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Saturday, 8 September 2007

Yet more birth pangs of government 2.0

According to Public Sector Forums:
In a victory of sorts for common sense, we're pleased to say our report last week on the CLG [government's] Take-Up Campaign's highly-inaccessible and potentially unlawful 'Pride of Place' web poll looks like it prompted some very urgent remedial 'alterations'.

The poll – which the Campaign, led out of Whitehall, is urging councils across England to place on their websites – has thankfully now been completely reworked, in light of serious concerns we raised about its failure to meet even the most basic web accessibility guidelines.
Good on the campaign organisers, you're doing better than virtually all the marketing industry. (Organisers: Now promo it to the rest of the web.)

PSF then go through a series of accessibility points and bureaucracy snaffoos (as a webbie, I felt for the recipients of this, having heard 'yeah, but then there's THIS thing' myself, when THIS is actually much less important than THAT issue which THEY should be focusing on, in what is a far more complex thing to do well than most non-webbies realise), ending:
Were all this weirdness not enough, the greatest mystery of all is why the campaign has chosen to host the poll at, when the poll, confusingly, is only restricted just to England? And mindful of the Government's 'freeze' of new websites, what was the Take-Up Campaign's justification for creating a brand new site when ministerial policy is to use Directgov wherever possible? Were there, perhaps, reasons for not using the campaign's website at Doubtless this won't be the last we'll hear of this...
The domain would be for marketing purposes? Because it's a very specific marketing campaign designed around a viral URL (try NB: marketing campaign.

As I noted in an earlier post, it's like the Monopoly campaign and lots of others attempting to rub the same local-pride nerve. Clear benefactor: tourism and business, you'd think. Albeit, the campaign itself is (PSF): "to get punters flocking to council websites", Campaign: "potentially producing high levels of citizen engagement with their local authority website" and targeting homepages, but it's a start. They'll figure the real use out ./ (Organisers: Now promo it to the rest of the web.)

Barest mention of marketing in the PSF article. But then one report just published by prominent sector body SOCITM and £2.5 m spent (to what effect?) with e-Citizen is the current UK eGov environment with netmarketing, totaling very little and late — so why would PSF see as about anything but accessibility?

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