It’s another Friday, so here are five links (and associated background reading!) that I have found interesting in the last week.
Before we dig into that, a personal note. I’m shortly to leave my current employer, and whilst my next major gig is almsot confirmed, I am going to have a day or so free from the middle of August onwards to do interesting things (preferably paid). If you’ve a tempory, short term Dave-shaped hole to fill, please do get in touch.
Interesting series of posts by Alan Mather on progress on digital government, focusing on the hits and misses at GDS. It will be worth keeping an eye out for future updates.
Why we made our platform product open-source – some useful thoughts here from Comic Relief on open sourcing the code they have used to create Drupal based campaign websites. The post outlines some of the issues involved and is well worth a read. There has been a long running (GDS related) discussion about the difference between open source and coding in the open (is just chucking source code online for others to use ‘open source’?) and whilst working in the open in whatever way is generally a good thing, nonetheless code is only useful when you have coders who can do stuff with it, so isn’t always a panacea.
Tech beyond the market and the state? – really interesting ruminations on ‘civic tech’ from Cassie Robinson, with some nice definitions – including a focus on ‘community tech’: “Where people on their own choose to work together towards a common goal.” Looks like this will be an enquiry well worth following.
Why large technology programmes fail and what to do instead – of all the things I’ve been responsble for in recent times as a manager of technology teams, getting to grips with the programme of work has been one of the trickiest and I don’t think I’m yet to actually get it licked. However, following some of this advice from Dave Rogers would be a damn good start.
As always, these have mostly all been tweeted during the week, and you can find everything I’ve found interesting and bookmarked here.
MIT TechTV – The Future of Government/Citizen Engagement – "From the Mayor of Newark's tweets to the President's online town halls, technology has already changed how the public engages with their government. In a world of ubiquitous broadband, this interaction can radically change how government operates and develops policy. This panel will explore how broadband can transform government/citizen engagement."
Local by Social – "This document outlines how local authorities can use social media to achieve more for less. It also highlights the risk to councils if they ignore the technological advances of social media and the people using them."