I'm restarting this blog, after moving to Partnerships Online, in order to try different formats, and maybe make a distinction in future between project-related content there and other musings here. I'll see how it goes. Below are a few of the items I've posted to Partnerships Online over the past few months. More here soon.
Daily regeneration news now available by blog
The charity Ruralnet|uk is offering a free blog-based prototype of its daily feed of urban and rural regeneration news. A Prospectus sets out plans to continue development through sponsorship
Community governance made simple ... well, understandable
Research into local partnerships in England highlights some of the tensions between politicians, officials and community representatives. By developing a script from their interviews, the researchers have created a basis for conversations that make community governance more understandable.
Jamie's Big Voice shows the way for online campaigns
Blogger Jamie Mccoy brought an authentic voice about homelessness to the election campaign. He's still blogging, and maybe pointing the way for campaigning organisations to use the Net more effectively.
Google makes Brighton and Hove theplacetobe
A localised version of Google is providing the south coast city with a spcecialised search engine, developed by a local partnership. With wifi offering near-blanket connectivity, the city is becoming the place to b
Storytelling proves more engaging than a survey
The original brief for a study of community cohesion in Pendle, in the north west of England, specified a baseline survey - but the local council accepted proposals for a programme of storytelling and found it generated rather more buzz and involvement as well as useful data
Telling the lifestory of a local forum
Neighbourhood forums are one of the methods for local participative democracy promoted by UK central and local government - but what do they mean in practice? We found out by inviting people to invent a place, create a forum, and tell its lifestory - all within an hour.
Planning a networky organisation? Just invite everyone
Traditional nonprofits - and other organisations - can end up with communication and governance problems juggling roles of board, staff, advisers and other interests. One answer - make them all part of the network. Here's a diagram that might get people talking
Making the most of being small
Jason Fried, who has developed the successful project management system Basecamp, explained to the Reboot conference why it is isn't such a bad thing to be small. You just need to embrace those things apparently constraining you, as Jason explains in a video interview.
Microsoft's chief humaniser on pushing the political and company membrane
Microsoft employee Robert Scoble's blogging is starting to show the company people have loved to hate may be becoming more access to its customers. In a video interview he talks of pushing membrane - and how this can work in civil society too.
Community enterprise partners with IBM to provide Regen TV
Community networking pioneers in East London developed a system to provide residents with community video and computing on their TV sets. Now IBM has developed an open source system to roll the model out to housing organisations and councils.
E-democracy: the full UK toolkit now available The UK national local e-democracy project has published a toolkit drawn from a major programme of pilots. What's now needed are ways to get other non-government interests involved.
E-democracy gains some bottom-up tools: official
Local groups can develop their own citizen-based issues forums thanks to open source software developed in New Zealand, promoted by a US-based e-democracy advocate, and piloted in the UK.
Think tank promotes local engagement to revive politics
The think tank Demos launched an essay on Everyday Democracy, arguing the route to reviving public interest in politics lies in greater engagement in local as well as global issues, and matters that reconnect people with their communities. The language was high-flown - but Demos staff had some creative work from their awayday to provide a lighter touch.
Time to tell the story of regeneration pioneers
The recent retirement of Roger Matland as director of the Westway Development Trust provides the occasion to reflect on how far community-based regeneration has progressed in the UK through the creation of hundreds of similar organisations over the past 30 years. Maybe it's time they shared their stories, using the collaborative media now available.
Finding a chance to talk with or without WSIS
People trying to do good stuff with new technologies, who aren't in business or government, need a chance to network and share experience. The British Council is providing opportunities through work on the World Summit on the Information Society ... but we might achieve more without such a heavy overhead of UN-speak.
Grassroots media using open source - analysis, action and surprise support
A new essay from Jon Garfunkel analyses the role of gatekeepers in old media and blogging. Old media turned grassroots media advocate Dan Gillmour starts to practice what he writes about. CivicSpace offers a chance for us all to use the open source software Drupal underpinning Jon and Dan's work. A benevolent Milwaukee "wiki gnome" helps fix this site.
Political apathy inquiry highlights culture change
A major UK inquiry into political participation, branded POWER by two leading charities and a panel of notable Commissioners, calls for democratic innovation and a change of political culture. However, bridging the cultural gap between politics, mainstream media, public relations and citizen participation may prove a challenge for the Commission itself.
Policy isn't enough to ensure participation
Facilitators and others specialising in public participation conclude that UK Government policy pronouncements aren't enough to overcome organisational inertia and an unwillingness to share or distribute power.
Local e-democracy could help with digital empowerment
The Manifesto for a Digital Britain asks "How can we empower better", in its current consultation. One avenue could be for the the Government's local e-democracy project - currently narrow in its focus - to engage more widely with other interests in the development and dissemination of its toolkit.
Time to open source local e-democracy
The UK government is funding the world's biggest local e-democracy project which claims it will "harness the power of new technology to encourage citizen participation in local decision making" and become "Your community conversation".... but the whole exercise looks a bit top-down. How How about an open knowledge approach to developing their e-democracy toolkit?