Curating and sharing relevant content for DFTRA

DFTRA
I recently had the pleasure of exchanging social media tips with Caroline Salter, who works for Dudley Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations (DFTRA). Amongst her other work she does an absolutely fantastic job of maintaining DFTRA’s website, the @DudleyFed twitter account and Facebook Page.

Caroline is committed to finding relevant online content to share with local tenants and residents associations, and brilliant at bringing together the great things they are doing and helping to share them more widely. Do check out what our local tenants and residents groups are getting up to, and the work that DFTRA do in bringing them together. The current DFTRA newsletter even includes a handy list of the tenants and residents associations using social media and where to find them. Nice work Caroline!

70% of the internet is video… time to develop your video making skills?

The wonderful Dan Slee and Darren Caveney of Comms2point0 have mentioned a few times in their blogs and rather wonderful weekly email that 70% of the internet is video. Each time I’ve read this I’ve wondered “is that because video files take up more space than text files?” (my understanding of the internet being rather rudimentary). Today I wanted to let you know about the NetSquared Midlands Meet-up on 16 May at which Dan will be describing the changing landscape of what is shared online and offering some tips on getting to grips with video making. So I decided to look up that 70% statistic as I wanted to understand it.

I learned from this article and similar ones that the statistic is probably from data provided by a North American broadband services company about home broadband internet usage during peak evening hours. The article is titled “Streaming Video Now Accounts for 70 Percent of Broadband Usage”, which is perhaps a bit misleading, but hey, it’s a headline and needed to be snappy. So the statistic is about what is streamed. Plus, the categorisation ‘video’ includes what I still think of as ‘TV’ – Netflix streaming takes a whopping 37% share of the broadband usage.

Which is not to say that we shouldn’t be getting to grips with video. Dan makes some great points in this succinct list of 7 things you need to know about video in 2016. The important ones for me in terms of ways that we can use social media to connect, communicate and collaborate are:

  • Video on the web is no longer just YouTube
    Once posting it to the 11-year-old social site and then sharing the link was enough. Not anymore. More than 500 million people watch Facebook video every day, according to Facebook.
  • Anyone can shoot video if their phone is good enough
    Go to your camera. Click the video option. Point your camera. Record. There you go. Done. If you have a smartphone you can do it.
  • The best video is of real people and not in an office
    Shoot footage of real people doing real things. They’ll be more interesting and they’ll also have friends, relatives, aunts and uncles who have Facebook profiles they’ll like and share that video on.

So why not take the opportunity to spend an evening with Dan Slee and the equally knowledgable NetSquared Midlands organisers Pauline Roche and Paul Webster, and get to grips with video? The NetSquared meet-up is on Monday 16 May, 6.30-8.30pm at Impact Hub Birmingham in Digbeth.

And what better to end this post with but a video? This is a beautiful video about Bread2Share, a successful Dudley social enterprise, made by the talented Simon of Reel Eyes Films, another social enterprise.

Snapchat – worth a play with?

snapchat iconDo you Snapchat all day long? Or find Snapchat completely confusing? I’m in the latter camp. Despite my teenage niece’s best efforts I just couldn’t get my head around Snapchat. However that might change now.

Apparently Snapchat have just rebuilt the messaging part of their app, so it is more like Messenger and WhatsApp. Find out more in this handy article: Snapchat just made a huge change to become your go-to messaging app which caught my eye in today’s lovely email update from Comms2Point0.

If you’re wondering what on earth Snapchat is, how it works, or how you might use it, why not come along to our Digital Playtime session on Thursday 14 April – drop in anytime between 12.30 and 2.30pm and we can figure it out together.

5 reasons to come along to BostinCamp on 12 April

BostinCamp returns to DY1 on Tuesday 12 April (you can register to come along on Eventbrite). We’ll be hearing how Dudley’s Business Connector Andy Mullaney is using social media to increase his impact, and learn about Dudley Smart Region Hub and Data Brew, both created by local resident Nathan Coyle.

Here are 5 great reasons to come along, based on experience and what we have lined up.

1. You’ll learn something useful… if not quite a few things

I frequently hear people during and after a BostinCamp session saying “I didn’t know …” I am always pleasantly surprised at how effective 90 minutes of chat over a cuppa and a bit of cake can be for knowledge sharing and learning.

