UK Regeneration declares faith in social media

The British Urban Regeneration Association, which was put into liquidation last month, has been relaunched as UK Regeneration. So what, you may ask.

UK RegenerationFirst, the relaunch was – like so many news stories – something that I first learned about on Friday morning through Twitter (tweets from Local Government Chronicle‘s Allister Hayman, followed up by tweets of links to acting chair Jackie Sadek’s readable Estates Gazette blog, Regeneration and Property), and was able to follow up through other blog posts and items flagged in my RSS feeds, which I’ve been reviewing this morning. It was a good example of how a news story could be broken through combined use of social media and traditional media. This is only to be expected as ….

Second, UK Regeneration (UKR) is advocating “Open Source Regeneration” and aiming to make a splash partly through its use of social media tools and techniques. As Jackie wrote in her ‘launch’ post on Friday:

“Taking a leaf out of Barrack Obama’s brilliant election campaign, our new organisation will – but of course – be pretty dependent on technology platforms and new media (at which point I do get a little vague of course) but the important thing is that electronic information is cheap and accessible and the vital thing, the sine qua non, is the content of course.

“The new model being created by UKR will be based on an engaged and dynamic group of individual regeneration practitioners who will build a resource centre providing valuable knowledge and information.

“And you won’t get content like ours anywhere other than through UKR. Hundreds of years of collective regeneration experience captured for all time. We know what works and we know what doesn’t.

“This is far from a standard membership organisation: it will cater to the individual rather than providing corporate membership. And to kick start (no pun intended btw) the programme, UKR will be offering free participation for the start up period.”

Jackie gives a little further detail when quoted in a short Construction News article today:

“It’s about building a massive database of people who want to make a difference in regeneration and mobilising those people through social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and chat rooms.”

The challenge

Of course this will present a quandary to some organisations, particularly those in the architecture, engineering, construction, property and local government sectors that restrict or block employee access to social networking sites. Their people will be unable to engage with UKR if they persist with such constraints (maybe this is one reason why UKR is focusing on people as individuals, rather than corporates?). Today’s Dilbert cartoon is relevant too….

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