Trying to stay on top of Google’s developments

I was conducting some searches in google earlier when I noticed the increased options down the left hand side, I’ve used some of them before like Videos, Images and News, but I never noticed the “realtime” option.

So i tried it and it is really very good – in fact very google like – quick, responsive and rich with content. I searched for the #lgovsm tag and I think I will actually use this as a way to keep up to date with the conversation in future as you can also track back along the timescale to see which tweets appeared when…

What I found interesting with this is that I don’t remember seeing anything particular about this feature being released, it is just there and it is very VERY useful for searching the twitter timeline, much better than twitter to be honest. So my question is why do Google not make a fuss about all this cool stuff? Or maybe they do and i’m not very good at picking it up!

I’ve included a screen shot below of the search results page – click on the image for a full screen view

lgovsm - Google Search

A really useful video to help others

This is a really good video which uses a very creative way to illustrate how tools like twitter might offer value to people.

A really good point  – “It is people not technology that make the tool effective”

Even more determined

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.

Social Media and the Workplace – Common Craft Video

For Local Government Colleagues who are keen to explain what social media in the workplace means but struggle to get their point across…

A colleague of mine @carefulkeith pointed me in the direction of  “Social Media and the Workplace Explained by Common Craft

It states:

This video takes a look at how social media sites like blogs, Twitter and Facebook are changing how companies think about external communication. It includes points on:

  • How social media sites are making organizations rethink external communication
  • How one company confronts a crisis – and learns how social media can help
  • The role of empowering employees to participate
  • The role of policies and guidelines in social media participation

Common craft videos are also available on you tube but this one isn’t available.

My popular pages

As you’ve probably noticed over the last 24 hours I have been quite busy on my blog and in doing so I noticed my blog stats and my popular pages for the last couple of days – so being curious I dug a bit deeper and it came as no surprise to me that other than the “homepage” the most popular page on my blog was the Revised Social Media Policy and Guidance, which I developed for Devon County Council.

However what did surprise me was the total number of visits – now as it is in multiple parts I roughly totalled up the number of visits for all parts since April and it came to over 6500 – that equates to 928 visits per month since April this year – 7 months…

I was very surprised by this figure and also very proud at the same time. It is a piece of work I am very pleased with and the involvement of key stakeholders only makes it more worthwhile as a piece of work.

This was a very humbling thing actually as I don’t see my blog as being “popular” – I don’t really do it for others to benefit, I’ve said all along that it was for me to share my thoughts (half-baked or otherwise) and hopefully help myself make sense of the world I live and work in. On average my blog gets 49 visits a day, which is an increase on the previous years which were 33 for 2008 and 43 for 2009.

As of 8th November 2010 I’ve received 38,798 total visits since June 2008 – I currently have 28 active subscribers with a further 78 subscribing to comments somewhere in the blog. Finally my biggest referrer to the site is Twitter.

I probably should have done this in june this year as a 2 years on scenario, however I didn’t, but I’m really pleased that my blog is of value to others and the content I share is “hopefully” reused by others.

Thank you all for reading and contributing.