Links I like 14.01.20

3 Things We Should Learn From Benefits Street – Paul Taylor blog
Here’s a good post from Bromford’s Paul Taylor about the commentary that has followed Benefits Street on Channel 4. Chimes with many of my reactions when I watched the programme (without looking at Twitter) last week and I’ve made some comments beneath his piece. What does anyone else think about the programme?

Links I like 13.10.29

Three Ways To Get Cool Stuff Done Quickly At Work – Paul Taylor blog
Ever wondered how you’re going to get ‘that idea’ off the ground, when obstacles litter the path to its progress? It’s the sort of thing Bromford‘s Paul Taylor and Monmouthshire County Council’s Helen Reynolds have touched on before, so it’s only right they’ve come together on this post which has generated good comments since it was first written. I particularly like the tactic of asking opponents of a decent proposal to develop a business case for not doing something to demonstrate the case against it. After all, if an idea is good enough to fly…
Follow these guys on Twitter: @PaulBromford and @HelReynolds.

Links I like 13.06.25

Insights into site search – Government Digital Service
The digital team at the Cabinet Office blogs every day about its work to bring the websites of all Government departments and their sponsor bodies under the single Gov.uk banner. It’s a huge and impressive undertaking which has seen tens of thousands of documents uploaded in recent months, including a few that relate to my work. This post talks about getting the search function right by striking the balance between those who are familiar with the former Government sites and those who have no connection with them and need to access services or information without having to dig for it. The analysis of the ‘long tail’ created by the thousands of search terms outlines the task ahead of them.

Links I like 13.06.03

“Don’t be a dick” – the golden rule of news website comment threads – currybetdotnet
I’ve been researching the many different types of social media guidelines out there recently and have found they vary in length, tone and the extent to which colleagues are encouraged to get involved (‘do’ or ‘don’t’). A lot of what’s said however can be boiled down to Martin Bellam’s ‘golden rule’ which I came across today. I won’t be using this in any professional guidelines, but the sentiment is bang on and worth sharing here.

‘Forgive me, for I have sinned’ – A Shiny World
Civil servant Louise Kidney blogs about using social media without compromising her neutrality. As she points out, it’s a balancing act we manage without concern in just about every other part of our professional lives – but one which raises questions when social media is involved.

Links I like 12.06.26

What a wonderful world (of local government blogs and blogging) – We Love Local Government
This feels like a shameless plug, but what’s a blog for if you can’t self-promote? I was delighted to be mentioned yesterday in We Love Local Government’s excellent round-up of blogs they deemed to be of interest to the sector. The good folk at WLLG were clearly aware of my lack of posts during Euro 2012 when stating that the blog was worth a peek ‘every now and again’. It’s good to be noticed though. The other blogs are well worth a read by the way. 

 

 

Links I like 12.05.05

Reaction to the elected mayor vote in Bristol – various
Well done Bristol for bucking the national trend and voting decisively, if in small numbers, in favour of an elected mayor to lead the city from November. They were the only city to vote yes to the proposal following a pretty low-key campaign on the issue. The Centre for Cities has published some links on the issue, while the Bristol Post’s coverage of the result and early indication of who the runners and riders for Bristol’s first elected mayor has been well-informed, detailed and sharp, as good local journalism should be. Whether the result was an endorsement of the proposal or due to more negative factors is open to question, which The Guardian poses in its leader on the issue today. Having followed the debate, I’m sure many people voted yes because the current council leadership was against the idea. Anti politics and apathy were the biggest winners this week, but all is not lost. Hopefully a new way of doing things in Bristol will start to change that.

Elections – ‘We the council’ – Kevin Jump
‘Webist’ Jump provides insight into the information provided by council websites about this week’s local elections. He concludes that interest in the local elections is high and the correct information is available, but is not entirely useful and lacks focus on the needs of local users. A number of websites in the area I cover at work are included in the survey.