Where there’s a will…

Tonight is the Hansard Society’s eDemocracy event in the Scottish Parliament, and on Friday its the Scot Web 2 Conference at Edinburgh University.

I was looking forward to attending both, but I’m going make neither. Illness in the family.

I want to apologise to Alex Stobart in particular for dropping out because I was due to be leading one of the sessions.

At both events I wanted to make some time for discussing the issue of political will for engagement, and more specifically online engagement.

Is there the will amongst our politicians to involve the people of Scotland in the democracy of the nation, I believe there is. But it’s a will that is blocked, by what I’m not sure – it could be party politics, it could be resources, it could be a cultural thing. And if we figure out what the block is – well, what do we do about it? What is the vision of the e-enabled Scottish polity, what is the role of the elected representative and how can we as citizens, activists, practitioners and critics support them and hold them to account?

This issue is key. I’ll be interested in what the speakers and the delegates at both events have to say on the matter.

Getting Together with Transport for London

I quite like Transport for London’s ‘Together for London‘ network site.

The idea instinctively appeals to me. I used to live in London and, when I moved there, I was surprised by the lack the manners on public transport and the reticence of passengers and staff to intervene. Now, I’m moving there again and I’m not looking forward to the commuting; any campaign to improve the experience of using London’s transport system would be warmly welcomed.

First off it’s a OK looking site, with a decent, if conventional architecture. There are some general styling/display issues that will get sorted in time, no doubt. I’ve got a bigger problem with the avatars. I wonder if people aren’t just a bit tired of creating avatars. I can see what they are trying to do, and I like the idea of the avatars and campaigns being brought out of the site and on to the bus, train or bike lane, but the quality is too low and I don’t think there will be many people rushing out to wear their avatar t-shirt. ‘Naf’ is the word that comes to mind when I see the avatars and the design concept – looks a bit like kids were forced to design the site for a school competition.

I think I will use this site. I intend to follow an contribute to some discussions and campaigns, I may even start my own. But I will be on the watch for this descending into an all-out grieving-post. Two things will stop that happening, responsibility for both falls to TfL.
Continue reading “Getting Together with Transport for London”

Moving On

It’s been an enjoyable 12 months at Dog Digital. I’ve really appreciated the time back in Scotland, personally and professionally.

But new opportunities have presented themselves, and I’m very excited to say that as of November 17th I am going to be joining the Central Office of Information as Interactive Services Manager.

It heralds big change. A change in location. A change in the pace of work. A change in the pace of life too.

I am also going to making some changes to my blog and blogging.

I’ll keep you updated.

Join the Movement: Channel4’s Counter-Cultural Commissioning

The Scottish chapter of 4iP got its official launch yesterday evening in Glasgow.

Presentations were delivered by Stuart Cosgrove, Tom Loosemore and Ewan McIntosh, respectively 4’s Head of Nations and Regions, Head of 4iP and 4iP’s Digital Commissioner (Northern Ireland and Scotland).

There was nothing about the practicals of the fund that couldn’t have picked up from visiting the 4iP website, but it would have been good if you wanted to get a handle on the ‘personality’ of 4iP. And it’s this personality, this approach to conducting 4iP, that is all important.

When Tom and Ewan spoke they repeatedly returned to the idea that 4iP was about ‘stirring things up’ and ‘making trouble’. The language and the tone was counter-cultural; under their stewardship, 4iP is setting out to challenge conventional business models, form innovative partnerships and disrupt the norms of commissioning.

It won’t be easy. But I like it.
Continue reading “Join the Movement: Channel4’s Counter-Cultural Commissioning”

Democracy 2.0 – Event Presentation Slides

Last Thursday I gave a presentation on eDemocracy in Scotland for Urban Learning Space in Glasgow’s Lighthouse. This is the first opportunity that I’ve had since then to post about it – things have been pretty busy (that’ll be obvious from the irregularity of the posts on this blog).

It was first public-speaking gig since November last year. I had quite enjoyed the lay-off (for a while there it felt like I was doing one every week) but I really enjoyed getting back into it – although there was definitely a bit of rust. What felt particularly good was the chance to speak about Scotland, its experience of eDemocracy and what might happen in years to come. It’s a subject that is never far from my mind but I’ve had few opportunities to present on before this.
Continue reading “Democracy 2.0 – Event Presentation Slides”