Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Planning for Councillors

A nice little project this, that we developed for our friends at NALC. It’s a site introducing some of the issues around planning, particularly aimed at parish councillors.

We did the design and built the WordPress template, while the guys at NALC provided the content for us to build the pages.

The purpose of the site is really to drive traffic to NALC’s e-learning platform (provided by my good chums at Learning Pool) as well as to other online learning resources about planning.

We wanted the site to have a nice and bright, informal feel that perhaps not many websites in this particular sector tend to feature, and are pretty pleased with the results!

Bookmarks for December 30th through January 9th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

My manifesto for councils engaging online

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to the national conference of the Society for Local Council Clerks up in Durham. It was a great conference with a group of people who really care about what they do and the communities they help serve.

My talk was on the usual stuff of how the web can help all of this happen. Particularly pertinent for this sector, where over half of Parish, Town or Community Councils don’t have a website. Most of the councillors in this sector don’t use email.

(I do sometimes think that we forget, in all the excitement about the new forms of online tools, just how utterly brilliant the act of simply publishing stuff online is. The fact that it is so easy, and can reach so many people!)

So, to help them out, I produced a ten point manifesto for what to do and where to start with this stuff.

If I’m honest, I threw this together in ten minutes whilst slightly hungover. However, I think there is value in most of it, and it would be interesting if others would pitch in and suggest some improvements.

Here’s the ten points:

  1. Get the basics right
  2. Don’t spend lots of money
  3. Go where people already are
  4. Don’t forget: what you say is permanent and findable
  5. Use the right tool for the right crowd
  6. Promote online stuff with offline stuff
  7. Be open, honest and human
  8. Don’t overburden with process
  9. Make your stuff findable, sharable and reuseable
  10. Think: how does the web change the way we do everything?

The entire slidedeck is embedded below.

Bookmarks for July 3rd through July 7th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Events, dear boy…

Quite a few events coming up in the next couple of weeks that I should probably let you know about.

Next week I’m attending a few things: on Monday, the Clay Shirky lecture on Cognitive Surplus at the LSE, followed by the Learning Pool steering group meeting on Tuesday. I’ll be talking to the group about our plans for further engagement work along the lines of our Let’s Talk Central project with Central Bedfordshire Council, as well as some updates to our Modern Councillor service, which I hope to be able to tell everyone about real soon.

Then on Thursday I am going to be talking to the Centre for Public Scrutiny conference about engaging with local communities online. I will be particularly looking forward to this as my second job in local government was as a scrutiny officer at a district council.

I’m ending the week in Bristol, at NALC‘s conference celebrating local democracy. I’ll be showing some local council clerks and councillors how they can be spending a little bit of time and no money at all on cool ways of engaging with their communities online.

After a rest – or should I say, chance to catch up on email – over the weekend, I hit the road again, or rather the train, heading down to NESTA’s ‘Digital Disrupters‘ event on Monday 5th.

Then it’s Wednesday at the LGA conference in Bournemouth where I’m facilitating a fringe session, optimistically titled “A thoroughly modern council”. You can sign up for it here.

Finally, on Friday I travel again to the south-west, this time to Cheltenham to the Institute of Local Council Management summer seminar. I’ll be talking about “using social networking technologies for mobilising political and community action”.

Busy times! I shouldn’t complain though, if it were any different I would probably be quite bored.