Interesting elsewhere – 29 September 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Mydex White Paper on implications of personal data stores for public services One area government IT has made progress is with public data, with the “power of information” policy and the data.gov.uk portal, which recognises the value of ‘unlocking’ data held by the Government for reuse by added value service providers.  Next we need a comparably radical rethink on personal data. This starts with a return to the role of personal identifiers and intermediaries set out by UK officials a decade ago, and as recently adopted by the Obama Administration.
  • Twitter goes down and the world falls silent But for people in the media business, it has rapidly – in less than four years – become their peripheral nervous system: it tells you what’s going on around the world, or within your sphere of interest; it helps for bouncing ideas around, for staying abreast of what you have to know. Twitter creates its own little cities of specialism and knowledge which don’t (unlike Facebook) require you to “befriend” the other person; you can follow pretty much anyone you like.
  • Small essay on Rewired State, Open Data and future of public service « Emma Mulqueeny But taking the big vision, the proper head above the parapet moment, what has to happen as a big leap into translating this stream of data and tables into a valuable source of information and commerce to everyone who is not blessed with binary brilliance. This is unlikely to be one thing, or enabled by any one person, but it will be a steady rise in the number of initiatives that realise value of this information for many communities, that weave themselves into the heart of every day life that will bring us to this epiphany.
  • London Calling » The twitter tax and what it really says about your business Instant response channels such as twitter allow consumers to complain at the very place and time when they receive bad service, even on their mobile.   The fact that they now can provide this feedback exposes the fact that many companies are not prepared to respond and action what is being said.
  • Guesswork « MindBlog Public servants were routinely guessing what their boss thought would be an appropriate course of action on a given policy. They were also guessing what their boss’ boss might think (this would be the deputy permanent secretary). And, obviously, most of all they were trying to guess what the permanent secretary might eventually think. (Who of course has been guessing all along what the political boss — the minister — is thinking). Tremendous amounts of time is spent on this guesswork, not just on the guessing, but on drafting courses of action that might (or, more often, might not) be what the ‘hieararchy’ is looking for. […] I have seen policy development processes that arguably should have been completed in a year or less take twice that time, with no discernible increase in quality or political relevance.