My head is full of ideas about ways for local gov digital peers to share knowledge and experience at the moment (mainly because I’m involved in the Knowledge Hub project) and a couple of weeks ago I tweeted one of my thoughts.

To be honest, I hadn’t really thought through the detail before throwing the tweet out there (there’s my JFDI streak coming out again) but it seemed to gain a little momentum.

My idea? How about sharing case studies, work in progress, lessons learnt etc through short video clips. A local gov version of the TEDx presentations if you will.

In response Ingrid Koehler called for people to make suggestions of who they’d like to see a video from or a subject they’d be interested in. Suggestions were forthcoming but for big names like Martha Lane Fox. A great idea – and I’d watch that video – but my real interest would lie in getting contributions from local gov officers working at the coal face of digital (so to speak).

A three-minute video sharing a how to on something like setting up social web monitoring, how an authority has got some value out of using social bookmarking, success at selling ideas internally, step-by-steps to ‘techy’ sounding things explained for non-techies. I’m sure some of those things exist already but if they’re done by local gov officers if gives a point of call for further information or referencing.

I guess it assumes we all have access to to a webcam or Flip  or can screencast what we’re doing and that without the prompt of a social reporter can speak on a subject without clamming up. Maybe someone has suggestions for how we might overcome these sorts of issues?

I wonder also if presenting ideas and case studies in this way might help reach some of those working on digital in authorities but who aren’t (for whatever reason) engaged with Communities of Practice or informal networks on Twitter. It’s a way of passing on the knowledge in a way where they can still be passive.

A start could be to aggregate all the videos of local gov people and information that is already out there into one place. Or maybe I should have vodcasted this post to kick things off?

8 thoughts on “So you wanna be a movie star?

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Great Idea, what about a simple set of cards with questions on, this would give some consistency to a case study style of presentation. It might help with the lack of an external person interviewing. With regard technology, that is a bigger barrier but shouldn’t be seen as a major show stopper.

    I am guessing here that most local gov digital “gurus” will probably have some sort of mobile phone capable of filming – BIG ASSUMPTION i know but surely they would have…it may mean some sort of compromise around video quality but we may have to compromise on some aspects unless of course someone pays for a set of devices to be “loaned” out to people for this very purpose.

    Love the idea though.

  2. sarah

    we are planning some videos on care sector – agree it is a great idea and you tube is all powerful in 12 to 25-ish group


  3. Hi Carl,

    Glad you like my idea – I like you card idea or prompt. Maybe a regular question that people around the sector could answer??? Almost in a (have you seen this?) style: “This week we’re talking about Twitter”. Local gov peeps then submit their vids in response while still being able to ‘freestyle’ and submit anything else they want to share (non-rudies of course!)

    I would think you’re right that most of the people who already talk to each other and share would have some means of getting going with it…and getting something started, JFDI, is the way, right?

    Hmmmnnn…this idea is growing in my head now. We might be onto something!


  4. Sarah

    It’s an idea whose time has already come. We’ve set up several engagement sites for local authorities over the past year. I realised some time ago after talking to directors of social services that something far more proactive needed to be done to involve people within the authority and in the wider community.

    My background in journalism, so the obvious way forward was to focus on 3-minute video blogs. A short, to the point and democratic medium. The empahsis is often on the human interest story, this then helps to empower staff and vulnerable people in the community to speak up. Through the network that’s created this can then be uploaded so all registered users across the community can hear what’s being said.

    It’s content driven and non hierarchical in structure. No big brother with a brand to sell.

    Beautiful. Simple.

    Altho we have a few local authorities on board, it could go a lot further. In my own small way, I reckon with the existing tools and the right people I could help to transform community comms. Exciting stuff.

    Flips are the key.

  5. Hi Alex,

    Interesting to know you’re already working on some videos for the Care Sector. I think YouTube is a really great idea although I would assume that quite a lot of local web digi folk are outside of that main age range.

    I’m also interested in either pulling vids in from somewhere like YouTube to a central place that local gov digital people can definitely go to (guess some authorities have barred access to YouTube) and perhaps allow ‘safe’ discussion and links to other media – something like the Communities of Practice or Knowledge Hub I guess.

    Good luck with your vids – be interested to see 🙂


  6. Yes, i think we just need to identify an appropriate location to “host” where the majority of people can access – so some thought here as well about “access to such sites”. Not sure if the COP platform hosts video? Maybe Learning Pool could do something or even Public Sector Forums?

  7. Hi Sarah – I do a lot of short clips at events – see socialreporter on YouTube – and I’m always impressed by the way that anyone who is willing to have a go will come up with 2-3 minutes of useful talking head content in response to a simple question. But then, in response to your idea, I’m wondering … why don’t I sit in front of my webcam and see how easy it is, by doing a comment here rather than just writing about it? The result is here . I’ll try embed but not sure if the comment box will accept it

    My conclusion, from a test of one, is that it is a bit more difficult to talk to yourself than to someone else. I can see a tendancy to rehearsals, cue sheets etc … while just responding to questions from a friend is relatively easy. It’ll work for some confident people, but not for others. So how about encouraging people to pair up, one plays the reporter, while the other says their piece. Or whatever. Either way, a terrific ideas. Who is up for some experiments?

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