Category Archives: Facebook

5 things I’ll miss about local goverment comms

As I come to the last couple of weeks at my role in local goverment I have become, some might say, uncharacteristically reflective. I know it’s the right thing to do for me; now, but there are some things I will really miss. I have many things to take away with me that make me feel as proud as a man who’s grown a giant melon!
Melon

1. It’s fantastically diverse
One can be in a serious case review on Monday, on a boat in the North Sea on Tuesday, having stakeholder relations with protest groups on Facebook on Wednesday, mediating between schools, the media, senior officers and eleceted members on results day on Thursday and running fun competitions and ordering T-shirts for our first free music festival on Friday. Yes, that was my week this week, and delightfully; it is typical.

Boating in Blyth

2. Being forced into creativity by budgets (or lack of)
Most people who come to us come with a solution. We have to get them to rethink this and come with a problem to which we will have a solution. Then you get to the real challenge: ‘so what’s the budget?’ ‘Er, nothing!’

3. Embracing technology (see 2)
I do not mean digital by default to thoughtlessly save money. I mean genuine creative solutions that truly embrace new mediums and new ways of communicating with residnets on their terms in a way that encourages two-way communication and relevant engagement.

4. The scope of personnel
As I touched on in the first point. I cant think of any other job where one deals with elected members, senior officers, managers, front line officers, ordinary people, extraordinary people, animals, royalty, business owners, artists, and more, where you are in control and the voice of authority. It’s a strange situation, speaking knowledge to power, with someone who earns quarter of a million pounds a year, or is the leader of a council, but that’s all part of the job, when it’s done well.

5. The people
Yes I know, its sadly predictable. But it’s true. I’ve had a whale of a time and learned so much from dedicated, passionate, often inspiring people who find creative solutions to problems with moral integrity and enthusiasm in the face of adversity.

And now, the end is near; and so I face the final curtain.

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G-Force: Or, what goes up must come down

Every social network site has a life cycle. Some last longer than others but there will always be something bigger, better, faster, stronger waiting in the wings. Have a listen to this delightful song as you read my take on it all.  My delve into the brave new world of Google+.

Everyone, at some time in their lives goes through a stage when they realise they are set in their ways; stuck in a routine (comfortable). It can happen when you’re in a relationship; you can plan out the week by what you’re having for dinner, or what television programmes you’ll sit and eat it in front of (I know, but we all do it, the table has got the ironing pile on and the laptop is charging). It happens with the places you go too.

BocaDorada

“would you like your usual?”
Image courtesy of BocaDorada

When you’re young you go to every bar, cafe and club you can. You have an appetite for new experiences and a hunger to meet new and exciting people. But then something happens and you get comfortable again. You find yourself frequenting the same bars, and the same cafes (clubbing is simply out of the question; too many young people making loud noises).

What if the same thing has happened to your social media life as has to your social life? Well let me tell you, it has! We all quite happily discarded the passé charms of MySpace without a second thought when we realised the ‘in’ crowd were hanging out on Facebook in their droves, and we were quite happy, after a few complimentary words from our most cutting edge of friends, to spend a little of our time in that new place where everyone was twitting or tweeting or something like that. Yes, we all give it a go and learned how to fit in and order what we wanted, but that’s when it started to go a bit stale.

Sure, your networking friends started to dabble with LinkedIn, and you go to show you’re face every now and then, just to make sure you’re not missing out on anything. But we’ve been hanging around the same places for so long we seem to have settled. Have we really though? Are we prepared to accept that this is it for us now? (Why not, I hear you say; we haven’t listened to any new music produced after 2002!) If we open our eyes, and remember our bygone wanderlust we may get a pleasant surprise.

googleplus

Does Google+ have the potential to overtake Facebook?

Ok, the new place looks pretty good. It seems to have all the best bits of the regular places with a few really cool new bits, but is it worth the hassle of signing up for something new? Is Google+ really worth all the stress of learning how to get around somewhere new and signing up to be a member of yet another new club? Well, that’s up to you to decide. I for one am prepared to be one of the first to give it a go. Yes I know, it’s full of young people and strange men who know the difference between a cloud and a klout, but that’s what we thought about Twitter back in 2007. I’m prepared to uproot and rebuild my life in a new place, safe in the knowledge that you will all join me in a couple of years (if that!).

Google+ faces an impossible task trying to convince people to leave the people and places they have grown to love (if only through familiarity). They must rely on the early adopters, and the advocates to spread the word. Admittedly so, I left it too long to be able to call myself an early adopter, but I’m doing it now and I implore you all to follow suit.

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