Interesting elsewhere – 6 April 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Government on the web: the next revolution Seventeen years ago this month, I set up the first British government website.  I was a young economist at the UK Treasury, and I thought the budget documents should be available online.  I proposed this to the Treasury Management Board, most of whom had no idea what I was talking about, but Terry Burns was into computers and to his credit he backed the idea.  I chose the domain name “hm-treasury.gov.uk”, a burden which they still bear today.
  • NI14 is dead, long live parsimony! « The Great E-mancipator Having announced the departure of NI14, the question entered my head what happens to monitoring “failure demand“? If authorities were at least trying to track usage on channels and report back to services where they were failing, the measure (NI14) may have had some value, no matter how overcooked it was!Instead, we now possibly have a vacuum in the understanding of multiple and cross-channel service delivery
  • My Digital Inclusion Manifesto – Penval The biggest users of government services are the most vulnerable group in the community. Those who suffer multiple deprivations have their own networks that meet their needs; the network is the first layer of the care wrap. In a crisis nobody uses the internet but they do phone a friend: focus on the friends. Working towards universal digital inclusion it is often easy to forget that the third sector creates a pathway to get to hard to reach clients. Within those complex networks we should remember that brokers are the most important members of society; they see the parts and create the whole.There is a digital inclusion imperative resulting from a high level determination to see people on line to access information and services. In meeting that imperative, let us not lose sight of the potential for the biggest stakeholders to be empowered.
  • The internet is not another channel The internet is not a channel. The internet is not the same as your newsletter. It is not the same as your advertisement. It is not the same as your poster.The internet is a big, important thing. In my presentation, I drew on Stephen Fry’s analogy from the Digital Britain summit last year, when he described the internet as a city. A place where people meet socially, where they go to work, where they play games together, create wonderful things, share knowledge, thought and jokes.Like any city, it’s also a place where bad things happen. But like a city, the answer to that is not to shut the bad places down, or build wire fences around them, but to try and root out the bad people and convince them of the error of their ways.
  • An interesting innovation discussion An interesting exchange online happened last week after the wonderful Robert Brook posted a piece on his site entitled ‘Boring Innovation‘ – all about how innovation can best happen within large, complex organisations, like those you tend to find in government.
  • The Collapse of Complex Business Models « Clay Shirky When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification.
  • Does the computer experience have to be awful in the workplace? – BankerVision As everyone who works in a large company knows, you never get such an experience at work. Everything is a few versions behind, and even when it’s up to date, it all works so slowly. This, in part, is because of all the management, and security, and monitoring, and stuff that IT people feel they have to do to protect their assets. What are the key changes IT organisations would have to make if they really wanted to deliver a decent consumer computing experience?
  • ntouk – Jerry Fishenden’s new technology observations from a UK perspective An early start for a breakfast in central London with a mix of some of the biggest UK IT players and some of the smallest. A large round table, coffee, tea and a mix of bacon butties, pastries and fruit. The topic: how do we fix government IT?
    As it was held under the Chatham House Rule, I can’t reveal who precisely said what … but here are some of the more interesting soundbites …