young people, social media &
local authority comms.
Public Sector Forums Web 2.0 Conference
30th April 2009, Manchester
A version of my slides with extra annotation, specially for reading from the web.
The original presentation was given to an audience of UK local government web
and communications people - exploring the use of social media and web 2.0
A presentation by Tim Davies: www.timdavies.org.uk
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Survey: the stats...
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Of young people
have proﬁles on
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Mobile access to SNS grew by 855% last year
Young people are spending up to 2-hours a day on SNS - and even up to 6-hours a today linked into SNS in
some form... (phone, school PC, laptops etc.)
Most young people have a proﬁle on one of the ‘big three’ networks (above) - but they may also me members of
different niche social networking sites - or sites that have social networking features
Get more stats on young people’s social media usage from:
YorkBook Signed in as LGIUALS
A social network
site has a proﬁle
Survey: understanding SNS
and a friends list.
Because of these -
everyone has a
experience of the
In addition, these
are rich media
with space for
YorkBook Signed in as James
Behind the scenes
Sites provide their
Survey: understanding SNS
users with many
useful features -
feeds of their
friends activities on
some young people
will use more than
Users have control
over their privacy
settings - but the
controls can be
Survey: what are young people doing online?
www.flickr.com/photos/28859335@N00/120018144 http://flickr.com/photos/morgantepsic/176795867/ http://flickr.com/photos/andreasnilsson1976/530776998/
Keeping in Making new
Hanging out Exploring identity
...the same, but different...
You may think you are sending information to
young people. But you are competing for
attention in media-rich lives.
Are you communicating through trusted,
meaningful sources? Or are you sitting
alongside the latest advert from the kebab
Are your communications embedded in social
contexts? Coming from someone I trust?
Is your communication interactive?
We need to shift from...
...having the council,
with it’s well deﬁned
...to a networked world...
and services meet
Make sure you know who you are trying to reach:
Children Young People Young Adults
These groups are all at different life stages: at different stages
of emotional and social development. And they are users of
different services. Different communication approaches for
each group may be needed.
But they have one thing in common. They are not ‘citizens of
the future’. They are:
Identify the right level of engagement...
(that uses the information and engagement
channels you’ve established)
(making sure you can process feedback and engage in dialogue)
(accessible information that can be remixed)
Are you providing
quality data on the
people have a right
Are you providing it both on
ofﬁcial sites - and in ﬂexible
formats so it can be taken to
where young people are?
The Plings project is a DCSF funded pilot that
aggregates and publishes information about
positive activities for young people.
Through using standard formats it can add
value to local authority held data.
Plings outputs data in these formats.
You can read more about the project on it’s
blog at http://blogs.plings.net
But that’s only really interesting because it lets us turn those
formats into media and content which we can take to the
place where young people are...
Of course - it’s crucial to put young people’s safety ﬁrst in
any youth engagement work. We’ve been working on that
that too with research & draft risk assessment frameworks...
(all available for you to pick up free online of course...)
Even if you’re not working with RSS,
XML, KML and what-not - there is a
lot you can do when publishing and
preparing information for the web to
make it more likely to reach young
People trust information
from people they know.
How far can your
How many different
media can it
Can you let go of your information to
let it ﬂow through the networks?
Get free information
and advice on
Think 140... Beneﬁts, dispute
for all ages. This
You don’t have to
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be on Twitter.
But make it easy
for me to share
Does your URL do what it say’s on the tin?
Can I ﬁt it in a tweet?
Does it break when I send it by e-mail?
Try sharing a page from your council website on Facebook.
Is the image right? What about the default text?
Could you improve that a bit?
web to reach
Are you supporting
front-line staff with
youth work or
skills to share your
Check the Youth Work and
Social Networking research
for more on online outreach:
Safety: thinking about safe and sound foundations
Keep a separate personal proﬁle. Do not use personal
proﬁles for work;
Check your personal proﬁle privacy settings carefully
Know when you can, and when you can’t use SNS for
Provide a way of checking that your work proﬁle is
Record all contact with young people through SNS in
line with your existing policies
Know who to talk to and how to react if you have
any concerns about young people’s safetyrkers.
were developed for you
s, role and skills to dev
ed from their professio gy.
We start rting from the technolo
the guidelines, rather th
Design with young
people as partners
Don’t: Ask ‘what do you want on the website?’ as if there is
no brief at all. Forget that your skills as a professional webby/
communicator are key to the success of a project. Think that
you know what young people want.
Do: Work in partnership. Remember young people are
experts at what it’s like to be a young person in your area,
today. Consult on needs. Co-design. Paper prototype. Engage
young people as researchers and designers. Talk to you youth
engagement people & get their support.
So, to recap:
Support and enable
And if you want, feel free to use any of the bits and
bobs I’ve been sharing from my research & work at: