AN OSCAR, or Golden Globe it wasn’t, but the Hedon Blog was still pleased to accept an award last Saturday in the prestigious surroundings of the British Library in London at the Talk About Local Unawards.
I am now the proud owner of ‘Banger’ – ahem! I’ve just made that name up as I’m writing – the drumming bunny rabbit. Banger, if he had batteries, would be powered by a well-known make and just keep banging on!
After accepting Banger in front of the assembled delegates, I just turned-tail and ran back to my seat in embarrassment, but if I had given an acceptance speech I would have first of all have thanked Yorkshire Water. Or rather their Waste Water Treatment Works.
You see, the Hedon Blog was given Banger to recognise ‘The Longest Ongoing Campaign Against a Utility Company by a Hyperlocal Website’ – yes, for constantly banging on about the smells from the sewage works on Hedon Road.
I’m actually attending a meeting with Yorkshire Water next week along with local councillors from the area and while things at the treatment works have dramatically improved since the sickening, foul odours that ruined the summer of 2011, Banger will come with me to the meeting. The bunny will serve as a gentle reminder that local people are still concerned about odours from the site and particularly as the pea season approaches we will be watching, listening and sniffing!
Talk About Local is the organisation that since 2009 has been holding annual conferences to bring together those passionate people who are creating and seeking to create powerful online voices for communities – often referred to as hyperlocal websites. ‘Conference’ is not the correct term; the event is traditionally an ‘unconference’ meaning that it’s not organised with pre-scheduled timings, sessions and speakers, rather the agenda is formed on the morning of the event based upon what the participants actually want to discuss or organise around. Similarly the jovial tongue-in-cheek naff awards session is the ‘Unawards’ with fabulous unprizes including pink ponchos and Star Trek books!
This year at Talk About Local Unconference or #TAL15 I attended sessions on covering the General Election, going in to print (newspapers), managing comments, tools for journalism websites, and working with the police. All of which will seriously help the Hedon Blog with its work in the local area.
Many thanks to #TAL15 for my banging bunny!