Tweetwally

tweetwally is a terrifically simple site that lets you create your own pages that track what is being said on Twitter.

It’s a great way of sharing tweets on a topic with people who perhaps aren’t hardcore Twitter users.

I have set one up that tracks any tweets that have localgov in them. If anybody in local government wanted to demonstrate the use of Twitter in having conversations about local gov, they just need to load up the page, without having to mess about with searches, or lists, or whatever. It’s at http://localgov.tweetwally.com/.

Great work by Clockwork to produce a nice little site.

Hat tip to Matt Jukes for pointing it out.

Local Gov is self organising

As much as I enjoyed being involved in organising LocalGovCamp, when emails started to be sent to the group asking when the next one was, I was quick to distance myself from it. These things can take up a lot of time, and the reward is rarely financial.

I’d mentioned at the event in Birmingham that one way forward might be for regional events to be run by groups of councils together. This idea has been taken up with some gusto by several local authorities and their friends, and some remarkable things are now starting to happen.

Stephen Hilton at Bristol was the first to step up and start getting an event going for that area, with the help of Shane McCracken at Gallomanor.

The second follow-up event to start being organised will be for London authorities, and there seems to be a real desire in the capital to run this sort of get together.

Second, Andrew Beekan at Lincoln City Council is working with the University in the city to host an event there.

Thirdly, Jon Hyde at Cheltenham Borough Council is organising an event in his neck of the woods, but with a particular focus, on project management within local authorities.

Last but not remotely least, last week Ken Eastwood at Barnsley announced an event for Yorkshire and the Humber, to be organised along with Kevin Campbell-Wright at JISC. This event will also have a subject focus, that being remote working and the issues around that – a vital topic in the current climate of reduced budgets for local government, as well as the need to reduce carbon footprints.

The are two really interesting things here I think.

  1. Firstly, the new tools are being used to bring people together around these events. Twitter, WordPress and Ning, as well as more traditional tech like Google Groups, are being used to make it easy for local gov folk to self organise. It’s Here Comes Everybody, innit.
  2. Also, there is a massive industry around providing events to local government. They are generally pretty pricey and need teams of events managers to get them going. Or do they? It’s now being shown that local government can organise its own events, on whatever subject matter they choose. There is the potential here for some real disruption in the industry of local gov events, and I would argue that anyone who makes a living out of this needs to pay attention to what is starting to happen.

So, if there is a LocalGovCamp event happening anywhere near you, make sure you get along. And if there isn’t, JFDI and organise it yourself. You simply don’t need to wait for anyone else anymore.

#GoogleLocalGov

Google UK

Do you work in local government?

Are you free on 7th August?

Fancy popping down to Victoria in London to visit the Google offices?

Oh, and get to hear from the real experts about how to make the most of Google services, whether search, analytics, maps, advertising, widgetising content, and more?

For the princely sum of, er, nothing?

Then you’re in luck.

Pencil that date in your diary. Keep an eye on #googlelocalgov on Twitter. More information will be released as it is confirmed.

This will be a ticketed event, and it will be first-come-first-served when it comes to places. You can’t afford to miss this one!

LocalGovCamp update

A few things have been happening behind the scenes, and I think it is about time that LocalGovCamp was ‘officially’ launched in some way. I guess this is it.

Localgovcamp

The event will probably take place in June, probably in Birmingham but definitely on a Saturday.

All the plotting and planning will take place on the blog, so do make sure you subscribe to the RSS or the email alerts.

Once we have a few of the basics sorted out we can start focusing on some of the fun stuff, like what people want to hear, what they want to talk about and who will be ordering the pizzas.

This is how it can be done

After all my moaning of recent times, a good news story. Lincoln City Council have released a site called Community Voice which links to all their ongoing consultations, with an RSS feed to keep up to date with new ones and comments so that people can have conversations about them.

Excellent!

What’s more, they have done it by simply creating a blog on the free WordPress.com service.

Fabulous!

This demonstrates to all the other authorities that I have been raging about recently that it can be done, the simple stuff an be got right, and it doesn’t have to cost much – or even anything. Apart from a bit of imagination, I guess… I hope that this site is promoted well by the Council so that residents are aware of how they can use it to engage with their local authority.

Just goes to show, all the best things come out of Lincolnshire…