After a few weeks of relative silence, I thought I'd blog a short update on what's been happening in the background on Community Voices.
Over the last few weeks I've been pouring through research papers, amongst other things, including our own Community Voices research paper
, as well as Hidden Talents II
from the Local Government Association. One of the clear thoughts that has arisen from all this delving is that my original question, "How can we connect with isolated communities?"
needs to be refined more, it now seems more relevant to ask "how can we build bridges to those organisations that are already working with isolated communities?". This is of direct relevance to the Community Voices project as we build up an itinerary for Kim, our Outreach Manager, in terms of how can we get the message out about Community Voices to those communities that are digitally excluded, or offline. This week Kim has been in Liverpool visiting Vintage Radio amongst other organsations. It was a successful trip, you can read more in her blog
including the very human story from Marj .
Building bridges was a key conclusion from the Community Voices research, but actually is a greater challenge for the project itself. How can we build a successful 'hub' that enables communities to connect, doesn't require resource intensive moderation and yet can be owned by those who can benefit from it? Michelle Ide-Smith asks this question
which I found fascinating to read, and to hear the responses. As David notes, others too are facing this challenge, including Carl Haggerty
at Devon County Council, as he notes in his blog.
I would be interested to hear other people's thoughts?
Building on this theme, we have been thinking about a Communities Conference for Community Voices. I know there have been
around this idea previously. We wanted to turn the idea of a conference on its head, something that it lead by communities, where the audience is those that are trying to reach and engage with communities, rather than the other way round. It was notable at the Digital Engagement event
that communities were missing. Would it be possible to turn this around, a Communities Conference run by communities for the benefit of communities?
Has this been done before, what do people think? Worth trying or doomed to fail? Again, would be interested to hear people's thoughts.