I newsletter-ed and LinkedIn-ed about something I have been working on recently to help local public services increase their understanding of digital working and culture at scale. It’s an e-learning course which explains digital, user centred service design, agile, data and technology, all in a way that is rooted in the local public service context. Take a look, to see if it might help you.
This morning I attended Lloyd’s first ‘parade’ via Black Elephant. It’s an interesting approach to online community building. I got to meet someone new, who I would never normally have had a chance to meet, and it provided an opportunity for some personal reflection and sharing – something I’ve been working on myself, so it came at a good time. The experience has also got my mind racing a bit about online communities, and what makes the good ones really tick.
Text of Bill Thompson’s recent ‘state of the net’ style talk – “The network and its many applications have had a massive impact on our lives, but the tools they gave us were unable to resist the incursions of predatory capitalism or hold back the worst excesses of human toxicity and hatred.”
Roger Swannell describes his way of subscribing to online content – mostly RSS feeds – using Slack. Eccentric, but interesting.
As part of my switch back to Mac on my desktop, I’ve started using NetNewsWire again as my feed reader of choice. It’s old school, it’s free, and it’s open source. What’s not to like? I’ve also abandoned using (and paying for, more importantly!) Feedly to sync up what I have read and not read across devices. I read my feeds on this desktop, or not at all. It’s weirdly liberating! But also, occasionally, real old feeds come back to life for no reason, and a blog not updated since 2011 suddenly downloads 10 articles from 12 years ago. I’ve no idea why this happens.
The end of the Googleverse – “For two decades, Google Search was the invisible force that determined the ebb and flow of online content. Now, for the first time, its cultural relevance is in question.”
This is insane. I don’t fully understand it, but… blimey:
Inspired, as I often am, by Lloyd and his various experiments in reusing media, finding new ways to use old stuff, and continuing to prod at blogging as a medium.
Thanks to him, I’m drawn back to Tumblr. It strikes me that the follow and post model that Tumblr embodies harks back to the original blogging tools like Radio Userland that combine reading and posting, and facilitates the easy (b)logging of other people’s content.
It is a closed system of course, which is a bit of a bad thing, but tools like IFTTT can be used to ensure a local backup of content is stored somewhere. But it feels better than – say – Facebook, which really is another follow and post type system. As is Twitter, of course, albeit with greater limitations.
WordPress – at least in its .com incarnation – seems to be following Tumblr by enabling users to follow blogs within a dashboard. But with these platforms, you can only (I think) follow blogs within that platform. It would be nice to be able to pull content in from elsewhere too.
The separation between a reading application and a writing application – which happened when? 2003? – was an error, as it enabled platform players to provide that holistic experience, and there doesn’t seem to be an open equivalent, unless anyone else knows of one.
The future of digital public services – "The key to this is that Directgov should continue to move to be the facilitators not owners or delivers of the content and apps, they should establish the proper governance, standards and quality assurance for app providers, setting minimum standards that ensure quality and interoperability."
Beyond Access – a "Public Consultation on access to information and open government data"
Forking is a Feature – Anil Dash – "Moving forward, there are a lot more lessons we can learn if we build our social tools with the assumption that no one version of any document, app, or narrative needs to be the definitive one. We might even make our software, and our communities, more inclusive if we embrace the forking ourselves."
Hand Made from Social Spaces – "Hand Made is a beautiful collaborative book with 26 innovative perspectives and projects from around the world, over 230 pages, about new ways of creating connection and community. The projects have been carefully selected because they have all been developed with new thinking and methodologies and involve Learning, Sharing or Making."