Back to blogging

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.

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New Ministry of Justice site goes live

Its been a long time in the gestation, but the latest iteration of the Ministry of Justice website just went live.

Ministry of Justice website mark 2

It looks fantastic, well done the team.

Its getting busy north of the border

Scotland that is, not Ulster 🙂

Old mucker Alex Stobart, another recent escapee from the civil service and organiser of the first government social media type event in Scotland, is building up a head of steam pushing the web2 agenda in the public sector.

He recently launched a website, Scotweb2, to map developments in scottish government online participation, collaboration et al.

But that’s not all, as well as getting a scottish public sector barcamp off the ground later this month, there’s a Scotweb2 event on 19th June and he’s also involved in bringing ****** ********** **** (something really good) to Scotland the same weekend (Update: Wasn’t supposed to mention that yet. More news when I have it).

Nice one Alex, keep it up.

About the future of Whitehall Webby

Ever since I started confiding in friends last year that I was considering leaving the civil service, one of the questions I have been asked is “What will happen to Whitehall Webby?”.

I confess I thought a fair bit about this. It was pointed out to me that I would no longer be in Whitehall after all, and as I have always found the blog tough to keep up to date with it did seem like it might be a good time to call it quits.

Then I hit an enforced layoff as I was put under pressure at work to not blog. I knew by then I was leaving (but they didn’t) so I thought the best course of action was to lie low until I departed. I also made it clear at the time I left that I intend to take a few months off before I decide what to do next.

But, despite all that, two things remain clear to me.

  1. After many years playing around working in this web world, I still love the possibilities and opportunities it presents. Pretty much every day brings something exciting.
  2. I really care about how the interweb can make government better. The last two or three years have been a real ball and some of the stuff that has begun to happen over the last twelve months or so has been awesome. But its just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to follow, I’m sure of it.

So, despite the fact that I’m not on the inside anymore on a day by day basis, government online is still the thing I feel most passionate about, professionally speaking.

Therefore I’ll continue to use this soapbox to throw out ideas, observe and comment on developments, and add my tuppence to the state of the industry. As well as all that I hope to continue to support, encourage and work amongst those doing a fantastic job pushing the online agenda forward in government.

But not just yet. Let me enjoy the holiday for a little while longer.

Elvis has left the building


Some good times, some bad times etc etc.

Time to look toward though.

More soon.

Posted by ShoZu