Loomio looks like a neat tool for groups to discuss a topic and to come to decisions. Often online discussions just go nowhere and don’t result in specific actions. Maybe this is a solution to that problem?
Not one of my more informative posts, this one, more a cry for help.
I’ve been approached by a couple of councillors to develop a website for them, and I’m interested to know what sort of features would be required for such a site to be considered best of breed.
- Blog style layout
- Events/meeting listings
- Local maps
- Easy methods of contact
- Feedback through comments, etc
None of these seem particularly exciting to me! Anyone got anything really good that ought to be included – or great examples of Councillor websites?
I wrote a thing for the Guardian’s Public Leaders’ Network:
The explosion in online innovation throughout public services is seeing more and more activity taking place on the net, whether via interactive websites, or mobile applications. Networks such as Twitter and Facebook provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and problem solving on a scale unimaginable previously – and those in senior positions have to be a part of this conversation.
When I’m talking at events or to meetings of people within an organisation about the benefits of moving communications and engagement activity online, I often have someone put their hands up and say:
I totally get what you are saying, Dave, but the problem is that we can’t move all this stuff online, because not everyone has access to the web.
Which of course is true, and something I experience more and more these days, living in a rural area myself.
There are two responses I usually give here. One is the most obvious and slightly boring, which is that online engagement is an as-well-as, and not an instead-of. Keep doing the offline stuff for the offline people!
I might also ask at this point, however, ‘what are you doing to fix this?’. In other words, if a large number of people in an area haven’t the access or the skills to use the internet – what are local public services doing to get this fixed?
The second response is the title of this post. Just as not everyone is accessible online, the reverse is also true – but few people seem to consider that!
Take me as an example. I don’t have time to go to meetings. I’d rather read a book than a council leaflet when I’m sat on the loo. I have an aversion to surveys or questionnaires.
I know lots of people like me. It’s not that we don’t care, or that we’re lazy. Our lives just don’t really have any room for some of these traditional mediums. I guess we’re into micro-participation territory again.
So people who are concerned about excluding those who don’t have online access might also want to think about how the way they do things now excludes people who find offline a turn off.
I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.
- Five (grim) predictions for 2011 – Ingrid expresses a few concerns. Let's work to make sure this stuff doesn't happen!
- What Localism might mean for local gov web managers by Michele Ide-Smith – Great stuff as always from Michele. A must read for folk interested in web and local gov.
- Teach Parents Tech – Lovely: "This site was built by a few folks at Google to help keep tech support a family business."
- Barrier Busting – DCLG crowdsourcing blockages to local action with a WordPress based site. Via @simond
- Tax protest turns Vodafone’s smile upside down – This is what happens when you use social media when everyone hates you.
- Let Us Pay – One of the best summaries of the woes of the newspaper business I have come across.
- Social media and the future of the public sector – Great notes on social tech for internal use from @jiiiii
- Wikileaks FAQ – Useful resource on the issues raised by Wikileaks.
- 13 measures of success for government digital teams – Good stuff on evaluation of online activity from Stephen Hale
- expertnet – "The United States General Services Administration (GSA) and the White House Open Government Initiative are soliciting your feedback on a concept for next generation citizen consultation, namely a government-wide software tool and process to elicit expert public participation"
You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.