Let’s turn off that tap people – Blog Action Day 2010

running tap

My blog has been something of a desert lately. So with it being Blog Action Day, I thought it would be good idea to refresh BasicCraft.

This years’s Blog Action Day theme is Water. It’s a theme that should speak to us all or as the BAD blog puts it:

Water moves beyond just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue, an animal welfare issue, a sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, deserving a global conversation.

Conversation, yes, but also action.

In my office we have toilets (for the time being these haven’t been cutback). One toilet has a stiff hot water tap; it does close but no one ever does it properly. They just wash and go.

This just tap streams away. I turn it off when I see it but each time I go back it’s been left again. Endlessly.

So today – with a well-positioned but cheaply designed sign – I am challenging my colleagues to think more about the water they use and the water they don’t .

And that dialogue is already flowing.

tap sign

12 for 12 – Professional Resolutions for 2010

I’m not really one for personal New Year’s resolutions.

But seeing as this new year is the start of a new decade and I’ve been in the Civil Service for 12 months, I thought I’d make a sort-of-exception and come up with and share my New Year’s professional resolutions.

  1. Innovation is like love – easy to say, hard to define. Best just get on with it and let actions speak louder than words.
  2. Trust instinct. Much of work is about familiar fixed patterns.
  3. Look at everything we do through the framework of behaviour change.
  4. Look at everything we do through the framework of saving money.
  5. Realise that change can happen overnight.
  6. Don’t over engineer. Remember that it’s easier to add than take away.
  7. Be frank. Have more straight-up conversations with people.
  8. Remember that people who know the rules best, know how to get round them best.
  9. If I’m looking for adventure,  go out in search of truly strategic integrated communications.
  10. Be more honest which means being more creative.
  11. Comment on other people’s opinions and work more often. Appreciative inquiry is the way forward.
  12. Being optimistic is the catalyst for an open mind.

True – it’s a tightrope between cliche and mumbo-jumbo, but I’ve looked inside and those 12 really speak to me.

Have you made any professional resolutions for 2010?

Moonpig will buyover Google in 2010

'Hands free mobile' by Obi-Akpere

I won’t be making too many predictions like the one above. But one I am happy to put my name to is that 2010 will be the year of mobile.

Whether mobile will take off or not this year has been the subject of much discussion with colleagues. There’s a lot of caution; many of us have been burnt by previous false dawns. But against the evidence – massive penetration of cheap smart phones, uptake of mobile broadband and the explosion of apps –  we have to be more ambitious about mobile in 2010.

From my vantage, the world of democracy and politics will be very much part of this mobile bonanza. Here are three prime areas:

1. General Election campaigning
Every party, media outlet and activist group will make extensive use of the web – that’s a given. It will be in the use of mobile that innovations and headlines will be made.

Whether its micro-donations to parties, opposition flash-mobs at events or manifestos in 160 characters – the mobile will make the election feel closer, more personal and more accessible.

Overkill, imposition and data security will all prove problematic.

2. Social marketing
As the functionality of mobiles increases, so the costs of social marketing via mobiles will decrease.

Government marketers have long been interested in mobile, and with the ability to run cheaper, better targeted campaigns we will rush to mobile in our droves. Expect lots of location-based games and personalised advice through apps.

The challenges will be around monitoring, evaluation and creativity (i.e. how to make it look and feel cool).

3. Service delivery
Fuelled by the sudden windfall of public sector data, we can expect a boom in mobile-based interaction with public services.

It is likely that most of these will be packaged up by social enterprises but government will also get involved, especially local authorities. Prime for development will be emergency services, transport infrastructure and environmental services.

Data security, security of payments and records management will prove problematic.

Only time will tell…

What’s in your crystal ball (app)?