Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Helping Brighton investigate

Well yesterday was exciting. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, Paul Bradshaw approached a group of us in Brighton and Hove who'd signed up for his collaborative investigations site Help Me Investigate. He wanted to know if we would be interested in working together to make it take off here. Since then, I've been talking to people about it (mainly the editor and Mark Walker of SCIP, who I'm working with on their community reporters project) and yesterday, another email from Paul kick-started it into action.

He suggested we begin by coming up with an investigation we'd be happy to start with - and so I've come up with some ideas myself (I think my favourite is the Godless one). I've deliberately made them fairly ambitious, as I'd really like to test what we can use Help Me Investigate to do. And I'm hoping anyone who's interested in joining us will make their own suggestions here too. Oh, and if you want to help us investigate, then sign up here.

  • How does Brighton's status as UK's most Godless city affect it? Looking at measurable manifestations of Christian values, e.g. amount given to charity, number of neighbour disputes. Go through 10 commandments and see if you can find some kind of measurement for each.As Brighton Pride seemingly lurches from one crisis to another, an analysis of its history, turnout, charitable donations and finances.
  • How liberal is Brighton? Its image is of a liberal enclave, but it has a Tory council. Breakdown of voting history by ward/across Brighton vs Hove over past 20 years - maybe finding a representative group of people to do survey of views?
  • Should Brighton divorce Hove? Looking at what political make-up of Hove and Brighton would be if they divorced, and trying to predict how key council policies/spending power might have been affected as a result.


Alison Gow said...

Good luck with this Jo - I think Help Me Investigate is a great site, and one which local newspapers could use to reconnect with their audience.
I'll be watching with interest to see how it develops outside its Birmingham incubator... and maybe getting some pointers off you and Paul on how we could use it in Liverpool too.

Anonymous said...

Thats very interesting. I cant remmebr how i got here now, following a link on Twitter i expect. I would be interested in helpimg, having formerly been a fervent blogger for years, and am particularly interested in the godless piece, being a rampant ahtheist myself. But unfortunately i'm busy the next couple of weeks training on something (even though i've spent most of my day on the interwebs!)But if help is needed towards the end of the month..

Cant login as forgoten my Blogger password!

Stephen Carlin

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Anonymous said...

I know what needs investigating;

The corrupt traffic wardens!

Slapping on an £80 on a Nissan Micra parked illegally, but then ignoring the £50000 Mercedes parked RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

Go stand outside Barneys on Western Road in Hove for some prime examples of selective ticketing.

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