Follow Fridays – Gov special edition

So back in October I did a little post outlining my first four ‘follow Fridays’ for Twitter. I made some vague commitment about doing it again but never got around to it. Until now 🙂

This is a Gov-ish special edition as UKGovcamp is only one week away. There could obviously be many more than this four but I am writing this in my lunch break and timing is running out! Some other accounts worth looking at are @icerunner , @neillyneil , @tomskitomski , @canywaitogo (especially if you are a Spurs fan!) and @dominiccampbell.

@jkerrstevens – Justin is a dodgy mix of Aussie and Scot so rugby wise is as close as it gets to the devil for a England fan like myself! Once I forgave him for the disadvantages of his birth it turned out he was a top bloke 🙂

I first met Justin when he was at DIUS and I was working for HEFCE. We found ourselves sharing a common agenda in the early days of selling the ideas of the social web and things like unconferences into an environment not exactly accepting to them.

Justin is a genuine Government comms guy who understands the policy and campaign side of things (especially on the heath side) and just happens to also be an advocate of the digital side of things (unlike myself who ha slittle clue when the topic strays away from the latest shiny digital product!)

@lesteph – I first met Steph in person during my short-lived spell at Becta. He was Head of Digital at DIUS and in many ways was Justins successor. Since those early days he has been involved in an awful lot of the interesting innovations happening with the Government digital stuff and since he abandoned the civil service life for the excitement of his own company little has changed.

One of the dynamic duo who organise UKGovcamp (alongside dangerous Dave – who also deserves a follow) he is someone who has never failed to be helpful when I have hit Twitter with a question or a crisis – and at least once has fixed a tricky sys-admin problem for me!

@dafyddbach – I haven’t actually met Dafydd in person yet and have only really known him on Twitter for the last 9 months or so but he has quickly become a great contact that I look forward to eventually buying a pint of Brains SA for 🙂 Dafydd was at Consumer Focus where he implemented a number of great web projects – including one of the first moves of a corporate NDPB site to Worpress. These days he is a part of the growing Government Digital Service at Aviation House in Holborn and is fast becoming a valuable voice for that team.

@nicepaul – I have only met Paul once, briefly at the original Alphagov preview, but we know people in common and it has been interesting following him over the 9 months or so. As friends like Stef can atest to I have no feel for the subtleties of design and user experience at all and so following Paul through this project has given me some real insight (amongst the rants about letting agents!). I think just the step of hiring someone like Paul so early on showed how different GDS was going to be from traditional Gov web work and it is reassuring to realise just how much effort is being taken on the UX side of things.

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