Friday, June 21, 2024

So how do you “Build Perfect Council Websites”?

So this was my first ‘gig’ at a conference. Have to say I was really shaking in my high heels (which were by the way, very uncomfortable! LOL) but glad to say I managed to pull through it with the support of a wonderful group of people who were very supportive and interactive throughout my session.

By Liz Azyan , in Videos , at August 6, 2009 Tags: , , , ,

I was really nervous!

So this was my first ‘gig’ at a conference. Have to say I was really shaking in my high heels (which were by the way, very uncomfortable! LOL)  but glad to say I managed to pull through it with the support of a wonderful group of people who were very supportive and interactive throughout my session. 🙂 Thank you to all who were there in my session. I really enjoyed talking to all of you and I definitely learnt alot too. Felt like a little focus group session actually .. LOL !

Here are the slides for the session!

Building Perfect Council Websites Conference 09

View more presentations from LGEOResearch.

Here’s a great overview of my session written by Tristan Parker from E-Gov Bulletin Live that I feel is definitely worth sharing here. Take a look. Thx Tristan!

A couple of issues were identified through my interaction with the participants in this session and the following questions were amongst those I feel were most significant in terms of identifying the issues within local councils. Check it out.

  1. How can local councils build the business case for social media?
  2. What are the technological or CMS systems challenges and influences on the deployment of social media or web 2.0 tools in local authorities?
  3. Which departments should be responsible for social media communication and maintenance?
  4. How do you measure the ROI for social media? Is it relevant to calculate the ROI when using social media?
  5. How do you train local council employees to adapt or take advantage of social media in their day-to-day tasks?
  6. Do human resources have to provide social media training or design future job descriptions to include social media skills as part of their media literacy requirements?
  7. How is cost getting in the way of future Web 2.0 developments in local councils?
  8. How does the support of senior managers and the CEO have an impact of the success of social media in local councils?
  9. How many people are needed to appropriately deploy a social media strategy?
  10. What are employees performance issues related or being perceived to social media usage in local councils?
  11. Are social media channels being blocked in local councils? Is this wise?
  12. How are local councils strategizing their social media campaigns or usage? What are the usual or general desired outcomes of using social media?
  13. How long does it take for local councils to reap the benefits of a certain social media activity?
  14. How does a local council know whether or not to take the social media route to create citizen engagement?
  15. How can social media benefit internal communications? Are local council intranets built or designed to support these services? Are they Web 2.0 enabled?
  16. How do we determine the best and most appropriate “Social Media Employee Guideline Policy” without reinventing the wheel and limiting its potential?

Photo Credit: Jadu

And among the common roadblocks to social media are as follows along with the questions associated with each roadblock.

Common roadblocks of “official” social media adoption

  • Awareness
  1. Are you aware of the potential of social media?
  2. Do local council employees know how to use social media tools to engage with citizens?
  3. How many local council employees know how to use or use social media in their private lives?
  4. Are local councils aware of best practices in social media to engage with citizens?
  • The Old Guard
  1. Are social media developments in local councils suffering from lack of support from senior management?
  2. Are senior management aware of the value and potential of social media?
  3. Is social media considered a threat to senior management due to fear of new technology?
  4. Is social media causing a cultural shift and gap between the senior management and employees?
  • Red Tape
  1. Do local councils block access to social media sites in their town hall?
  2. If yes, what type of blockage exists? Is social media blocked all together or based on a certain time frame? Or does it apply to only certain employees?
  3. Why do local councils block access to social media sites?
  • Bureaucracy
  1. Is bureaucracy getting in the way of social media developments?
  2. What are the operations, security procedures, manpower, training, decisions and policies bureaucracy barriers that are currently facing local councils who wish to adopt social media?
  3. How is bureaucracy affecting the speed of social media uptake in local councils?
  • Security
  1. What are the security issues faced by local councils when adopting social media?
  2. Are the security issues valid or just a myth?
  3. Could local councils overcome the security issues associated with social media if a good working social media strategy was in order?
  4. Is it easier for decision makers to assume a security threat and avoid social media than to actually implement it?
  5. Would the high traffic from social media sites pose a greater risk for malware and spyware?
  6. Is there an issue with sites such as YouTube consuming considerable amount of bandwidth?
  • Gag Orders
  1. How much development is there in local councils in relation to social media being prematurely terminated due to issues of lack of awareness, bureaucracy, the old guard, the red tape and security?
  2. How many cases are there on social media being terminated due to fear or risk of council exposures in the public platform?
  3. Is there a fear of employees wasting their time on social networking sites?
  4. What type of social media policy guide should be implemented in local councils that will ensure proper use of social media without limiting its true potential?

