During the summer a pretty radical (well for the government) paper was published called The Power of Information. Brian Kelly recently wrote about it on his blog and it reminded me I had been carrying it around with me since I left JISC! It took a hard look at government information over the web and made a number of pretty forward thinking recommendations – a number of which could be important to the HE space online. The really amazing thing is the government accepted almost all the recommendations! I wonder whether this is something that DIUS is considering becoming involved with. I would suggest that the ideas considered in the paper would effect the direction of the Directgov offering in the longer term…and a department with Innovation so prominent in its title should be looking at this sort of thing.
Some of the things it recommends include:
- Working with existing user-generated sites rather than creating anything new ones
- Researching what user-generated sites exist in the space and where there is duplication terminating or modifying the gov versions
- Making more use of self-help fora online
- Encourage civil servants to become active in these communities (once given training and guidance)
- Publishing data in open formats that can be re-mixed and re-used
All of these ideas are very much of interest to me (as anyone who knows me professionally is well aware of!) and I’m very interested to see how the government and, more importantly, the individual departments take things forward.