This project aims to develop and test the potential of LocalNets, an innovative social media digital analytics tool created to drive community action and promote the take up of community rights.
3 Commercial Partners
2 Academic Researchers
Working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and software development company TableFlip, the project aims to expand the functionality of LocalNets and to use the app to stage a series of interventions to improve low community rights uptake in the Bretton parish of Peterborough. The RSA has pioneered the use of offline social network analysis as a means of achieving social policy outcomes by analysing people’s social relationships and seeing how they impact on wellbeing, life satisfaction and other life outcomes. However, this approach is resource intensive; the LocalNets tool aims to automate the process of community asset discovery to help community-focused organisations identify and understand community concerns and issues more efficiently.
The Bretton Buzz project has grown out of the Community Mirror project, developed by the RSA and Jimmy Tidey with Nesta’s Policy and Research team. The Community Mirror project aims to compare and contrast information surfaced about a local area through offline, traditional survey methods with data that is automatically generated using online social media aggregation methods using a previous iteration of the LocalNets webapp. The Community Mirror project focuses on the Cranford ward of Hounslow, which has been the subject of a detailed RSA asset mapping exercise. The LocalNets social media mapping tool was run in the same area, and the resulting data set compared with the RSA’s asset map. The project indicated the practicality of the LocalNets approach, and lent some support to the data it gathers.
Bretton Buzz will offer an opportunity to iteratively improve the LocalNets software in the context of the DCLG policy environment, as well as broadening the evidence base to a community outside of London.