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?

Interesting links, 20 April 2022

Things I’ve seen that are worth sharing.

Exciting next steps for Local Digital and Cyber – Local Digital Collaboration Unit

The Local Digital and Cyber teams are going to be making some exciting changes over the next few months, backed by multi-year funding to the tune of £85 million.

We’re developing an enhanced approach that will allow us to support the local government sector to achieve even more brilliant things, as well as fix the core problems.

Read on to find out about our plans, how we got here, and what this means for local government.

Product design: when private beta isn’t the next step – Lindsay Green

We know that not all projects move from alpha to private beta. But there’s an expectation that it’s the next logical step… then to public beta, then live.

So, when we realised our project wouldn’t make it out of alpha, it felt a bit sad. Almost like something had gone wrong.

We won’t be the only team who find themselves in this situation and we wanted to share what we have learned and more importantly, how it’s actually been a positive thing.

Back to the Future of Twitter – Ben Thompson

The vast majority of commentary about the Musk-Twitter saga has focused on the first three paragraphs: what does Musk mean by making Twitter more free speech oriented? Why doesn’t Musk believe he can work with the current board and management? Does Musk have the cash available to buy Twitter, and would the Twitter board accept his offer (no on the latter, but more on this below)?

The most interesting question of all, though, is the last paragraph: what potential does Musk see, and could he unlock it? For my part, not only do I agree the potential is vast, but I do think Musk could unlock it — and that itself has implications for the preceding paragraphs.

A Web Renaissance – Anil Dash

Thanks to the mistrust of big tech, the creation of better tools for developers, and the weird and wonderful creativity of ordinary people, we’re seeing an incredibly unlikely comeback: the web is thriving again.

From the Made Tech content factory:

How to build a stress-free Slack experience for your whole team – Kim Kaveh

In your Slack workspace, you can work with your team, connect software tools and services, keep up to date with announcements and find the information you need to do your best work. Managed without care, it does have the potential to be distracting – and even a source of stress. It can affect productivity and mental wellbeing.

But there are ways your organisation’s leaders, Slack administrators and team can use Slack to minimise distraction and ease stress levels to help your team make the most of their working day. In this post, I’ll talk you through some helpful strategies.

Podcast: Product management and STEM Diversity, with Karl Dickman

What do STEM ambassadors do? Learn about product management and diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Five for Friday (2/6/17)

Here’s five dollops of interestingness I’ve spotted this week:

  1. There’s a few interesting digital (and non-digital, for that matter) jobs going at London City Hall.
  2. Digital Transformation: Why Tech Alone Won’t Cut It – a useful reminder that digital and transformation are not necessarily technical terms. Human behaviour and culture are key.
  3. Where terrorists go to chat – thoughtful stuff from Hadley Beeman on security, encryption and the role of government
  4. Not even wrong – ways to dismiss technology – nice long read on technology adoption and why predictions around what will be the next big thing are often (not even) wrong
  5. Lessons from piloting the London Office of Data Analytics – Eddie Copeland talks about data issues at scale:

These have mostly all been tweeted during the week, and you can find everything I’ve found interesting and bookmarked here.

Backblaze – cloud backups made easy

backblaze

I worry about backups. Do you worry about backups?

The best way to have backups is to ensure you have three copies of everything important and one of those ought to be somewhere other than where your computers are kept. These days, that means the cloud.

I have a fairly standard Seagate 3TB external hard drive connected to the somewhat old and crumbly iMac on my desk. This machine worries me more than any, largely because it has our archive of family digital photos on it, going back some ten years. I use Time Machine on the mac to ensure it takes regular backups automatically, which sorts out the local copy.

For cloud backup, I chose Backblaze which is a great little cloud backup service which gives you unlimited space to backup your macs or PCs, at the remarkable cost of $5 a month per computer. It runs in the background keeping everything up to date without me needing to worry about it.

Of course a lot of my working documents are stored in Dropbox, which means I have a further copy of them. But for those big libraries of thousands of priceless digital photos, the combination of automated local backup to a hard disk and the cloud storage offered by Backblaze seems to be working ok for me.

