Digital Youth Wales

Preparing, Inspiring and Supporting Young People in a Digital World

(Part 1) A Social Reporter's guide to the WISE KIDS - WISP Conference: Young People in a Digital World - Preparing, Supporting, Inspiring

If you missed the WISE KIDS-WISP Young People in a Digital World 2010 conference, you will hopefully find this series of blog posts useful in helping you catch up with all of the activities of the conferences in Swansea and Bangor on the 1st and 3rd February 2010.

WISE KIDS organised a team of social reporters to cover the event, with David Wilcox, Tim Davies and myself at its core (for both conferences), plus a group of third year media students from Trinity University College Carmarthen for the Swansea conference, and Darren Morris from Urdd Gobaith Cymru for the Bangor conference.

Social Reporting

Although I am a formally trained journalist, I must admit, until I met David and Tim, I had never heard of the expression "social reporting". Perhaps it might be easier to call it by its other name – digital reporting – as, according to the very user-friendly handbook Tim Davies wrote for the Internet Governance Forum 2009, it is basically "about using digital media to capture conversations, information and different voices from a community or from an event".

The media used to report could be video cameras to create video interviews, voice recorders for audio ones, or blogs, live blogs or Twitter. You could also share photos, presentations and slides by posting them online. The difference between traditional reporting and social reporting is that, with the latter, the reporter plays more of a facilitator role, rather than being a dispassionate outsider communicating only the facts.

Most of the interviews were uploaded as soon as possible on the same day, so that anyone following the event online via the livestreamed video or Twitter, could also listen to the conversations and share in the excitement.

Each social reporter used a different tool to report the event – for instance, David and the students did video interviews and uploaded them, while Tim tweeted and liveblogged – so in order to organise all the information available, we have aggregated them under a '2010 Conference' tab on this Digital Youth Wales network site (hosted on Ning), which was launched at the conference, and which is where you are now.

It was most appropriate for a conference about the digital world to be covered in this way, and our student reporters showed how nimble young people can be with all things digital by instantly grasping the technology and getting some excellent interviews in English and Welsh from delegates and speakers on their Flip cameras. I will blog about this in a separate post.

Why blog posts?

My job was to weave through all the content available on- and off-line, and re-arrange them in a way that would make sense to those who could not attend.

This series of blog posts will guide you through some of the highlights of the event and aggregate relevant links with the available videos, live blogging, tweets, etc, categorised by themes. You can follow one theme at a time or just the ones that interests you most, for as much or as little information as you wish.

Five blog posts will follow broken down as below:

  • The keynote: everything starts with Tanya Byron
  • So what do kids really think?
  • All the world's a stage: Ysgol Preseli brings the house down
  • Why digital made reporting ageless: our young reporters
  • Personal highlights: stats and safety
  • Personal highlights: innovation and inspiration

To leave comments or questions on the blog posts, sign up as a member on the Digital Youth Wales site – it only takes a minute. Feel free to pass on links to the blog posts to friends and invite them to join the network.

The conference may have ended but the debate has only just started!

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