Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting even more organised

It has never been easier for citizens to get organised on issues that affect them and their communities. Technology is enabling us to react in ways that were not possible a few years ago. If you have a spare 30 minutes then watch this video by Clay Shriky in which he attempts to explain some of the implications for humanity of this new inter-action.
Basically if communities are organised they can be as powerful and as well-informed as any organisation or business. This is what happened in Nairn yesterday and if we, as a community, stay on top of our game, that is how it will be in the future. Communities can tell the world what they want and use technology to help ensure they get what they desire. The Highland Council and the developers came to Nairn yesterday and found a well-informed community that had decided to defend itself against a planning proposal that it didn’t want. Thanks to a dozen or so very hard-working individuals a case was presented that was impossible to reject without profound implications for the relationship between our community and Inverness based local government. It was very refreshing to see out of town councillors taking in what the community had to say and reacting positively to it.

Nairn will have to be ready to react to further planning applications, ones the community wants and ones it doesn’t. Deveron may appeal and we may have to move into action again very quickly. Activists on the Sandown issue passed a lot of information to each other through e-mail, which certainly speeds things up. It is perhaps time however for all those working on the behalf of the community to consider publishing information simultaneously on the web. It can be done so easily through the like of google documents. Google allows you to store your information (a letter you wish others to copy and send to officials for example) and publish it as a web page if you wish. In a couple of clicks you can have your information on-line 24/7 for anyone else in the community to resource when they wish. It may be that you have found some nugget of information that would help another individual or group in the community or another community somewhere else, again its publication on the web will save you and others time and help achieve what so many of us in the community seem to want – i.e. more democracy.

Keep at it Gurnites, well done so far!


Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with the sharing of information point - I know there was a lot of information brought together for the meeting, and it would have been great to be able to publish at least some of it online for wider consumption.

- Brian

Anonymous said...

What a shame when it comes to on-line information that it only seems just to be Gurn staff (Namely Graisg) who can be bothered attending nearly all public meetings in Nairn, writing them up, and then publishing them.
It's easy to crow about getting material up on the web but at the end of the day it takes time and effort and clearly at the moment only a limited few can be bothered.