From tower blocks to totem poles- citizen digital in Edinburgh

8261041040_155d9ec796 Photo courtesy of jennifermackenziejones on Flickr

Check out this digital citizen project in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh. A joint venture between locals, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Edinburgh College of Art and Connected Communities it developed something combining art, digital and local knowledge.

What do you think of this project? Can you see something like this going down in your area?


Managing online learning communities


Thanks to Alex Morrice for sharing this video via Twitter. It’s important to us generally as people who champion digital collaboration, online learning and communication inside our organisations but also to us as SPSDG. Fantasic stuff about connectedness, learning together, social learning communities. That communities die because they don’t have purpose and passion, online communities are transient and community management is a skill!

It also introduces a new term to describe people who poopoo social media: CAVES- colleagues against virtually everything- while reminding us that working online and using social media are not for everyone and that must be respected.

Well worth a watch or listen if you’re managing any kind of online community or trying to build activity in an online community. Excellent points and tips.

‘Organisations don’t tweet, people do.’

Quoting the title of Euan Semple’s seminal book for managers who want to understand social web, Dan Slee talks a bunch of sense at a Really Useful Day held in London in December. Devolve access to social media to staff, make sure they’re working safely and let them tell their stories online. A media or comms officer does not know about the day to day work of a frontline colleague so why is that media or comms officer the only one trusted to communicate it to the public?

Legacy systems hamper creativity in collaboration

ImageIn this podcast by Code for America, Fellow Alicia Rouault laments legacy IT systems and shares what she is doing to help bring some ‘Bay Area innovation’ to city government.

Despite savvy individuals that I’m convinced do work in city government, these leaders are faced with undeniable challenges that prove difficult to maneuver around — no matter the know-how. Real problems lie in legacy systems. The repetitious processes that don’t connect the “task” with the “why” — combined with massive lay-offs and retirement — have brought us into a civic era that inherited systems no one knows how to run (or why they’re running them). These systems have contributed to a disastrous siloing of information and tech infrastructure we cringe at: fixed, flammable information that you can’t easily share or distribute.

Is social media making us antisocial?

‘According to Ofcom’s latest research, the British use smartphones and tablets to access the web more heavily than any of the world’s leading economies. 18-to 24-year-olds in the UK are the world’s top mobile social networkers, with 62% accessing their profiles on the go. So how is all this technology changing the way we relate to each other – has it alienated us or allowed us to be closer?’

In this Radio 4 You and Yours episode the discussion is around whether or not social media has made us better communicators or antisocial. Lots of interesting calls in to the show from the public, including great input from people much older than the usual mobile and social media demographic.