LocalGovCamp – Community Activists – Busy Body DoGooders

Very interesting session from Will Perrin, discussing community activisim. Here’s my notes:

  • Using bogs and social media to report issues to council. Empowering the community.
  • Community activism goes on whether councils like it or not.
  • Can significantly help and improve community; organise events, improve facilities, join community.
  • Government written editorial bad; one sided. Community driven sites repurpose council content to be more readable.
  • Friendlier face for community
  • Elected members get involved; council officers not interested
  • Starting to get recognition; site mentioned in Guardian and Digita Britain
  • Funded enterprise to educate communities across country to be able to engage and work with councils – looking for paid volunteers.
  • How can work be done to connect these sites to the “Community Activist” sites? Talk to local councils, “watch the customer”, councils should look at channels and address where appropriate. Practices need to change.
  • Ensure partnership working? Don’t just deliver the service and then assume buy in?
  • How do you stop nasty comments, local nutters? Just monitor and delete; be vigilant.
  • Is it activism or desparation?
  • Hyperocal Alliance
  • Is there a danger for misinterpretation, one sided discussion with “activist” websites?
  • Activism alliance. Perhaps there should be a centralised site to bring all these different activist sites together? Pull together disparate groups who may have the same views? What about groups with differing views? Alliance with LA’s?
  • Does the concept of “activism” deter the target audience.
  • Good for remote rural areas; simple free tech; WordPress.
  • Should work alongside traditional face-to-face methods; some people do not like doing things online.
  • Good way to get message across quickly, bypassing media. However, is the openness a mistake? With media there is a “safety net” for providing accurate information? Should be good relationship with media.
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