2. You’ll meet lovely people who are involved in interesting things

The most difficult thing to do at BostinCamp is break up the conversations people have started before we kick off and during the comfort break in the middle. Everyone seems to make great connections and enjoy the chance to have a bit of one-to-one time with someone they may have just met for the first time, or perhaps know but don’t often get the opportunity to chat to.

3. You’ll be inspired by someone

I can’t predict how, but it just seems to be something that happens during these sessions. Following our last session at which Alison Sayer from Halas Homes talked about her journey using social media, and Joy Boyes shared her experiences of using social media in Public Health, Jane Clarke got home and sent her first tweet!

4. Andy Mullaney has a great story to share

I couldn’t believe that Andy hadn’t used Twitter before he was seconded last October from Lloyds Bank to Business in the Community to become Dudley’s first ever Business Connector. I can’t wait to hear how he uses social media to help generate a positive impact in education, employment and enterprise in Dudley borough. You can find him on Twitter @DudleyConnector and he’s also blogs regularly on LinkedIn

5. Nathan Coyle is up to really interesting things

I posted a couple of weeks ago about Nathan’s #SmartDudley twitter campaign, and mentioned Dudley Smart Region Hub and Data Brew. I’m fascinated by these innovations Nathan is driving, I think they are the start of some completely new kinds of conversations and activities in Dudley for citizens and local government in relation to use of digital, or civic tech as we might call this sort of thing.

I’d love to hear more reasons if you’ve been along to BostinCamp before – you can pop them below in the reply box. Don’t forget to register places to join us on Tuesday 12 April 6pm-8pm. Hope to see you there.

#SmartDudley twitter campaign

I was delighted to finally meet Nathan Coyle recently. A Dudley resident with a passion for Dudley, it’s people and ways that we can use technology to make Dudley even better. Nathan has kicked off something really interesting called Dudley Smart Region Hub – because as well as being thoroughly lovely, he’s the kind of person who turns his ideas into actual things.

This week Nathan made and launched a beta version of a digital tool called Data Brew. The idea behind it is “to encourage community groups, social enterprise and citizens to come together to create social campaigns or projects using open data as a base to evidence it.” In other words a way to help people work together using data to help solve problems. Do have a look / play and let us know what you think of it.

I’ve also just spotted a lovely twitter campaign which Nathan has started called #SmartDudley. See the graphic below for details and get tweeting!

I’m hoping Nathan might guest blog here sometime soon about Dudley Smart Region Hub and Data Brew, in the meantime you can check out his Huffington Post blogs and hear from him at the upcoming BostinCamp (which will be on Tuesday 12 April, details to be shared shortly).

smart dudley

Free social media support for local groups, clubs and societies

photo of a smartphone next to scrabble tiles spelling ‘social media'

Just a reminder that there are free social media surgeries taking place regularly around Dudley borough, thanks to the generosity of local business owners who host our sessions.

Halesowen – at the friendly Coffee Cups cafe (@CoffeeCupsHalas)
Thur 10 Mar 9.30am – 11.00am register
Stourbridge – at the beautiful Talbot Hotel
Mon 11 Apr 10.00am -11.30am register
Dudley – at the lovely Cafe Grande (CafeGrande Dudley on Facebook)
Thur 19 May 6.00pm – 7.30pm register

What is a surgery?

A social media surgery is an informal gathering of people who want to learn how to use the web to communicate, campaign or collaborate. They support voluntary and community groups, local charities, clubs and societies. Surgeries are deliberately relaxed. No presentations, no jargon, no-one telling people what they think they should know.

Instead you will sit next to someone who understands good ways to use the internet, someone who will listen to what you do, and then show you free, useful tools. If you like what you see they can also help you set up your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. Social media surgeries take place around Dudley borough every few weeks, so you can keep coming back for help.

We’re always looking for surgeons

Think of a surgeon at a social media surgery  as a helper. A surgeon is someone who knows enough about using social media to help someone else. Some surgeons have spent years understanding the internet. Others started learning a few months ago but want to share what they know with other community groups and active citizens.

We have some brilliant surgeons, some work for Dudley Council, some run their own businesses, some work for charities, others are freelancers and volunteers in their own time. If you’re interested in helping and would like to know a bit more about it, please get in touch and we can chat on the phone or meet for coffee.

Contact me on twitter: @dosticen / facebook: lorna.dosticen / text or WhatsApp: 07501 722255 / email: lorna@dudleycvs.org.uk