Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patience and Passion

Good video of Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library at the O’Reilly Web 2.0 expo in New York.

Don’t know Gary, but I wish I did – just the kick I needed.

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Are you a usability super-hero?

My friend Nathanael over on the Aussie bloggers forum posted today about the usability challenge 2008, which is happening on the 1st of August.

The idea behind the challange is to:

1. Find a usability problem – badly designed products or experiences are good examples

2. Design a solution – fix it, don’t whine about it

3. Get in touch with a person who can help solve it.

To take part in this year’s challenge you’ll need to find a problem, design a solution and share it on the 1st of August.

The poll on the front page indicates Government services running a close second to banks in terms of issues that need a usability overhall. To share what others are working on the usability challenge team has also set up a google group and facebook page (400 members and counting).

It seems to me the types of people that are looking to participatie in this would make ideal partners on other government led initiatives.

Get fixing.

Know your dope fiend

I live in South London.

Most days it’s safe – I say this despite the fact that in five minutes, I could walk you past the location of three murders over the last 12 months.

Yes, there is crime here and something needs to be done about it… although I’m not convinced Lambeth Council’s latest ‘name and shame’ idea will work. The campaign is predicated on coming to Brixton for the ‘right‘ reasons:

The posters, which are displayed at Brixton tube and on buses across the borough, show anonymous faces of ‘offenders’, listing their drug offence, the conviction they were given – and the unwelcome publicity they received as a result. These images are mirrored by partner posters that quote visitors who came to Brixton to enjoy the culture, food, and nightlife, rather than to buy drugs. The council says the over-riding message is ‘come to Brixton for the right reasons’.

So, come to Brixton to buy or sell drugs and you could end up on Lambeth council’s very own version of facebook, backed up by a print campaign.  Whilst the print campaign uses models, it appears the online campaign – hosted on the council’s website – doesn’t.

What I don’t understand is what happens if (and it may be a big if) an offender manages to turn their lives around. Ok to get rid of the profile then, or will it be left on the website as a permanent scarlett letter?

To me, whilst the press around the campaign suggests it’s targeting both buyers and sellers it’s the latter that I think they are really after – if there is no market, I guess the theory goes, there aren’t any dealers. At least not visible ones.

Is there a better way to use social media in this context? Will the announcement of interactive crime maps help?

Her Majesty’s news – 606 twurls, 6047 clicks.

A few weeks ago I changed the options in Mario’s excellent twitterfeed service to shorten HMGov’s tinyurls to twurls. One of the things that’s always bugged me a little bit about the HMGOV twitterfeed is that I wasn’t sure how I could effectively track usage. Using tweetburner I’m able to monitor the clicks on @HMGov links – 606 twurls with 6047 clicks to date.

I’m quite surprised by the numbers, particularly with only 160 odd users (less the bots). I wonder how they stack up to press notices on existing .gov.uk sites or a gov twitter account with more subscribers like downing street?

Gov 2.0 taskforce

Tom has made an interesting announcement about the Power of Information review and a new taskforce

My mother told me not to talk to strangers.

So I figured – make some friends.

Welcome to my blog.

I actually prefer to use twitter, but recognise there are advantages to having a home for a bigger discussion on issues that matter to me – so this would be it.

You’ll need to be a little patient with me as I settle in here. Expect a couple of format changes.

The dog isn’t dead. He’s just sleeping on a sunny day on the steps of Syntagma Square.

More details about me in the… well, the about section I guess.