Campaigning & Communicating
Stibasa is about sustainable transport, particularly cycling, and about sustainable living. It is focussed on Barking, where I live, but broadens to LB Barking & Dagenham and wider, sometimes. You may like to read or comment on my blog, which has a few followers of its own.
When Stibasa started, e-mail and (static) websites were the latest way of communicating. I was running the B&D London Cycling Campaign branch (‘Borough Co-ordinator’), and to make communication with the group easy, I started the Stibasa Google Group, always with the intention that it was for those interested in the Stibasa concept, especially as back then cycling was not so fashionable, and B&D LCC membership was low (as it still is).
I added the e-mail addresses of current LCC members to the group when I started it, and have continued to add addresses as others joined, so the group contains the e-mail addresses of many former B&D LCC members. (NB – btinternet addresses do not receive Google group messages by e-mail. Please subscribe a non btinternet address only.)
As cycling’s popularity has grown and developed, including in B&D, I have added contacts from non-LCC organisations to the group – principally Sustrans, for whom I am a local Active Travel Champion.
The Google group remains the largest of the Stibasa family of Internet entities, and is the default way for the B&D LCC branch to communicate. If you wish to get information direct from the B&D LCC group, please add your e-mail address to the Stibasa Google Group.
The LCC office has gathered, by means of LCC’s website, the e-mail addresses of many people who it terms ‘supporters’. Some, but by no means all of these e-mail addresses are in the Stibasa Google Group. Data protection law prevents (or discourages) the LCC corporate from passing the information on, so, if you wish to get information direct from the B&D LCC group, please add your e-mail address to the Stibasa Google Group. (NB – btinternet addresses do not receive Google group messages by e-mail. Please subscribe a non btinternet address only.)
I am Cycling UK campaigner, too (fka Local Cyclists’ Right to Ride Representative for CTC), and for Twenty’s Plenty for Us I am the local campaign point of contact, but these organisations do not have a branch presence in the same way.]
Facebook’s capability to support information about recurring events is fairly weak: [I rarely use it, and when I do I paste a link to Meetup]. Many people simply don’t like FB and won’t go near it and creating events on http://www.stibasa.org.uk was very laborious, with no recurring events capability beyond cutting and pasting. Therefore I decided to use Meetup.com, which has very powerful facilities for creating events, and I called the “group” Hubbub as an homage to the newsletter that used to be produced for the NE London LCC borough branches – B&D, Havering, and Redbridge.
Rather like Facebook, the Meetup group has attracted its own separate following, overlapping with the Stibasa Google Group and the Facebook likers of the B&D cycling campaign. (Some Meetup group members mistakenly think that Hubbub is a group, such as a cycling club, in real life.)
The Meetup group’s event listings – like the http://www.stibasa.org.uk ones it replaced – were mainly intended for cycle rides and events within easy reach of Barking by train or bike (or on foot!). In the main, these events are not organised by anyone in LCC B&D and the fact that LCC B&D organises very few events does not seem to mean there is a shortage.
Events within easy reach of Barking, however, are likely to be organised by groups based in the areas around Barking. Meetup enables me to add the organisers of such events as co-organisers of the Meetup Group so they can add events themselves, but this means in fairness that they can add events relevant to their own groups, even if they are not “Barking friendly”.