Talk About Local Blog

Salford Radio Festival 2014 – ‘The Power of…

On my way to Salford for the Radio Festival 2014 #radfest2014 where I am due to speak on a panel on ‘Festival Session: The Power of Local The way we consume local news has changed dramatically. Growth in traffic to local newspaper websites has more than doubled since 2013. Social media sites like Twitter and Pinterest have seen significant growth in user numbers in the last 3 years. The number of hyper-local news sites has increased from an estimated 200 in 2012 to around 500 today, while BBC local radio...

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‘The UK needs a Knight News Challenge’ says…

It’s long been a frustration for publishers of local news sites, as well as academics studying the delivery of local news and information in the UK, that there has been little research on that most fundamental of issues – where’s the money coming from to support the many enterprises springing up around the country? While there have been a a few recent schemes designed to support and study a limited number of initiatives*, the independent local media (also referred to as hyperlocal) is largely operating in a free market but...

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Facebook ‘local awareness’ hyperlocal ads – will anyone…

Facebook has announced a new proximity based hyperlocal ad product for businesses.  You draw a circle on a map and Facebook pushes ads for your business to groups of people in that circle.  It will come to the UK in a few months.  The Facebook article is easy to understand and the TechCrunch one is decent too.  It looks like some clever tech and you can see the appeal. One of the odd things about the local web has been the experience people report of selling online ads on hyperlocal...

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Data governance and DVLA

The Chief Executive of the DVLA Oliver Morley  contacted me via Twitter today following my suggestion that DVLA should seek to introduce an ethical governance structure to oversee its data provision.  I do not mean by this that DVLA is un-ethical, but that external guidance and lay input into data governance will help maintain public confidence. I am happy to expand on my tweet and to do so in a way that I am happy to be corrected if there are structures out there I can’t see.  This post is written...

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Lack of #opendata leaves English courts wide open…

In a quite remarkable case 180 divorces have been annulled following massive fraud perpetrated against the English court system.  An Italian lawyer was distributing quickie Italian divorces around the English legal system with one of the parties in each claiming to live at a PO box in Maidenhead.  It’s a remarkable story that shows some English courts to be wide open to fraud due to their antiquated, opaque processes.  And also that the courts do not have technology support sufficient to deliver their mission – modern open publication of data...

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