Introducing "Twitter walkabouts" with a new kind of Stickyworld

by Michael Kohn on September 4, 2014
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Screen Shot from Neighbourhood Stickers beta test The all new Stickyworld will include feature to crowdsource Twitter photos for discussions and locate them in a map if they also include location information.

Stickyworld's product team has been looking at social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for some time and imagining how can we integrate them into our engagement platform in a more meaningful way. How for instance can we use these channels to make our own platform more social and fun for participants whilst really helping our engagement customers to save time, engage more widely and get better results.

Sharing a discussion thread from a forum platform out to wider social media channels is pretty common practice. You can do this in Stickyworld too. We learn from customers it is considered useful, but it is not to be relied on as the only online promotion method, and we also know many people will never press a share button. But we have for some time considered whether there is more value in building much deeper integrations with social media. So we have been thinking hard about the various channels, and the different ways in which they can be used for promotion, participation and even as a fundamental source of content for starting detailed discussions in Stickyworld. We think we have found a way.

Twitter is the first social media platform that we are experimenting with. The research project we have been developing and trialling this feature with is called Neighbourhood Stickers, and the new version is now moving into a public beta testing stage.

The Neighbourhood Stickers project is funded by Nominet Trust, and the broad challenge we have set ourselves with this project is to engage more young people in planning discussions.

We know from everyone we talk to in the planning engagement profession that this is a really, really tough challenge. There are clearly many reasons for this which we and others on the project will discuss in another post. But we remain optimistic that the Neighbourhood Stickers project will create some new exciting and useful methods.

We are almost half way through the project, interest and awareness is beginning to pick up and our progress on the product is looking quite exciting. There is still a fair way to go, but today we completed a dress rehearsal test with City University students in Dalston, with two groups of four young people on each walkabout. Twenty minutes later we managed to map out a "room full" of photos for discussion, each located in a map in Stickyworld. We are repeating this exercise on Sunday 14th in Dalston with around 50 participants at the Planning on the Roof Party. There are still a few spare places to sign up if you are quick, so if you are interested and available, please do come along - it is free and we are buying the beers.

Click here for a free invite to the Planning on the Roof Party.

Hopefully, assuming our party goers will select a suitable hashtag, and include a location in their tweets, then our team will search for these tweets and publish the photos for a longer discussion on Stickyworld. We hope this will provide a feasible method for people to engage the local community in a discussion on the neighbourhood, young people will be extremely well qualified to participate or lead the walkabouts, and it will result in a great online resource for future discussions about an area.

Please do comment if you have experience in face to face or digital engagement you want to share, or subscribe to this blog for occasional news on Stickyworld activities, events, invites to more parties and free beer.