Tag Archives: digital mentors

Will Perrin goes local

I expect some serious action to promote and support local volunteer-run websites now that Will Perrin has left his job in the Cabinet Office to work on the Talk About Local project. This aims to train activists in 150 locations across the country, with funding from the Channel 4 4IP fund. Meanwhile, still no details of how the Media Trust plans to develop the Government-funded digital mentor programme. More here on Local, and on Digital Mentors.

Media Trust wins digital mentor bid

Over on the digitalmentor blog Dave Briggs breaks the news that the contract for the Government’s £900,000 Digital Mentor programme has gone to the Media Trust.
I’m personally disappointed it didn’t go to the Voicebox consortium who – as I wrote here – went to great efforts to run an open process to involve as many people as possible with expertise in the field in developing their bid … but then I don’t know what the Media Trust proposed.
The Trust has a great track record of working with mainstream media to bring professional expertise to nonprofits, and last year had an Improving Reach programme “to provide free communications support for small volunteer organisations working with Black and Minority Ethnic, Migrant and or Refugee, Isolated Rural and Faith groups”.
They have an “Engaging Hard-to-Reach Communities” conference next week, with a panel chaired by Esther Rantzen CBE. read more »

Steve Snow's inpiration for digital mentors: Just Do It

The sad and untimely death of US community networking pioneer Steve Snow, just as we are getting excited about a network of digital mentors and in the UK, led me to revisit earlier enthusiasms for the potential of the Net.
Steve was a former journalist who in 1994 set up Charlotte’s Web in North Carolina, as one of the earliest examples of a network aimed at serving those who didn’t have access to the still-young Internet. He wasn’t a techie – as you can read in this article – but he did see the great social and educational developments that local and global connections could offer. read more »

Open, Closed and slightly Dissident approaches to digital mentor bid

The Government’s £900,000 plans to support digital mentors in disadvantaged communities has produced at least three different responses and approaches.

These range from standard “closed” competitive bidding, through to an open collaborative process driven by UK online centres, which I wrote about earlier. Then there’s a bit of dissident muttering that maybe this way of funding development isn’t such a good idea anyway, which I’ll come to in a moment. read more »

Another open bid to government shapes up

After promoting some very helpful discussion about the idea of local digital mentors – included in the recent Communities in Control White Paper – Dave Briggs is now doing something to help develop a network of people who might play that role:

To pick up on the thread of Digital Mentors – the role outlined by CLG to help disadvantaged communities find a voice online – I have started a new site along with a growing bunch of collaborators to develop the role online, gather stories and resources together and maybe to unorganise a tender bid when the funding for the pilot projects becomes available.

I’d encourage anyone interested to get involved: check out the blog, sign up to the mailing list and throw some stuff up on the wiki.

read more »