The Talk About Local unconference in Birmingham yesterday was a highly sociable and enjoyable chance to catch up on the development of hyperlocal blogs and online communities … and also gather some insights for Socialreporters’ new exploration into community enabling and digital tech.
Here are the video interviews that I shot. I’ve summarised below, with links to each interview. The playlist is here.
In thinking about the new exploration, I was particularly interested in Sean Brady’s description of how he became a network weaver after being a parish councillor (referencing Tessy Britton and Eileen Conn along the way), and Lorna Prescott’s conviction that people working in local communities can start using digital tools easily with some support. Nick Booth and Dave Briggs provide some tips on how to do that.
Annette Albert provides an honest assessment of what it means for a non tech person to run a local online community – an enormous achievement on her part, with 1200 members. Vicky Sargent and Steve Brett emphasise the need to blend online and face-to-face activity to engage people in neighbourhood plans.
The online community notice board n0tice.com got a lot of mentions as a way to curate information about events, online activity and wants and offers. I can see that becoming even more popular. Franzi Bahrle is taking an interesting approach with VisualBrum.
On the wider front, I was particularly interested to hear from Will Perrin and Alex Delaney that TAL and Media Trust will be collaborating in future. Maybe there’s scope for a tie-in with People’s Voice Media, whose Institute of Community Reporters I wrote about recently. Philip John and Simon Perry talked about the Hyperlocal Alliance, and Dave Briggs has invited everyone to join in developing the Hyperlocal Handbook.
Here’s the interviews
- Will Perrin talks about the changes he has seen on the hyperlocal scene since he founded Talk About Local three years ago, and updates on TAL development.
- Sean Brady, formerly a Parish Councillor, who now runs Formby First, describes how he became a network weaver in his community, joining up people in different organisations.
- Sarah Hartley, TAL managing director, and Community Strategist at Guardian Media Group, explains the n0tice.com online community notice board, which she helped develop.
- Annette Albert reflects on 2 years running the W14 and SW6 online community in London.
- Philip John and Simon Perry talk to me about the session on the Hyperlocal Alliance for those running local sites.
- Vicky Sargent, and Steve Brett from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, ran a session about engaging people in the development of neighbourhood plans .
- Mike Rawlins talked about the value of geotagging content.
- Nick Booth and Dave Briggs chat about social media surgeries and other ways to help people learn about the online world.
- Lorna Prescott desribes how she and the groups she works with in Dudley will explore how to use n0tice.com and other tools.
- Simon Gray on how online sociability continues (Simon has been online since 1986) even if the people and platforms change.
- Will Perrin and Alex Delaney of the Media Trust Newsnet project explain future collaboration.
- Franzi Bahrle explains why she set up VisualBrum using the online community notice board n0tice.com.
The first Talk About Local unconference was in Stoke on Trent in 2009, as I reported here, and where I shot these interviews.