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From Norfolk RCC
- For help with editing pages click here
- For details of the Terms and Conditions for using this site click here
This website is an experiment in community development. It is an attempt to facilitate information sharing between community groups and other voluntary sector organisations.
It requires a degree of bravery to work. From our point of view that bravery is about letting members of the general public edit and change parts of our website. From your point of view it’s about working in a different way where you share information and ideas freely. See the main page for some ideas of how we think it could work but really it’s up to you to create what you want and what will help you achieve your aims
For convenience the site is divided into three sections.
Section one contains information about Norfolk Rural Community Council and its activities and is maintained solely by them.
Section two is community gathering which contains pages about community organisations. This is the place where you can shout about the great things you are doing or simply link your own site to help more people find out about you.
Section three is community insight which contains information for communities on a range of issues. This is constantly being built so if there is something that was helpful or a piece of information you found interesting then add it and share your words of wisdom.
Anyone who is a registered user on this site can create and edit pages in these last two sections. Registration is free and can be done either by clicking here or from the link in the top right corner of this page. Please also read our terms and conditions.
The first stage has been to construct pages about the NRCC and our services but we are also developing other information pages that eventually communities will be able to add to. In addition we are currently trialling the use of the site as a tool for assisting communities in developing their project by facilitating communication and the sharing of information.
For more information see the Community Insight and Community Gathering pages or look at the examples below of how this site may help you in the future. Keep checking back for more information in the coming months. As the idea behind this project is one of openness and collaboration we have left the site accessible as we develop it further - so apologies for any rough edges!
Examples of how this site may help you in the future:
Jim moves to West Tofts village. By going to the page on this website for West Tofts he can see all the groups in the area and get in contact with them, this could help him quickly integrate into the community. Alternatively Jim is interested in art and goes to the pages on this website listing all arts groups, he finds a still life drawing class in the area which he very much enjoys. Jim's background is in construction and after requesting a user name and password for this website he is able to add valuable information to the pages on the community building pages helping many other communities across Norfolk.
Clogs and Trogs community group are looking to do a youth project. They search the issues pages on this website and find one on young people in rural areas, this helps them understand some of the background as well as see links to other projects. From this they understand the importance of consultation and so look under the development section of this website and find pages on how best to conduct a consultation exercise. They then seek further guidance from one of our community development workers who supports them in undertaking a 'big brother' style diary room consultation with local young people. From the results of this survey they decide that a youth shelter is what is wanted and are able to look at suppliers on the website and see comments left by other groups. The information on the site is complimented by the ongoing one on one support of NRCC development team.
Furney village want to go green! After the parish council was inspired by reading an article on this website they called a public meeting and the whole community agreed they wanted to become the first carbon neutral village in Norfolk. However with so many different people and groups in the village the community found it hard to keep in touch and coordinate their efforts. With the support of the NRCC development team they set up a project page on this website and are able to use it to share information and notes as well as get feedback using the talk pages from local residents. As a result the whole community feels involved in the process and the project develops smoothly.
Jane is a development worker. Many of the questions she and her colleagues receive from groups are similar. Using our site she is able to retrieve information relating to common queries quickly and easily. She is then able to either send groups this information as a link to an email or print it out as an information sheet. When she comes across useful information she records it on our website so that she can find it easily later. This also assists her colleagues and allows the collective knowledge to grow. More able groups are able to access the information directly which both empowers them and relieves pressure on Jane and her colleagues. When Jane is working with groups on specific projects she is able to set them up a page that they can use to work collectively on documents, keep stakeholders informed and use it as a vehicle for consultation by inviting feedback and comments on the talk pages. Using the ‘watch this page’ feature she is emailed every time the group adds more information allowing her to stay informed of progress but in an unobtrusive way. Overall the system saves Jane both time and effort and allows her to more effectively assist groups.
You want to have a look around the site to see what others have done before you start editing yourself. Once you’re ready to start editing the first step is to sign up for a free account. This can be done by clicking here or the link in the top right hand corner of every page. Click ‘create account’ and fill in your details- that’s it! If you choose to provide an email address this can be used to keep you updated on changes (see below watching pages) and remind you of your password if you forget it.
Understanding How the Site Works
Every page is like a double-sided sheet of paper. One side, ‘the article’ is where the content is placed (e.g. information about a group or an issue). The other side is ‘the discussion’ which as it suggests is where you can comment on and discuss the content of the page.
Each user has a user page (displayed as User:username e.g. User:clemo). This user page is normally used to say something about the group or individual who is doing the editing see User:Clemo as an example. This is done so that someone looking at the pages can see that where user:gaytonnews (who from their user page they can see run the Gayton news website) writes something about Gayton it is likely to be more authorative than user:clemo. Once logged in a link to your user page is visible in the top right of the screen.
Creating a page for your organisation
The first step is to check that no one has already created a page about your group. Type the name of your group into the search box on the left hand side of the page and click ‘go’. If no page exists with that name then you will be given the option to create that page. Clicking the create page link opens the edit page. You can type the information you want to add into the edit page and then click save (bottom left the edit page). To see how you can format the text and add pictures and maps see the edit help (also linked to in the bottom right of the edit page). Once you are happy with the information on your page you should categorise it to help others find it (see below).
Categorising a page
Every page should be put into categories to make it easy for others to find. You can put a page in as many categories as you like. All pages should be categoried as either category:community gathering or category:community insight (except user pages and NRCC pages). To add a category to a page type [[category:nameofcategory]] e.g. [[catgeory:community insight]] . You can see a list of all categories here. You can create a new category in exactly the same way as creating a new page but prefix the name of the page with the word category then a colon. So to create the category sport type catgeory:sport into the search bar and click go and follow the create page link (see edit help for details). Articles in a given category will appear automatically on that categories page. If you add a category to another category then it becomes a sub category of the category it was added to.
To keep track of changes to a particular page you can ‘watch’ that page. You might want to do this to a page about an organisation you work with or an issue you are interested in so that you know if anyone adds anything to that page. To watch a page firstly sign in and navigate to that page, then click the watch tab (next to the edit tab at the top of the page). To receive email updates when that page changes go to your preferences (top right) verify your email address and select the option to email on page changes.
If the report has a specific name, e.g. The Quirk review, a page of that name should be created containing brief details of the report and a link to a full copy. If the report does not have a specific name then it needs to be added on a general page relating to the area it covers, e.g. rural housing, (create one if necessary) where a section should be created for the report and a summary and link should be written as above. Only in the event that you believe that the website containing the report will remove it should you upload a copy to the NRCC site. All pages containing details of reports should be added to the research and reports category (add [[category:research and reports]] to the bottom of the page). NRCC staff should add new reports to the ‘reports and press releases’ section of the news and events page, you should date these using the ~~~~~ so that they can be removed after three months.