Social media in Local Government a few examples - and ways ahead

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This is an incomplete presentation - there are more examples that we know about, but just haven't put in yet. Feel free to drop some in the comments though.

This is an incomplete presentation - there are more examples that we know about, but just haven't put in yet. Feel free to drop some in the comments though.

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  • 1. Local government 2.0 Current practice and development opportunities
  • 2. Councils and councillors using social media now
    • This map created by Liz Azyan represents councils using social media. Some may be single instances of a twitter feed by a councillor. Others are more well developed.
    http://tinyurl.com/nj67j8 - last update 1 March 2009
  • 3. Authorities testing the water Awarded beacon status for digital inclusion for use of technology to support regeneration – eg interactive CCTV in all high-rise blocks, free broadband to disadvantaged families there Solihull Interactive website for sharing information during LGR transition Bedfordshire authorities Awarded beacon status for digital inclusion for providing ‘broad range of platforms for people to learn about and access services’ Staffordshire Moorlands
    • Experimented with podcasting and social networking; conducted research (May 08) on authorities’ plans for using social media (see ppt here )
    • Simon Wakeman
    Medway Awarded beacon status for digital inclusion for connecting ‘technology, community engagement, empowerment and capacity building’: empowerment activities eg e-neighbourhood programme, Telecare services Sunderland
    • Long established MKWeb site acts as portal for community activity, with range of channels including a standard council website
    Milton Keynes
    • Experimenting with social media to start dialogue with citizens – tailored website whereilive.org , working on online collaboration
    • Emer Coleman, Dominic Campbell
    Barnet Harringay Online – Hugh Louche – community blog Haringey Lily Oldham Redbridge Carl Haggerty , Enterprise Architect Devon
    • Employ an Innovation team, including Noel Hatch
    • In 2008 they held a conference in Second Life, a ‘virtual world’ in which users interact through avatars
    • Pioneering use of telehealth and telecare
    • Sophia Parker re feedback and consultation
    Kent 2.0 website – links to other services Nottingham City
    • Stratford website links to social networks, Twitter and Flickr
    • SDC awarded beacon status for digital inclusion for Virtual District project tackling rural isolation and deprivation
    Stratford
  • 4. Existing practice
    • Things that councils, public sector agencies and local VSO are doing now in the UK
  • 5. Democratic engagement
    • In the face of low voter turnout, Socitm reported that County Councils saw their web traffic double last Friday and Saturday thanks to their provision of a sophisticated online election results service coupled with use of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds and email alerts. (12 June 2009)
    • http://elections.derbyshire.gov.uk/
  • 6. Enhanced communications, greater transparency
    • Northamptonshire County Council CEX used YouTube to brief staff on internal changes, but open to anyone - increasing transparency
  • 7. Virtual worlds for planning
    • Birmingham are building a new library in the city. It is likely that we will build that first in second life (in fact we’ve just begun to do that highlighting the development area on a 3D visualisation on the Birmingham Island is Second Life) so that citizens and interested groups can help shape the physical building by suggesting changes or better ways to organise resources within it.
    • Birmingham is also building a new park in the city centre and the planners think second life, and in particular the way we have used Google Maps within it, is a useful tool to examine the planning options for the park. So you can put the park in situ long before the first sod of turf is laid.
    • (Dave Harte, Birmingham)
  • 8. Engaging youth
    • Wiltshire County council and sparksite.co.uk with youth activities and user generated content
  • 9. Campaign and event promotion through social networking
    • A number of councils have used Facebook successfully for event promotion. Some councils have Facebook fan pages. Could use targeted, paid for advertising using Facebook’s customer insight.
