Saturday, October 31, 2009

What should government do to help hyperlocal community publishers?

Published for information and records:
"With Rachel Sterne of Ground Report I co-chaired a meeting of folk interested in hyperlocal media in the UK.  The meeting was at the Department of Culture Media and Sport at the request of Sion Simon MP the UK Culture Minister in advance of the digital britain bill.  I shall post more on the discussion when i have had time to reflect. But to make the meeting as transparent as possible here is some of the core information.
The meeting had the Twitter hashtag #cabinet and there is a Tweetdoc.  The group was informed by Rachel Sterne’s slides dissecting the hyperlocal market and Douglas McCabe’s statistics from Enders.  Three good posts have already emerged; from Hannah Waldram at Podnosh including attendees and two from Paul Bradshaw"

by William Perrin over at Talk About Local

Friday, October 23, 2009

Local Web News Manifesto

In response to discussions at Talk About Local its founder William Perrin has suggested that local community web publishers should adopt a voluntary set of standards that would signify the serious and honourable intent of those who sign up.

Will has suggested a "manifesto" that hyperlocal news publishers might like to agree to:

Local Web News 'Manifesto':

In signing up to this manifesto we agree to be:

1 - Fair
2 - Truthful
3 - Proportionate
4 - Provocative
5 - Playful
6 - Local
7 - Low cost
8 - Not boring
9 - Not evil

The disscussion is taking place right now over at Local Web News Manifesto.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Developing Online Community Voices

This is the draft outline of my social media activities during the next 12 months. It involves the further development of The Hedon Blog as a hyperlocal community website and online voice for the East Yorkshire town. I will also be promoting the case for a new project called HEY! Community Voices! which aims at supporting online communities in other neighbourhoods, villages and towns.

I would like to thank the participants at the Talk About Local "Un-conference" in Stoke for what follows, but also my seperate chats with muti-media journalist Adam Westbrook and Paul Smith from for their inspiration.

The Hedon Blog and HEY Community Voices on Scribd

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaving Hull LINk

Hello Colleagues

Firstly just to say thanks to colleagues and friends at Hull LINk, Hull CVS, and those I've met from VCS groups, council and NHS for making my 'short' stay at LINk such a pleasant one.

This is my explanation of my sudden departure from Hull LINk on Friday 16th October 2009 (and a chance to re-visit this old blog of mine!).

On Wednesday 14th October 2009 I met with my line managers during which I suggested that I was de-motivated at certain aspects of the work and I was interested in looking at employment options elsewhere (self employment actually, as anyone who knows me is aware, I'm interested in the opportunities to engage communities via using new social media).

The Deputy Chief Officer stated that he admired me for my honesty but would need to consider very carefully what I had just said.

Two days later I met with my line manager and the DCO was also present. I was informed that since I'd expressed a lack of commitment to such an important job then under the terms of the probationary period I would be given a week's notice to quit the job. I would not be required to work the notice week and was asked to return keys and leave the building straight away.

Whilst I am obviously hurt by the suddeness of it all, I do understand the reasons behind this course of action. I begrudgingly accept that I did have a lack of long-term commitment to Hull LINk and the Hull CVS. However, what I find difficult to accept as a professional is that I was asked to leave immediately and my offer to work notice was refused. I feel that this was very short-sighted. There were so many loose ends I would have tied up and handover notes I would have completed. In the event I didn't even have time to tidy my desk up properly!

I have worked in the sector as a community activist or worker all my life and I care about the implications and public perception created by our actions. Therefore I offer these observations:

Yes... the larger third sector infrastructure bodies are in a very competitive environment and hard-nosed business skills need to complement our traditional cooperative and collaborative approaches. We need to manage our projects well and perform magnificently and display staying power! However, within that process it is important that we do not lose the compassion and care for people and communities that is the hallmark of our sector.

I think I have been treated according to contractual obligations and due process.... but have we not all lost some 'heart' during that process!?

The Hull LINk will grow and develop because good foundations have been built and there is a strong Steering Group. And I will continue to work to support the CVS from the sidelines. Why? Because the ethos and principles that founded that and similar organisations are far more important than any individual gripe.

It's goodbye for now, but hopefully 'hello again' from me very soon but wearing a different hat! But in the meanwhile.... where's that Job Seeker's Allowance application form.......!