Likeminds 2010 – was it really for me?

In my previous post i shared my first thoughts and observations from attending the Likeminds 2010 conference. It was a great day and my thoughts have now started to settle down. If you wish to read other peoples views on the event, check out the likeminds site.

The question i am asking myself now is  – was the event for me?

I work in local government and i know that we can learn from other sectors and other professionals, but i’m starting to think that for a whole day event, i didn’t really come away with anything new  – that is not to say that the quality of presentations weren’t great because they were. I was very impressed with Jon Akwue, Joanne Jacobs and Chris Brogan who was one of the first 10 people i started to follow on twitter – Joanne’s Gartner style hype cycle for Augmented Reality was very interesting.

However it seems to me that we (public sector folk) are actually very advanced in our collective thinking on the potential of social software and social media. I include social software because i believe that we will gain huge advantages implementing this technology internally first before we embark externally on the road to radical transformation. This point was supported by an excellent presentation by Olivier Blanchard on “Operationalising Social Communications” – Ok so the title is a bit too “Communications” friendly for most public sector folk, but to be honest i don’t care what we call it, as long as we actually ALL understand what we are really talking about.

If you are in the public sector and you have heard Dave Briggs talk, or spoken to the following people in and around the public sector : Dominic Campbell, Jeremy Gould, Paul Clarke, Tim Davies, Mary McKenna, Steve Dale, Catherine Howe and Julie Harris to name but a few. All of these people i have heard talk about practical examples of change using social web technologies over the past 2 years. From the IDeA’s Knowledge Hub, eSafeguarding Projects, Youth Participation and Engagement, Learning Organisations, Reboot Britain, Digital Mentors and Virtual Civic Spaces. All of these in my opinion are great examples of the power and potential of social media.

Surely this is about FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE not just in businesses, public sector organisations but in society as a whole.

I appreciate that for many people Likeminds was a place where they learned about new stuff and new approaches, but for me, i have already been on that journey, but it was good to listen to great speakers.

I love likeminds and i love being part of it, but perhaps this time it was just a little to broad for me and not deep enough.

I suspect that the other likeminds offerings would meet my needs but being based in local government, funds are limited if not non existent to enable participation in some of the others.

I think that the main reason for me to feel this way was that it feels like the event was aimed at a more commercial group of people, it was no coincidence that a large number of people attending were agencies and people offering services in this space.

My thoughts continue.

LGIU – Action Learning Set – Social Networking and Participation

Last friday (24th April) i attended the LGIU (Local Government Information Unit) action learning set. I was asked to speak for about 30 minutes on our experiences in Devon and in particular the strategic perspective as opposed to a detailed practitioner level (otherwise Katie would should have gone)

I had planned to blog sooner about the day but it provided some excellent ideas about how social networking can provide a bridge between individual and group engagement. But i still need to think more about this as well as touch base again with Tim Davies who was facilitating the Action Learning Set and Bill Badham from the National Youth Agency.

The session was made up of various people from a youth focused background to a corporate background, so it provided a good mix and balance for discussions.

Tim had asked me to try and focus on where this fit into the wider picture but also practical approaches to taking this forward within local councils, so that is what i tried to do within the 30 minutes.

My slides are here

and i also used the video of my Chief Executive again as it is becoming more and more relevant and more powerful the more i watch it and use it.

The most interesting and more important link that you can make if you are looking to move forward in this area is to link it into the Hear By Right Framework. There is huge potential to at least get wider strategic support for this type of activity if you connect with your colleague in the  youth service and children and young people’s directorates and help make those connections.

I am planning on writing a blog post about how i see the wider framework for the way my councils works in these spaces over the next week or so.

Roaming wild with web cams: video camera consultation | Tim’s Blog

Following on from one of my previous posts, Tim Davies has blogged his thoughts about the event and in particular the use of portable video web cams.

Interestingly we actually bought 6 devices but i accidentally left one of them at home on the side as i was playing with it to see how easy it was to use. They are very easy and great fun…

Anyway, Tim’s post is a good read…

Roaming wild with web cams: video camera consultation | Tim’s Blog.