About me

My name is Jeremy Gould. Until early 2009 I was a civil servant with responsibility for digital media strategy at the UK Ministry of Justice. I led a team managing a portfolio of websites and was a leading light in shaping and pushing the agenda for web2.0 / social media adoption in government.

In 2007 I assisted the Cabinet Office in producing a review on the opportunities presented by social media for government communicators.

I organised the first two UK government barcamps for public servants working in digital media, held in January 2008 and January 2009, and set up a regular series of informal networking ‘teacamps’ that take place in Westminster, London.

Prior to joining the civil service, I worked on web ’stuff’ in wider public sector, corporate, and agency environments.

I’m currently taking an extended break from work to spend some time with my family but am available for short- and/or part-time projects, especially if they allow me to undertake some of the work remotely.

I’m really interested in helping organisations use the web better to communicate, transact and interact – particularly, but not exclusively, UK public sector organisations.

Outside of work, my interests are music, cooking, mountain bikes and my family – though not in that order. I confess I spend too much time ‘messing about’ on the internet and often think I have no real idea what this all means.

    • W
    • May 8th, 2007

    Jeremy – good luck with it. Let’s see the rules set out which protect you so you know you can blog with impunity!

    • Jeremy
    • May 9th, 2007

    Thanks William, actually thats one thing I hope I can create some debate on. What are the rules, what should they look like? (as short as possible I hope). I will write about this in more detail when I get a chance.

  1. Congratulations on practising some personal democratic engagement … given a mention here http://www.designingforcivilsociety.org/2007/05/pm_and_district.html

    • Jeremy
    • May 9th, 2007

    David, you’re too kind. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    Brave of you to start up a blog whilst dealing with a full site redesign for the new department. Are you getting to add any new ideas or is it primarily a reskin?… perhaps I should wait to see it!

    Look forward to reading more on Digital Media in Government, I’ll post your link to our blog to spread the word.

    Ben

    • Jeremy
    • May 9th, 2007

    Its a brand new site, hope you like it. The blog has been running for a while in a ‘run silent, run deep’ kind of way with the intention of unleashing it post-launch. But of course, there’s a story here and I hope I can get some good honest feedback about the site as we begin to improve it over the coming weeks and months.

    • Stuart Reid
    • May 10th, 2007

    Hi Jeremy – this is looking like a very interesting blog – there’s nothing else quite like it that I’ve come across yet. And congratulations on getting the new site up!

    I imagine that it must have been quite challenging agreeing what a brand new department would say about itself and getting copy signed off in time – it would be interesting to hear about that side of it on the blog.

    I’m very interested in the use of moving images as part of the way that government – central and local – communicates. I run a film and video production company that mainly works with local councils to use video as part of knowledge management, organisational development, communication and learning and development. So I’ll be keeping an eye out for any ways in which you’re able to exploit some of the opportunites you refer to above.

    Cheers, Stuart

  3. Hi Stuart, thanks for the encouragement. I’ll write some more about the proposition and site development of the site over the next few posts. Your work sounds interesting too and I’m certainly keen to find out more in relation to my work on the social media review.

  4. Hi Jeremy

    I’ve added a link to Webby – thanks for yours.

    your blog’s really interesting.

    I would email you to tell you this but I cannae see it …

    best

    Paul Canning

  5. Thanks Paul. Good point, I’ll add it into my profile

  6. Jeremy… great to see you here. Best of luck with this blog and with your MoJ endeavours!

  7. Thanks Steve for the encouragement – on both fronts.

  8. Found your blog doing a search on gov’t and social media. I’m doing the same thing here in Canada – work for a large federal department, and have just been tasked with a one-year assignment to explore whether, how and what the government should be doing in the world of Web 2.0. Looking forward to reading more!

  9. Jeremy

    Paul Caplan and David Wilcox mentioned your blog. Congratulations.
    There is another gentleman called Owen Barder. If you google him he gets all this stuff and is a fellow civil servant.
    I work in Scotland for the civil service ( Scottish Executive ). Did you need sign off for your blog or is it just step by step ?

  10. Danielle / Alex, thanks for finding me. Danielle, likewise your blog looks very interesting.
    Alex – thanks for the heads up on Owen. I didn’t get sign off for this but guess at some point I might have to. But one of the points of the blog is to try and come to some conclusions about how civil servants could blog with permission.

