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Adult Learners Week May 12, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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Thought it might be useful to do a quick blog on Adult Learners Week which runs from the 17th – 23rd May this year. I’ve been involved in adult education for nearly a decade now and i’m keen for the NBSE project to play a big part in harnessing social media for the benefit of these learners, amongst others.

Wouldn’t it be good if our project could be part of the celebrations next year?

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A little light research May 12, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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One initial thought is whether we are reinventing the wheel here. Is this kind of thing already happening?

E-Skills UK is currently working on a 5 year strategic plan and the latest revision has some interesting stuff, only after a quick five minute scan, already there are loads of thoughts popping into my mind on how our proposed venture can tackle some of the issues raised. I’ve also found myself going “but what about this?” and “why don’t they talk about that?”. Anyway, i’ll post some more on the plan when I’ve had chance to have a good read.

There are many different avenues our project can take but from my own point of view, the E-Skills things seems pretty relevant and to answer my original question. ” What took us so long to get started?”

How and why NBSE tag posts May 10, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in NBSE, Tagging.
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As well as tagging our blog posts with relevant words according to what we are writing about, we are also using specific tags that will be propagated in places that are either relative to Birmingham or social enterprises.  At the moment, as far as I am aware, we are just using these special tagging phrases so that we will be displayed on UpyerBrum.  UpyerBrum propagates tags that either use birminghamuk or upyerbrum.  The birminghamuk tag gets placed in the Items tagged from around the web: category.  Users of upyerBrum may then decide to vote for it to be a top story.  Whereas upyerbrum gets placed in the Popular stories voted for by you: category automatically, bypassing the voting stage.  Relevant, and we hope, enciteful posts that we feel are news worthy will be added to the latter.  We will reserve birminghamuk tags for posts which, like this post, are just mentioning a method of social media application or that is less news worthy.

If you know of any other tagging conventions that we should be using to target particular websites please leave your comments below.

NBSE Facebook group May 10, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in Facebook, NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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As the purpose of the North Birmingham Social Enterprise will be to introduce social media to the community, we will be using social media in order to raise awareness of what we are doing in making the enterprise happen.  To kick this off, this morning I setup a Facebook group that will allow us to post up meeting dates and discuss items in a more conversational way than what can be achieved on the blog.  Although this blog is not to be in any way formal, the Facebook group will be even more so.  I have left the group open so that anyone who is interested in contributing may come along and do so.  In order to make the group accessible to the whole UK I have set the location to Global (a specific location or Global is required).   Why Global? I have seen problems with using groups before with people wanting to join a group which is only set to a certain geographic region.  I don’t wish to alienate anyone who may be able to give us some guidance on funding or the social enterprise model.

Fortunately Stuart and I, being members of the Birmingham Bloggers group, we have a ready made platform of individuals who are involved in social media and may have knowledge of the social enterprise model.  Therefore I sent a group email round to the Birmingham Bloggers to let them know about what we have planned, provided them with a link to the group and asked if they would like to be involved.

Building a social media enterprise in North Birmingham May 9, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in Call for help, Social Enterprise.
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On Thursday 8th May, Stuart Parker and I (Kevin Rapley) met up at The Station in Sutton Coldfield to discuss some ideas that Stuart had on social media and how it could be used to create a social enterprise that will be centric to North Birmingham. The areas that were immediately in our thoughts are the Aston, Erdington, Castle Vale and possibly parts of Sutton Coldfield. Stuart is interested in targeting the unemployed and under privileged. Our goal is to teach these groups the benefits of social media and how it can be harnessed to give a voice to the community in a manner of different ways. Stuart brings with him a wealth of knowledge in adult IT teaching, including the unemployed, I will let him speak more about this.

As a web designer and developer, I am immersed in social media and building internet solutions on a daily basis. This blog will be used to document our development of a social enterprise for North Birmingham, including how we go about funding, developing a business plan, raising issues in the locale, growing the ideas and getting others involved in making this happen.

This is my first port of call. If you are passionate about building a stronger community in North Birmingham or are just interested in getting involved with what we are doing then we would love to hear from you. Stuart and I have got quite a task ahead of us with learning about the funding side, how to go about this and what the prerequisites are. Again, if you have any knowledge of building a social enterprise model we would be very interested in learning from you.

We hope that this blog will act not only as a diary of our progress, but also to increase awareness of our plans, recruit others that would like to get involved and also provide a resource for any other communities that wish to implement the social enterprise model in their area.