The first Brewcamp of 2013 saw the crew visit the 6/8 Kafe in Birmingham on Thursday 31st January 2013. There was a good turnout of attendees, and a great mix of discussions from the evening’s speakers. Dan Slee has pulled together a lovely Storify which you should have a read of.
- Traditional media is not usually around at the weekends, so social media is vital when it comes to getting the messages out
- Follow the police, major news and journalist accounts and include them on tweets. This can help get the message re-tweeted to a much wider audience
- It can become quite resource intensive, so needs to be part of media on call
- Their early morning tweet with a summary of flood alerts has proved popular
- Have at least 3 or 4 people managing the account, but ensure everyone understands the need for high quality information
- Images are really valuable, some of the operations teams have iPads so they can send images back. They also use Flickr to share their images
- They have a list of trusted partners and media, they tend not to re-tweet info unless it can be verified. This can be tricky if an area has been cut off
- However it hasn’t reached everyone yet – some still say they are too busy
- Having attended a number of camps aimed at local government, Ed felt there was a need to do something similar for the NHS, and he was the man to do it!
- There is no longer a budget for the traditional glossy magazines the NHS loves to produce. We need to communicate and engage – the NHS cannot afford to broadcast any more
- With a little bit of support from others, and a small budget, Ed was able to pull off HealthCampWM with only a night or two of sleepless nights
- The range of sessions on the day was exactly what Ed had hoped for. Some were predictable (open data), others weren’t (digital skills for carers). Either way, they got people talking and everyone felt the event was a huge success
- After the first event, Ed is now looking at ways to build on this. The term HealthCamp is too broad, and it would seem sensible to start “themed” health events, such as CommissioningCamp, SocialCareCamp…
- Don’t forget to support great initiatives, like John Popham’s Free WiFi for Hospital Patients
Finally, Kate Sahota and Dan Slee kicked off a conversation about the new LGA project “localgov digital” and how we are going to help local government become “digital by default”. Although we didn’t come to any significant conclusions, there are many questions…
- Why do people feel they can’t *trust* transacting online with government?
- Vicky Sargent mentioned the evidence of the significantly higher % of transactions for buying insurance online (which can be very complicated) to renewing car tax (which is very simple)
- Should we be doing “digital by default” or “digital by choice” (Kate referenced Phil Rumen’s blog post)
- How are we going to bridge the digital divide? What does Assisted Digital really mean, and how are we going to do it?
- There is a huge scope for collaboration across Local Government to achieve this. An advantage we have over large corporates, such as Amazon. However, should we trade in some of our localism in order to achieve savings through designing digital services to meet the needs across local government?
And there we have it. Another packed evening of interesting topics and people over tea, coffee and cake. The next Brewcamp will be taking place during March/April – watch this space.