Yesterday was the second UK Gov Barcamp in London and it seems that alot of folk were saving stuff up to show off at the event (sure that it was just a coincidence though🙂 ) I followed the event online as a Saturday in London rarely appeals and while many of my interests do cross over with many of the attendees at this Barcamp I’m not quite as passionate about some of the political elements as many, preferring my own little corner where the public sector and education cross.
Some of the interesting things I picked up on included the launch of a new site innovate.direct.gov.uk aimed at creating a developer community around the Directgov portal and opening things up considerably. As anyone who knows me will testify to my experiences with the Directgov project I undertook while at HEFCE left me pretty disillusioned with the public sectors commitment to the web and actually led to me changing my career so I’m extremely impressed and pleased with this new direction thats being taken.
Two connected items are the publication of the ‘beta’ version of the Power of Information report and the release by Steph of a new WordPress theme based on CommentPress called Commentariat that is an even more powerful online tool for encouraging interaction with online documents. I have high hopes for the Power of Information report (and god knows it has to be better than the awful Digital Britain report released last week) and will be writing a post devoted to that later in the week.
An early bit of news on the Saturday was that Justin Kerr-Stevens has joined Dominic Campbell at his consultancy FutureGov. Justin was a godsend during the HEFCE/DIUS/Directgov project that sent me doodally even though he wasn’t directly involved and he has remained a valued sounding board via the power of Google Talk ever since so I’m extremely pleased for him. I only know Dominic in a Twitter way but anyone who is as committed to following a team as frustrating at ‘Boro and as passionate about things like SI Camp as well as his work at Barnet is OK in my book so I wish them every success.
Congrats to the organisers (I know Dave was involved but not sure who else) as it seems to have been a real success – certainly apaprt from a post-pizza lull after lunch the Twitter stream remained positive and interesting and the snark was minimal – a real achievement I think!