  • 10. Aggregated Web2.0 output
    • Hillingdon’s Use of Friendfeed means it’s easy to see Twitter, Flickr (photo), and YouTube video outputs
  • 11. Community conversation
    • Simply opening comments to council news published online is a way of promoting conversation between citizen and government (Lichfield DC, Stratford DC, Kirklees)
  • 12. Community images
    • Stratford-on-Avon District Council has built a web2.0 powered image library of council images and photos taken by local people and visitors
    • http://www.stratford.gov.uk/flickr/
  • 13. Youth engagement in positive activities
    • Stockport provides automated feeds of places to go and things to do for 13 to 19 year olds which can be received in a number of ways
  • 14. Council service blogs: libraries
    • Manchester libraries blog including a catalogue search function and podcasts
    • http://manchesterlitlist.blogspot.com/
  • 15. Councillor blogging
    • Mike Freer, Leader of Barnet council uses his blog to communicate with local residents. Content from area meetings is shared so the conversation can continue online
  • 16. Regulatory services
    • Councils in Staffordshire are taking “scores on the door” online with user feedback, directions and more
    • www.ratemyplace.org.uk
  • 17. Practice possibilities
    • Government examples from elsewhere
    • Emerging practice, VSO, social entrepreneurial activities that could be built on by councils
    • Ideas and possibilities?
  • 18. Social networking for positive employment
    • Social start-up to support graduate new-entrants as they face the toughest labour market in over a decade. Similar model for worklessness/NEETs
  • 19. Mapping
    • Localised mapping of council and community services, crime, etc.
    • Local Authority Mapping Collective is a group of gov.uk practitioners starting to share practice and advice
  • 20. Interactive, “crowd sourced” gov websites
    • Utah’s state
    • government site
    • combines, blogs,
    • Twitter feeds and
    • personalised
    • views for citizens on a
    • wiki based CMS
    • www.utah.gov
  • 21. Encouraging Councillor engagement
    • Tweety Hall - a national index of Tweeting councillors (further development required to help citizens contact councillors not on Twitter)
    • www.tweetyhall.com
    • http://cllrtweeps.com/ is another site which indexes councillor Twitter usage
  • 22. Encouraging Councillor engagement
    • Civic Surf is a blog-coaching programme for councillors - similar coaching and mentoring programmes could be developed or enhanced
    • (for officers, too!)
    • http://civicsurf.org.uk/
  • 23. Local Listening Post
    • A number of councils have been developing tools which allow them to follow local conversations on social media. This enables them to identify where there are complaints, great ideas, a well-spring of volunteerism or perhaps a major service gap. An open example is:
    • http://www.pageflakes.com/kirkleescouncil/26314887/
    • It’s been suggested that this tool needs developing further to be able to roll-out to more councils, saving resources in individual development and allowing take-up where there isn’t the capacity to develop the tools in a bespoke manner.
  • 24. Enhanced media and access to archives
    • In January 2008, the Library of Congress began an initiative to publicly share over 3,000 photos in its collection through Flickr in an effort to enrich the collection with public identifications and descriptions. The Library of Congress has also invited other cultural heritage institutions to join in making photo collections more accessible. Nine months after its inception, the initiative's Flickr page has logged over 10 million total views and averages 500,000 views per month. (Source: Flickr)
    • A number of councils are already using Flickr to share local images.
    • www.flickr.com
  • 25. Social marketing via social media
    • Social marketing for behaviour change can benefit from easy to pass on, inexpensive or user produced viral campaign content.
    • NHS Leicester City and teen pregnancy partnership produced a video with over 500k YouTube views
  • 26. Social media and CRM interoperability
    • CRM and IT Managers complain bitterly about the cost of pulling in information from third party social media complaints sites like FixMyStreet.com. We need focused technical research on how to overcome this problem and to raise awareness among IT and CRM managers to ensure that third-party CRM providers are delivering solutions which can handle input from third party sites.
  • 27. Geo-spatial customer insight
    • Andrew Hudson-Smith of UCL has developed a number of geo-spatial tools, including a mood mapper which involves a mash-up of online maps and user feedback. This has been used by the BBC on to map how people are affected by the credit crunch and could easily be developed for local authorities to use supported by social media and traditional communications approaches.