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Bookmarks for August 18th through September 8th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

  • Civic Commons code-sharing initiative bids to reduce government IT costs – "Around the United States, city governments have created a multitude of software. Unfortunately, most of the time the code from those projects is not shared between municipalities, which results in duplication of effort and redundant, static software."
  • Anonymity, trust and openness on the social intranet – "In some organisations, the cloak of anonymity could help to establish the first part of that trust relationship, and reassure colleagues that leaders are, in fact, really listening; once it exists, it’s easier to step out of the shadows with a greater degree of trust and openness."
  • The end of history – "History will, of course, look after itself. It always has. But the future history of our time will be different from our histories of past times, and that will not be because we have an eye to the future, but because we are always relentless focused on the present."
  • Why aren’t we all working for Learning Organisations? – "…the authors suggest a way for managers to switch from a ‘command and control’ to a ‘systems thinking’ mindset in order to achieve genuine organisational learning."
  • Quixly – Cool way to host and deliver paid-for content, such as e-books.
  • Understanding Marin County’s $30 million ERP failure – It's not just UK government that cocks up IT projects.
  • Google Wave open source next steps: "Wave in a Box" – "We will expand upon the 200K lines of code we've already open sourced (detailed at waveprotocol.org) to flesh out the existing example Wave server and web client into a more complete application or "Wave in a Box.""
  • Should Governments Legislate a Preference for Open Source? – "It's easy to legislate a preference for Open Source, and difficult to implement a level playing field upon which Open Source and proprietary software could compete fairly. Thus, a number of governments have enacted the preference as an easy-to-legislate way of solving the problem, but I submit not optimally. Having a preference gives proprietary software an opening to portray themselves as the "injured party", when the reality is that historically there has been a preference for proprietary software in both legislation and internal process of government purchasers, and this still exists today."
  • Wiki life – "The point, in the end, is that Wikimedia by its DNA operates in public and benefits accrue — not just as product and engagement and promotion and distribution but also as strategy. That’s the next step in creating the truly public company or organization."
  • First Impressions: VaultPress (WordPress Backup) – Nice summary of the premium backup service for WordPress (sadly just in beta at the moment).
  • Sink or Swim – Donald Clark on the birth of Learning Pool and why the public sector needs it more than ever.
  • Damien Katz: Getting Your Open Source Project to 1.0 – Great notes on successful open source development.
  • Harold Jarche » The Evolving Social Organization – "For decades, organizational growth has been viewed as a positive development, but it has come at a cost."
  • O’Reilly, Open Government and the Ingenuity of Enthusiasm – "It is quite clear that performance management and procurement, as well as many other government processes, need to be revised, reformed or radically changed. But this won’t happen unless we recognize that government and its employees need to remain in charge, need to stay as the custodians of neutrality and transparency, and we, the people, developers or users, can just help them do a better job but not replace them in any way."
  • Research findings and recommendations for Councils – Some fantastic shared learning here from Michele.
  • sigil – "Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format."
  • Enterprise 2.0 Perceived Risks: Myth or Reality? – "…security is a personal thing, a personal trait that everyone needs to nurture and treasure accordingly."
  • Using Free, Open-Source Software in Local Governments – "…how is it that local governments have failed to capitalize on the cost-saving and productivity-enhancing benefits of using open source software, especially given the budget crises they face?"
  • Open Government Data – "This event will bring together movers and shakers from the world of open government data — including government representatives, policymakers, lawyers, technologists, academics, advocates, citizens, journalists and reusers."
  • WordPress › Email Users « WordPress Plugins – "A plugin for wordpress which allows you to send an email to the registered blog users."

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for June 17th through July 3rd

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.

Bookmarks for April 25th through April 30th

I find this stuff so that you don’t have to.

You can find all my bookmarks on Delicious. There is also even more stuff on my shared Google Reader page.

You can also see all the videos I think are worth watching at my video scrapbook.