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Sunday, 15 June 2008

Scrapbook clips catch up

Quickie job this week ;]

Will highlight a comment left with Off with the pixies from Dan McQuillan.
As the guy with the job of delivering the UK Catalyst Awards, I'd of course prefer to take more optimistic view.

But I agree that the critical thing is to move from excited blah blah to real impact. I'm trying to bring to catalyst as much grit as I can from my experience in co-founding social innovation camp.

We'll have to wait and see whether catalyst phase two can produce the kind of mentoring, incubating and financing that will deliver dynamic social startups.
Gerry McGovern, always worth reading, has started a series on What is the role of government on the Web?
For the government to truly serve its customers on the Web it needs to address the following issues:
1. Get away from a technology obsession
2. Manage customer top tasks, not government websites
3. Get politicians off government websites
4. Stop government vanity publishing
5. Develop a government archive
Federal Times has a very interesting piece on Gov’t. 2.0: Wikis, blogs and more - use in the US government.
The blog is a bold move for TSA [Transportation Security Administration | U.S. Department of Homeland Security] because it fully embraces public comments on what the agency is doing wrong, said Stephen Goldsmith, director of Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government program.

“They’re going to insult you whether you have a blog or not,” Goldsmith said. “You might as well learn from what they’re saying.”

Using discussion boards and e-mails, [Environment Protection Agency] EPA’s new social Web site, called National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information, has pulled comments from across government and the country to help [EPA’s chief information officer, Molly] O’Neill as she fashions a new information-sharing policy.

Since O’Neill came on board last year, EPA has embarked on four such projects that integrate blogs, wikis, discussion boards and other social networking Web tools, which are collectively referred to as Web 2.0, into EPA’s business.

“The technology is not complicated, it’s just a different way of doing business. And getting people to do business in a different way is culture change and that’s a challenge,” O’Neill said.
New Canadian survey on the public's attitudes to use of web 2.0 in government.
When asked to consider specific ways that government might use social media, the respondents showed strongest support for:

1. Websites where government scientists or experts could answer the public’s questions
2. Websites that would allow Canadians to express their views on different issues
3. Audio tours or pod casts of historical and natural sites across Canada that could be downloaded.
Jakob Nielsen updates his guidance on Writing Style for Print vs. Web
Summary: Linear vs. non-linear. Author-driven vs. reader-driven. Storytelling vs. ruthless pursuit of actionable content. Anecdotal examples vs. comprehensive data. Sentences vs. fragments.

We should accept that the Web is too fast-paced for big-picture learning. No problem; we have other media, and each has its strengths. At the same time, the Web is perfect for narrow, just-in-time learning of information nuggets — so long as the learner already has the conceptual framework in place to make sense of the facts.

For example, I dated "learning around the campfire" to 32,000 years ago to coincide with the emergence of high culture and the Cro-Magnons. Not that the Neanderthals didn't have campfires — they simply didn't have the cultural depth of modern humans, so I don't think their storytelling was equal to my seminars. So, did I actually remember that Cro-Magnon culture started 32,000 years ago with the Lascaux cave paintings? No, I looked that little fact up online.
Now where do you think this clip is from?

More than 10 new e-Government services will be launched in the next six months, while more than 15 e-Government services will come online within two years, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Frederick Ma says.

He told the Legislative Council today the e-Government services include the transport information system and the electronic health record system.

The bureau will also launch a geographical user interface to help users locate information and implement a unified identity management framework to verify their identity and safeguard their personal data.

A pilot scheme in forming district cyber centres will be conducted to provide hardware and technical support for children in low-income families and needy residents to access online resources.

Mr Ma added all Government bureaux and departments have revamped their websites to comply with Internet accessibility standards stated in the internal guidelines for information dissemination since 2003.

An inter-departmental committee regularly reviews the guidelines and released the latest version early this year.

Guessed? Hong Kong.

