Friday, 19 June 2015

L4G SW Herts Community TV 19/05/2015

Here is this week's community TV show for SW Herts with Diane Richardson hosting as always, Alex Murray pulling double duty with news and sports and Catherine Baldwin as always on the charity, arts scene as well as her regular restaurant review. This week Chris Ogle joined us from a exotic wildlife park just outside Watford and gremlins prevents a debut for Paul Violet. Enjoy the show and we'd appreciate any feedback!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

What is the SW Herts District Website?

+Link4Growth SW Herts has been a driving force in #Link4Growth and one of the key ways we are doing this is by using a blogger site designed to be our 'district website'. The website pools in all aspects of what we are doing in the area and enables people to have a single place to find out everything that is going on in SW Herts. 

So what does the website contain and how does it build community?

When you first arrive on the SW Herts District Website, the landing page will contain a lot of different information and links but in short it contains the following information:

  • SW Herts blog: This is the blog for the area and as well as stories about what we are doing in the area, we have the ability to provide a space for Link4Growth subscribers to showcase what they are doing and links to their blogs. This in essence is a magazine for the area and can contain stories ranging from property and the local economy to politics and much more. We are constantly looking for new people to help write pieces for this so if this interests you, get in contact and we can help promote what you do!
  • Along the top of the page you will see a bar with links to various sites we use. For example, we have the link to the main L4G website so people can find out more about Link4Growth and so of the other aspects of it. We have links to the newly upgraded national forum where you can connect with other people within Link4Growth and help people on a national level. We also have links to the Link4Skills and two features I will go into in further detail below.

  • One of the key links on the top panel is the one enabling you to go to our SW Herts TV channel. Within this, you have the ability to view our playlists that showcase local businesses, charities and many other parts of our community. We are constantly updating the playlists with videos so please do subscribe to our YouTube channel and keep up to date
  • The other key link is to our community calendar. In short, this is  a calendar for the people of SW Herts to find out what is going on in their area. Whether it is big events in the Watford Colosseum or a yoga class in a community centre, this calendar enables the people to find what is going on in one place. And because it is linked with Google, you can add it to your phone's calendar and find out what is going on wherever you maybe!

To the right hand side we have a further set of links to different aspects of what we do. We have a feed to our #CommunityTVShow which enables you to watch our latest show. We also have links to all our communities such as L4G Watford and L4G BuyLocal Watford. These are key aspects of online community building and enable us to build community online as well as online. 

To be honest, this is just a mere sample of what we are doing on the website and the best way to find out everything is to visit the website at and look around. I believe +Chris Ogle will be doing a short video tour explaining much of this in video form for those who prefer video. If you have any questions, do ask one of the SW Herts team and they will be able to explain all to you!

SW Herts L4G Community TV - 12th June 2015

Latest #L4GSWHerts CommunityTV show with +Diane Richardson +Catherine Baldwin +Alex Murray +Neal Emery and +Chris Ogle out on the streets!

Community Building on Twitter

For those of you who maybe unaware, as well as a Facebook and G+ account, we also have an account on Twitter. This is one of the tools we are using to enable us to be share the stories of what we are doing throughout the district and engage with different groups of people. One of the features in particular that we are using are lists.

Lists are an effective way to filter your followers by certain
factors decided by you. Users that have 100s or 1000s of people that they are following can't filer their news-stream to allow them to find they key information they are looking for. By creating lists, they can organise the people they are following into lists and this allows them to focus on select areas.

So how are we in SW Herts using lists...

1) Towns in the district

This list breaks the district into the towns that makes it up and creates a list for each of them. Currently, we have lists for Watford, Bushey, Croxley, Rickmansworth and The Langleys. These lists contain accounts of people, businesses, charities and community groups that live, work and play in that particular town. Online, there are few places were you can go and find a list of what is going on in a particular town at any given moment or what is coming up. Currently, we have nearly 400 people in the Watford list as well as nearly 150 in the Rickmansworth list so please do check them out if you are keen to find out what is going on in the area.

2) Sport in SW Herts

Simply, this list contains all the details of local sports teams in the SW Herts area. Maybe you are keen to join a new team in the area or find out the latest results from the area, looking at you +Reason .....! This list is growing at the moment and if you know of any local teams on Twitter, please let us know and we can get them in the list also.

