Ignore the hype over big tech. Its products are mostly useless
The endless noise emanating from Silicon Valley essentially has two complementary elements. One is all about dreams so unlikely that they beggar belief: the idea that the Tesla CEO Elon Musk will one day set up a colony on Mars; or that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg can successfully marshal an attempt to “cure, prevent and manage” all diseases in a single generation. Whatever its basis in fact, this stuff casts people and corporations as godlike visionaries, and then provides a puffed-up context for the stuff the big tech companies shout about week in, week out: stuff we either don’t need or, worse, which threatens some of the basic aspects of everyday civilisation.
2 days ago
Why Local Government must share the driving to accelerate transformation benefits
There is a huge opportunity for local authorities to share common digital service patterns for highly defined, commoditised services that are repeated across multiple organisations. For services like reporting missed bins, FOI requests and complaints for example, how fundamentally different should the user journeys for these services be between individual authorities? Or, put another way, at a time of such pressure on public finances, can we continue to justify the level of local variation in the design and delivery of these services that we continue to see across the country?
digital  localgov 
9 days ago
And for His Next Act, Ev Williams Will Fix the Internet
As a co-founder of Blogger and Twitter and, more recently, as the chief executive of the digital publishing platform Medium, Mr. Williams transformed the way millions of people publish and consume information online.

