Raw data now

You hug your data.  You don’t want to let it go until you have made a beautiful web site for it.  Well I want to suggest that, yes make a beautiful website, but first give us the unadulterated data, we want the unadulterated data, we have to ask for raw data now. Tim Berners-Lee’s impassioned […]

Not a post about VRM, more a post about lobster pots

The VRM challenge is not just that information is held in big databases. It is that every bit of process – human, clerical, IT system, legal framework, behavioural expectations – is currently designed, or rather has grown up over the years without very much overall design, on the assumption that data is to be found in databases.

Random thoughts from the Tower

Tower 09 was over a fortnight ago.  My notes are, as always, close to illegible.  The attribution of thoughts to speakers may bear no resemblance to what they think they said.  The failure to attribute thoughts to speakers does not mean either that they didn’t have any or that they weren’t interesting.  I was only […]

Border control, Australian style

Rick Segal realised he needed a visa in a hurry: I happened to wander onto the Australian site which talks about all the visa requirements and, golly gee, it’s all electronic.  Click this, fill in that, fork over 20 bucks, and bob’s yer uncle, get the barbee fired up.  Yup. In just under 6 minutes, […]

The voices of government

The bloggers of government are an impressive bunch.  So much so, that it’s easy to overlook just how skewed a sample of the population they still represent.  I have been thinking a bit recently about who  does – and who doesn’t – blog from government, and have come up with five categories: People whose job […]

Is the Tower still made of ivory?

The Tower 09 conference a week ago was interesting , a slightly smaller follow on to the bigger and brasher event a year ago.  It was a curious event – quite a lot of good stuff, but in a format which feels increasingly old fashioned, and with a very strange sense of its place in […]

Customers are older than we think

The question of whether users of public services are appropriately or usefully called ‘customers’ never seems entirely to go away, though in my view, it’s a question which no longer illuminates much of value.  To the extent I had thought about it all though,  I had always assumed that it was a post-Thatcherite debate, perhaps […]