One of the best fringe meetings I attended during last weeks Liberal Democrat Conference in Birmingham was the Local, Social, Digital fringe that looked at the role that social media can play in engaging citizens and communities in democracy. This was held on the Sunday lunch time and included Julian Huppert MP, Mark Pack, and Cllr Daisy Benson as the key speakers. However, this was a very participatory fringe with lively discussions between those present.
As an occasional skeptic of the current emphasis that many place on the role of social media I was pleased that the points made in the discussions were realistic and based on practical experience. Social media is an important political tool and one that is growing in value – but it needs to be used correctly and with an appreciation of its limits.
You can find out more about the meeting from these links:
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this fringe and the quality of the discussion made me rather wish that it could have gone on a bit longer. The video below will give you a flavour of the meeting. In it you can see me listening intently to Emma Maier from the Local Government Chronicle who was also one of the speakers.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.