Saturday’s LocalGovCamp was a marvellous day, entirely thanks to the superb organisation of Digital Birmingham’s Simon Whitehouse and Sammy Williams; and of course the 130-odd people who turned up on the day, giving up the best part of their weekends to talk about work.
Also: thanks to the great sponsors who made the event a reality:
- Podnosh – “Our aim is to change the way the public and the public sector talk to each other”
- Public-i – “Using the virtual world to make a difference in the real world”
- National Association of Local Councils – “We are committed to developing the role of town and parish councils, in order that they can represent the communities which they serve effectively and be at the forefront of community leadership.”
- LGIU – “Our mission is to strengthen local democracy to put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services”
- Firmstep – “We help government to help citizens”
- Talk About Local – “helping people find a powerful voice online”
- Arcus Global – “Arcus provides software, tools and methods that help public sector organisations to run efficient, modern ICT environments for their customers and employees”
- Global Crossing – “We are a leading global IP solutions provider with the world’s first integrated global IP-based network”
There were about 35 sessions in total, and of course many conversations that cropped up over coffee. There were lots of smiles on the day, and as far as evaluation goes, that’s good enough for me.
There’s been plenty of coverage and we’re trying to collect as much of it as possible on this Posterous-based site. You can easily contribute by emailing thoughts, links, ideas, videos, photos, whatevers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Twitter hashtag, #localgovcamp, is still being populated and you’ll find plenty of resources, feedback and stuff there.
You’ll notice a certain amount of challenge in some of what people are writing. Quite right too! Nothing’s perfect and can always improve.
I’d only make two points in mitigation of some of the feedback. Firstly, LocalGovCamp is a volunteer effort and built on participation. So, if you see something that could be done better, volunteer, participate! If you get annoyed and blog about it afterwards, it doesn’t give anyone much of a chance to improve things.
Secondly, I think it’s important to remember what LocalGovCamp actually is. My definition – which of course carries no more weight than anyone else’s – is that it’s a very lightly structured space that is created for people to do stuff in. That’s it. It is what people choose to do in that space that counts – and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
And that’s okay.
Photo credit: Mark Braggins