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Social media in Fenland, Cambridgeshire
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Social media in Fenland, Cambridgeshire


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A presentation about given at the LG Comms social media roadshow in Nottingham, on 21st January 2011

A presentation about given at the LG Comms social media roadshow in Nottingham, on 21st January 2011

Published in: Technology

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  • 1. Social Media in Fenland Andy Allsopp, Head of Communications Michele Ide-Smith, Web Strategy Manager January 2011
  • 2. The Communications context
    • Audience
    • Money
    • Localism
  • 3. A little bit of background…
  • 4. The rural Fenland district in North Cambridgeshire has a large agricultural industry, which attracts migrant workers from Europe, but suffers from socio-economic deprivation
  • 5. Challenges in Wisbech
    • Socio-economic, rural deprivation
    • Large migrant worker population
    • Digital exclusion – IT skills and access
    • Hard-to-engage groups (migrant workers, youth, older people, disabled people, time pressured 25-40’s)
  • 6. Engagement challenges
    • Poor attendance at Neighbourhood Panel meetings
    • Attendees not representative of the wider community
    • No way to record results of engagement activity and make them visible
  • 7. How we did it
  • 8. Strong partnership working
  • 9. We asked the community what they wanted
  • 10. 1 survey and 8 focus groups with residents, facilitated by outreach workers. 3 rounds of iterative usability testing
  • 11. And involved stakeholders in designing the solution
  • 12. Workshop based on the social media game (Wilcox and Kanter) Participants devised solutions to resident scenarios, using cards to represent social media tools
  • 13. The solution
  • 14.  
  • 15. Moderated by local community centre volunteers
  • 16. Google auto-translation feature and translation support provided by volunteers at the Rosmini
  • 17. The issue map on ShapeYourPlace
  • 18. What do residents talk about on ShapeYourPlace?
  • 19.  
  • 20. An issue is raised …
  • 21. … and public sector agencies respond
  • 22. Some issues get fixed, but sometimes we have to say why we can’t fix something
  • 23. Blogs and videos about local people, groups and activities
  • 24. Local residents are getting involved too
  • 25. I reported the zebra crossing was disappearing. It was repainted. Result! Annie A. resident, Twitter @ shapeyourplace I'm quite impressed i got a responce :)) Fallen_Fen, Twitter Shape Your Place website starting to take shape - hope it continues to develop @ shapeyourplace Rob M., Twitter Thanks for those responses. I have noticed that the site seems much more secure lately and wish the project good luck for the future. John S resident, on website in response to a anti-social behaviour issue at a playground Many thanks again for your very clear reply. Owen S. resident, on website in response to an issue he had raised
  • 26. A lesson we learnt…
  • 27. Engage stakeholders who are active online!
  • 28.  
  • 29. From this…
  • 30. A local councillor had concerns about the project
  • 31. Twitter.  Facebook.  Blogs.  Google Maps.  I’m struggling to see where the £80,000 price tag is justified within the scope of all those free social networking tools. I’m also a little concerned about how the input from these new forms of communication will be handled…I can only see it leading to eighty thousand pounds worth of public bitterness.
  • 32. … to this!
  • 33. … to this! Cllr Tierney is now an active supporter and blogs on the site
  • 34. And the editor of the local newspaper has blogged as well
  • 35. Next steps
  • 36. Roll out to March, Chatteris and Whittlesey soon!
  • 37. Community ownership Residents are getting involved in running ShapeYourPlace
  • 38. Final points
    • Accessible, engaging, less authoritarian
    • Speak with one voice – no blame!
    • Quality engagement takes time and effort
    • Involve active bloggers and tweeters
    • Social media enables and supports…
    • … but ultimately it’s all about people
  • 39. Links and resources
    • ShapeYourPlace in Wisbech:
    • Project blog:
    • Case study:
    • Community of Practise project site:
  • 40. For more information
    • Michele Ide-Smith, Web Strategy Manager
    • Cambridgeshire County Council
    • Phone: 01223 699710
    • Twitter: @micheleidesmith
    • Blog:
    • Email: [email_address]
    • Andy Allsopp, Head of Communications
    • Cambridgeshire County Council
    • Phone: 01223 699280
    • Twitter: @andyallsopp
    • Email: [email_address]