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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

myid innit

Both ElReg and PSF have covered the comically noteworthy MyID (youth ID - tell us what yah thinking, yah, for when one is questioned about one's age, innit) site launch by - note, remember this name - an outfit called virtualsurveys (that's a link to their inept 'yofftube' page) for the Home Office. (Webshite, they do 'research 2.0', innit. Also they have a link to a 'accessible site').

PSF flavour (a firewall beckons):
However little did the Home Secretary know that this carefully-scripted PR 'quick win' was about to mutate at internet speed into a horrendous, humiliating and increasingly out-of-control PR catastrophe ...

We contacted Mr Comley [VirtualSurveys man-o-the-moment] for comment and put to him that as access to the site is restricted to 16-25 year-olds only, whether it was not slightly disingenuous for him to be using 'yoof-speak' and posing as a 'buddy' to other users, not to mention his comments about being encumbered with a student card. His response on that later ...

Within hours of the Home Secretary's fanfare launch, word had got out among anti-ID card campaigners who then flocked in large numbers to the site. By lunchtime a horde of protesters had effectively taken over the site, with the MyLifeMyID forums now consisting – to huge embarrassment for the Home Office - almost entirely of comments criticising, denouncing and condemning the ID scheme in no uncertain terms.
For some reason I find the accompanying video cringe-worthy hysterical (yas thinkin' 'David Brent'?). Jacqui looks like she's talking to five year olds, 'now children'. Not. A. Natural @YouTube (unlike Mike Gravel). Plus the filming is way far from flattering. Where were the minders demanding the lighting be, er, altered?

Couple of points which skipped the, natural, opprobrium:

They broke the ethical code - you should say what use information supplied on sign-up will be put to (why it says elsewhere 'we won't resell your email address')

This from an outfit which self-describes thus:

"Virtual Surveys, founded in 1998, was the first full service agency in Europe to specialise in online research. As well as recognised experts in website research, Virtual Surveys are one of the leading exponents of conventional research online.

The company has grown by 45+% per annum for the past 3 years. Our success can be attributed to our experienced research team, providing high quality online research and website expertise to a range of the UK's leading organisations."

The Home office is mugs, thinkest thou.

Oh g*d, how much did this cost?

Seriously, how much did this this cost?

Secondly, last week I was getting a 'you must register' message on clicking on 'more information on ID cards'.

Now I'm getting 'The following information has been copied from the Home Office Immigration & Passport Service website'. Literally. It sez this. Innit.

And youse has to register to click onda poll.

And is asking 'To which ethic group do you consider yourself to belong'?

Inept? Comedy? Where doth one start? We have so many options. Press attention, where ist thou?

I'm sure some bean-counter will attempt to spin this as a sucess but - pa-lease - do us all a favour and document where you went wrong. Seriously. It would help. But I really don't expect this to happen and, I guess, that's the problem.

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