#Unacceptable IT is pervasive | | G-CloudG-Cloud – "Real progress has been blocked by many things including an absence of capability in both departments and their suppliers, by a strong resistance to change, by the perverse incentives of contracts that mean its cheaper to pay service credits than to fix the problem and by an unwillingness to embrace the potential of newer and smaller players to offer status quo-busting ideas."
Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 1 / 5 – "Canada's commitment to open government is part of the federal government's efforts to foster greater openness and accountability, to provide Canadians with more opportunities to learn about and participate in government, to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians and, at the same time, create a more cost effective, efficient and responsive government."
The phrase “not a CMS” has become a bit of a joke around the GovUK office (to the point where more than a few people were humming Once In A Lifetime), but it’s a key part of our approach. The Single Domain will include several components that enable publishing on the web but they’re part of a much broader ecosystem of tools wired together using APIs and designed to be constantly iterated to focus on user need. As we began to unpack what that means it became clear that we were going to need custom software.
Dr. Vogels defined cloud computing as “a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ across the Internet to multiple external customers”. Calling on his experience from across the globe he outlined how the flexibility and resilience offered by clouds has helped to transform some government instances via the idea of software as a service and the advent of reactive charging models. He gave the example of Recovery.gov in the US as just one of over 100 Government sites using cloud hosting.
Shabby PR from SOCITM « Simon Wakeman – "As a PR man I’m well versed in the technique in play here – create a stir around headline grabbing stat or two then ride to the rescue with a carefully pitched product or service to solve the various woes created by aforementioned stat. "
People blogging about what they are up to is dead handy. Stephen and Jimmy writing their posts, me reading them, has saved you thousands of pounds. Direct cause and effect.
Having the flexibility to embed stuff is awesome. Insist on it next time you buy a CMS. Hats off to the guys at Eduserv for really coming through for us on this one. We couldn’t put pages together like this and this and this without it.
The growing availability of embeddable stuff is way cool. I’m excited about what else we might be able to achieve without dev work – like page ratings using Bazaarvoice and forums using Talki.
We all need to think differently now. Few things we might want our website to do are going to be unique to us. Gov webbies, and suppliers of government web services, need to adapt and thoroughly check out 3rd party plugins before embarking on any kind of jiggery-bespokery. Why pay for our own learning curve when others have already been through it?
My take (which pretty much repeats what Neil has said:
People sharing stuff via blogs is good and has measurable impact.
In whatever you do, being flexible and open means you can make the most of developments in technology, or whatever.
Armchair Auditor – Nice clean and simple example of what can be done with open government spending data by @adrianshort
Supreme Court’s untendered website cost revealed – "You need to ask yourself whether £360,000 seems like a fair price for such a website. I'd suggest it isn't. Even with a significant allocation for design, I'd have thought you could produce a similar result – with better functionality – for 95% less."
Why I’m fed up of talking about social media, really – "Sure it’s great that lots of councils are interested in social media and what it can do for their communications. But what is really starting to annoy me is that too many councils are asking the wrong questions."
Zotero | Home – "Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources." – via @jjn1
Local Data wiki – Great idea to create a wiki explaining opendata to local government types.
Centre for Digital Citizenship – "The CdC’s mission is to promote outstanding research on the changing nature of citizenship in a digitally networked society and to contribute to the analysis and development of policy in this area."