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July 2011
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September 2011

Communities on the move


I have been spending a bit of time working away with local communities. I am just about to film the story of apple pressing with Polly, a local mine of information about pressing fruit, juicing and making cider. However, I have been really fortunate to meet a lot of enthusiastic people doing fantastic things in their communities. The picture here is from the Innertube Map project. It is about cycling, cycle paths and a lot more. I got introduced to the project by Mrs Smith a while back. But at a recent Edinbuzz meetup, I met Tom Allan who was keen to lighten my darkness. I meet a number of other people who sparked off an idea. So, here's the deal; I am going to try and interview some of the more interesting characters I meet in the course of work, leisure and just being generally about. I will then post them as podcasts here on this site. I have a few in watch this space.

Future of Community News Unconference

Snappy headline, eh? This event, or even un-event, was the meeting of lots of Edinburgh and Leith based Edinbuzz community journalists, social media fans and geeks. The basic idea was to get super local activists to supply an agenda of their choosing and quickly work through the content of that agenda. Two hours; two topics; four elective streams and all contributions were welcome. Alastair Tibbit did a great job as MC, coordinator and general grown up person amongst boisterous enthusiasts. So, here's my take.

Good news; excellent process and fine people make for an entertaining two hours. I learnt such a lot and met some great people with terrific insights. Now that I have seen it in action, I can not see why anyone would want to hold the usual boring, plodding meetings we have all sat through in our time. Fast and furious really works to thump problems, exchange information and bond a group.

Bad news; bigger than possible scopes are obvious dangers. Itches were identified but unscratched. I left wanting more, but also conscious there were a number of essential topics which should have been discussed.

Better news; I will a attempt to track down a number of the participants and record interviews with them for a series of the Chris Smith Podcast which I will be starting in September. Only available here.