Monthly Archives: March 2006

Blogging Kingston Conservatives soon podcasting?

IMG_1445.JPGAt noon yesterday I met with two members of the Conservative party in Kingston, Paul Johnston (left) and leader Kevin Davis (3rd from left) both bloggers.

Staffers Kate (2nd from left) and Priyen (right) were also there.

Paul and Kevin are very interested in getting more members of their group blogging as well as podcasting.  I've got a meeting next week to follow up with them on this.

Later, Paul and I went out for a delightful lunch where we mainly talked about our recent world travels. I then spent an hour or so walking around the center of Kingston's ancient pedestrian-only marketplace. For more photos, see the album.

e2e4e: End to End for Earthquake

Roy Taylor
At 11 yesterday, I met with Roy Taylor, Director of Community Services for Kingston Upon Thames.

Roy is the organizer of this summer’s e2e4e: End to End for Earthquake in which a “team of cyclists from the Royal Borough of Kingston are cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats (1,000+ miles in 15 Stages), in aid of Asian earthquake relief.”

This event will raise money for two charities, the British Red Cross – Asian Earthquake Appeal, and the Fountain House Lahore Project.

Roy and I are strategizing on how blogging, podcasting and videoblogging can be utilised before, during and after the trip.

Strategizing at the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames


Yesterday at 10 am, I met with Robin Noble, ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Development Manager for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (is that a great name for a city or what?) and blogging Councillor Mary Reid

Our discussions focused on all the various ways in which blogging and podcasting could be implemented by both councillors and officers after the elections in May. Robin's one of those rare IT guys who not only understands the social implications/benefits of these technologies but who's excited about them as well. I'm looking forward to working with him. 

Big coincidence; big hair

Griff Wigley, Andrew Brown IMG_1473.JPG I took the train from Kingston to Blackheath Village on Friday late afternoon and then began the half-hour walk to Councillor Andrew Brown‘s house where I was to have dinner.  Halfway there, I see a guy strolling along a side street, engrossed in his PDA. Look who I found!  Of course, I had to moblog the event and a gust of wind came along at the right time to give us that perfect fluffed look that we try so hard to achieve. Right: the man in his office at the world headquarters. Click images to enlarge.

World Economic Forum: UK is #1 in e-participation

gitr2006.jpgAfter dinner tonight here at Ian and Mary Reid's house, Mary was about to head out the door to do some campaigning when she got a text message from someone alerting her to this piece on the Guardian's website.

It's titled In praise of … the e-nation

The two areas where the UK was number one globally were "financial market sophistication", reflecting the pre-eminence of the City, and "e-participation".

local_egov_np.gifSee the World Economic Forum's 2005-06 Global Information Technology Report website for more.

Gee, I wonder if all the participation-oriented projects that have been piloted by the local e-Democracy National Project had anything to do with this?


Surrey County Council


I visited with Councillor Andrew Crisp and colleagues at the Surrey County Council in Kingston today. 

(Sharp eyed readers might notice the fakery of this photo. It's from last year's trip. Yes, despite my paparazzi reputation, I often goof and forget to take photos. Like today. Duh.)

Andrew and his Conservative colleagues are interested in podcasting as well as blogging. One of the ideas we discussed was instead of having a group weblog (one blog, multiple authors – rarely successful) for a group of party-affiliated bloggers, that the group instead produce a podcast in which 3 or 4 of them all participate in the same show.  It would be similar to what I'm doing with two appointed commissioners in Northfield for a show we call Locally Grown. Hmmm.


Centre for Excellence announced; symposia in Budapest and Baltimore this summer

As Kingston Councillor Mary Reid reported on her blog last night:

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Minister for Local Government, … announced the new beginning. From April the Government will be funding a virtual Centre of Excellence which will nurture the things produced by the National Project and develop them further. We will also be running two International Symposia in the summer…

symposium_logo_small.jpgI'm not yet sure what this might mean for the ReadMyDay project but I have been invited to teach blogging classes for the International e-Participation and Local Democracy Symposium ("Promoting Social Inclusion via e-Participation") that's being held in Budapest and Baltimore.

And if you've been following the weblog of Isobel Harding, lead for the Local edemocracy National Project, you'll see that she's been making the pitch to representatives for several European countries.