Facebook over? Only in Islington says Rory Cellan-Jones on BBC/
The social networking scene is settling down into separate camps. The very young are with Bebo. The music crowd are still on MySpace. The obsessive technophiles are on Twitter - latest Tweet from one sad West Coast blogger: "I have 3,500 unanswered direct messages. Please do not send more." But the mass of students and young professionals seem to be gravitating towards Facebook.
Is the Daily Mail editing the government too?
"In the same way that there are standards that are essential to broadcasting, in this converging world I believe there should be a set of standards online".
That's culture secretary, Andy Burnham. Sweetheart, talk to some Aussies about the 'issues' of going down this road. Pa-leaze!

Worth a read on cyber-censorship is Seth Finkelsten.

Also worth pointing out that repeated testing has shown the failures of censorware (filters), including one done earlier this year for San Jose libraries, plus, of course, that anyone can find out how to Bypass Internet Censorship.

House of Lords two-up now on the Commons as they launch a YouTube Channel.
The five videos aim to explain the "role, impact and relevance" of the House of Lords and "reach out to young people and other audiences who may not be involved in politics or well informed about the role of parliament".
Wired's Thomas Goetz makes a great point about Obama's
By putting their own website out there front-and-center, and then getting everybody to link to it (starting with all the media covering the launch of the site), the result will be to drive towards the top of a Google search on, say, "obama muslim" or "michelle obama whitey". Ideally, if enough of the pro-Obama network links to, it'll drive the sites that peddle in the rumor-mongering, which are now the first results on said searches, off the top of the results list. Ideal long term result: any curious low-information voter who eventually bothers to google these pesky rumors will immediately be led to the debunking rather than the rumor.
And this is coming over here too. The disgusting Melanie Philips repeats the dirt for The Spectator.

Eric Schmidt thinks Google should extend a helping hand to 'old media'. He "hopes its recently acquired advertising service DoubleClick will aid newspapers as they struggle to corral more online revenue".

Bob Ostertag has some warnings about Obama's Internet Money Machine and the Future.
Yes, this is a wonderful thing that the Internet has democratized political financing in an unprecedented way. What is even better, the fact that the progressive guy figured out the new money regime first may catapult him from freshman senator to the White House, opening one of the most exciting chapters in American political history.

But it is not insignificant that in the process, vast sums of money are flooding into the political arena.
Worth something in twenty years will be ... McCain condoms! (Barack ones too).

Christopher Ciccone, brother to Madonna Ritchie (nee Ciccone), is writing a book. Met them both (if by meet you can count 'hello, this is ...' 'hello, goodbye') in my gossip column days. Some daft queen thought she'd enjoy a tacky drag troupe and being showered by glitter at a not-that-glamorous 'do' and birthday bash for Chris by the harbour in Sydney. As I recall, they didn't enjoy Oz very much .. wonder if that'll make his book ... ?

Quote of the week from GC Weekly:
Earls Court, location of this week's GC 2008 Expo, was replete with [sic] beautiful people and futuristic technology.

The fact that the venue was also hosting Graduate Fashion Week and a Doctor Who exhibition may have contributed in some small way to these qualities. But you could not beat Kable's conference when it came to threatening behaviour from chairpeople.

Brian Derry of Assist said he would expel people from the session he chaired if they violated the no-mobile policy - dancing to the tunes of their ringtones. Alternatively, they could pay £10 to the charity of his choice.

Mark Logsdon of Barclays, speaking at a session on security, revealed that his organisation charges £50 for rogue mobile vocalisations. But after adjusting for banking salaries, that works out around a hafpenny.

It might not have been appropriate for Dave Mitchell of BT, chairing a session on the NHS National Programme for IT, to have punished the use of telephones. But he did threaten a collective punishment for the audience, if it failed to show suitable interest: a video nasty on the auditorium's big screen.

Luckily, Mitchell decided it was necessary to deploy a video of former National Programme guvnor Richard Granger on his holidays. The threat was enough.

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