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Reflections and Links on ‘Local Government’ Social Media Cafe

March 18, 2010

Wednesday saw the return of the Black Country Social Media Cafe panel-discussion, and it was an outstanding success thanks to a great venue (, a great panel, a great sponsor who agreed to join the panel at the last minute (, and a great turnout.

For those who want to follow-up on some of the issues that were raised, Dan Slee has put together a few links (and talks about himself in the third person):


Sarah Lay, an epic visionary working for Derbyshire County Council, couldn’t be at the March BCSMC where she was due to talk about elections and how social media may be used. Thankfully, she has two well written blogs on the subject that people can call upon. So good was Derbyshire’s coverage that it won an award. Take a look at Sarah’s advice here.


Dan Slee talked about Flickr and how this photo sharing website can really connect with local government. The Walsall Flickr group has 90 members and is a thriving community with more than 5,000 images. They can range from shots of the town’s Arboretum in summer to landmarks and shots of buses from the 1970s. However, the Flickr meet at Walsall Council House was one example where the authority could connect with people. As Dan said “Walsall people taking pictures of a Walsall building for the Walsall community. That has to be a good thing.”

Here is a link to the shots that emerged

Here are two blogs about the event, one by Dan

Here is one by Lee Jordon who helped arrange the event


Stuart Harrison – @pezholio on Twitter – is doing some brilliant work in local government. He helped create the brilliant fixmytweet platform to allow people to use Twitter to report problems to their council to MySociety’s

Here is his blog on the subject

Here is the site itself in all it’s glory


Nic Streatfeild from Council Monitor gave an excellent introduction into the growing problem of analytics. In other words how the heck do you measure activity online? His service aims to be the cuttings service of web 2.0 by measuring online activity from Twtter, blogs to online news. He’s a very nice man. And he helped sponsor the coffees. Take a look at Council Monitor here:


Several other websites were mentioned in the discussion that followed. Young people tend to be overlooked by local government when it comes to social media use, a point well made by Claire Bustin. However, the Clued Up In Hull site was one example of good practice,580620&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Several councils complained of trouble in getting started in the first place. There was an excellent discussion at ukgc10. One post that came out of it was this eight step guide to getting started.

How do you find out if you councillor is using social media? There are two good sites recommended by Nick from Public Sector Forums. as well as

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 10:36 am

    Hey, thanks for the link back to the article, I’ll have to make a concerted effort to get out to one of the meet ups one of these days. Some really positive stuff going on, well done.



  1. Tuesday 20th April: Social Media Cafe in The Great Western, Wolverhampton. « Black Country Social Media Café

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