Category Archives: Site announcements


The CivicSurf project was funded in 2008. We kept this site going for a little longer and we would have liked to keep it going for even longer.  But it’s not.

We’ll keep the site here as an archive, but we’ll no longer post anything new. Thank you and goodbye.

Stay in touch – RSS and email

There is an old maxim (at least 2 years which is very old for social media) which say email is for work and the web for play.  It is a maxim that I hope is becoming rapidly outdated as more and people within the public sector come to realise the value of the information to their jobs being provided online.

There are three ways to keep in touch with what the CivicSurf project are doing:

  1. Visit this site regularly – once a fortnight might do you, but you might forget
  2. Add the RSS Feed to your subscription list  – Plain English video on what in the world is RSS
  3. Sign up to receive emails whenever we publish something new – click link or use the form top right

The best way is number 2.  It means you won’t miss a thing, you’ll get the information when you want (rather than by an email cluttering your inbox), and you can share it via an intranet or your own blog.  FYI RSS feeds are covered in the CivicSurf Blog Coaching Programme.

CivicSurf Evaluation Report

CivicSurf Evaluation Report
CivicSurf Evaluation Report

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:

  1. 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.
  2. A few thank yous are needed.  Tim Anderson, Griff Wigley, Gavin Ricketts, Andrew Brown, Dave Briggs, Mary Reid, Tom Watson, Richard Brunstrom, Andrew North, Steve Webb and the MoJ team who supported us.  Thank you.
  3. 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.

Continue reading CivicSurf Evaluation Report

Is the CivicSurf project useful?

We need to submit a final report to the Ministry of Justice in the very near future and we want to include a snapshot of what you the people who have accessed the project think of it.

You’ll see a very short three question survey below.  Please take two minutes to complete it.  Thank you.

Jargon Buster

When I was part of the launch of Computeractive magazine we discovered that explaining computer jargon to novice PC users was very important.  Despite strenuous attempts to avoid jargon it simply wasn’t possible.  We then developed a JargonBuster box-out which appeared by all articles with the relevant jargon explained.

As part of a forthcoming revamp of this site and the CivicSurf offering we’ve put the Glossary from the CivicSurf booklet online and we are going to build upon the small start to provide some simple plain english explanations of the terms that might not be clear to novice bloggers.

We’ve also included a form on the page to allow novices to ask for explanations and for experts to submit or improve explanations. I hope those experts out there can start to contribute – perhaps a succinct explanation of Trackbacks would be a good starter for ten.

You can find the Glossary here or by following the link in the menu above.

CivicSurf – the documentary in full

Here is the full CivicSurf documentary.  It’s in two parts to get round the 10 minute limit to YouTube movies.  Please enjoy and give us feedback in the comments below.

Part One

Part Two

Of course if you want a copy on DVD please email

Extra! Extra! Get your CivicSurf DVD…

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:

Large button:

<a href=” send me a CivicSurf DVD”><img src=””></a>

Small button:

<a href=” send me a CivicSurf DVD”><img src=””></a>

The link will generate an email to Shane – shane (at)

CivicSurf Trailer


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.

New look CivicSurf blog

As part of the changeover from Cllr2.0 to CivicSurf we’ve moved the blog to the domain and changed the design to fit in with the other material we have produced.

There will be a lot of new material appearing here over the next few weeks so please do subscribe by RSS (using the nice orange icon to the right) or by email (using the box on the right) to ensure you don’t miss something useful.