cents of overhead and distraction,” and that “if we really care about the investigation and the analysis, we’ll pay for it one way or another. Maybe it’s a public good, a non profit function. Maybe a philanthropist puts up money for prizes. Maybe the Woodward and Bernstein of 2017 make so much money from breaking a story that it leads to a whole new generation of journalists.”.

He is very, very right. (hat tip Ed Moore)

Interesting read from Charlie Beckett from a seminar at my old University, Sussex.

“Any media, be it small scale community projects or a more mass news media organisation, will always be more sustainable and relevant if public participation is built in to all aspects of production and consumption. This all feels part of my vision of future media as more Networked.”