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December 4, 2009

Let’s make a movie

Filed under: Featured — andrewchilvers @ 10:43 am
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Ever thought much about Stockport? Me neither till a year-odd ago. So here are some facts that might be helpful if you’re in a pub quiz – or wandering around Stockport.

* Stockport is in Greater Manchester.
* Stockport was completely destroyed during William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North.
* Stockport was the centre of the world’s hatting industry and exported 6 million hats a year in Victorian times.
* Stockport’s Victorian viaduct is the world’s biggest.
* 10CC and the Stone Roses recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.
* BBC TV series Life on Mars was filmed inside and on top of the Stockport council building.
* And finally (and the point of my Stockport post), Stockport is also doing Britain’s first council community engagement site.

“Rubbish, they’re all at it,” I hear you say. Not true.

A lot of public and private organisations are setting up websites, local community social network sites and the like. But if you look closely they’re mostly on the 2 dimensional, build-it-and-watch-them-come model.

Most work on the facebook-style approach where people set up their profiles and then join online groups. Great if you’re an online groupie-type of person, but most people aren’t. They’re too busy, apathetic, unsure about the technology, watching TV etc.

Stockport’s approach is a simple one; don’t write, use video blogs and tell people what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, how your life is. This becomes an all inclusive network, with no hierarchy, managed by Stockport council and sealed for security.

It’s also proactive, meaning that all registered users are sent emails each week to invite them to watch the latest blogs. Simple. Effective. The system is operated out of the CareKnowledge social care information portal.

I suppose you could call this a bit of shameless self promotion; I’m editorial director at CareKnowledge. But I reckon that if you’ve started something genuinely groundbreaking you may as well blow your own trumpet. I also believe that this type of network could bring about genuine change for staff and communities; seriously improve the lives of many people who are isolated, old, suffering from mental health conditions, have disabilities of some kind.

Here’s Rob Powell, of Stockport council, and Natasha Howells, who works for a social enterprise called Pure Innovations, talking about the programme.

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