Following the recent announcement that Local Government Association (LGA) are considering the closure of the Knowledge Hub, I was asked for a comment by the Guardian’s Local Government Network. This has now been published on the Guardian website, along with thoughts from other prominent KHub users. To compliment that, I thought I’d publish the full unedited statement that I submitted to the Guardian – here it is:
For my department, the Knowledge Hub was a catalyst for collaboration and partnership working. Many of the people I introduced to the platform were not previously involved in online communities or social networking – the KHub provided a safe, secure environment for them to become comfortable with this new way of working. It overcame geographical limitations, aiding better communication both locally and nationally, and allowing for powerful new connections to be made.
Whilst other social media perhaps outstripped the KHub in terms of sleeker usability or advanced functionality, the KHub had the unique selling point of being the one single place where people passionate about delivering high quality UK public services could gather to exchange views and work together. We didn’t have to go hunting around for the small pockets of conversation scattered across an inexorably expanding hyperspace.
We are faced with hard times where collaborative partnership working is crucial, where inefficiency and duplication of effort is no longer tolerable, and meanwhile our workforce and citizens are demanding us to be modern, digitally literate organisations, fit for the future. The KHub was a key character in that story. Countless conversations will fall silent if it exits the stage with no suitable successor.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but users are being encouraged to make their thoughts known to the LGA.