Learning how to deal with online bullies and the question of time

There’s been more activity in the world of Networked Councillor this week, with two blog posts appearing in our Twitter streams. Here at Public-i, newly elected councillor Emma Daniel has written about dealing with online bullying.

This is no small matter – and she starts by saying that there’s a very clear distinction between those who are ‘challenging’ and those who are genuinely bullying. Those that are should not be taken lightly – even if old hands might be able to bat off unpleasant behaviour. Emma says: “Most councillors, as is the whole point of local government, are ordinary people who want to improve things for their community and it can be quite a shock. Even experienced councillors who first go online can be surprised at it and put down the social media tools as a result, but please don’t!!”

Emma goes on to draw out some important lessons. She recommends including ‘rules of engagement’ somewhere online and says that it’s important to consider who is doing the bullying and how harmful it can be. This, she says, can help you to understand what strategy you require to deal with it.

Read Emma’s post here.

We’d also like to thank Colin Noble for another lovely mention of Networked Councillor. In his latest post, he says that the project is run by the ‘excellent Public-i’. Thanks Colin! The work has been carried out for the equally excellent LGA, whom we shouldn’t forget as well.

Colin’s post is really about a social media training session that he attended for Forest Heath District Council. He makes some very interesting points – in particular about time. As Colin notes, there are two very common complaints from councillors who are new to social media – getting decent technology to use and the time that it takes to update SM accounts. With regards to the former, Colin says that it’s important for councillors to be accessible – and technology can and should help this. And on the latter point, he says: “With regards the time social media takes, frankly it simply has to come out of some other activity area and it’s about balance.”

You can read Colin’s post here.

One last thing: We’re now – as I’m sure most of you are aware – very close to the final report being finalised. We’ll be in touch with more news on this as soon as we can.

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Filed under Project update, The Networked Councillor

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