Making use of the False Economy website

False Economy is is a website dedicated to helping us fight the cuts.  It’s quite likely many of you reading this post have already heard about it and visited the website, or use the facebook page or twitter feed to keep up to date with news about the cuts.

For those of you who haven’t visited the website, go and look.  It’s a great resource for information about why cuts are the wrong cure.  There is also information about cuts in your area or service sector, and about events and campaigns you can go to in your area.

This part of the resources could be better.. and this post is to encourage you (and me) to help improve it.  All we need to do is to add stuff to it – and the website is designed for us to do that.  This post is going to briefly run through some of the different things I know you can do with the website, and then give a more detailed instruction on how to add a cut to the database.  The other things you can add (testimonies, campaigns and events) work in a similar fashion, but if people want a similar set of detailed instructions for those, then let me know).

Now I like to think that I keep a pretty complete and up to date list of events in Birmingham on our upcoming events page, but there’s always a good chance I won’t hear or get told about something that’s happening, and if you’re not in Birmingham then False Economy is the best place to go to find groups or events happening around you.

For anyone who is doing an event, add it to the list. There is a ticker of events on the front page, and sometimes they put events out on facebook or twitter.  Also people do look here for events – we get a few referrals here from our events each month

Any cut that you know is happening, can be listed on the website.  Doing so will help False Economy map the cuts, and also build a database of cuts that people can search through when they need some facts and figures to help them win arguments about certain cuts, or cuts in general; or for information to go on leaflets.

Along with cuts comes testimonies – and this is where people who are, or are going to be, affected by cuts can tell their stories.

It is important we add to this database, so that we can get as much information out as possible, and give people a place to go to to find out about cuts in their area.  So that if anyone says that they don’t know what is being cut you can point them that way.

There is too much happening for any individual or organisation to get all this information out or collate it in a single place, but by working together (“crowd-sourcing” in new media lingo) we can..

What follows is a pictoral instruction on how you add a cut.  If you know how to do this, or prefer just to go to the website confident you can find your own way around (and I think it’s clear and easy to use), stop reading and click

Otherwise read on… click the pictures for a bigger image.. I hope that I’ve struck the right balance between simplicity and being patronising, but  if you’re confused then comment here or email BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com for clarification, and if you feel patronised, accept my apologies.

This is the front page.  You need to login to enter a cut, and will need to register if you haven’t already done so.

On the top bar there is a menu option called “cuts and testimonies”, click this to go to the Cuts & Testimonies page

On the bottom half of the page you can find quick links to events or cuts

This takes you to the cuts and testimonies page.

Click on the button indicated to add a new cut

You also use this page to add testimonies, or as the start of a search for information about cuts and testimonies by area/region/nationwide or sector.

This page is used to put the details of the event in.  Try to be as specific as possible to help accurately map cuts, and to help people who are searching for information about cuts to find it.

An exact name for the service being cut is great, as is indicating the relevant sectors.  If you have a specific postcode, use it.  I’ve just used B because it affects the whole of Birmingham and Solihull.

Then click send.

After posting you’ll get sent to this page, which is more or less what someone will see when they look at it.  You’ll be able to edit the entry after you’ve sent it.

It gets queued for approval, which usually happens fairly quickly, at least for events.. this is the first cut I’ve posted, so I’ll let you know how long this one takes – though straight after a bank holiday weekend, it might be a little more delayed than normal.

So next time you see a news story with details of a cut happening around Birmingham, or if you work somewhere that is being cut, or use a service that is being cut and can link to a reasonable source then add a cut (or a testimony – whichever is more appropriate, preferably both).

Check it has not already been added first of course – especially if you want to add a cut that has already been announced.

Addition

Having written this post and submitted the cut yesterday, this morning False Economy put it out on twitter:

you can view the cut entry on their website.

I don’t know if they tweet every cut, testimony or campaign or if they just do some occasionally, but obviously it’s great to see them mention the cut you’ve added, knowing that thousands of people on twitter will see it, and a few might click through to find out more.

Thankyou False Economy team.

 

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