A great video overview of the event made by Jadu


Perfect Council Websites 2009 from Jadu on Vimeo.

This brilliant video compilation was created by Jadu, who was one of the main sponsors of PCW09. The video kicks off with a peak to the atmosphere and attendees before the event started and later Dan Jellinek, the Editor of E-Government Bulletin.

John Fox (Better Connected Reviewer) & Dane Wright (IT Strategy Manager – London Borough of Brent) talking about location, location, location

Is it just me, or does this just remind you of Kristy and Phil (from Location, location, location)? 😉
Just judging by the title, we could pretty much understand what this presentation is all about. However do we really know how lon/lat co-ordinates and postcodes are used by local councils? And how online mapping can provide citizens with information based information.

I’m a firm believer that in order to understand and get some practical knowledge on a subject is to actually see the subject in action. So it was very lucky for us to actually see a few examples that do just that. Below are links to those examples provided over this session.

  1. West Oxfordshire DC
  2. North Lincolnshire Council
  3. North Down BC  uses the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Services (NINIS)
  4. Thurrock Council
  5. Salford City Council
  6. Harrow Council
  7. Eden City Council
  8. Torfaen CBC
  9. London Borough of Brent
Huge shift from mass media to personal media….

Video of @surajkika‘s presentation, CEO of Jadu

The Social Media to Web 3.0 evolution starts with putting Government Data online from Jadu on Vimeo.

Suraj has also blogged about the event and his sessions on his own blog here. Be sure to check it out, as he talks about “Social Media engagement” and “The Top Tasks – talking about Happy Landing Pages”.

Suraj Kika’s Blog: Building the Perfect Council Website 2009: Vision of the Future

Suraj had a few links in his presentation which I feel is very much worth sharing.

  1. Putting government data online
  2. Video of a presentation by Joshua Bloch at Google on “How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters”
  3. Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web “Government Data is being put online to increase accountability, contribute valuable information about the world, and to enable government, country, and the world to function more efficiently.”

The Golden Nuggets….

What I liked most about Suraj’s presentation was a couple of golden nuggets I feel touches on the most important points for us to move forward towards the semantic web… which are:-

  1. “Its essential Senior Management understand the evolution of the Internet (help educate them).
  2. You ALREADY have the data!
  3. All you have to do is: LINK it. Publish it.
  4. “Sometimes it is better to JUST DO IT!

I don’t think we could put this in a simpler form or delivery. Suraj is absolutely right, senior management do need to understand the evolution. We DO ALREADY have the data. And yes, all we have to do is LINK it and then PUBLISH it. And last but not least… JUST DO IT!

There’s no point in dwelling on TO DO or  NOT TO DO… Move forward and embrace the future! We live in a world where REAL-TIME is in fact 3 seconds ahead. SPONTANEITY is key and by being spontaneous has its rewards but do not forget TO BE SMART! Have a risk management strategy in hand, monitor your progress, re-polish your strategy constantly and etc. As the world moves, so should you…

William Perrin talking about citizen empowerment at PCW09

I’ve been to a couple of events where I’ve seen William Perrin talking about citizen empowerment and I’ve always enjoyed his presentations, so its lucky that this time around I managed to capture it on video. William also writes about citizen empowerment on his blog. Its related to his presentation here. Check it out.

Citizen empowered by information

I won’t write my summary for his session as I believe it won’t give his presentation any justice! 😉

The best way for you to take it all in is by experiencing it yourself. You can find the video of William’s presentation below. Sorry the camera wasn’t properly adjusted in the beginning! Trust me there are a few funny moments and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

William Perrin “Talk About Local” at Building Perfect Council Websites 2009 from Liz Azyan on Vimeo.

Hope you’ve found this useful!

@Liz_Azyan xxx