Tell the story

January 7, 2010

Goodbye to all that – here comes everyone

Filed under: Featured — andrewchilvers @ 2:30 pm

Back in the early 1990, QuarkXpress revolutionised publishing, cutting out highly skilled workers from well paid NGA jobs.

Everyone was going to be a publisher and, more importantly, everyone was going to make money out it; publisher-writers, printers, dodgy advertorial telesales firms, the lot.

A gold-rush of tacky, home-based publishing outfits followed. The picture quality might not be so good, the keylines around pages might be missing, but who cared about the quality of paper. Publish and be damned. Goodbye unions, here comes everybody.

That was then.

Now publishing has imploded, advertising is an industry transformed and journalism looks set to follow suit. Nowadays it’s social media that is fast taking the place of traditional publishing/journalism; it’s a new way of communicating, of telling stories, of working with and for the local community.

But what is social media and more importantly how can you make money out of it? According to Wikipeda, social media supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.

In the past couple of years I’ve done a lot of sleuthing in e-space around the subject and found that social media applies to a host of different programme agendas, from democratic utopianists, e-community radicals and post oil and climate change transitionists to e-government civil servants and journalists. In short, the focus is wide and varied.

I’m not here to teach you to suck eggs, but if you’re interested to see what some of these people are doing and saying, look at my blogroll at the bottom of this page.

So what am I doing that’s different?

In short; Candie (or communication and interactive engagement). It takes the early 90s publishing revolution to its conclusion. It’s a space where everyone talks, listens, comments and keeps in touch – without the dodgy advertorial telesales staff. It’s about telling stories.

In essence it’s a managed online video blogosphere. The idea is to set up a platform and framework for local health and social care services to communicate with staff and everyone in the community; that’s parents, carers, young people, older people and people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. It’s a way to help vulnerable and isolated people keep in touch with their friends, relatives and the professionals who supply their services. It also helps professionals to keep in touch with their peers ensuring better practice.

It’s a virtuous circle of communication, paid for by the local council; a managed network with a proactive emailing service to all registered users. I suppose in some respects I’m not too different from the e-community utopianists mentioned above.

Here’s a recent blog I did with Robert and Charlie in Church Stretton, Shropshire, explaining about an awareness project they’ve been working on. The workshop was organised by Shropshire CC as part of their CAF programme (more about that in the previous 2 posts).


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