A social reporting game for community builders

Recently Drew Mackie and I ran a training workshop about social reporting with community builders at Forever Manchester, as I trailed here. In practice it was more of an exchange of ideas, insights and triggers for further exploration … which is how we hoped it would turn out. We learned a lot.

I won’t attempt a detailed description, but want to share some of the materials we used, partly because they relate to a further exploration I’ll write about in my next post. I also want to mention a couple of interesting developments we’ve seen since the workshop.

Briefly, we gave a presentation about how we saw social reporting supporting community building, with a strong focus on mapping and building networks. Slides here.

Social reporting workshop

Then we played a new variation of the Social by Social game. We invented a fictitious place to give us a context, based on Slapham, which we have used in another game.  We developed some challenges, reflected on how community builders might address them, and then used a set of cards to consider what tools might be relevant.

Social reporting game cards

I need to have a proper catch-up with Gary Loftus and the rest of the team in Manchester. However, at least two of the tools are in use. Gary Stanyard tweeted how he and the team are using the YeD network mapping software, also used by Drew, to draw both social and ideas connections. They are now avidly sharing ideas for development.

The community noticeboard n0tice.com is now in use in Great Lever.

We didn’t really know at the end of the workshop where our initial exploration would lead. Just what approaches and tools may be useful depend very much of local circumstances, and the particularly skills, equipment and disposition of the community builder. I’ve absolutely no doubt that the Manchester team will find lots of innovative applications – because of they bring such diverse experience, skills plus much enthusiasm to the work, and have great support from their organisation. They have started a blog here.

The day in Manchester was one the recent events that convinced me it is worth starting a more detailed exploration of community building, organising, enabling … networks … and how digital technology may help. That’s in the next post. Meanwhile, do drop a comment or get in touch if you are interested in a workshop.


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