Update from councillors connected: the social media online conference Day 2

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Yesterday we had a lot of discussion about what it means to be local and providing a local view to people. We also had views from local politicians about using social media and how it helped to humanise their political persona and support informal dialogue with local people. And there was the beginning of some thinking around how councils can support local political discourse. (See the themes and first update from yesterday).

That leads us neatly on to Hugh Flouch and his discussion of local community websites – are they friend or foe? Hugh is involved with the amazing successful Harringay Online a community within Haringey (yes, slightly confusing). He provides a great case study about interactions between the local community and the council and councillors online. Public services are often advised to go where the people are congregating online. Hugh provides a few clear simple tips about how you can do that – and this has lead to a really interesting discussion about how you can support or build hyper local networks and train up Citizen 2.0

Social media is primarily about conversation and dialogue, but it’s also a powerful and effective broadcast and communications tool. Simon Wakeman from Medway provides an overview of how social media can be effectively used for council communications – never forgetting that to be effective, communications is two way.

NESTA is about to produce what looks like really interesting guidance on using social media for social good. It’s not aimed specifically at councils, but there are clearly some lessons for local government. What are the key propositions local government should embrace?

Alex Hilton, formerly a councillor at the London Borough Redbridge, and a Labour political blogger of RecessMonkey fame – provides a really interesting perspective on data, social media and accountability. How are you presenting information to citizens? How can you do it better? He’s live in the discussion forum from now until three to answer your questions.

Shane McCracken who works with councillors on blogging has provided an excellent podcast about councillors and effective blogging.

How can local politicians can use social media for effective campaigning – all on a shoe string – from Jonathan Upton at The Campaign Company. Councillors can use these tools, but the same could apply to public service campaigns, too.

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It’s always good to hear what is going on at the other side of the pond. Similar themes and topics – I’ll definitely read up on the links…