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?
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.
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.
- Yes or no? (bristolculture.wordpress.com)
Local elections 2012: predicting the 50 councils to watch – LGiU blog
The Local Government Information Unit charts the more hotly contested local councils elections this year, which have yet to turn the heads of many people if my (very basic) tests of public opinion represent a wider view. It identifies a number of councils in the area I cover, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Swindon and Reading (where I have reported on elections in the past) amongst its ‘top 50’. Informative and useful. Lewis Baston makes interesting points in his post too.
Councils warned about politically sensitive posts during purdah – PR Week
It wouldn’t be election time without a warning in PR Week about purdah, with the latest edition containing an article about the use of digital and social media in the run up to polling day. In the piece, Alex Aitken makes the point that I’d like to hear more of: “The business of the council continues and reassuring people that we’re fixing potholes and looking after the vulnerable should continue to be communicated.”
The most overused jargon in press release headlines – PR Daily
This post links to Schwartz MSL’s study into the use of keywords in American press release headlines, which can increase the prominence of PR content on internet search engines. It cites some examples of jargon which will be familiar to Brits, with ‘solution’ listed as the most frequent offender.
Top 10 words that need to die, immediately – Lit reactor
Need I say more?
Tom Watson reveals how the phone hacking scandal affected him – Express and Star
This local newspaper column was being shared across Twitter this morning. MP and ‘scourge of the tabloids’ Tom Watson writes in the Express and Star about the campaign against phone hacking which has played a huge part in exposing the problems at News International. This is Watson playing to his home crowd in the Midlands and setting out his case well. He admits to feeling as if he was ‘cracking up’ under the scrutiny when he stood down as Labour minister, adding that most MPs thought he was ‘mad’ when he began squaring up to Rupert Murdoch’s empire. Many will be thankful that he did. The Express and Star comes in for some credit for not jumping on the bandwagon when the national media (wrongly) reported stories about Watson’s private life. A decent column from someone at the heart of the story of the year, rather than the dry material that sometimes comes from local columnists, is payback for that.