Think Tank LincolnThink Tank Lincoln

For the second time this year I have come away from a LocalGovCamp with my head buzzing with ideas, inspired by the people I have met, proud of the work and passion there is in the sector and wowed by the wonderful support network.

Yesterday was LocalGovCamp Lincoln – an unconference for local government web people. As is the way with these things there was no agenda before we gathered at Think Tank and everyone could make suggestions, steer sessions and tell their stories. As is always the way there was almost too much good stuff on the line-up that appeared and I was spoilt for choice.

Throughout the day I attended sessions on how and why councils could or should use social networks; does a council need a website?; maps made easy; guerilla user testing; and ran a (very small) session on devolved authorship for content management. If I could have split myself in two I would have attended sessions on hyperlocal; advertising on council websites, ePetitions, eConsultation and Scraperwiki. In lieu of cloning I’m relying on a collegue to fill me in and being able to read up from tweets and blogs that are surely to come!

I didn’t live blog the day (although I clocked up a good few miles on my tweetometre) but will be writing up posts on the sessions I attended as I get my thoughts together.

General thoughts that came out of the day:

  • There are some really wonderful, innovative, passionate people working in and for local government.
  • While creativity and innovation might seem to favour a cavalier approach to how we develop our systems the strong message coming out was that however cool and groovy these things were we would only recommend pursuing the ones that really suited our residents; it was their opinion on the worth of doing something and the success of what we did do that was valued most. The citizen is king.
  • That often it is easy to make excuses about why we aren’t doing something or why we aren’t asking or listening to residents online. In fact not doing something that residents want can’t be excused, only explained.
  • That all of the top five things I said about localgovcamp Birmingham more than apply here.

A big thanks to Andrew Beeken of City of Lincoln council and the day’s sponsors for making it happen. More on the sessions as and when I get the chance!

Check out the tweets from the day on the lgclincoln hashtag.

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