Talk About Local Blog

Nesta offers up to £6,500 for hyperlocal analytics…

Nesta’s latest call for funding bids offers hyperlocals the chance to get to grips with site analytics in order to better exploit their publication’s commercial potential. The charity explains: We are opening a grant funding call for hyperlocal publishers to explore how a more strategic use of website and social media analytics might help them define and measure their success online, to improve their service, audience engagement and reach, and in turn their sustainability and legacy within their local community. This project takes the view that, among hyperlocal media publishers,...

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Leeds hyperlocal lunch – July 2015

On 10 July Sarah Hartley, Linda Broughton and I gathered with some Leeds hyperlocal types at the wonderful Tetley to chat over lunch about the Leeds local web scene and how Talk About Local and Carnegie UK Trust is slowly improving the map of the UK hyperlocal web with Localweblist.net. At the lunch were Jeremy Morton, Ed Carlisle and Lucy Potter from South Leeds Life, Luke Beaumont from Holt Park Today, John Baron of West Leeds Life, Fran Etherington from About My Area LS7/8 and Emma Bearman of Armley Good Stuff and the ‘now notorious’ Armley...

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Rural broadband – practical tips if you have…

These slides contain some practical tips for alternatives to struggling with a dire rural broadband connection in the UK.  They are an extract from a longer talk I gave yesterday to a Tinder Foundation audience of people who work on digital inclusion in rural areas.  Points that emerged in the discussion included: the lack of rural broadband was an important issue for peoples economic and social inclusion many were hacked off with BT – people who had management engagement with them about broadband issues simply felt fobbed off, politely. very...

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Regulating data in the UK – political swarf…

I was one of the non-partisan ‘expert panel’ that produced the ‘Digital Government Review’ delivered to the Labour Party.  I did a lot of work on data regulation and Labour made a rare policy commitment to a review of data policy. Labour did not win the election but data will continue to be critical for anyone working on digital issues. So I thought I would publish some random notes I had made a while ago to feed into a data review, which now won’t happen. These flow from an article I...

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Directory of UK #hyperlocal sites gets a makeover…

We have given the old OpenlyLocal map of UK hyperlocal sites a new home and a makeover as localweblist.net with support from Carnegie UK Trust. We’d like you to help us shape the map’s future with suggestions for new features and what should be in it. Chris Taggart’s OpenlyLocal provided sterling public service for years with a user-driven directory of around 700 UK hyperlocals.   Academics, businesses, regulators and the public have found it invaluable.  We gave Chris an (un)award some years ago for his work but he told us he...

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The UK Supreme Court and the mysterious case…

The UK Supreme Court said the other day that it was only making video available online for a year citing some storage, copyright and cost reasons that didn’t seem right to me.   With my Crime and Justice Sector Transparency Panel hat on I wrote about it, with some helpful comments from Andrew Stott and made enquiries which elicited the response below, which is slightly baffling. As far as I can make out the videos have to disappear for five years before they can surface, nuclear submarine-like for public use using a...

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The iPlayer is fading away as internet video…

Startling growth in online video viewing in the last couple of years seems to have passed by the BBC iPlayer, which appears to be at the top of an ess-curve, with slowing growth rates leavened only by the odd hit shows – Sherlock and Top Gear.  So does the BBC, who yesterday signed a deal with Facebook to embed video natively on the social network have any new tricks up its sleeve online? iPlayer growth The BBC to its credit publishes monthly iPlayer performance packs based on BBC iStat data....

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Russel Brand Miliband interview out-performs most BBC material…

Russel Brand’s interview with Ed Miliband on YouTube channel ‘The Trews’ has now had 1.2 million views six days after it was released.  I wrote about Brand’s intention to disrupt traditional news and the challenge for public service broadcasters in particular to innovate with news forms that are ‘of the internet’ not ‘of tv’.  The BBC’s key weapon for the internet is the iPlayer – the iPlayer does little more than play out TV and Radio shows as they were broadcast other than allowing very limited access to archive material.  ...

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Supreme Court in one step forward, one step…

The UK Supreme Court is publishing video of its proceedings on its website in a video on demand service.  This is welcome.  What is baffling is the decision to remove the videos after a year both for copyright, capacity and possibly cost reasons: ‘Footage will remain available for approximately one year after the court hearing, before being removed to make way for new cases. For copyright reasons, users will not be able to download the footage for long term storage or editing. ‘The on-demand archive complements the Court’s streaming service...

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Russell Brand more of a threat to the…

The media is agog with the prospect of Russell Brand interviewing Ed Miliband on Brand’s The Trews YouTube channel.  Whilst everyone acknowledges there is a circus element to the interview (which I think will go ok – they are both nerds) the tone of much of the coverage is ludicrously patronising to Brand’s medium – it sounds like 1950s parents being disparaging about pop music.   One broadcaster was marveling that ‘we don’t know what time it will be published’ This tweet nicely sums up the absurdity: Why does @BBCr4today think...

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