3) L4G Venues

One of the things #Link4Growth is passionate about is promoting those that help us. That is why we have a list dedicated to the venues that help promote us and host our events. This list gives us an effective way of finding their accounts and sharing what they are up to. As a result, they get greater exposure and hopefully more customers. Many of our venues are on Twitter so do check the list out.

4) Local Reporters

Sometimes it may not be enough for you to simply tweet your way to success. Sometimes, some traditional advertising is required and this list provides you with accounts for people at the Watford Observer, My News (which covers most of the district) and accounts such as @WatfordForYou. These guys are designed to promote what you do so contact them should you need to get your message out there!

5) Local Politics

By its nature, #Link4Growth is an apolitical organisation and simply aims to help rebuild community and engage all sectors of it. Politics shouldn't not be something that we do every 5 years and a successful community should see its decision makers in contact and engaged with the electorate. As a result, this list details all those decision makers on Twitter, This list will increase the more we engage with them and explain to them the benefits of being active on Twitter. If you Councillor, MP and Borough Council is not on Twitter, tell them to do so and we can pop them into the list.

6) Charities in SW Herts

It is clear that local charities can suffer from a 'cloak of invisibility' and they can struggle to get known to the community their serve. In Watford alone, there are 800 charities and there isn't a current list of who they are. This list enables people to find out what charities there are in the area, what they do and an easy way for them to engage with them to see how they can help each other.

We have only just started populating these lists with tweeters and the more #Link4Growth grows in the area, the more accounts we can add to the lists and the more detailed it will be for people to find out what is going on in SW Herts, If you are not following @SWHerts on Twitter, please do so and we can then make sure you are added to the relevant lists.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Carpenter's Park, are you ready?

As part of our plan to spread #Link4Growth throughout the whole of the SW Herts district, the SW Herts team had a meeting with +mina patel, a local Carpenters Park resident and Eric Bishop who is the Councillor for the ward as well as the Chairman for Three Rivers. The meeting was a success and as a result, we are pleased to announce the 1st event in the area will take place on the 2nd July starting at 9:30 in a local coffee shop called Perk. Kerry, the owner was very excited by the event and keen to help promote it. If you are keen to come along, please book into the event here.

As well as coming to the event, Eric has written a piece about the meeting on his blog. To read it, please click here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Do you have a dream?

For one person, 22nd August 2015 will be the third anniversary of his dream coming true. Tyson Martin is the Chairperson of Hertfordshire s Pride Society.

Tyson’s dream was to create an annual event in Hertfordshire to promote the county’s vibrant LGBT*Q community.

Tyson’s aim was to devise, plan, organise, fund and implement an annual Pride and family fun day event in Hertfordshire to promote equality and diversity. The aim of the event, which is open to the public, is to raise awareness of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, race, religion and belief, and in particular to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Tyson’s passion is his firm belief that ‘We’re as diverse as we are individual’.

For those not familiar with the Term LGBT*Q it stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and ‘questioning’.

Hertsfordshire Pride Society who organise the annual Herts Pride and Family Fun Day are a group of friendly, passionate, creative volunteers from the local LGBT*Q community and their straight allies.

August 22nd 2015 will be the Herts Pride’s 3rd annual Pride and family fun day event, supported by many businesses and organisations from across Hertfordshire. This colourful, musical and informative event takes place in Watford’s beautiful Cassiobury Park and is one of the few opportunities in Herts to demonstrate your commitment to, and interest in equality, diversity and community.

Herts Pride attracts over 3,000 people and provides local businesses and providers with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their goods and services.

As a member of L4G I’m very proud to lend my support to Herts Pride, which is helping to make our community stronger and safer for LGBT*Q people, providing them with every reason to thrive.

For further information, visit our website...

Monday, 1 June 2015

Recognition for Members of #TeamWatford

Last week at the #Link4Coffee event in #Watford, +Catherine Baldwin and +Diane Richardson were awarded a L4G Pin in recognition for their what we are doing in the area. In essence, both Catherine and Diane have helped Link4Growth expand into new areas and are excellent hosts of our free community building events. I encourage you to connect with them on here as they are both great, well connected people in the community.

For more information about why they were awarded L4G Pins, visit the L4G forum.