We kick off 2013 with news of a new local website on n0tice which seeks to cover the Stourbridge area in the Midlands. It’s creator Abigail Edge tells us more about why she’s set up Stourbridge.n0tice.com.
Firstly, I asked her to tell us a little about her passions and interests
I grew up in Stourbridge, in the Midlands, but only recently moved back to the area after more than ten years living away in London, Bristol, Plymouth and Leeds. I’m a journalist and web editor currently working at Midland News Association (though Stourbridge.n0tice.com is a personal project). Previously I was online editor of ThisisBristol.co.uk and also managed Northcliffe Digital’s Local People sites in the South West, which is what sparked my interest in hyperlocal news.
My favourite things are going to gigs and festivals, rambling around the countryside and exploring new places – last summer I spent three weeks backpacking around Sri Lanka. I’m a member of my local running club and am currently attempting to learn photography and Spanish, all to varying levels of success. I’m also a self-confessed social media fiend – you can find me on Twitter @abigailedge or WordPress www.abigailedge.co.uk.
Why did you set it up and who is involved?
I set up the noticeboard to create an online community space for people living in and around Stourbridge – somewhere they can share news, events, photos and anything else of interest. It’s early days and at the moment it’s just me running it, but once the word spreads I’d like to see more people involved.
Tell us the three best things about Stourbridge
The noticeboard covers Stourbridge and the surrounding area, including Wordsley, Wollaston, Dudley, Hagley and Norton. It’s a relatively small town with a population of around 55,000 but there’s a lot that goes on. The best three things… ?
– Birmingham, the UK’s second city, is just 30 minutes away by train but Stourbridge is also surrounded by some really beautiful countryside, from the rolling Clent Hills to Kinver Edge with its rock houses carved into the woodland sandstone ridge.
– It’s got a deep-set arty, bohemian streak and a thriving local music scene. Cult bands The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin all hail from Stourbridge, making the town something of a Mecca for NME readers in the late eighties/early nighties!
– Stourbridge people are friendly and down to earth, while the town itself has some great real ale pubs and independent shops. My favourites are The Duke William on Coventry Street and Scary Canary Clothing in Victoria Passage (scarycanaryclothing.co.uk).
What do hope to achieve with the noticeboard?
I’d like to see people using Stourbridge.n0tice.com to highlight the best of Stourbridge, whether it’s to share a great photo or to let people know about events, offers and news in the town. I’d especially like to see local venues, clubs, businesses and community groups getting involved. And I’d like to get everyone using the #n0ticestourbridge hashtag on Twitter and Instagram! Essentially it’s a public space that’s open to everyone – how it develops really depends on how people decide to use it.
* Visit the Stourbridge noticeboard here. Are you doing something with n0tice that you’d like to share? Whether it’s a hyperlocal, a mapping project or maybe a photography challenge we’d love to hear about it. Contact me via the comments below or via the email Sarah@n0tice.com.
Thankfully the images haven’t been of incidents with such deadly consequences as those on the BridportNoticeboard a couple of months ago but the recent extreme weather conditions have prompted plenty of noticing over the past week as flooding drifts down the country.
Here’s a selection of images which caught our eye.
These image reports were compiled into this blog post using the ‘embed’ function available to all users at the top of every post on n0tice.com. This function means that any content can be easily shared in platforms such as WordPress or editorial content management systems and the attribution of the content creator remains in tact.
Reports are news stories about something that’s happening.
Maybe it’s something that’s happened right where you are? or maybe it’s a link to something you’ve seen that’s about this place.
Let’s post up a report so that everyone around here can see it.
You should see in front of you a list in the centre of the screen of other reports which have already been posted around here.
And above those a button which says ‘post a new report’
Let’s click on that and a form asking for some further information should be displayed.
First is the location, where is this report based? Start typing the location and the system will find that exact spot for you.
Next is the headline – just a really short description about what’s happening is enough, just a few words that will help other people find your report.
Now when we get to the description box, that’s your chance to include a lot more detail. Who does this story effect? Why will people care about this issue? Try to include enough information to help them inderstand what’s happening here.
Also, how do you know about this story? You might want to mention the source so that people can see for themselves where it originated – or maybe you are an eyewitness to something that’s happening right now.
With the tags, add words which will help people find this story if they are searching for it – what did you think of when you first heard about it? or maybe there’s a hashtag already in existence.
When we reach the ‘link box it’s a chance to link to any extra infomation you might have or the source of story.
If you have a photograph, this is an opportunity to add it by brwsing to the picture wherever you’ve stored it but – if you’re in a hurry, don’t worry, you can always add more pictures, infomation and multimedia content to the report at a later date. Or maybe someone else will have something to add to it too.
