This is a wide ranging programme of activity, events and consultations designed to re-establish the relationship between the State and citizens: it covers everything from when the Union flag should fly above government buildings through whether we should vote at weekends to who should decide when the country goes to war.
The site was created in WordPress to take advantage of the functionality that the platform offers out of the box – such as strong syndication options, and the ease in which it can be maintained and updated. It has four main functions:
- aggregate news, speeches, publications etc published elsewhere on the government web estate (the programme has over 60 work strands so quite a few departments have an interest in this), what I’ve been describing as ‘signpost, don’t host’ (sure I’m not the first to come up with that…)
- Provide notifications of future events, and publish content from previous events – we’re hoping to use video, stills, audio and written feedback here
- A led discussion space covering a variety of subjects related to the programme (this isn’t live yet, but will be visible in the new year when other elements of the programme begin)
- Acknowledge, highlight and signpost articles, conversations etc elsewhere on the web around the programme’s themes.
The last one is the most interesting part of the site for me. We really hope that this recognition of conversations will in turn encourage and stimulate debate around the various themes. Because its using Delicious to deliver the content, it means that users can easily contribute content to the debate and can also view the full feed (we’ll only publish a representative sample of the many feeds and news alerts we have set up due to time and space considerations).
I’m really pleased with the site – it looks (as) good (as it could given the design constraints), it was devised and built at breakneck speed, and it works.
There are still a few tweaks we want to make to the site, and hopefully it will develop functionality as the progamme itself develops. Let me know if you have any comments on the site, either below or by email if you’re shy.