Bookmarks for October 25th through October 28th

October 28, 2008

Stuff I have bookmarked for October 25th through October 28th:

The UKGovWeb Twitterverse

October 28, 2008

The real value of Twitter is in the network, and if you are just starting out with it, and don’t have many people to follow, or much of a following yourself, it can seem a bit quiet, depressing and pointless. As you build up your network, though, suddenly things change and it becomes a vital communication tool.

So, if you are a public sector worker wanting to make the most of this great network, you might need a bit of help tracking down some people to start following and interacting with. Here’s that help! I’ve tried to break the various groups up into categories, to help you find who you want.

If I have missed anyone out or put them in the wrong place, please let me know in the comments! There’s gotta be more tweeting politicians, surely?

Central Government Official Feeds

Civil Servants

Local Authority Official Feeds

Local Authority Web Teams

Local Authority Officers

Other Public Sector Bodies & Officers


Freelancers, Consultants etc

Arts and Ecology

October 27, 2008

My good friend William Shaw has started working at the RSA recently, and is writing a blog called Arts & Ecology.

William is a fabulous writer and has been blogging for while, and really Gets It. He also has some great ideas for mashing up creative work with online stuff. Well worth subscribing.

ReadWriteGov is this Wednesday!

October 27, 2008

This Wednesday sees the first of hopefully many ReadWriteGov events taking place at Peterborough City Council.

It’s going to be a great day, with some excellent speakers, all of whom are working within the public sector trying to get things done. They are:

  • Dominic Campbell who will be speaking about the work Barnet Council are doing to better connect with their citizens
  • Steph Gray from DIUS who will be talking about making social media projects happen in government
  • Hadley Beeman from the London Deanery who will be discussing her project to get social networking and collaboration happening in the health sector

If you would like to come, there are still one or two places available - find out more here. Tickets are jolly cheap for this sort of thing, at just £25 for public sector folk.

Even if you can’t make it though, you can still receive some ReadWriteGov love. For instance, you can visit the blog, where after the event we will be posting content from the day, including presentations from speakers, audio, photos and maybe some video too.

We also now have a Twitter account, through which you can hear about what is happening and pass comments or ask questions during the day. Unlike a lot of events that offer this kind of thing, I really will be tracking what people are saying and making sure the less offensive questions get asked!

Just follow @readwritegov to join in!

Bookmarks for October 22nd through October 25th

October 25, 2008

Stuff I have bookmarked for October 22nd through October 25th:

Phishing in plain english

October 22, 2008

The trouble with explaining some of the risks of using online services is that they can be damn complicated. Which is why having resources like this is so wonderful.

Common Craft have produced a short video explaining what the practice of phishing is all about.

Great work, guys!

New Zealand Gov blog

October 22, 2008

The New Zealand State Services Commission has started a blog - you can find it here. In their words:

We’re aiming to build thought leadership around significant work programmes, including Authentication, Strategy and Policy and Web Standards, as well as providing a best practice example of how to effectively manage social media as part of public sector communications. Other agencies ask us for guidance in setting up their own blogs – what better way to help them than to give a clear demonstration of how we do it, and the policies behind our thinking? We’d like to look at how the public and the Government can interact better through the use of new technologies. We’re interested in issues around identity, privacy, accessibility, intellectual property, e-government guidelines and Web 2.0. If you have thoughts or feelings in this area, you’re our target audience, whether you work for the government or not.

They have some interesting posts up already, including one on gov ICT strategy in the current unsettled financial situation:

Long term fiscal pressures need long term investment and expenditure responses. In New Zealand government ICT we have a unique window of opportunity in the next 2-5 years arising from the replacement of “legacy” transaction processing systems implemented in the 1990s. We can redesign systems and re-engineer business processes across agencies to meet the expectations of the information age.

And this on government officials and Wikipedia:

Superficially, Te Ara, an encyclopaedia run by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, seems to be a competitor of Wikipedia: they offer the same service. However, unlike consumers of shoes or cars, consumers of information need not (and seldom do) choose one or the other: their produce is complementary and their relationship is mutually beneficial. Wikipedia relies on sites like Te Ara as references for their content, and Te Ara relies on sites like Wikipedia linking to Te Ara as a resource, in turn directing traffic there.

Good stuff and well worth subscribing. Wouldn’t it be good to have an agenda setting ‘official’ blog for government at all levels in the UK?

Found via the Connected Republic.

Bookmarks for October 17th through October 22nd

October 22, 2008

Stuff I have bookmarked for October 17th through October 22nd:

CLG, Youth Advisors and YouTube

October 20, 2008

CLG have added a whole load of fresh material to their YouTube account, which includes clips from minister Hazel Blears’ trip around the subcontinent and some from the department’s youth engagement work.

One of my favourites is this, from the first meeting of the new Youth Advisors with Hazel Blears, featuring the impish Rory Birch:

Twitter, qwitter and keeping up with your followers

October 20, 2008

Qwitter is an unusual service in that it fills a need that probably doesn’t exist. It simply tells you that someone has stopped following you on Twitter, and what your last tweet was before they did the deed, in case it might offer a clue why they did it.

This is such a tiny, niche service that I can’t believe anyone is actually going to make use out of it. I’ve signed up, just because I am interested. Am I likely to take any action as a result of someone not following me? Probably not.

Mike Butcher at Techcrunch says this of the Ireland based service:

Now, you can’t secretly unfollow friends or associates anymore. If someone unfollows you, you’ll know and you’ll be able to ask them why. That means it may break up a few twitter friendships. Then again, it may even improve a few. At least you’ll be able to ask someone why they unfollowed you. Maybe people will will learn to use Twitter in a smarter way?

Seeing Qwitter did make me want to take a bit more of a look at the people I follow and those that follow me, though. As of writing, I follow 274 people and am followed by 520. The main reason why there are so many followers is down to spammers, in the main. I keep my updates public and don’t bother blocking obvious spam followers - I just can’t be bothered.

I did think about how I could check which of the people I follow actually follow me in return. A quick question to Twitter resulted in a couple of responses:

Of which the best is Karma. It lists everyone connected to your account, along with whether you follow that person, if they follow you, or both. It’s a really easy way of spotting people you really ought to follow, or of figuring out why that person never replies to you.

Oh, and I just have to finish a post about Twitter with this:


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