Wow it’s only a week to go before TAL15 at the wonderful British Library conference centre next to London’s St Pancras on 28 February. It will be great to see all our local web friends again and welcome new faces who haven’t been to this event before. There still room for more to come (we’ll release more tickets). It’s an unconference so there isn’t a fixed agenda in advance – the attendees make that up on the morning. But to get the creative juices flowing here’s a few topics we expect to come up:
The election – for many sites, twitter streams and Facebook groups/pages this will be huge. What are people planning to do? Will you give candidates a voice on the site? Will you be filming hustings? How will you manage comments in the heated pre election environment? Will there be a very tight race in your patch? Is anyone being courted by local parties? Anyone being shut out? Are your local candidates doing anything interesting with social media? How can we get access to things when not part of the ‘accredited media’?
Crowd funding – Brixton Blog and Little Bit of Stone have had remarkable success – what are their stories? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach? One of the crowdfunding platforms is coming along I think.
The BBC has said recently it needs to do much more in local news and predictably has hacked off the trad press – how can the BBC add value locally with local blogs – is anyone working with them? If the BBC gave its stuff away under a creative commons licence would that be useful on your site?
We had a request for a session on working with the police– are they showering your with pictures of police dog puppies as well as including you in hard crime issues? Do they tell you when their mugshot subjects are ‘not guilty’ or ‘eliminated from enquiries’? What could the Met learn from more media savvy forces elsewhere?
As well as the old favourites – working with the local paper – as we are in London let’s see what the London blogs think about working with the once mighty Evening Standard – many blogs and new media outperform it in social media. Now local papers are more avowedly ‘news harvesters’ as Montgomery would have it has the relationship changed?
And platforms – how’s the Facebook/blog/Twitter relationship working out as these all mature? Do you need a blog platform any more? Anyone doing well on Instagram? Or, err Snapchat surely not? Is Whatsapp! working for anyone? Any good new techs around?
The joy of these unconferences is that anything can happen and we are always inundated with suggestions. Please add in suggestions for topics in the comments or on Twitter on #TAL15.
We are expecting over 70 people but the venue is huge and we can easily fit in more – sign up on the Eventbrite, we’ll release more tickets. The British Library is a very special place – the conference centre is in the courtyard and the stunning (and free) Ritblatt Gallery of the BL’s greatest treasures is only 30 metres away – a must see at lunchtime. It’s also next door to St Pancras and on the borders of my own Kings Cross patch. We are hugely grateful to Luke McKernan the BL’s curator of newspapers for allowing us to use the venue. And also to our old friends NESTA’s Destination Local team for sponsoring the lunch, which Peyton’s are obligingly providing at a discount (no pork pie rounders nor parmos this time folks).
Oh – and maybe we should have some unawards at the end of the day….our unique way of recognising superlative endeavour in the hyperlocal field with some awful prizes. Suggestions for awards welcome. A group will no doubt retire to a local hostelry afterwards.
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