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February 8, 2010

How hyperlocal websites using web 2.0 can link with community CAF projects

Filed under: Featured — andrewchilvers @ 11:59 am
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Professional journalism is dead – here comes everybody.

Social theorists the world over are in a philosophical frenzy about how journalism is dying by a thousand blogging cuts. It’s now you and me making and creating news, not the guys in the grey macs with the notebooks.

True, we’re now all at it, but journalists still do it better.

Call me new old school, but I believe journalism’s time has finally come. We survived the shipwreck of dictatorial media moguls, failed publishing trusts and B2B cowboys to arrive washed up on the shores of web 2.0 social media and hyperlocal websites.

I know I’m guilty of hyperbole here, but I really do think that journalists have an important part to play in our communities going forward. It’s now not just about the printed article, it’s about ways of joining up on a hyperlocal scale. From your small community to the wider world, using video blogging and other media.

I say all this as a preamble to the work I’ve recently done with Shropshire on their Common Assessment Framework (CAF) project.

I’ve written about CAF before – so apologies if I’m repeating myself – but this time I’d like to fit the idea of CAF into a hyperlocal social media setting. Indeed, a managed interactive hyperlocal media setting.

In essence CAF is about joining up local services so everyone in the community can access information about the most vulnerable members of society. A benign big brother if you like.

For my part, I believe that if you start to introduce social media, particularly video blogs, into the mix we can then create something unique. Join CAF projects into hyperlocal media sites and we have a community genuinely looking out for itself.

And here’s where journalists morph into a different type of media animal. They work closely with local public bodies and charities to link the hyperlocal media network to the larger CAF projects, which are in turn linked with the Department of Health and central government.

Social media is by its nature chaotic. So why not manage and organise the chaos so managers and directors from local services right up to central government know what’s happening in communities across the country. Seriously joined up thinking and all administered by savvy media-trained journalists or community managers.

Here’s Carol Lucas and Julie Edgington talking about the CAF project in Shropshire and workshops they’re running.

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