CARNEGIE ASSOCIATE UPGRADING FIERYSPIRITS.COM Topic Briefing This briefing paper is for prospective applicants to the post of Carnegie Associate – ‘Upgrading FierySpirits.com’. Background FierySpirits exists to serve its members. The Steering Group has established four high level outcomes: Accelerated learning by members about rural development practice; Opportunities for members to work together to influence policy development; Demonstrate the value of the CoP model for rural and other development. Evidence of increased activity and engagement by CoP members The pace of technological change has continued to accelerate since FierySpirits CoP was established in 2008. Today, alongside Facebook and Twitter, a new generation of mobile users are using GIS enabled apps to share different kinds of information together, and aggregation services enable tailored collation and distribution of news from and across a variety of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Plus etc..). In addition to technological change, the world of rural networking is also experiencing major changes. In December 2011 the Carnegie UK Trust report Rural Development Networks drew attention to a changing funding and technological environment in which those attempting to initiate and sustain rural networks are operating. Furthermore, there remain constraints that people in rural communities experience regarding their relationship with online networks including: - lack of access to fast enough broadband; information overload and a sense that there are too many networks offering too much uncoordinated information; some unfamiliarity with the online world and recent developments such as Twitter; and a continuing desire to meet and engage face-face alongside accessing better connected and presented online networks In this context, FierySpirits CoP wishes to refresh its offer to its existing and new users. Aim of this work FierySpirits.com was established on a ‘ning’ platform in 2008 to meet these outcomes. Ning was chosen on the basis that it offered the best (fit for purpose/value for money/ease of use) technology available at the time. Today, options for an independent FierySpirits network are being actively considered. To inform into this process, this project will review opportunities to enhance the FierySpirits platform (or suggest an alternative), especially with regard to maximising its connectedness with other rural networks, as well as unlocking the full potential of social media to encourage members to share their experiences, news and know-how online. This work will help to keep FierySpirits at the cutting edge of rural networking and may reveal new opportunities for FierySpirits’ next phase of development. This project will appoint an Associate to assist NW in identifying leading edge social technologies that could complement FierySpirits’ core purpose. The Associate will 1) Review CoP membership data and assumptions about the core stakeholders for the site into the future; 2) Support an experiment that aims to enable FierySpirits members to share their twitter, facebook and other material through a content aggregation service such as paper.li; 3) Review ning functionality in relation to the features current and futures are most likely to value and on this basis either 4) Immediately implement ways to enhance the existing site in the light of the developing CoP business plan and stakeholder needs; AND/OR 5) Make a recommendation about alternative online platform/s that would be fit for purpose for the next phase of development for the CoP. The Associate (with NW) will share a report on their work with members of the CoP. The Associate will be chosen after an open call for proposals. The Associate will be selected on the basis of (1) the quality of their proposal to support the further development of FierySpirits CoP (2) their track record in using social networking and new media technologies to serve online communities; and (3) any ‘value added’ proposals may be able to bring to this topic (eg opportunities to build on / learn together with other networks exploring similar questions, especially those serving rural development stakeholders in the UK/Republic of Ireland). To discuss any element of this briefing further, please contact Nick Wilding at Carnegie UK Trust, email: [email protected] and telephone 07515 286297. CARNEGIE ASSOCIATE UPGRADING FIERYSPIRITS.COM Application Pro-forma What is a Carnegie Associate? Carnegie Associates are individuals who work in partnership with the Trust on specific projects which aim to develop or support innovative practice or partnership work in pursuit of one of the policy aims of the Trust. An Associate will undertake work within the terms of a contract agreed with the Trust. There will be a high level of mutual trust between the Associate and the Trust. We hope this association with Carnegie UK Trust can confer benefits in policy and practice development work for both the individual Associate and the Trust. Carnegie Associates can be self-employed or employees of a partner organisation. Where they are based within a partner organisation, it is expected that this will be a third sector organisation but in limited circumstances, the Trust may consider supporting an Associate from the public or private sectors. They can be based anywhere in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Carnegie Associate roles supporting development of the Rural Development Community of Practice (CoP) – www.fierysprits.com Carnegie UK Trust supports a rural development Community of Practice. Its purpose is to: ‘Accelerate learning by activists, professionals and policy makers who are building resilient and sustainable rural communities. It does this by enabling practitioners to connect, challenge and learn from each other at face-face events and virtually via a social networking website.’ The high level outcomes for the CoP are: Accelerated learning by members about rural development practice; Opportunities for members to work together to influence policy development; Demonstrate the value of the CoP model for rural and other development. Evidence of increased activity and engagement by CoP members The CoP Steering Group now wish to appoint a Carnegie Associate to support the increased activity and engagement by CoP members on priority topics. A three month contract is being offered for the amount of £3.5k including expenses and VAT (where applicable). Call for proposals: Rebooting FierySpirits.com Please email completed pro forma (below) with CV to Nick Wilding ([email protected]) by 9am, 2nd July 2012. The successful applicant will be notified by Wednesday, 4th July. CARNEGIE ASSOCIATE – PRO-FORMA NAME JOB TITLE ORGANISATION (if applicable) ADDRESS CONTACT EMAIL CONTACT TEL: PLEASE PROPOSE HOW YOU WOULD GO ABOUT DEVELOPING ONLINE ACTIVITY AND ENGAGEMENT FOCUSSED ON THIS TOPIC (no more than 500 words) PLEASE INCLUDE A TIMELINE FOR THIS DEVELOPMENT WORK OVER A FIVE MONTH PERIOD COMMENCING JUNE 2012. REFERENCES NAME EMAIL ADDRESS 1. PLEASE ATTACH A COPY OF YOUR CV 2.