Community media

Social Spider was born through the creation of community media, where members of the general public create media for people like themselves.

We currently publish three not-for-profit local newspapers, the Tottenham Community Press, Enfield Dispatch and the Waltham Forest Echo. We created and ran a national magazine writer by people with mental health difficulties, for people with mental health difficulties for seven years. We’ve delivered young people’s participatory media projects.  We’re excited about making media work for people in a period where local newspapers business models are collapsing. We believe that good factual media can change the world and that communities can make good media that serves their needs.

Areas of expertise: bootstrapping community media projects, publishing, participatory media, journalism, editorial, advertising

We are working to develop business models for community media that will ensure that communities that need them can find high quality journalism and information in ways that reflects the realities of their lives.  We’re exploring the way that publications can be bootstrapped from scratch in communities that need them in the cheapest, most sustainable way.

Research, evaluation and thinking

Social Spider finds things out and tells people about them.  Sometimes the best way to find things out is to do them ourselves

Social Spider is always interested in what works; why it works and how it might work better in future.  We enjoy working on projects that give us a chance to talk to people and really see from the bottom up the difference between theory and practice.  The processes by which change happens and by which social value are delivered fascinate us.

Areas of expertise: desk-based research, interview-based research, guided group discussions, discovery phases

Working for clients and working with partners we design, deliver and disseminate research.  To do this we dive into a subject; talking to people; reading the literature; and then create readable, credible answers.  We make sure that the question is right before rushing to an answer. All of our work grows from listening to what people say and treating it with respect.

When we work with organisations we bring our knowledge, contacts and experience as well as our skills and approach.

Our interest in change is not academic. We like to work with organisations where our involvement can add something to help move things forward.  Our recommendations are always analytical and practical and presented in readable, logical and relatable ways.

Tools we often use include desk-based research; interviews; guided discussions; purpose designed sessions with stakeholders and analysis of existing data.

Strategic support

Social Spider  works with organisations and individuals to help them to move their ideas and organisations to the next stage.  We’re good at getting you unblocked when you’ve hit a brick wall and helping to get ideas and actions moving again. Sometimes in times of pressure and business it can be difficult to find the space to reflect and think strategy, business models and development. Social Spider can bring that something extra at the right time to get stuff travelling forwards again.

Areas of expertise: working with organisations to define and understand problems, facilitated strategic discussion, market opportunity analysis, process and product evaluation, business model development

We enjoy helping organisations and projects to examine why they’re doing what they’re doing and what they might do in future to created a greater impact and to increase sustainability and legacy. We can’t always do the hard work for you but we can help take some of the work out of deciding which bits of hard work it’s important to undertake.

Using our research and facilitation skills and our areas of expertise we can fill in the gaps in your thinking; help you to find out what you need to know; and; bring energy and enthusiasm when you feel most stuck.

Digital discovery work

Social Spider is experienced in designing and delivering discovery work within digital projects from initial exploratory work, through to prototyping and user testing.  Social Spider works between client and developer to make sure that the needs, desires and preferences of multiple stakeholders are not lost during the implementation of digital projects.  

Areas of expertise: user insight development, development of user stories and use cases, co-design, process mapping, developing acceptance criteria, user feedback development, discovery phases, product management

Social Spider can help to get the real experience of people into the process of digital product design and development so that what finally gets built is something that people want to use.  We can assist in the development of user stories; user persona and structured user feedback and testing.

Social Spider can help with the surfacing of user insights to guide development and in understanding user acceptance.  Social Spider can help digital projects to understand the landscape into which a new digital intervention will be deployed and in the development of new concepts and digital approaches.

Social Spider is experienced in working with groups of stakeholders as part of iterative design processes and in supporting organisations to understand where best they might begin to develop digital products or services to meet user demand.

Doing stuff ourselves when no one else is doing it

Sometimes Social Spider takes forward our own projects either with partners or on our own.  We do this when we spot a need and think we can do something to meet it.