We kicked off the first of several hyperlocal social media surgeries on Monday in Acocks Green.
Brendan at the Inn on the Green had kindly offered us use of his office wi-fi – which just reaches one corner of the bar. Thanks for the generous hospitality.
What was I expecting?
I thought that we would see a few people and give to key one to one advice on how to use social media, then show folk some examples of data mashing, in the hope that these my elicit suggestions of data sets we could chase to help residents in Acocks Green.
What did we get?
A really open conversation about this part fo the city, how citizens groups in neighbourhoods relate to each other, some people sharing their existing experiences with using social media and genuine interest in how it might help.
I think it was inevitable that this would happen. The only point of trying to support the use of social media at neighbourhood level is that people have an instant affinity with each other, simply because of a shared passion for a place. The conversation comes naturally and the internt is simply a way to extend that.
It is also, of course, why we hope that a growth of really local sites and web use in Acocks Green, Yardley and the like will lead to a richer conversation about these places, perhaps even stronger links and hopefully greater opportunities to collaborate.
All this happened whilst surgeon Kasper Sorensen got on with helping one “patient” Eric Williams from the Chestnuts Neighbourhood Forum. The forum already has a site and have been using it to campaign against building on some local land. Kasper introduced Eric to the possibilities of blogging, and he was sufficiently curious to establish this personal site as an experiment:
Also there was Julia Larden of Acocks Green Focus group (take their summer survey here), Nicola Toms of I am AG (find out why Acocks Green has such a great name here), John and Julia Morris of Hazelwood Road Residents Association and and Peter Travis of Emmanuel Young People’s Project. Joining us too was was Trav28 and Alan Colson.
Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum was hoping to come down but was a bit poorly and we also had interest from East Yardley Neighbourhood Forum, but couldn’t make it because it was short notice. They dabbled their toes with this at a previous social media surgery, and might want some extra encouragement and advice.
We also scratched the surface of data mashups but we’d like to keep the momentum going so the next one happening on Wednesday 1st July same time, same place. So drop in any time between 5.30 to 7pm (finish time) at the Inn on the Green B27 7UH, Acocks Green (map).
Please head over to this post to sign up for the next surgery, whether you need help or are a potential surgeon.