Interesting elsewhere – 23 September 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • What Is The Vision For Open Government Entrepreneurship? Why “the fall” of the goverati, then, you may ask. Because while there certainly is a core group leveraging social media, open source software, cloud computing, and mobile and geo-location technology and knowledge of government and the non-profit space to do well (and it may be that technically, this group has grown in size), the general enthusiasm, sense of adventure into the unknown, and novelty of trying things has largely disintegrated into a large conglomorate of events and blogs and apps with no general directon, and no emerging, clear standout businesses
  • A Look at IDEOs Book of the Future – Media – GOOD – StumbleUpon What I actually want right now, much more than a Book of the Future with new “informational layers” and a social recommendation system, is simply more time to read the books of the present.
  • ‘No way to run a life let alone a country’ | Public | Public As Clarke put it: “In my view, greater efforts should be made both to delegate more decisions to junior ministers and to arrange business so that fewer decisions needed to be put to ministers at all.”Civil servants need to be cleverer in getting ministerial agreement to criteria for decisions to be taken under delegated powers. Ministers needed to be cleverer at refusing to be seduced into believing that they need to take every decision or know every individual policy detail. The culture for ministers and officials needs to be changed.”
  • Exciting times – a rare personal blog post But most importantly, suddenly for the first time I feel like people in government are listening and people in society are better able than ever to use the web to just get on and make amazing things happen for themselves with or without the help of government (I prefer with, but that’s just me!).
  • My First Week with the iPhoneBehind the Curtain | Behind the Curtain Last Wednesday, my life changed forever. I got an iPhone. I consider it the greatest thing to happen to the blind for a very long time, possibly ever. It offers unparalleled access to properly made applications, and changed my life in twenty-four hours.
  • Who is offline and who is online? It’s now very stark the difference between the big groups of our society who are online and who are offline
  • Six Reasons Why I’m Not On Facebook, By Wired UK’s Editor | Epicenter | Wired.com My cautious use of the social networks has nothing to do with paranoia about privacy; and yes, I celebrate the unprecedented transparency and connectivity that these services can empower. But what’s increasingly bothering me is the wider social and political cost of our ever-greater enmeshment in these proprietary networks. Here are half a dozen reasons why.
    1) Private companies aren’t motivated by your best interests
    2) They make it harder to reinvent yourself
    3) Information you supply for one purpose will invariably be used for another …
    4) … and there’s a good chance it will be used against you
    5) People screw up, and give away more than they realise
    6) And besides, why should we let businesses privatize our social discourse?
  • The Myers-Briggs Personality Test When you see a topic that purports to be psychological being used in practically every professional discipline except psychology, you have very good reason to be skeptical of its actual value. Should we dismiss the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a psychometric?
  • Improving visualisation – Gallery Good data visualisation can help users explore and understand the patterns and trends in data, and also communicate that understanding to others to help them make robust decisions based on the data being presented. This site supports public sector researchers improve the way that they visualise data, by providing good practice examples and case studies, practical and step-by-step guides on how to visualise data, and links to more detailed resources.
  • The Elephant of Change | Athena’s Lightning – A blog by Lovisa A. Williams A number of people have attempted to tell us what Government 2.0 is.  Some will talk about data as the savior of government, others will talk about government as a platform, more will talk about a great new tool that will change the world and government.  These seem to be the majority of the conversations that occurred at  O’Reilly Media‘s Government 2.0 Summit.  But they all seem not to see the elephant in the room.  And this elephant is change.Change in what government is, how it works, what it provides to people, and who makes up the government.  This change has been caused by the introduction of new technologies that provide us with both opportunities and challenges, but they are only tools.   In order to take advantage of these tools, the government needs to redefine who it is and how it works.  It needs to conquer and embrace the changes coming through the introduction of these disruptive technologies.
  • The Bamboo Project Blog: 10 Reasons NOT to Ban Social Media in Your Organization You’re right. Staff WILL goof off. But here’s something great about social media that I don’t think you’ve realized. Did you know with social media you can actually monitor goofing off even BETTER? I can’t tell if you played solitaire on your laptop unless I actually catch you doing it. But I CAN tell if you uploaded your vacation photos or played Farmville on Facebook during work hours. I don’t know if you spent an hour on the phone to your sister. But I CAN see if you were tweeting about lunch and your favorite episode of Glee when you were supposed to be working on that report. See? Social media is actually your greatest dream–documented proof of all the ways your staff is screwing around! The faster you get them on there, the quicker you’ll be able to prove what you’ve suspected all along!