Even more determined

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Personally I was very pleased to hear that Walsall Council had decided to do an “experiment” with twitter and tweet for a full 24 hours.  But this post is not about that work although you can read more about it here on Dan Slee’s blog and follow it for yourself on twitter with the hashtag #walsall24.   It was also great to see some national coverage on the Guardian website and this was a great thing to see….But then I started reading the comments on this Guardian Article.

[Update - The comments have now disappeared or been removed - the Guardian site displays article history which states - This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 08.29 GMT on Thursday 3 March 2011. It was last modified at 11.51 GMT on Friday 4 March 2011]

I’m not going to reproduce any of the comments here as I simply don’t agree with them and would not want those comments seen on my blog (I do have standards).

What I will say is, it is very good to see a council experimenting and trying new approaches, even if it is to simply learn lessons about whether a particular medium can or could be used over time to aid communications – and in this instance, it was free and staff did tweets in their own time using good will.

Regardless of how many people follow Walsall Council or even how many people are actually residents….It was an experiment and no doubt was to try out something new whilst the council has staff to try things like this.  Some people would see this as a waste of time – But I don’t  - I think Walsall should be applauded and I’m looking forward to hearing about the lessons learned.

It very much feels like that as local government we are damned if we do try new things and damned if we don’t.

In this climate and over the next few years we simply HAVE TO CHANGE and It would be great if we could all support those in local government and understand and accept that we all make mistakes and we all need to learn – please support your colleagues and friends in local government as we are only trying to make local services better for us all.

If anything it makes me more determined…..I’m always happy to get feedback and I love a good debate and discussion - as this helps people move forward….what I don’t value is just negativity  - It just doesn’t help anyone.

Whether people like it or not, we are ALL in this together and we ALL need to work together to find better solutions and to provide better or different services.

4 thoughts on “Even more determined

  1. I think the Walsall experiment showed us a lot. It showed how much work was involved, how much commitment was needed, and almost incidentally, showed us in local gov how many things go on, even in a relatively small authority in the scheme of things (forgive me Walsall!)

    Sadly, the comments on the Guardian etc showed how many knockers there are out there who are willing to spend time denigrating genuine attempts to push the boundaries of what local authorities might do. Frankly, if the Walsall experiment had been a complete failure (which I don’t think it was, personally), it would have been worth trying. The profile and usefulness of social media in the eyes of Joe Councitaxpayer is only ever going to be ramped up by small wins. Look at how the concept of local council, BBC tv programmes, etc, having web psages was denigrated only relatively few years ago. Now look at where we are.

    The naysayers would do well to button it for a few months at least. It’s in the nature of these things that the complete turkeys that organisations try out become evident immediately (are you listening O2?) and those who are quick to slag off the honest efforts end up looking sheepish.

  2. Georgette Wright

    Comments on the Guardian website are generally on a par with YouTube
    As for those who make it their mission in life to loudly complain about initiatives like Walsall’s, they’ll never go away. Thick skins and patience are required. I’m so aware that’s easy to type, harder to put into practice! As you say, the world is changing – thank god – and they can’t do a thing to stop it, apart from posting sarcy comments online. Let em get on with it. The poor lambs need an outlet! Whereas yourself and others have their focus on the prize not the poop.

    I was talking about developing my organisation’s Facebook and Twitter presence recently and of course people worry about time and cost and what if someone posts something rude about us online. The horror! A colleague, old enough to remember, said that there was a time when organisations would only write to people and wouldn’t even think about picking up a phone. End discussion.

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