Kathryn Geels: Digital Tools and Neighbourhood Planning Workshop


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Kathryn Geels, head of Nesta's Hyperlocal Media project, spoke at our Digital Tools and Neighbourhood Planning Workshop, an event designed to explore the impact of digital tools on community design, engagement and improvement.

For more information, visit: http://www.nesta.org.uk/event/digital-tools-and-neighbourhood-planning-workshop

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  • 31. The requirement dates back to 1972, a time when local and weekly newspapers and radio were popular sources of information. The last 41 years has seen vast changes in technology and shifts in consumer preferences. This requirement remains in force despite evidence that the way people access news and information has changed significantly and the circulation of local newspapers is falling.

    33. 42% of councils are charged more by local newspapers to publish public notices than for other general advertising and the costs are continuing to rise.
  • Kathryn Geels: Digital Tools and Neighbourhood Planning Workshop

    1. 1. Digital tools & neighbourhood planning: The growth of hyperlocal media Kathryn Geels, Nesta… #destinationlocal @girlondon #neighbourhoodplanning
    2. 2. A robust and practical definition: Online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community “Online first” but not “online- exclusive” – recognising shifts towards mobile and online creation and consumption News important, but other content genres have public and private value Size and nature of geographic ‘community’ may vary and contingent on range of factors Range of business models and ownership structures possible May be about ‘proximity’ or ‘locality’ http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/here-and-now-uk-hyperlocal-media-today Purpose: To understand the potential for and stimulate a diverse and sustainable UK base of hyperlocal media services that create public value.
    3. 3. Demand for hyperlocal media We know that… • Hyperlocal media services provide value beyond the economic to their audiences Destination Local: Our Lessons To Date, Nesta, June 2013 • The majority (66 per cent) of adults in the UK are interested in news and information about the immediate area in which they currently live • Those with internet access and with devices such as mobile phones, computers or tablets are more likely to be ‘very interested’ in local news and information • Use of hyperlocal media has been stimulated by the increasing take-up of connected devices – Overall, nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) of those who use hyperlocal media use a device to access hyperlocal content at least on a weekly basis – Over one-half (55 per cent) who state they use hyperlocal media more now than two years ago said this was due to them getting a smartphone/device UK Demand for Hyperlocal Media, Nesta, April 2013
    4. 4. Key hyperlocal challenges Our research highlights key challenges concerning sustainability, growth and audience engagement – ‘findability’ • Sustainability – financial and human resource – is a key issue, especially for commercial business models – O&O’s research on local advertising markets and hyperlocal media suggests that advertising spend in this area is likely to be relatively small in comparison to traditional media Research on local advertising markets, Nesta, May 2013 • Capturing audience attention – Hyperlocal information providers are competing with a range of other online information sources, therefore, being discovered among these requires using the same techniques as other online content owners Understanding the Use of hyperlocal content through consumer search, Nesta, May 2013 – Automating the sourcing and aggregation of relevant hyperlocal content
    5. 5. The bigger Destination Local picture - what we’re doing… Four priority areas • Destination Local Demonstrators programme with the Technology Strategy Board – Launch of ‘innovation in hyperlocal advertising’ contest with IC tomorrow • Stimulating policy debate • Encouraging industry-led research • Encouraging collaboration between larger, established and new, emerging players
    6. 6. • increasing the level of public funding and awareness into hyperlocal media • stimulating a new wave of technology innovation in space • a continued strategic investigation of convergence in digital technologies • to provide evidence for the commercial and social potential of new services • A new, innovative approach to awarding funding, which has emerged from our learnings of the initial feasibility projects, and from our wider work & analysis in phase 1, as key opportunities Recap on main outcomes of the Demonstrators programme • the testing of high-potential technologies, platforms and standards that can deliver new, valuable and sustainable forms of hyperlocal media services • authentic and economically profitable collaborations between existing, large-scale media organisations and innovative, emerging players • a public evidence base of the potential economic and social opportunities for hyperlocal media services in the UK, which enables private investment to this nascent sector Destination Local Demonstrators – why are we doing this?
    7. 7. Hyperlocal media & neighbourhood planning
    8. 8. Barriers • Legal requirement for local authorities to pay to advertise public or statutory notices in local newspapers - £26m p/a • 84% of councils say there are more cost- effective ways to publish public notices, such as on websites • Statutory notices are out of date when evaluated in the context of recent technological advances in online communications (websites, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail being some of the most popular digital platforms) • Deregulation bill: evidence submitted by the LGA, March 2014 - www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmpublic/deregulation/m emo/db13.htm • Often, local communities do not know they have a hyperlocal website operating in their area and, therefore, miss out on relevant and current news and information about where they live A recent survey of hyperlocal media publishers has revealed that ‘almost 40 per cent of respondents (34) reach just ten per cent or less of their potential local audience, with a further 16 per cent (14) reaching between 11 and 20 per cent’ http://hyperlocalsurvey.wordpress.com/
    9. 9. Opportunities • Hyperlocal media publishers can support neighbourhood planning – through promoting the work of forums and community groups, but also to hold them to account (What’s in Wapping example) • In the UK, there are estimated to be at least 500 active hyperlocal services http://openlylocal.com/ • Findings from a survey of practitioners: UK Hyperlocal Community News: 55% of respondents ‘see their practice as enabling interaction (“conversation”) between people at a local level. Just over half see working on their news services as an expression of “active citizenship”’http://hyperlocalsurvey.wordpress.com/ • Nesta is supporting Purpose’s Online Democratic Platforms for Young People project, to test online democratic platforms in the UK that support young people to collaboratively engage with local decision makers in order to effect positive social change
    10. 10. Digital tools • YouCanPlan – powered by StickyWorld • LocalSay (Westminster City Council) • New way to explore your neighbourhood and share your thoughts on local developments, using live data on planning and licensing applications that can be viewed through AR, on a map or list view • Media Mill www.leedsdatamill.org/ • Using open data platforms in Leeds and York, a consortium of partners, including media producers, researchers and data scientists will identify and transform data into local media content, primarily for mobile • Civic Exchange www.civicexchange.eu/ • A platform for improving public services by showcasing and promoting the reuse of civic software
    11. 11. • What other opportunities are there between hyperlocal media publishers and neighbourhood planning? • How could we overcome some of the barriers (be it technical, bureaucratic, audience attention)? Activity
    12. 12. Get in touch / follow us: www.nesta.org.uk/project/destination-local Kathryn.geels@nesta.org.uk @girlondon #destinationlocal