Once you’re happy wiith your news report, click on the blue create button and there it is.
Congratulations! You’ve created your first n0tice report.
I started by asking him to tell us about himself…….
My name is Stephen Banks and I’m a 22-year-old Liverpool-born Graphic Design graduate who moved to Bridport a year ago last week.
I work for a local PR agency, Watershed PR, where I handle work spanning social networking, web and graphic design, photography and video. We have a number of local clients, so we are very plugged-in to what’s going on around here.
I love covering local news events (especially if they’re visually interesting) and I always have a project on the go. At the moment, I am working on a series of time lapse starscape videos in and around Bridport, featuring landmarks such as the cliffs by the sea, a local café, the brewery and so on. Here is just a snippet of what I spend my evenings doing:Timelapse
Why did you set it up and who is involved?
The Bridport noticeboard was initially set up as a testbed for local news. There are several of us at Watershed who were and still are journalists: we have worked for the likes of The Sunday Times, BBC, The Observer, The Scotsman, Dorset Echo, Portsmouth News, Bridport News, and the sadly now defunct Paisley, Renfrewshire and Gryffe Weekly News. A number of us at Watershed would contribute and it would create a simple source of local information. Towns across the South West have really picked up and ran with social networking, and the online noticeboard concept is one that I can really see working well within Bridport.
We have also set up a number of offshoot noticeboards, such as bridportarts and bridportmusic to serve the lively cultural scene here. I tend to do a lot of the updating myself simply because I live right in the middle of the town – if something is happening, I know about it!
Tell us what the three best things about your location
The noticeboard mainly covers the town of Bridport, a mile inland from the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast, in Dorset. This extends out to nearby villages such as West Bay, Symondsbury, Powerstock, Walditch, Shipton Gorge and so forth, with occasional dashes further afield to cover stories across West Dorset.
The three best things about the location are:
- the surprising range of art, music, theatre, literary and film events in the town (for example, comedian Jack Dee confirmed to appear at the Bridport Arts Centre). There are three theatres (The Electric Palace, The Bridport Arts Centre and The Lyric Theature), dozens of artists’ studios and live music venues, two literary festivals, a food and beer festival and even a hat festival.
- the location, being a stones throw from the spectacular Jurassic Coast. The standard of living around here is excellent and there is a real community feel to everything that goes on
- It’s a lot warmer down here than it is in Liverpool.
What do you hope to achieve with the noticeboard?
In time, I want this noticeboard to become a hub for local events and news. The coverage from the majority of local websites is sporadic at best. Many of these websites are difficult to update and maintain, whereas the n0tice system is pretty simple and intuitive.
In time, it would be good to bring in a few more people to cover the local stories. I’m only 22 myself and, having only lived in Bridport for a year, there would be a large amount of specific, historical or cultural information I would miss out on. A Bridport erudite, one who knows everything there is to be known about Bridport.
* Visit the Bridport noticeboard at http://bridort.n0tice.com.
This morning seems like a good time to share a new feature which helps n0tice-ers personalise their own noticeboards has now been released. This will help noticeboard owners who have lots of events or offers to share to prioritise those over news reports.
To access this tool, in the noticeboard settings there’s a new link called ‘layout’. In there is a drop-down
which means users can order the noticeboard however they choose.
The category selected as the main one will then occupy the more prominent central column.
Here’s one a n0tice-er made earlier: http://bigenergyweek.n0tice.com.
When is a report a ‘quick report’? It’s a question some n0tice.com users ask because there’s two options offered for posting reports – the quickie, or a full report.
If you’re on a mobile device, the quick report option is ideal – no-one wants to fiddle around on the mobile when there’s something happening right there where you are and it’s all about timing.
It allows you to react quickly but don’t worry about missing out detail, you then have the option to update as often as you need – perhaps you want to add a link, find some more information or have grabbed a tweet that says it all.
These elements can all be updated later so simply post the initial headline of what’s happening where you are so everyone else can see it.
If time is less of an issue – perhaps you’re back at the office or updating at home on the PC – then the full report gives you more scope to add tags to help other people identify your content, browse to a photograph, insert a link and provide far more detail in one go.
Again you can continue to update as necessary with updates of text or links to tweets. pictures and multimedia.
The button to add a full report can be accessed via the quick links menu on the top left of the site by clicking on reports. Take a look on the right-hand side of the page for the big green ‘create a new report’ button.
Happy n0ticing. Please do let me know if you’d like any help on any other aspect of the site via the comments below.