  • 28. Secure cross-agency information sharing and relationship building
    • Exchange of data, tacit knowledge and qualitative feedback at all levels of partnership is needed for success in delivering outcomes. Too often, there are significant barriers to data information and exchange. Intra-organisational and cross-organisational use of social networks for knowledge sharing and relationship building could help bridge the gap. This could be developed as an action learning set through a number of pilot partnerships. Costs will be from training, support and evaluation as tools will be free. Timescales may lengthy to allow practice to embed, but develops a social aspect to total place.
    • Some practitioners are already working in this area (Tim Davies is working with Children’s Safeguarding Board in Brent to share best practice on digital safeguarding. LGIU and Dominic Campbell of FutureGov are looking at social media for better information sharing practices in traditional children’s safeguarding roles.)
  • 29. Community interactive maps
    • Interactive map with transport and community information based partly on user generated information
    • (this is an independent project)
  • 30. SMS community conversation
    • " to strengthen local democracy by building an effective, inclusive tool kit for proactive engagement between councillors and citizens on a street by street level, creating an intuitively navigable portrait of every street in a ward from a combination of:
    • citizens' accounts (recorded using everyday mobile technology (SMS) to counter digital exclusion, both economic and cultural);
    • filtered local and national government data feeds;
    • commentary from officers and partner agencies (for example the police) that have a "duty to co-operate" in Local Strategic Partnerships ;
    • and making these portraits available in support of councillors as neighbourhood champions, and, when necessary, as evidence to support ‘councillor call for action’ (CCfA) in collaboration with citizens to address local issues and improve services. "
    • (Idea developed in conversation between and Ingrid Koehler, IDeA and Andrew Wilson of www.blinkmedia.org which has developed www.thumbprintcity.com which is ready to take street level SMS feedback in Manchester and London and used it to develop art and community engagement projects)
    Photo credit Ken Banks, kiwanja.net
  • 31. They work for you (for local government)
    • They Work For You is a MySociety project which allows citizens to find, monitor and message their MP
    • LGA, IDeA and Leadership Centre sponsored the development of Tweety Hall, but this service could be developed further to identify the social media activity of councillors and provide a contact point for serving councillors. It could provide an aggregator of councillor blogs, rolling Tweet stream and more.
  • 32. Economic development campaigns
    • Minneapolis Saint Paul (a US equivalent to a city-region) economic development campaign supported by local businesses and the area’s city councils. Incorporates local voices through aggregators
    • http://www.mspmoretolife.com/
  • 33. Social media offline: video
    • Rotherham’s Home Truths and Barnet’s work with ThinkPublic used Social media approaches to gain valuable customer insight through the use of video and diaries kept by service users. These videos were used to demonstrate what it was like to be a “customer” of the council in a powerful and concise way.
    • Friend or foe was a video project developed by Genesis (a social housing provider) which used victims of “befriending fraud” to develop a video to help others avoid the same trap. The output was a 26 minute DVD for those without broadband access at home and is also downloadable. (Source: Social by Social)
    Photo credit: Erik Hersman on Flickr
  • 34. Strategic Support
    • Potential ideas for strategic support for the sector
    • Developing skills for the sector
    • Capturing and sharing good and emerging practice
    • Encouraging and scaling up innovation
  • 35. Guidance
    • Clear, concise and accessible guidance which outlines the potential benefits of social media for local government and how to use it for a number of different audiences For example:
        • Social media for councillors
        • Social media for council communications teams
        • Using social media for customer insight and performance improvement
        • Social media to support local democracy and community engagement.
        • Social media for social marketing (e.g. behavioural change, important for partnership outcomes).
    • Tailoring existing guidance, developing new guidance in the gaps
  • 36. Social marketing and communications toolkit
    • Allied closely to any guidance or training, this would be a hands-on kit of free to use tools which would support councils in adding social media to their existing approaches to consultation or social marketing (important for behaviour change and delivering better outcomes).
    • (nb - Social by Social a forthcoming publication targeted at voluntary organisations)
  • 37. Free the data
    • The Cabinet Office Digital Engagement Director is looking at ways to make public information more accessible to other public services and the public.
