Whilst things are gearing up for the talk about local Unconference this Saturday don’t forget the social event of the year that directly follows it. I am of course referring to the glittering talk about local Unawards ceremony this Saturday 17th April from 6pm onwards in Chilli White, Leeds.
This grand occasion will see the best hyperlocal talent in the UK getting recognition for their efforts in the shape of a round of a applause, a raising of glasses and a beautiful badge to adorn their website.
The talk about local team have carefully considered your suggestions for categories, and have whittled them down to the list below. If deserving winners for these titles spring to mind, please comment your suggestions with reasons why. This Friday a panel of esteemed judges (us lot) will hide away in a locked room, consider your comments along with our own personal preferences, and decide upon the winners arbitrarily. Who said democracy was dead?
All hyperlocal community websites in the UK are eligible for one of the following Unawards, so speak now or until next year hold our peace:
The cream of the hyperlocal crop:
- Overall winner
- Best Hyperlocal Twitter stream
- Best Hyperlocal Story/Post
- Most Inspirational site
- Best local special interest website
- Best campaign
- Best investigation/investigative reporting
- Best community engagement
- Best council coverage
- The UnTourist Board Award for a site that attracts visitors to a place
- Most innovative use of data
- Best use of video
- Best use of audio
- Best use of photography
- Best use of a map
- The Hyperlocal Extreme Award for thrilling, breathtaking or dangerous hyperlocal reporting
- LOL Award for making us laugh
With thanks to those that support us….
- Best support to hyperlocal bloggers
- UK Hyperlocal Favourite Tool
- Best public sector backing of hyperlocals
And those that don’t….
- Best attack by traditional media
Wow – there’s a great discussion going on over in the google group on sessions for #TAL10 in Leeds on Saturday 17th April. All this in addition to my roundup of Friday. For those of you who don’t do google groups here’s a quick update.
Matt from the great MyTunstall in Stoke-On-Trent has written a wonderful piece on making websites pay – it details his experiences with affiliate marketing and is brutally honest about what works and what doesn’t:
‘I have however, had more success when I write the odd article with the
affiliate market in mind. Back in October I published the Peter Kay
tour dates for Manchester and ranked highly in google, so over those
few days, site traffic was way up, and people were clicking through to
ticketmaster and buying peter kay tickets. This is the most luck I’d
had with affiliate publishing, but because the tickets sold so quickly
via other means, again I could have made more money for the site.’
There’s reassurance for those who haven’t come out before as hyperlocal that #TAL10 will be open, friendly and welcoming, appealing to all. Ray says some very kind things about the event we ran in Stoke-on-Trent last year, TAL09:
‘Can vouch for the friendly nature of TAL09. It was also one
of the most inspiring events I’ve been to. It has certainly influenced
me on a day-to-day basis and led to an enjoyable and steep learning
curve! I even understand some techie stuff now!’
A session on basic skills and how to get started is coming into focus – Suzanne from Skillset is coming along – nice to see the sector skills council acknowledging the hyperlocal sector.
Good chatter continues about a session on covering the 2010 elections from a hyperlocal perpsective – from how to stay neutral through to getting a local site recognised by the candidates.
And we have two volunteers to contribute to a session on bringing media newsgathering techniques to hyperlocal sites.
As well as the mainstream stuff, it seems like a geek session is firming up for the deeply technical data wizards – Chris aka CountCulture of openly local will co-ordinate. The geek stuff always makes me dizzy but some will love it – Clare White was waxing lyrical.
And remember you can find other sessions in my Friday post.
About 100 people from the UK’s hyperlocal web community will come together in Leeds on Saturday 17th April in an unconference called TAL10 – see some of who’s coming here. We are delighted to be organising this unconference with the Guardian. We have got a good chat going over on the google group about likely sessions. If you are coming along and what to talk to people about things just shout. We shall have about five rooms with maybe four or five time slots in each – so up to 25 sessions. As ever the running order will be decided at the start of the day and will evolve throughout. If we all get bored and want to go to the pub that’s fine too – we are planning some heavy drinks with the ‘un-awards’ after the conference finishes. You are welcome to suggest a session(s) on the day – or use the group or this blog post to drum up interest or refine your session.
For the full story go to the group and sign up but here’s a preview as of Friday morning 9 April (it changes every hour or so….):
2010 elections – general and local – how do you report these on a hyperlocal site? Most sites day to day don’t do much Local Politics and hardly any national stuff. But we all do local information about things that are happening. And we know that different people being elected will make a difference to a whole range of local issues. But how do you give your readership information about how their vote might make a difference locally, without getting into the whole political bearpit?
What next for hyperlocal sites? – some sites have become big and important parts of their local civic life, making a difference on the ground, exceeding the wildest dreams of their founders. Most sites weren’t set up to be a disinterested observer nor a commercial news machine – they intended to do civic good. Site owners don’t want to storm the Town Hall but can or should the huge communities have a more formal part in local civic life – maybe as the current government advocates become new parish councils or should they look to the Conservative notion of ‘neighbourhood groups’?
Working with the traditional media – there’s been a hard won evolution in some areas from the ‘these local web people can be safely ignored/patronised/ripped off’ to an acceptance that the local web has an important role in the changing local news market. We have a few people coming from the trad news gathering organisations who get the local web and there’s interest in a session on the terms of trade – what might volunteer hyperlocal sites want from commercial news companies and vice versa. This will be important if either the government’s IFNC s go through or the even more radical Conservative suggestions for hyperlocal multimedia companies.
Money – a few people in the UK have managed to make money from their local sites. Many others have volunteer sites with a large and commercialisable audience and wonder what to do. Others have a site that has taken over their lives and they need it to make money to live.
As i type this new suggestions are coming in – a session on research into the impact of citizen led local sites, a surgery for newbies, something on buddypress (the wordpress social network thingy) and wordpress, a geeky huddle on local data and tagging.
We have released he next bunch of tickets to the waitlist this morning so check your inboxes.
Because of overwhelming demand for tickets and the size of the list we had used the totally unscientific method of drawing names out of the hat for this batch. If you have not recved an E-mail for a ticket, unfortunatley your name didn’t come out of the hat this time. We’ll keep you on the waitlist and if tickets get returned or more become available, we will release them.
If you do have a ticket that you can’t use, please do let us know so we can cancel it and reallocate it to someeebody who can use it.
We’ll be working away on the finer details of the conference over the next few days and will be posting more here soon.