The right idea at the right time can change the world
Over the last few years, the UK has seen many launches of online local media services that attempt to deliver hyperlocal content. But traditional media providers have found it hard to adjust their high-cost models to a sufficiently local area. Meanwhile, hyperlocal bloggers find it difficult to develop a critical mass of audience and to define the right business models to grow their offers into more sustainable services. Little evidence is publicly available on the success or failure of these services.
I provided editorial services to help shape this influential NESTA review of the emerging hyperlocal media sector. The final publication, written by experienced hyperlocal researcher Damian Radcliffe, offers an insight into a diverse, creative and emerging sector, and was the first time that such a comprehensive review has been undertaken.
Philanthropy and Social Media
Institute for Philanthropy, October 2011
Daisy Wakefield and Aphra Sklair
I provided expert input to this highly-regarded paper on social media usage by charities and grant-makers, published by the Indigo Trust and Institute for Philanthropy to influence donors in the UK and US.
NCVO, July 2011
With cuts to public funding and widespread social unrest, the voluntary sector has rarely been under greater pressure, or more necessary. Can digital tools provide some answers? And how does the internet change what it means to be small and local? My think-piece for the NCVO, The Digital Garden, explores these questions and attempts a few answers.
NESTA, July 2010
Laura Bunt, Andy Gibson, Carla Ross
In 2010 NESTA commissioned me to write this think-piece introducing radical digital innovation in public services to policy-makers and local government. The piece was commissioned as part of NESTA’s Reboot Britain Programme, in which they supported radical new models of public service delivery in critical areas such as child protection and youth reoffending. Launched in July 2009, ten practical projects received funding to work in partnership with a public service partner to develop and prototype a new approach to public service delivery that utilised collaborative technologies.
As the introduction to the piece explains:
The crisis facing public services is such that it calls for a radical shift in the way services are provided and organised. It changes the nature of the conversation, from one where innovation is about improvement and excellence, one to where innovation is about transforming the way services operate. ... In a time of drastic cuts, innovation must offer more than improvement and efficiency alone: it becomes the driving force for a radically different and more effective approach to service delivery.
The think-piece was launched as the interim report on the Reboot Britain programme, at an event at NESTA in July 2010. Sociability was also part of the final evaluation consortium which assessed the efficacy of the programme and collated the key learnings for NESTA in 2011.
Local by Social
IDeA/NESTA, March 2010
My most influential pamphlet, Local by Social was published by NESTA and the IDeA in 2010. A practical guide to social media for local authorities, it showcased cutting edge activities and signposted the way ahead for local government. It inspired an online conference and community site with 1100+ members, 1100+ contributions and 33 speakers, and has influenced public policy and local government technology strategies for many years since.