Jean-Luc, the Borg and LG web sites.

Martha Lane Fox

Some years back DirectGov here was the butt, rightly or wrongly, of many a jibe by local government web officers. Things have changed. They have collected up their skirts and are now running at a pace that can’t be ignored.

Moreover with the governments avowed intent to rip the costs out of just about everything, the pressure for us all to be subsumed by a single giant beast grows. And of course DirectGov is being reviewed at present. My concerns were not helped at all by reading La Lane Fox’s  tweets this week (Martha Lane Fox, she who is doing the review)  where she is commenting about her being immersed in Direct Gov.
Martha’s Tweet
………………………………….
Marthalanefox

i have now read so many documents about directgov that my brain is melting – time to think now….

1:03 PM Sep 17th via web
…………………………………………..

As Martha is the Governments web guru you’d be best to take notice of  her sneezes and consider them as possible harbingers of the industry catching a cold.

More on the review of Direct Gov here…

where it says…

“The review of Directgov will focus on four key areas. These are:

  1. central government’s objectives in digital delivery
  2. who should do what?
  3. sharing the platform
  4. trends in digital delivery”

It’s the 2nd and 3rd elements that make me twitch.

Out in the Shires the more forward thinking can see a future where individual ‘district’ sites may be redundant. It’s argued they could become a part of a single whole.

It takes little stretch of even the most unimaginative to see this potential grow into something larger, possibly into a giant pot into which we all place our content. In fact into Direct.gov.  As ever it’s the detail that may frustrate the process. The detail in fact in managing that process. Like keeping thousands of marbles together on the deck of a pitching ship. Tricky

Is this a view of an alternative future do you think; a future where we have no individual sites but share our data with a mother brain? Very “Jean Luc and the Borg”.

OK, I’ll give you,  it’s a black view of a strange landscape but one that I wouldn’t gamble on not happening.

Of course there remains a small element of LG web sites difficult to centralise i.e. the Comms element, but I’m sure that’ll not be allowed to stand in the way of the great God “Kostensenkung”. And perhaps that’s how it should be.

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2 thoughts on “Jean-Luc, the Borg and LG web sites.

  1. There is a lot to be said for the concept of “common content”. For example, why re-write content already written by the Planning Portal?

    Where content solely explains what the law says and what is a standardised procedure I would rather our web authors direct users to DirectGov, Planning Portal or BusinessLink.

    What I want our website to is provide the local perspective, explain what we do, who does it and when we do it: in effect, providing a portal to online services and information, adding value and banging the drum.

    That said, we’ve had a not very happy experience with “common content”. Having agreed the portal approach with our local partners, only one service area took up the challenge. The authority repsonsible for that content never updated the content, then gave us a week’s notice of pulling the plug on hosting.

    As for DirectGov, as a user I have found it very useful!

  2. Further proof (if such were needed) that UK.Gov just doesn’t “get” the web.

    Can we all stand from the rooftops and scream “It’s about unstructured information, not structuring it all” ?? Not that that would help either. But we’d all feel better.

    Come to think of it, why don’t we have One Website for The Entire World. Isn’t that the logical conclusion of this madness??

    I speak as a former Member E-Champion……

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