It’s beginning

Five years ago on election day, I wrote a post about civil servants’ use of social media during general election campaigns, arguing that it was time to start thinking about the next election. This time round the traditional rules and the new means of expression have managed to co-exist without too much difficulty. But we are all […]

Systems and symptoms

I am a menshevik. Steph Gray is a bolshevik. It may not end well. Steph wants a revolution, and he wants it by next summer. He does not believe in the false consciousness of the bourgeois revolution and is wary of alliances with objective supporters of the current regime. Despite the immaturity of the proletariat, […]

Too much information

In the continuing fight for the greater availability of public information, it may seem churlish to observe that sometimes what’s wanted is not more information, but less. The picture above shows a typical display on a Countdown sign at a London bus stop. This particular stop has buses from two routes. At a quick glance, […]

Transparent government

I have read three blog posts in the last few days which together strike me as indicators of a welcome trend. The first two were both from the new Government Digital Service blog, the first from Mike Bracken on his first few weeks in government as Director of Digital. It’s a very upbeat assessment, but […]

Petitioning the elephant

A new e-petitions site for government was launched yesterday. It is clean, simple and elegant, with clear government branding consistent with other cross-government sites.  So far so good. But managing a cross government service is a tricky business, for reasons I have explored before. Government is a veneer that sits above departments, and like any […]

Alpha conversation

This is how conversations work, or rather how one conversation played out on twitter this morning. Tricky subject, no right answer, constructive discussion.* But perhaps most important of all, those issues are being discussed in public for a government proof of concept which hasn’t yet even been launched. It is that which is more radical […]

Michelangelo explains open data

The pope, it is said, asked Michelangelo, ‘How do you know what to cut away?’ And Michelangelo replied, ‘It’s simple, I just remove everything which doesn’t look like David’ Hadley Beeman wonders how best to characterise the new approach she is devising to aggregate public data to allow questions to be asked of it and […]