Today my colleagues Peter Cruickshank and Dr Bruce Ryan are hosting a workshop on digital engagement for community councillors at the Merchiston campus of Edinburgh Napier University. Peter and Bruce will draw on the findings of recent projects completed within the Centre for Social Informatics, such as the Research Councils UK Digital Economy Programme funded Hyperlocal government engagement online project, and the 2012 and 2014 surveys of Community Council Internet use, to share good practice on the development of Internet presences for community councils.
The Research Councils UK Digital Economy (DE) theme supports research to realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.
Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed spending time with staff from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on work associated with the DE theme. This all started two years ago when I was invited to join the 12-person panel that conducted the 2012 impact review of the DE Theme investment. Soon afterwards I became involved in an additional stream of DE research undertaken under the banner of “digital personhood”: I helped identify the scope of the investment; served as a mentor at the sandpit meeting where project ideas were germinated; and recently participated at the first digital personhood network meeting. I have also been involved in reviewing grant proposals and panel work for the DE theme.