Year of the Dog: White Dew

bái lù 白露


Slightly disrupted couple of weeks due to a combination of bank holiday, events, bomb scares(!) and ill health. Still a few things to report on (warning this is a total brain dump from a man dosed up on Lemsip Max!):

  • Sent in proposal for a piece of work I am really keen on us doing after my assignment at the BBC is over — I really enjoyed writing it and also seeing what a difference having a professional Bid Writer (not to mention award winning sci-fi author) on the team makes. He definitely transformed my words into something much more compelling. Fingers crossed on this one.
  • Did a pitch meeting with Onkar and Sam from Gulp Digital at a major Government department. I’ve known Onkar for a while but this was my first time meeting Sam and we were in front of the potential clients just 20 minutes after saying hi! I thought it went pretty well as far as I could tell — we had pretty good answers for most of the questions and were honest and didn’t blag it when we didn’t — something I always appreciated when on the other side of the table. Again — fingers crossed.
  • The BBC Datalab team were all attending an AI conference at New Broadcasting House on Monday — I went along early to help set up and make sure everyone knew what was happening. We had a little stand and I ended up leaving my Pixelbook there for the day to power the screen. The plan was to head back later in the day after a trip to Westminster to (a) collect my laptop(!) but (b) to say hi to a bunch of non-BBC folks who were there. This got totally messed up though by a bogus bomb scare which meant I couldn’t get back into the building! Thankfully my Pixelbook was rescued and nobody was hurt.
  • I have a busy Autumn out and about I’ve realised — these things kind of creep up on you when you manage your life over multiple un-synced calendars (which I spent two hours trying to sort this week!). In September and October currently I have the following booked in →
    – SwanseaCon (speaking)
    – ProductTank 
    – Product West (speaking)
    – ThoughtBubble 
    – Citizen Beta 
    – MapCamp 
    – Weeknotes/Practical Democracy Project meet up (speaking)
    – All Tech is Human (New York)
    – Dave Chappelle / Jon Stewart 
    – Mozilla Festival
    Say hi if you are at any of these — it might be your only chance this year as I’ll be in hermit mode until Christmas after all this!
  • I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the lessons I have learned from my interest (some might say obsession) with the failures of hiring process in digital government and the wider public service internet. I wrote a couple of blog posts and it looks like I will get the opportunity to give some talks on the topic as well. I’ve decided though that I don’t want to do this alone and it would benefit from a different voice/perspective so hopefully I’ll be partnering up on the talks — I’ll leave her to reveal herself though 🙂
  • Had a really good chat with Jim Bowes who runs Manifesto Digital and presents the ‘Alexa, Stop’ podcast. Manifesto are one of our partners in The Panoply and actually they do a lot of work which is probably a bit more ‘me’ traditionally than Notbinary so it was good to have a catch up and see if there were any opportunities to do things together. I also got to have a wander around Shoreditch High Street which was a trip!
  • Really loved this post about the user needs conundrum for the new Parliament site — agree with it pretty much totally as it is similar to our thinking back in the early days of the ONS stuff.
  • This article about public sector procurement and digital totally pissed me off — totally misses the point, it full of terrible takes and factual inaccuracies and talks to nobody sensible at all. I did like the title though.
  • Not sure how I had never come across AND.digital before but found them this week and now am totally in love with their Clubs/Squads organisation model and totally want to be Chief Squads Officer!
  • Oh and in amazin #weeknotes new Matt Ballantine will hit his 400th weeknote today!

That’ll do. I’m cream crackered.