Government’s use of digital media is undergoing radical change. As digital media use has become more mainstream and critical – first to communications, then policy-making through engagement and more recently for transactions – so too has government steadily rationalised its digital operations. That trend is now coming to a head with the establishment of the Government Digital Service, which will provide centralised services, a single domain and web platform for all government departments and [most of] their agencies to use.
That each department and agency will no longer have its own, separate domain, CMS, hosting arrangement, support contract, analytics account and maybe central web team is genuinely radical. But could the delivery of government digital services be more radical still?
Frances Maude’s speech at Civil Service Live 2011 made me think so. In that speech he floated the idea of giving public sector staff the right to form new mutuals and bid to take over the services they deliver. Could government digital services be a candidate for mutualisation? In this post I suggest that it could.
Went in to visit the Google’s Public Sector team this week to pick their brains on YouTube. Charlotte and Katarina had lots of interesting things to demonstrate, but I was most taken by a video they showed me.
Insighful and hardworking creative, using the technolgy and the channel superbly; not preachy but makes you think twice. I think this might have an impact; it’s already caught on and seems to generating the views from exactly the intended audience. I’m really keen to locate an evaluation. Read More…
I’ve managed and evaluated a few ministerial webchats in my time, and I’m expecting to run a few more.
When organising a webchat two questions always pop up.
One, how many questions will be received? The answer has to be: how long is a piece of string, or more accurately, how interesting is a piece of string. Sometimes you get 50, sometimes 5000.
Two, how many questions can the Minister expect to answer in the time (usually 60 minutes)? That’s an easier question to answer with an inclination, but recently I’ve been wanting to give a more precise answer. So, I thought I’d try to get one.
The aim was to get an average number, not produce a league table. A league table is pointless because each webchat attracts different questions requiring different answers that take different lengths of time to satisfy.
I restricted myself to ministerial webchats (no senior civil servants) and those run on departmental websites or channels. All webchats were text-based (practically all are) and run after 2005. Some ministers appear more than once, because they’ve done more than one webchat (dates available if you want). All the webchats had to be public-facing to count.
I found the transcripts through site archives and allowed myself to search back as far as three pages into a Google search. I think it was a pretty exhaustive search, but please let me know if I’ve missed any. I then counted the ‘replies’, which in webchat parlance count as answers. I did the count manually but thoroughly, though I accept there may be a reply missed or added here and there.
Been thinking about if I were to design the ideal football website, how would I go about it?
What about you? What conventions would you keep? Where would you make a change?