Archive for the ‘ interesting things ’ Category
Well kinda, sorta, not quite yet…..
Its been almost four months since I left Whitehall – at the same time its both flown by and feels like a lifetime ago. Now I’m pretty settled I’m starting to think about gov things again and taking keener notice of what’s going on (and there’s been quite a bit…..). But that can wait for just a little longer.
In the meantime, there’s a fantastic literary festival taking place just down the road from me next week and a couple of intrepid irish bloggers are doing their best to provide online coverage for the events. It seemed churlish of me not to offer to give them a hand given how much free time I have at the moment.
Listowel Writers Week is in its 39th year and has an amazing line up of authors and workshops. I can’t believe that such a brilliant cast list is assembling a couple of miles from me, and I can’t wait to help Paul and Patrick capture some of the flavour of the festival. Its quite a while since I’ve done anything resembling social reporting and I’m quite excited about it.
As well as the fringe blog, we’ll be using the usual array of tools and channels to push out the content far and wide across the web. Now all I have to do is try and locate my Flip camera which has mysteriously disappeared somewhere into the depths of my house 😦
Its a bit short notice but if you’re reading this and want to come along, drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help you out.
I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to go and see Us Now at the RSA on Wednesday night.
Us Now, by Ivo Gormley, is a film about the power of online collaboration and communities – and what that might mean for future government. Its very powerful, highlighting some excellent case studies and interviewing a range of experts (its worth seeing for Ed Miliband’s appearance alone I think).
There’s another preview viewing next Wednesday evening in London and there are still (free) tickets available. If you’re around, I highly recommend going along. This is one hour of your life you won’t regret giving up.
I seem to be permanently in a state of writing about things a week or so after they have happened at the moment and trying to play catchup.
This is a case in point. A week last Saturday (18th October) I went along to the Free Legal Web barcamp. The event was set up (and part sponsored) by Nick Holmes to bring together those intersested in creating an online service that pulls together legal texts (primary, secondary, rules. procedures, judgements etc) and commentary.
Its a brilliant idea. A small, but perfectly formed, group of 24 met at the RSA. It was a room of real enthusiasts – lawyers, hackers, civil servants – all more or less geeks with an interest in improving the availability and quality of legal information online.
I went along because my employer publishes a fair amount of information online that might be of interest to this project. But to be honest, much of what was discussed was over my head so I didn’t stay until the end.
However, it looks to me like the beginnings of an excellent and worthy project. With enough goodwill generated on the day to agree to meet again in mid-January.
It was remiss of me not to point to Tom Steinberg’s excellent piece on ‘one pagers’.
Barely a day goes by when i am not asked to produce one of these (often by someone who has already requested, and received, a paper on the same subject previously…).
Whilst I enjoy the discipline of containing an idea or proposition to one side of paper, the request to ‘do me a one pager’ invariably makes me feel quite ill – I generally feel like replying with a two worder.
(disclaimer: I use these words often in the workplace, because sometimes jargon seems to suggest credibility…)
While we’re at it, haven’t got a lot of time for ‘vision’ at the moment (cue inevitable Mark O’Neill punchline…)