  11. Is the social media study you refer to above the one that Tom Steinberg is also involved with ?

    Will you be at GC Expo conference at Earls Court on June 12 / 13 ?

  12. Not directly Alex but related. The social media review is looking the particular challenges for government communicators. However there is overlap and we are sharing information and having conversations with Tom’s review. Hope to be at the expo on 12/13 and perhaps meet up?

    • Avinash Mahandru
    • May 29th, 2007

    Hi Jeremy

    I’ve read your blog and it’s interesting to me as a Politics student to see the views and opinions of a Civil Servant.

    Someone else used the term ‘personal democratic engagement’ to describe what you are doing here. But that raises a question – Are Civil Servants democratic?

    I don’t understand the point or purpose of this blog when Civil Servants are permanent and unelected…and therefore neither democratic nor responsible to the public (me).

    If it’s Parliament who are the ‘masters’ while you guys are the ‘servants’, then shouldn’t Ministers be doing this?

  13. Thanks for your comments Avinash. I’m not a constitutional expert so feel a little out of my depth answering this one.

    Here goes:
    The description attributed to this blog is flattering but incorrect. Democratic engagement is about encouraging the public to take more part in the democratic process. If that involves online tools and spaces then all and good but this blog isn’t really it.
    Civil servants support and implement the wishes of the government (but are technically appointed by the Crown) and are impartial in their work.
    Ministers, while also Crown appointed, are elected politicians too. Their approach to online engagement would inevitably be different because of that distinction.

    Hope I’ve got that right. If not, hopefully someone will correct me.

  14. Good to see another government insider stepping forward with views and insights from the sharp end. Whilst I was “inside” I struggled with the balance of constructive versus destructive criticism (and often got it wrong), so I wish you luck. Now that I’m less “inside” I find it just as hard because I know how hard you guys have to work to keep everything going.

  15. Thanks Alan for the encouragement.

    • Avinash Mahandru
    • May 30th, 2007

    Hi Jeremy, thanks for the feedback.

    You’ve said that ‘personal democratic engagement’ is not what this blog is…but then what is it?

    If as you say you are appointed, unelected and impartial to your work, and given the fact that the Civil Service Code says that you are neutral, then doesn’t posting your opinion online and engaging with the public make you democratic anyway?

    My point is that although you have defined the role of Civil Servant from a constitutional point, this smells unconstitutional.

  16. Its my personal opinion, and designed to give some insight to my work. As I said, not a constitutional expert but doubt that makes it unconstitutional.

    • Avinash Mahandru
    • May 30th, 2007

    Hi Jeremy,

    I guess overall, the more engagement the better

  17. Jeremy
    Which day are you planning on attending GC Expo ?
    Would you send me an email at
    When I try via LinkedIn they say ” buy an upgrade ” and use inmail. As you say it is the season for them.
    On cross-selling in government, the only people who do that well at the moment are the conference organisers and suppliers. They sure know how to build up a database and email marketing.
    Alex

  18. hi jeremy

    forgot to say before that i’m not in LinkedIn – can you email me?

    cheers

    paul

  19. Good to see this. Spread it to the DoH, please, if you meet them at teatime or whenever.

  20. Shall do Adrian, they’re good people there in my experience.

  21. Hi Jeremy,
    Thanks for showing interest in my blog. Btw, I really appreciate your blogs.

    • socialbutterfly4change
    • April 17th, 2008

    Hello,

    I just found your blog, and I’m quite excited about finding a person who does online/social media activities for the government. I couldn’t find an email address on your site, but I’d love to connect and ask what you think abuot government blogging.

    Thanks! My blog is http://www.fly4change.wordpress.com and you can find my email address there.

    Thanks again. -SocialButterfly

  22. Hi – checked out your blog. But who are you?!

    • Dave Hill
    • May 22nd, 2008

    God I must be bored if I am reading your blog.

    Glad to see that an LSUvian doing well.

    Dave

    • Tom
    • July 5th, 2008

    aha! more than just an eeepy guru. Thank you very much for helping me out as it seems you do have an awful lot going on in the “day job”. Otherwise v pleased with all this and look at the storm next week is going to bring….

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