Recent posts in my eGovernment Category

May 2, 2012

Would you vote for that web design? London Mayoral campaign sites reviewed

We seem to have matured beyond declaring each year that this is “going to be the internet election” to having campaign web sites and social media as an integral part of the political cycle. Here are some notes I’ve made whilst looking at the sites of the candidates for tomorrow’s London Mayoral elections.

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June 10, 2011

“To clean or not to clean” - Placr’s Jonathan Raper talks open data at FutureEverything

At FutureEverything I took part in a panel session about data journalism, and also saw a couple of presentations that touched on how the use and reuse of data was making a difference to 21st century services. One of the most passionate of those talks was by Jonathan Raper of Placr. Here are my notes from his session.

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February 25, 2009

'Delivering Digital Britain' still too much about 'delivery'

I was lucky enough to get a seat yesterday morning when Lord Carter presented the next steps for his Digital Britain report at NESTA. The event was heavily over-subscribed and the busiest I've seen at NESTA HQ. The release of the report was heavily criticised in many quarters, some of which was captured by a move to put it into a more malleable format than the PDF document that was initially published. I wondered whether Lord Carter would address any...
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September 12, 2008

A painless way to file your tax return

Very often when I'm writing about some online application or web site or the other, I'm making a list of things that could be improved. It is always much nicer to be able to write something completely in praise of a system - in this case the HMRC's online tax self-assessment application. Well, I can't completely praise the system, since it is designed to part me with my hard-earned money. And you know they are only going to waste it...
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November 25, 2007

Trust me, the Child Benefit data loss risk to children isn't from paedophiles

One thing I noticed in the press coverage of the British Government's abject but predictable failure to protect personal data was this preposterous line of argument in an editorial in the Daily Mail: "The missing discs contain the names, addresses and dates of birth of every child in the country...Wouldn't fraudsters and child abusers give anything to get their hands on them?" Seriously, what are child abusers going to do with this information? Surely, and call me old-fashioned, if paedophiles...
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April 10, 2007

DirectGov's indirect use of Google Ads

When I was researching my recent post about the Biased BBC blog on global warming, I was looking for some information on CO2 emissions. Naturally my research started at the Google search box, and when I got my results I was surprised to see that a link to DirectGov was one of the sponsored results for that search - how very pro-active I thought. But I was even more surprised when I clicked it, and was taken through to...
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March 23, 2007

Petition the PM about advert proposal

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the BBC does not compromise its integrity and reputation by taking advertisements on its news website Alex Kirby has set-up a petition on Number 10's site to ask that the BBC be restricted from placing adverts on their international news pages. This petition wants to make sure that the BBC, one of the United Kingdom's most valuable and cherished gifts to the rest of the world, does not agree to...
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February 20, 2007

Working Together - lessons from the road-pricing petition for eGovernment

Next month sees what could be an interesting one-day event in London called "Working Together 2" - which I would have attended if my next flight into the UK didn't miss it by one day. The conference is looking at ways that the public and private new media sectors can combine together better to deliver value for people in the UK from new media solutions. (Although I see from Dave that the organisers could do with a little new media...
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February 12, 2007

Failing to petition Number Ten on Darwin Day

Having been nudged to sign a petition to make Charles Darwin day a national holiday in the UK, I rushed off over to the Number 10 Downing Street petitions site to do just that. Sadly, it wasn't playing fair today. First of all it wouldn't let me sign up because the site was too busy. Then, when I did get a confirmation email, following the link led me to a 503 Service Unavailable error page. The site is a beta...
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November 22, 2006

The spamosphere already have their eyes on Number 10's E-Petition site

In the last week or so the British have had the ability to petition their Prime Minister via the internet, using a beta site developed in partnership by mySociety with the the civil servants at the 10 Downing Street site. Despite it being a 'beta', it was prominently linked to from the homepage of the 10 Downing Street site - although to be honest the thing that caught my eye was trying to sell to children the concept that Government...
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September 28, 2004

Technology in Tony Blair's Party Conference speech

Tomorrow's newspaper headlines will be full of protest, Iraq, and hunting when they discuss Tony Blair's keynote speech to the 2004 Labour Party Conference. Naturally it was the references to technology that pricked up my ears - and there were two in his section on "ten things a future Labour third term can do for Britain's hard-working families". At number seven: "ending the digital divide by bringing broadband technology to every home in Britain that wants it by 2008" That...
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September 6, 2004

Walthamstow West Community Council meeting

I got mailed today by Waltham Forest Council to remind me that the next Walthamstow West Community Council is on 6th September 2004 at McEntee School. The mail included as attachments the agenda and supporting papers, and the minutes from the last minute. One black mark though for Waltham Forest's EGovernment is that I couldn't find those documents on their web site. That's a shame, as it makes the community council feel a bit like a closed club. It...
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May 11, 2004

London Elects - thumbs up

Wow! e-government is usually pretty damn shonky - but London Elects is impressive. It actually does a good job of explaining how to cope with the fact that as a Londoner I have five different things to vote for on June 10th, and what the different electoral systems are. Plus it gives information in 20 languages - 19 in PDF format, 14 in HTML. Just a shame I expect we'll still see the lowest turnout in history - and...
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August 14, 2003

Smartcards, standards, e-Government vs e-anything that doesn't work

Today The Guardian reported that the Government's e-Envoy office has been looking into the issue's surrounding the provision of 'smart cards' to deliver government services, and has found four obstacles to their widespread adoption. Of which two were the lack of open standards and data protection. The solution is to "standardise technology" by getting cards to adhere to an e-Gif standard [e-Governemnt interoperability framework]. Michael Cross expects the proposal to get a "roasting from the usual suspects". And he...
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