Civic Storyteller, Social Videographer, Live Streamer


I use digital tools to tell the stories of people doing great work; and I help others to tell their own stories. I am on a mission to increase public understanding of the work of public and non-profit organisations, using online video and social media. Please get in touch if you want to work with me.

Apparently, I am the 20th most influential person in digital inclusion in the world, as well as no.2 on the “Top 50 Digital #PowerPlayers14 in #ukhousing” and also no.2 on The Guardian’s list of top Digital Inclusion Tweeters

If you like what I do, and would like to help me take it further, please consider supporting me via Patreon

In the second decade of the 21st Century we all have the tools available to tell our stories. Smartphones and tablets can be used to communicate with the world. Increasingly, the tales people tell with such tools are drawing attention away from the established media of TV, radio, cinema and newspapers. And yet these benefits are vastly under-realised in the public and third sectors. Telling stories about the good works people do is extremely important, and yet it is not happening to any great extent in these sectors. It is important because:

  • It educates people as to what their taxes / donations are being spent on;
  • It sheds light on good works and helps others learn from them;
  • It helps participants develop greater understanding of their work and make connections with others doing similar things;
  • It provides context for people to develop new or changing opinions.

The organisations that people trust are those that they know and have on-going relationships with. This further applies to individuals. The way they develop these relationships is by connecting with their stories. I help people tell their stories, through online video and other forms of social media. Every day there are people and organisations doing great work whose stories never see the light of day. This leaves the way open for the media to distort people’s perceptions through TV programmes such as “Benefits Street” and the like. People and organisations telling their stories is thus vital to counter this picture.

I believe we all have a duty to try to make the world a better place. That’s what I try to do every day. I love the internet and all kinds of new technologies; I am amazed by their potential to improve people’s lives and I want to pass on the passion I feel for these things to everyone I meet.

My work is largely divided into a number of complementary, activities (follow links for more details):

Social Media: I help business and public and voluntary organisations, to use social media to engage with communities and communicate their messages;

Digital StorytellingWhile everything I do is underpinned by Digital Storytelling, I run some particular projects, initiatives, and training sessions specifically focused on how to tell stories using digital tools:

Digital Inclusion: I am passionate about the power of the internet to improve people’s lives and I work hard to make sure all people can benefit;

Rural Broadband: I help engage and mobilise communities in rural areas to secure better broadband provision;

Urban Broadband : I help engage communities and businesses in measures to improve broadband connectivity in towns and cities;  and

Live Internet Broadcasting: I am Chief Executive of Citizens’ Interactive Broadcasting, a not-for-profit company which specialises in live, online video broadcasting of events, and trains others to do this for themselves.

I am a Digital Storyteller and I want to help others tell their digital stories too.

I am the originator of #twicket, the World’s First Live Broadcast of a Village Cricket Match, conceived as an idea to highlight the need for fast upload speeds on internet connections, and rural broadband issues in general, which quickly became a global phenomenon thanks to the support of Stephen Fry on Twitter.

I help businesses, public and voluntary organisations to use social media to improve the way they communicate with their customers, constituents and supporters. I am a social reporter, helping events and organisations communicate their activities to the world. I promote and facilitate the application of modern technologies and social media to society’s issues and problems.

I was one of 3 people who were the first visitors ever to be allowed to use social media from within 10 Downing Street.

I am experienced in social reporting, including aiding local communities to tell their stories through local websites, youtube channels, and event reporting. I do reporting of events myself, including live blogging, live video-streaming, vox pop interviews, photography, and audio recording. You can find out more about my work portfolio here.

I was born and spent much of my earlier life in Nottingham, and went to university in Durham. I have lived and worked in the West Midlands, and now live in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I am a long-distance, mainly absentee, supporter of Notts County Football Club, avid follower of the England cricket team, and lover of what they call “classic rock” music, particularly Rush and Magnum.

You can find more about me at

If you want to hire me to advise your organisation, amplify your work or organise something interesting, probably the easiest way to contact me is via Twitter

email –

Can I do something for you?

Social Housing and Digital Exclusion

Social Reporter

Engaging Communities and Public

At 10 Downing Street

Left to right: John Popham. Monica Tailor, Nick Booth, David Cameron

Other places I can be found on the internet

My youtube channel

My videos on Vimeo

My photos


While you are here, can I please ask you to take a minute to subscribe to my YouTube Channel here

If you would like to support me to do more of my work in using Digital Storytelling, social media, and video for social good, please consider making a regular contribution via Patreon or perhaps, just buy me a coffee here

24 thoughts on “Civic Storyteller, Social Videographer, Live Streamer

  1. Really interesting posts on your blog (even if they are your own views) 😉 There is a lot of food for thought and you are one of those people who care and are totally involved in what you do. Keep doing what you do, it makes a difference.

  2. John – sent you a note on Twitter then realised you’re not following me, so apologies for taken this route!

    Saw your tweet re: “Maid in heaven”, if you want a copy of Bill Nelson’s finest 2 mins and 29 seconds then drop me a line.


  3. My band supported Magnum many years ago at Retford Porterhouse. The guitarist lookd like the lion out of the Wizard of Oz. They were lovely people. I had forgotten all about it until I came here.

    • I last saw Magnum at the Holmfirth Picturedrome last Autumn. Tony Clarkin, the guitarist, is totally bald these days

  4. Welcome to the world of self employment John. Magnum… Chase the dragon….wow…. My fav Rush album would be difficult to name…. Carress of Steel most likely, The Necromancer….. Bytor and the snow dog!, many otheres, red Barchetta…. I could go on, and on…. hmmmmm


    Moving on-
    This is the most amazin of times to live in…. the things that we’ll collectively be able to achieve will be amazin…. the best of us, and by ‘us’ I mean anyone that ticks the boxes 1. human, 2.pulse, will be read about in the years to come.

    The opportunities for this change are in the hands of the individuals, who will be empowered, the ‘system’ is changing and therefore very exciting to many. Very scary for an awful lot of people too. I find the most difficult things are the most rewarding, The project, which I’m hoping it’s one of the things we have common ground, has been aimed to opperate in this new climate of change. The fun I have in overcomming the obsticles in the way, the amount of people who’ve for some reason have underestimated my talents, all my peers in business are fascinated by my project, nearly all agree that it’ll be impossible to do. It’s spurred me on because I can see a way to achieving my goals.

    I hope you’re on board, if you’re not, there’ll be no exemption in the future. remember, 1. human, 2. pulse, The level of trust may be different, but thats in your hands. I want people around me who believe….

    Whatever you decide, (and, with respect, I need some feedback today please, one way or the other), I’d like to wish you every success. The best advice I can give is – Make sure you enjoy it!, ‘cos we’re only here once (aledgidly….lol)

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  8. Hi John, looks like you’re based somewhere near here (Slawit), do you know of Graham Mitchell – instigator of the Green Valley Grocers Co-op here in the village, and the local energy co-operative. He’s also trying to get decent broadband to the Colne Valley in a separate project – seems you should know of each other if you don’t already 😉 Fiona
    Will hook up with you on Twitter.

  9. hi matey…… accidentally found your site whilst lookin online for magnum and retford porterhouse. my band also supported magnum at the very same venue…….. absolute joy and they were total gents! hope your memories are as kewl and vivid as mine….. rock on…. mychyT

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