The Citizenscape December project meeting went much better than I hoped with the balance being in favour of actual work rather than EU project talk.  Main points are:

  • We made some real progress with the actual content for the sites and I believe that if we can keep to the development schedule then we will be fine to launch in January as planned. This is good as we have a project review at the end of Jan and I really don’t want to turn up to that without content.
  • As mentioned in an earlier post – there is a lot of confusion around the stakeholder meetings. To reiterate – one of the underlying assumptions around citizenscape is the idea that the social networking engagement will have a greater chance of success if the web spaces are co-created and include existing content and groups. The project team have identified very little content like this and I will need to see if this is going to undermine the research data I can gather. I am not clear on whether this didn’t happen because the project team didn’t understand the requirement – ie it is a problem that can be managed out in the future – or if we need to add a ‘beta’ stage to the process so that we show stakeholders a beta version of the space and then ask them what they want to add. This may work better in terms of getting things moving as it is easier to show people than to tell them about an idea like this – but I am concerned that it really undermines the co-creation idea which I feel is so important to actually getting people using the sites. I am planning to post this as a query on the project blog (yes – they all agreed to take part so we will see if they are prepared to post!) and see what the team thinks as a first stage.
  • This does also mean that the pilot sites are looking a lot more formal than I had originally planned – ie are council led issues rather than grassroots isses – but we shall have to see if this is a problematical
  • And finally – one of the really ‘killer’ ideas as we talk about the project is the fact that you can 99% guarantee that everyone cares about what happens 1 mile from their house (actually the Italians cared about 1KM but you know what I mean!!!). We need to make this integral to the process in some way.

One other thing – we went for a lovely meal at Due South with the team.  Even if you think the research here is nonsense please trust me on the restaurant recommendations!

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