But as his empire grew, he started to get a gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right. High-quality publishers were losing out to sketchy clickbait factories. Users were spending tons of time on social media, but they weren’t necessarily happier or better informed. Platforms built to empower the masses were rewarding extremists and attention seekers instead.
blogging  internet 
13 days ago
Fail by design: Banking′s legacy of dark code
Is it modernize or die? Or modernize and die? For banks updating their computer systems with secure mobile features it can be both. Many run mainframes on legacy code that's gone dark — no one understands it anymore.
banking  technology  legacy 
14 days ago
From service design to systems change
Systems analysis at the ‘front end’ of service design can help us to better understand complex social problems and identify opportunities to respond more effectively and profoundly. Equally, systems thinking provides tools and mindsets to understand the power structures and ‘system immune responses’ which so often kill new solutions before they get off the ground.
design  systems 
15 days ago
Out of the shadows [on low code in local gov]
At Adur & Worthing, our use of low code is core to our service design programme and the main tool used by our central digital team in change projects. We don’t go this way every time — we’re not purists — but time and again, we prove to ourselves it’s the better way.
lowcode  digital 
15 days ago
Silicon Valley Can't Be Trusted With Our History
We create almost everything on the internet, but we control almost none of it.
internet  content  history 
22 days ago
Making public policy in the digital age
When the policy is broken, the service fails. And when the service fails, trust in the institution providing the service diminishes. More often that not, high-profile breakdowns are seized upon as a failures of technology or implementation. The truth is that policy is often the culprit.
22 days ago
Bezos: A CEO Who Can Write
Bezos’ letters make splendid material for a Business School course on Strategy and Communication. A caveat applies, however. Most of the strategies and practices advocated by Amazon’s founder have broad applicability, but a central mystery remains: Bezos himself, his combination of early life experience, intellect, emotional abilities and communication skills. Being Bezos isn’t teachable.
amazon  communication  strategy 
22 days ago
Service design at NHS Digital
user’s point of view – from the very beginning of how users become aware the service exists, to the very end of them leaving it. But what makes service design different from just thinking about the user journey, is also the need to design the service from front to back.
27 days ago
‘There Is No Public Internet, and [Wikipedia is] the Closest Thing to It’
...we sort of are a legacy of the original spirit of the web, and that’s very much what the Wikimedia Foundation was created to do — to ensure that Wikipedia was preserved as a nonprofit entity, with respect for community governance, and in the public interest and in the public spirit.
web  wikipedia 
29 days ago
50 Big Companies that Started with Little or No Money
To help illustrate how companies can get started without a seed round, we’ve collected over 50 examples of businesses that started with a few thousand dollars, or even just sweat equity, and went on to become exemplars of what we call “efficient entrepreneurship.”
29 days ago
What is ‘commissioning’?
Much of the value of commissioning, I believe, is that it is an emerging field — not yet fully formed and devoid of inspiration. Yet there is much commissioning practice and activity out there.
29 days ago
Liam Maxwell explains rationale behind DCMS taking data control away from GDS
National Technology Adviser Liam Maxwell has said that the decision for DCMS to take data away from GDS is about interfacing with the digital economy.
data  gds  dcms  government 
29 days ago
How to Build Your Own “Spotify Model”
At the end of the day, use the Spotify model as an inspiration for what’s possible when you spend time and attention developing your own operating system — not as a model for what your own system may end up looking like. Design, test, and evolve your own model as inclusively as possible. Don’t do a big-bang change towards a new static target operating model, but instead build the muscle for continuous participatory change.
business  model  organisation  agile 
4 weeks ago
Proxeus wants to be the WordPress of blockchain
Can blockchain technology fix the soul sucking tedium and cost of back-and-forth bureaucracy? The Swiss team behind a blockchain-based platform, called Proxeus, believes it can — and that that will be just the tip of what decentralization brings down the pipe, once components such as crypto identities become an accepted (and legal) standard.
4 weeks ago
CDO for Scottish Local Government Digital Office, Martyn Wallace - Creating shareable platforms for local government
Successful digital transformation in the public sector requires a significant shift in mind set from all employees to generate the best possible return for citizens. Councils also need to work together to generate ideas and platforms, which can then be shared across local government.
digital  localgov  scotland 
4 weeks ago
The Right Way to Build an Online Community
These products have come to be called ‘social media,’ but that’s not what Flickr was. Flickr was an online community. The reason they started calling it social media is because you can sell media. You can sell column inches, you can sell broadcast hours, you can advertise against it. But Flickr was not social media. Flickr was an online community.
flickr  community 
4 weeks ago
Chat is Google’s next big fix for Android’s messaging mess
A top-tier Android phone can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and for that money, you’ll get some amazing features. It will have a stellar screen, top-flight camera, gobs of storage, and an absolutely atrocious texting experience.
google  android  messaging 
4 weeks ago
Smart London Camp 2018
Yesterday [Rob Miller] joined a large group of people whose idea of the best way to spend a beautiful sunny Saturday was to gather together in London’s City Hall and discuss ideas for ways that London can get the most out of the opportunities that ‘smart city’ developments offer.
london  smart  digital  government 
4 weeks ago
Introducing the three C’s of Responsible Technology
Responsible Technology considers the social impact it creates and seeks to understand and minimise its potential unintended consequences.
culture  internet 
4 weeks ago
Do you need a blockchain?
Blockchain technology is set to have a profound impact on a wide variety of industries, ranging from capital markets to the music business. While some use cases may seem obvious, the technology is still surrounded by its fair share of hype and uncertainty. As a manager, how should you approach the subject, and when should you put your money where your mouth is and actively aim to implement blockchain technology?
4 weeks ago
Defining digital standards for the NHS
With the particular needs of healthcare users and NHS having a strong, trusted brand, we’re noticing more and more that we need to go beyond the GDS standard and define our own universal method.
digital  health  standards 
4 weeks ago
Can government stop losing its mind?
Can government remember? Is it condemned to repeat mistakes? Or does it remember too much and so see too many reasons why anything new is bound to fail?
data  government 
4 weeks ago
The wellsprings of UK digital reform part 1 – the backstory
While there are some great pockets of work taking place to deliver better public services, the UK government’s overall attempts at technology-enabled, or “e-government” or “digital”, reform appear to be struggling to achieve and sustain the benefits promised at the pace and scale originally foreseen. And not for the first time – this has been a repeating cycle of optimism and disillusionment since the mid-1990s. So why is this?
digital  government 
4 weeks ago
Service patterns could be big! (actually .. small)
There’s a knotty systemic and cost problem with local authorities and other public service organisations delivering essentially the same core services in different parts of the country. We all recognise that we are often doing the same thing, but we are stuck doing it slightly differently from each other. The wise understand that standardisation (as we currently imagine the path to it) is impossible and undesirable, but it’s still true that we have unwittingly created a costly ‘bespoking’ market that commercial providers of one sort and another exploit.
digital  design 
5 weeks ago
From USENET to Facebook: The second time as farce
Facebook repeats the pattern of USENET, this time as farce. As a no-holds-barred Wild West sort of social network, USENET was filled with everything we rightly complain about today.
facebook  usenet  communities 
5 weeks ago
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong
By the time OLPC officially launched in 2007, the “green machine” — once a breakout star of the 21st-century educational technology scene — was a symbol of tech industry hubris, a one-size-fits-all American solution to complex global problems. But more than a decade later, the project’s legacy is more complicated than a simple cautionary tale. Its laptops are still rolling off production lines, and a new model is expected later this year.
history  hardware 
5 weeks ago
Blogging is most certainly not dead
Social media is as compelling as ever, but people are increasingly souring on the surveillance state Skinner boxes like Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized media like blogs and newsletters are looking better and better these days…
5 weeks ago
Broken words and why they matter
Digital – as a word – is broken. We have slapped it onto the front of two many old world applications in an attempt to normalise and ‘make safe’ new concepts that at this point saying something is digital is a bit like saying water is wet
digital  transformation 
5 weeks ago
#LocalDigitalSkills – making digital inclusion happen, together
... we want there to be Local Digital Skills Partnerships all over the country.
digitalinclusion  skills 
5 weeks ago
Kick-off for the essex.gov.uk project
To help us understand the ‘as is’ in more detail we’ve gathered insights from available data and call centre staff, tested how easy it is for users to find things on the site and identified some key gaps in understanding around the importance of designing for user need, measurement and accessibility.
web  digital  localgov 
5 weeks ago
10 steps for digital success [from] Hertfordshire County Council
You want people to use your digital service.

You want best value for money when you buy or build new digital services.

Here are 10 steps to success.
digital  localgov 
5 weeks ago
The blockchain primer that George Washington would understand
Fundamentally the most important part of blockchains is not algorithms, nor cloud servers, nor user interfaces — it’s people. More specifically: it’s about accountability between people.
5 weeks ago
Choosing your cake and eating it
When it comes to technology choice, safe-bet right answers of the datacentre era can be two orders of magnitude wrong for containerised microservices — in cash.
cloud  soa 
9 weeks ago
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