Archive for March, 2010

A little data goes a long way…

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

OK, so I confess that I am currently enduring a relatively significant age related event. Luckily, thanks to the wonder that is the interwebs, I managed to find something that would combine my love of data, info-graphics and good old fashioned common sense to make me feel a little better…

God bless Data Underload… (Thanks Nathan)



Public Services Principles

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

2020PST Last night I attended the launch of the interim report of the 2020 Public Services Trust – Principles for 2020 Public Services.

Well attended and fuelled by good debate, the report stands on three principles:

  • A shift in culture: from social security to social productivity
  • A shift in power: from the centre to citizens
  • A shift in finance: reconnecting financing with the purposes of public services

Whilst these may seem obvious to those that have been actively involved around the delivery of public services in the internet age, I’m sure they will drive some debate for those that haven’t.

For many, the concept of Open Government continues to be misconstrued as snake oil, peddled by the state to veil the incoming disruption of spending cuts.  But as Hilary Cottam said last night, we need to “stop thinking about the scarce financial resources, and start thinking about the large (abundant?) social resources”.

It was also good to see such a level of pragmatism for the approach, especially refreshing when you’ve been as close to the hyperbole of all Open Government has to offer as I have for the past few months, in particular, my favourite was from Ben (Page?) “Localism means we will put the incompetents in charge, it will shift accountability… No-one said this was about universal happiness”.  I actually think this is a really positive attitude to take – better to be upfront on the "warts and all” implications of our approach than ignore them.  I also think it shows confidence in the approach that says, although it may be bumpy, we believe it is the right direction and that things will “settle down” over time.

I can’t wait…

Open Source, Open Standards and Open Government (Oh My!)

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Arrrrgghhhhh!!!!!  That doesn’t do my frustration justice, but you get a sense of my emotional state.

Open Source, Standards and GovernmentIt seems that the word of the year is “Open” and isn’t it funny how simply appending it to any other word seems to transcend it’s meaning into something powerful and cool, transformational even.

Don’t get me wrong, I am inspired by the concept of “Open” (and also aware of the irony of a bloke from Microsoft complaining about “Open” anything – just get over it and work with me here, OK?)

In particular, I’m really worried about how Open Source, Open Standards and Open Government have all seemed to become the same thing in the minds of the politicians and the press. 

Bobby Caudill nailed it in his recent blog post in that “Open Government is about people not technology” – I’d go further to say Open Government is about people and Open Standards are the best way of getting us there.

Regardless of your technical or political persuasion, we have to get focus back onto what it is we want to achieve – Open Government is the outcome we all are striving for, we should therefore, not spend all of our time in the weeds focusing on the tools we’ll use to deliver it.

The State of the Internet 2010

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Fascinating stats on internet use from Jesse Thomas (via Steve Clayton)

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.