A Free and Enticing Prospect? Online Forum for the Youth Sector

A new free online forum for the youth sector.
Today [March 12], the National Youth Agency (NYA) working on behalf of the Local Government Association (LGA) and in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) has launched the Supporting Services for Young People community. The community is a free learning environment where people with an interest in the youth sector, not just those in local government, can discuss issues, access resources and take part in discussions.

Thus begins the press release announcing what I think is the relaunch of this proposal to create an online forum that might be used by folk concerned about services for young people. Sadly, as usual the initiative is accompanied by overblown rhetoric. It’s new?  It’s free! As if anyone would cough up money to be involved. As ever the notion of community is abused. The NYA  launches one where none exists. A spoonful of humility would go a long way. Why not say that you are hoping to encourage the possible creation of an online community? More realistic, methinks. And is telling us ‘we can discuss issues..and take part in discussions’ simply sloppy or a recognition we rarely do either seriously? For what it’s worth, in my experience, such forums struggle to survive – often depending problematically on a handful of contributors to give the appearance of life.

Enough scepticism. For my part I will enter into the spirit of the Knowledge Hub’s slogan,

Connect, collaborate, learn, innovate

Although, for my purposes, I will insert ‘criticise’ in the interests of lively debate.  Make up your own mind whether you can be bothered.

Full press release here – includes details of how to get involved.

PS Early signs of neurosis setting in! I registered 24 hours ago, but still awaiting e-mail acceptance. How come even the corner shop can sign you up for home delivery in 30 seconds flat and the LGA takes over a day to respond? The reply service will have been outsourced. Who are the enterprising, yet inefficient culprits?


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