Following on from last night’s post:
Here’s some results from the CC online presence survey:
- Still only 22% of CCs have up to date presences. The figures for out-of-date, existent but not online and non-existent CCs are also almost completely unchanged.
- Moray and East Renfrewshire have the highest percentages of up to date presences, at 65% and 60% respectively. Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh and Falkirk are in the 50%-59% range. The %ages of up to date presences in LAs looks like this:
- We’ve developed a possibly more realistic way of distinguishing worthwhile CC presences: those that have been updated in the last 2 months and update monthly or more often. We call these CCs meaningfully online. (CCs that release new information less than monthly – unless they meet less than monthly – are not doing a very worthwhile job of informing their citizens, in our opinion.)
- Meaningfully online CCs seem to be best at publishing what I define as CC-centric information – their minutes, information about their areas, local news and planning information. (Having said that, only 176 CCs – and only 111 meaningfully online CCs – have planning information clearly available on their presences. (Other online CCs may have planning information in their minutes but unless readers trawl minutes they won’t find it.)
- We have developed some non-exclusive archetypes to try to investigate and model good online practice. These are journalist, charity/campaigner, local government and open. All of these are sub-sets of the meaningfully online class, but take into account the presences’ content-types. For example,
- ‘journalist’ CCs publish news and update every fortnight or better
- ‘open’ CCs update every fortnight or better, publish who their CCllrs and office-bearers are, publish minutes, have contact mechanisms (i.e. email addresses or forms) and have feedback/public discussion mechanisms (i.e. open Facebook pages or Twitter feeds.
- There are 72 ‘journalist’ CCs, 16 ‘charity/campaigner’ CCs, 21 ‘local government’ CCs and 22 open CCs. Given there are only 84 CCs fitting any of these archetypes, clearly many must fit more than one. In fact, only 9 fit just one of the archetypes, 61 fit two, 3 fit three and 11 fit all four.
I’ll be delving into likely reasons and conclusions tomorrow – watch this space!
That’s sounding interesting. Have you considered taking it to the papers? Archetypes are the sort of thing that might appeal to them, and it would raise the profile of your work. It would be cool to see CCs reacting to it.
To be honest, I hadn’t thought of that – and I’m an NUJ member!
Thinking about it, I’m not convinced that taking it to normal newspapers would be a good move – it could easily be a storm in a teacup that would embarrass the local authority officials who are responsible for supporting CCs, and some current initiatives that aim to make things better. Either of these would affect the funding that enables me to do such work. This doesn’t stop me being angered by the current situation – especially the 200-odd areas where CCs don’t even exist.
I think it’s better – for now, at least – to work with the initiatives, and support those CCs that want to go online. One of my pressing tasks is to create a how-to-do-it for CCs that want to but don’t know how.