Official Google Enterprise Blog: Why the City of Los Angeles chose Google – "Google Apps will save the city of Los Angeles millions of dollars by allowing us to shift resources currently dedicated to email to other purposes. For example, moving to Google will free up nearly 100 servers that were used for our existing email system, which will lower our electricity bills by almost $750,000 over five years. In short, this decision helps us to get the most out of the city's IT budget." via @davebriggs
Christmas Fun at Stanhope Hall Highgate « Highgate,Digbeth and St Andrews – Andy Sheppard, neighbourhod manager, shows that praise is a key quality to deploy in blogging a community: "Father Christmas made a special visit to Stanhope Hall and presented all the children with an early Christmas Present. Special thanks for both events are due to Monica Lee Community Worker and the ladies of Stanhope Hall Womens Group who worked incredibly hard to ensure the success of both events. Special thanks are also due to Eddie Howard and Highgate Housing Liaison Board for their support for both events."
Hyperlocal news: profits a long way off | Media | guardian.co.uk – "2010 will not be the year of hyperlocal—these are the foothills, the beginnings of localised online publishing. But the signs are auspicious: increasing levels of online literacy and broadband connections mixed with more inevitable local newspaper closures mean it's natural that readers—and advertisers—will shift to new outlets. Whether anyone will be making a real living from it—as a mainstream publisher or a start-up—seems unlikely in the near future… " via @daveharte
Together we are LOUDER – Louder.org.uk will be the new online home for campaigners across England. The site combines a cutting-edge social networking platform, established multimedia toolkits and a hub for online advocacy resources
Power in People’s Hands: Learning from the World’s Best Public Services – Bit late but thanks to Dave Harte: “This report presents the findings of a Strategy Unit study of leading edge innovations in world-wide public services, which involved interviewing 50 academics, public servants and other experts from around the world. The report highlights more than 30 case studies from 15 countries. It emphasises that innovation and productivity come from forging stronger relationships with citizens and finds the most successful services have five distinguishing characteristics:”
If you look at the top of this page you’ll see a new set of pages called Social Media Help. They are an extension of some work we have been doing for Groundwork UK on the Big LotteryCommunity Spaces fund..
With tight resources we wanted to provide some simple guidance for any community groups who use social media as they apply for or perhaps spend the Community Spaces fund dosh. My favourite of all is this wonderful blog post from the Friends of Abbey Gardens, but other groups are at it, including Macclesfields Skate Park group, Fairland Park, and some consistent blogging from Roy at Meols Park.
The help section is available on their site and here. It will also be useful for the facilitators who help groups with contracts etc. there are 50 of them and we neither had the time or the desire to try and show all 50 how to blog etc. For those do want to encourage local groups to use social media it’s a starting point.
The help section is available on this site and here and the end result is:
We’ve compiled some practical articles and videos to help you get the most out of using social media to tell your story. You can go through them one at a time, or dip in and out. Each section has a search facility to help you get to useful nuggets of information from trusted help and support sites.
It deliberatley only covers a few services because we dont want to clutter things up for beginers. Thanks very much to Paul Henderson for pulling this together. Feel free to use it for social media surgeries and the like.
It’s been quite an eye-opener meeting Marlon Parker. He’s visiting the UK from Cape town in South Africa and has come over here to share some of his work at the charity Impact Direct. He was here with Jon Hickman.
Below is a quick interview with him, where he explains how he began using social media to help gang members and drug addicts tell their stories, initially as a means of educating the wider community about what to expect.
On the face of it this is very similar to the social media surgeries we run here in brum, but just bolder. More like the work that wesharestuff does with young people who’ve recently been in prison.
But Reconstructed (Marlon’s original project name) blossomed from simply helping a few people to a network of people who are using mobile phones and instant messaging to mentor individual and families with a huge range of problems – from drugs addiction to HIV/Aids. Here’s a scrappy bit of video of Marlon showing Chris Unitt how the mobile phone stuff works, using an application put together by the original groups of social media trainees. It’s interesting:
The whole project is built on the some of the core principles that makes social media more than a means of connecting online, but as a means to gain or regain control:
Just get on with. Marlon doesn’t wait for funders to OK something, he gets on with it and hopes the world will catch up.
Concentrate on the useful. When encouraging people to use social media find something that’s useful for them
Get people teaching as much as they learn: the beauty of social media is it’s simplicity. It’s good to get those you are teaching to teach others, that strengthens the network and relationships.
Don’t wait for the kit, use available technology. Instant messaging and mobile phones work in South Africa because that’s what the people Marlon want to reach have.
In the end none of the work that Marlon does, we do or loads of the rest of you do with social media is to do with specific tools or bits of technology. It is essentially about helping people get to know each other well enough to be able to achive things together. To do that it pays to use whatever it takes to connect folk.
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