Local government knowledge hub – much more interesting than it sounds

Yesterday I went along to a meeting that, on the face of it, was about how UK local government and public agencies might share knowledge in future. Limited interest? No, because it generated a discussion touching on how far all citizens might have access to much “official” information; the impact this could have on local democracy and traditional participation; and the role of social reporters in telling (helpful) stories across sectors.

The event was a meeting of the IDeA Knowledge Hub Advisory Group – a project that I’ve written about before with enthusiasm – led by Ingrid Koehler and Steve Dale

I shot some video, and last night the traditional reporter in me thought: get blogging, get your video up there. Then the social reporter took over, and when I saw Ingrid tweet that she was just finishing a blog post, I tweeted back the link to my video in YouTube, which Ingrid then embedded in her post with fulsome tribute. Ta!

Carl Haggerty made some really interesting contributions  to the discussion, so I was hopeful he would blog about it, and he has. Steve Dale has said he will follow up later.

So I’m holding back a bit, in the hope that Dave Briggs may add to his earlier thoughts and Carrie Bishop will expand at Futuregov. I’m thinking: mainstream reporter – be first, be exclusive. Social reporter – be a thoughtful second or third, and distributed.

Meanwhile the links above will get you to the slides Ingrid and Steve presented, my video, and some really helpful perspectives on the event. Find more through Friendfeed.¬† I’ll be thinking through some expanded/additional storylines to post about a bit later, including:

  • If the knowledge hub is – as discussed – partly open to the public, using conversational, story-telling social media, how far will local government officers be comfortable in that environment?
  • Will the hub conversations be mined by journalists looking for negative stories … thereby making it riskier for council staff to contribute? But if there’s nothing about what doesn’t work, how useful will it be?
  • Could councillors play a bigger part, being prepared to take the heat of any dissent/bad news, and use the hub to engage more fully with local and national interests?
  • What could all this do to help fertilise the local digital garden (or knowledge ecosystem to give it a proper description) that I wrote about here?
  • Does this provide lots of job opportunities for social reporters, as I first envisaged here? (Certainly hope so:-)

Ingrid and, I hope, Steve and Dave, are coming to our local communities workshop on Monday, and that should give us a chance to follow these and other lines of enquiry.


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  • September 21, 2009 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    David – sorry I couldn’t get to the local communities workshop today. Had a Khub technology procurement meeting which had to take priority. I asked Ingrid to feed back any relevant info. Will see her tomorrow (Tuesday).



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