    • Developers can make use of this data and create new functionality for the public (e.g. Show us a better way).
    • Local government can benefit from greater access to central government information
    • Local government and public sector partners hold vast information which would be useful to local people and developers
  • 38. Facilitated community blogging
    • Strong communities of bloggers have been built through deliberate facilitation. In the US, a number of newspapers and television stations have created local blog aggregators and hired a professional to sift through and highlight content of interest to local people. And this also provides them with tips on potential stories of wider interest.
    • A similar approach could be used for local communities in the UK.
    • A similar approach could be used for the community of blogging councillors or officers to highlight interesting practice in improvement or community engagement.
  • 39. Social media marketplace
    • Using existing social media tools to develop an online toolkit and product marketplace for local government. This would create a space for free, packaged and bespoke products to be showcased to local government audiences – and provide a space for feedback on their use.
    • (Facility to do this may be being built through IDeA/ Capital Ambition Efficiency Hub)
    Photo credit: Faeryboots on Flickr
  • 40. Community of Practice development
    • Develop and promote existing Communities of Practice for local government practitioners looking to network and enhance skills, with dedicated facilitation and live events
    • Participate and encourage collaboration with pro-social communities of practice, including local government innovators, which network through Twitter and other social sites and events
  • 41. Online campaigns: Raise the profile, encourage participation
    • Develop and support national online campaigns to help councils make use of simple social media tools
    • www.mashthestate.org.uk
  • 42. Training
    • As well as awareness raising, there’s a need to develop the skills to use social media effectively. This is less about the technical skills, but training about how to use social media effectively in local government – e.g. planning social media campaigns, effective use of local intelligence and understanding the appropriate use of different tools, including writing for and interacting with existing online audiences
    • A taster course targeted at local government has already been developed, but additional courses could be run at a subsidised rate.
    • There could usefully be some limited technical training for local authority personnel who wish to use social media to communicate with customers but may not have developed the rudimentary technical skills required.
    • There may also be a need for technical practitioners (i.e. web managers) to develop their skills in integrating social media with traditional web management. We would need to work with SoCITM to assess and address any skills gaps.
    Photo credit: DavePress
  • 43. Road shows
    • Several practitioners have suggested road shows which reach all parts of the country - particularly the North and Southwest.
    • This would involve practitioners who are currently making inroads using social media from a variety of services. Ensuring that policy people are talking to policy people, etc. as well as cross-fertilising ideas.
    • The roadshows should have quite a hands-on feel and might include design charrettes.
    • The presenters share their experience on-line as they go, including picking up existing good practice examples.
    Photo credit: thisisbossi on Flickr
  • 44. Innovation contests
    • New ideas could emerge through contests or events like SICamp (the social innovation camp) or the Show Us a Better Way contest. Local government holds or generates lots of potential data that developers can use to build pro-social products (e.g. HopHive or BeLocal), but doesn’t always make the data available. We could offer money or other incentives for councils (or partnerships) and developers to work together to provide information solutions (e.g. mashups) for local people.
    • Some of these tools and approaches could be developed in a “hacker-day” event (or couple of events), bringing some of the best minds together. When technical people come together to work in teams to solve a problem or series of problems.
  • 45. STOP BLOCKING
    • Too many councils put barriers in the way of local government officers and councillors who wish to use social media sites to engage with local residents and other practitioners. We’ll never be able to take advantage of these tools and techniques if we can’t access them at work.
    • Develop a model code of conduct (some already exist for the Civil Service and BBC)
    • Promote the code and the open access message through awareness raising and a low-cost national campaign
    • STOP BLOCKING
    Photo credit: glass window on Flickr
  • 46. Research
    • It’s early days for a lot of social media - we need a comprehensive review of the benefits, including a literature review of successes in the UK and elsewhere.
    • Convince the doubters and ensure we’re going in the right direction
    Study, study, study by Pnoeric on Flickr