Running a project has lots of high points: coming up with a brilliant idea; getting the funding in place; starting the actual production; seeing the bits coming together; getting feedback; publishing the evaluation report.
“publishing the evaluation report”. A high point? It’s not exactly an adrenaline rush and if I’m being perfectly honest it isn’t exactly fun. But we, at Gallomanor, do recognise the importance of fairly evaluating the work we do. Of working out where the mistakes were made, figuring what the real strengths of a project are and deciding what we’ll do better next time.
As part of the funding from the Ministry of Justice for CivicSurf we were obliged to write an evaluation report and in the interests of openness they’re going to publish it and are happy for us to publish it here. Click on CivicSurf Evaluation Report to view it [PDF, 60k.]
I can’t claim it is a masterpiece of evaluation, but on the plus side it only runs to five pages.
For those who don’t want to open the pdf the key learning points are below the fold.
Before you go there though, a few things:
The report could be read as being critical of the councillors from Norfolk and in general. This is not intended. We appreciate the workload for which councillors volunteer and we appreciate that amognst all the calls on their time participating in a “project” might not be that high on their list of priorities. So let it be said again. The councillors from Norfolk, Tony, Jenny and Peter, are brilliant. They were generous with their time and feedback and they have persevered with their blogs and, I hope, still finding them useful tools for doing their “jobs” as councillors.
This isn’t the end of project. The site will continue and expand. We want CivicSurf to be a place for councillors, civic leaders and officers to come to for advice and resources on becoming an effective civic leader blogger. We’ll continue to support any organisations that want to arrange a viewing of the documentary. We still have copies of the DVD and booklet. And we’ve produced a blog coaching programme that is proven to help civic leaders become more effective leaders through blogging.
Part of what we are trying to with this blog is provide resources for partner organisations to promote the CivicSurf project. These resources are all stored under the CivicSurf promotional resources category.
This pack shot of the main physical elements we send out: DVD, Booklets and the case they come within, has been shot for an advert appearing in January in Government Technology Magazine.
I was asked by the PA newswire last week for some stills from the documentary and in the hope that others might want pictures to illustrate a blog post I have uploaded them to Flickr and embedded a slideshow here.
So many people have asked for our documentary on DVD (it’s called “Blogging – a new way to lead”) that we’re adding a super-quick request link from this website. Click the button marked “Click here for a CivicSurf DVD”, on the right side of this page, to ask for a copy.
You can embed the CivicSurf DVD button into your own blog or webpage using this code:
<a href=”mailto:email@example.com?subject=Please send me a CivicSurf DVD”><img src=”http://civicsurf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/bigcivicdvd.png”></a>
<a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Please send me a CivicSurf DVD”><img src=”http://civicsurf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/smcivicdvd.png”></a>
The link will generate an email to Shane – shane (at) civicsurf.org.uk.
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That’s the first minute of the film. 14 more to follow. We ‘re almost ready to send out copies of the documentary and booklets to Local Authorities and public bodies around the country. The recipient CEOs are invited to show the film to senior officers and members. We’ll also help out with 25 events by arranging for a local blogger to attend and answer any questions about what the reality of blogging is like.
If you would like a DVD copy of the documentary (including 3 booklets), extra booklets or to arrange for us to get a blogger to you then please email.
I’ve added a page to the site to describe “What is CivicSurf?” The page includes a downloadable PDF (single page A4). Hopefully this might be helpful to any officers wanting to discuss the project with colleagues.
We asked the opinion of the people on this site and a few Gallomanor friends in local government and the response was strongly in favour of civicsurf.
We’ve even started developing a logo and soon this website will transfer to www.civicsurf.org.uk with a fresh new look.
One of the reasons I particularly liked civicsurf was that it gives a label to something important that was previously undefined. civicsurf is the aggregate of online local information about a town or area. It is comprised of blogs, sites such as fixmystreet.com, local press and public bodies. In essence the civicsurf is like a public meeting occurring online all day everyday. Our project will inspire civic leaders to get involved in that meeting, those conversations through contributing and hopefully leading.
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