Week note for 12 January 2024

A slow start to the year, blogging wise, been getting other stuff up straight. So here’s a bunch of things I’ve spotted during the last few days or so…

The delightful people at Lincoln Council are hiring a Web / Digital Officer. Lovely place to work on exciting local government things!

The Disturbing Impact of the Cyberattack at the British Library. Ouch! If organisations still aren’t currently taking this stuff seriously, here’s another reason to start.

One dimensional pacman. Curiously addictive. (I see Neil also linked to this!)

I have had to replace my several years old Apple keyboard, and couldn’t justify to myself the nearly £100 cost of the official one, so picked up a Logitech version for a third of the price. It is taking a bit of getting used to and the resultant loss of productivity is alarming.

Let’s make the indie web easier – sensible post (and follow up) from Giles.

How governments become addicted to suppliers like Fujitsu

How we’re making it easier to access government forms online

How can we get to a single shareable patient record?

Daily note for 27 November 2023

Miserable day here, weather wise. Very cold and very wet. Sort of weather than makes me want to hibernate!

I newslettered for the first time in a while. Lots of lovely people replied to say it doesn’t matter if I don’t get round to it as often as I feel I ought to. Love you all.

Neil’s weeknotes really are a joy to behold.

Been using Zoom a bit more recently for online meetings. There’s something about hte simplicity of it that I really enjoy. Also the idea – not limited to Zoom, of course – that it is a simple, cheap technology that you can use for whatever you want. It’d be easy to start a business with a website, an email address and a Zoom account.

Digital and Data – Continuous improvement assessment framework (via Ben Cheetham) – worth bearing in mind as I work with others on the Local Government Digital Quality Model.

Get involved with the launch of early access to GOV.UK Forms.

Why’s it so difficult for councils to adopt the same technologies?

Daily note for 6 November 2023

Happy new week!

Am hoping it is going to be a happier week for me, and that I can put the stresses of the last 7 days or so behind me a bit. Saw the GP on Friday about it all, he upped my Sertraline dose. Obviously that’s a sticking plaster rather than a fix, but hopefully it will give me a bit of space to make improvements elsewhere.

Lots of people have been in touch to check in with me. I am hugely grateful.

dxw’s Dave Mann on what needs to happen to improve digital delivery in government.

Lauren Pope’s sharing is just amazing. Take this latest belter as an example: Prioritisation for content teams: a guide.

Fab to see the Adur & Worthing digital bods blasting out more awesome work: Using Low-Code to build No-Code: Customer Enquiry Forms.

Understanding & tackling government’s true legacy.

Daily note for 3 November 2023

I published a newsletter on Wednesday, talked a bit about blogging. Hadn’t done one for a whole and picked a fairly safe topic just to get back into the swing of things.

Today’s innovation igloo was a right laugh, as usual. Next time, Nick, me and the gang are meeting on Friday 17th November at 1pm and will be discussing the steps needed for an organisation to become truly data driven. If that sounds like your idea of quality thought-nosebag, sign up!

Have had a difficult week this week. I think I’m suffering a bit with stress, with a lot of work on and things happening at home. That seems to be affecting my blood sugar, which seems very high all the time, no matter what I eat or how much insulin I take. Tuesday I felt absolutely done in and spend the day asleep in bed.

Eddie Copeland wrote a nice post: Maintain, Fix, Equip, Create or Involve. What scale of solution do YOU need? I like stuff about levels of change and it’s helpful for people to remember that change – digital or otherwise – isn’t monolithic. It can mean different things depending on context and the outcome that is desirable and realistic. I wrote my own (sort of) version of this a while ago.

How video and images can help people complete forms – useful from Aderonke Olutunmogun at Citizens Advice Bureau (also, gah! Medium).

Nice new site from Emily Webber pulling bits and pieces together around communities of practice.

Daily note for 4 October 2023

I visited Newark and Sherwood Council, just over the Nottinghamshire border, on Monday, to give a talk to their digital champions network. I borrowed the ‘5 digital things everyone needs to know about’ frame for the talk from my Digital Essentials e-learning course, and it seemed to work as a 40 odd minute talk (although I was only meant to do 20, oops).

Am open to delivering this to other organisations – probably remotely rather than in person though. If this would be useful, drop me a line and we can have a chat about it!

Local Digital evaluation study: A snapshot of our initial findings – I have views, will write them up at some point.

People. Process. Product – Three lenses to improve your digital strategy.

How we’re opening up access to GOV.UK Forms – access isn’t being opened to local government just yet, which is probably fine for now. Beyond ‘free’ I’m not sure what else GOV.UK Forms would bring to the party at this stage in its development. One important consideration for me is what it spits out once a form is submitted – am guessing some kind of XML or JSON maybe. Organisations adopting these forms will need the in house capability to do something useful with that output, which isn’t usually the case.