The naming of parts

There have been months of roadworks. A complex junction has been remodelled to be friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists. The traffic has been rerouted this weekend, though there is still a lot of work to do to turn the old carriageway into the pleasant space envisaged by TfL’s artist (and nor do the fluffy white clouds and blue sky appear to be fully functioning yet).

Privacy in public

Two stories help shape answers to the perennially vexed question of what constitutes privacy in an online world. One is about our licence to analyse people’s behaviour, however benign the intention might be. The other is about what it’s like to walk down the street. They have more in common than it might first appear.

0.019938% viral

As I was standing at the bus stop on a grey drizzly morning, there was a lorry parked on the opposite side of the road. It was an utterly unremarkable scene. But the words on the side of the lorry were a bit strange. They almost, but didn’t quite, make an email address. They almost, […]

Small pieces loosely joined

If you don’t want to read the whole of this post, there are two simple actions to take: Go to the new Public Sector Blogs site, admire it briefly, then subscribe to updates by RSS or by email, according to your fancy Follow @PubSecBlogs on twitter which tirelessly tweets updates in real time. These each […]


There’s an old adage that an unhappy customer will tell ten people about the bad service they have received. If that was ever true, it is startling how quickly and comprehensively it is untrue now. Here’s a little story unfolding in front of our eyes. The starting point is Helen Lippell being on the receiving […]

Civility in service

It really is quite simple. If you wouldn’t have said it before there were social media, don’t say it now just because there are. If you work for an organisation, don’t be rude about its leaders, products or policies in public. Don’t imagine that online anonymity is an invisibility cloak. If you work in the […]

New voices of government

My post from May last year on who is blogging in government is picking up a lot of fresh attention at the moment (with thanks to Dominic Campbell and others for sharing it round).  The questions of whether the approach is a useful one and, if it is, who falls into which category are still […]

The Guardian pwned my blog

Update:  Since posting this this morning, I have had two people contact me from the Guardian – one in a comment to this post and one by email.  As a result, I am reassured that what I experienced was a bug they are keen to fix rather than indifference to the context in which Guardian material […]

Small pieces, joined not quite loosely enough

Here’s a small cautionary tale of unintended consequences. It explains why the particularly eagle eyed will have seen a post on the blog this morning which quickly disappeared – though not quite quickly enough to stop it propagating round the web. Over the weekend, I installed the new Guardian wordpress plugin, more out of curiosity than because […]