Digital champion Martha Lane Fox is leading an online review aimed at improving the government's central web portal. The review will remain open until 3 September 2010 and invites the views of the public on four main areas. Firstly, how should the government achieve the objectives of using Directgov to publish new information …
"It's not often you get the opportunity to step back and assess how things should be different, so I'm interested in all ideas – particularly the radical and off-the-wall,"
Well then maybe she should take a look at:
Getting rid of her would be a great saving
And this review is costing what?
Most (all?) companies that have a successful web presence seem to do it without employing an quango wannabe. All Miss Lane-Fox needs to do is look at successful websites. Which are sucessfull? Well, go to few and you will see which work and which don't. Learn from the failures as much as from the success. Look at ones that have high ht rates (Amazon, BBC, ebay) - see how they do it and do similar.
Look at bits of your own site that work - for example, the car tax disk order section works well. Keep that, base the rest on how it works. Especially as other parts of the Gov want to close down my Post Office!
Stick to English. Simple, easy, written by people who speak it as their first language. It is the language of the country, after all.
The fact that they have to ask such questions means they don't really know what they want to do. This is just another example of how DirectGov has failed to understand its purpose.
After that, get some one (thats a person, not a consultancy company), pay them well, but on results, and JFDI. Its not that hard.
And as the tax-payer has already paid for the BBC, how about just asking them to do it?
Whatever you think of their current changes to their sites, they've already got an infrastructure that can cope with much heavier load than directgov, some very clever tecchies, and lots of experience at it.
Certainly a lot better than what seems to happen at the moment - Directgov gave a set of stoned monkeys a bunch of bananas and a spec, and a truckload of used £20s to their owners. Cost us a fortune for a bloody awful system.
No they don't!
The BBC has a great site for presenting content to people. I totally agree with that.
Is presenting content and having a very clever way of delivering one way transactions (comments don't really count as two way) the same as having a channel for delivering government style services to the public? No, it is totally different.
Could DirectGov improve? Yes certainly.
Is the best way to improve to get a really clear idea of what you are trying to achieve and why? Seems to make sense to me.
Missing the point
The point is not whether a government should have good digital delivery. The questions is what does that actually mean. Interestingly, for all your know it all attitude, you did not list one example of where eGovernment is working. Of course hit rate is the right measure for success as well when it comes to tax payers money.
It is more should this come from DirectGov or should each department, NDPB, QUANGO, Local Authority etc. have their own platform for delivering it?
Surely it is a good idea to once in a while say, "This is where we were going, and this is what we were trying to achieve. The world has changed around us, should we still be going in the same direction and trying to achieve the same thing or should we have a rethink?".
I guess for you, setting one target and ploughing money into achieving it is the way forward. I suspect you would like us to carry on with the same plan as we have always had perhaps try and find the best flint for hunting or work out the best way of keeping caves warm. Heaven forbid we actually try and evolve.
let me help you here
"Look at bits of your own site that work - for example, the car tax disk order section works well. Keep that, base the rest on how it works"
what do you need to get car insurance, on-line? (call all of it "bundle A")
what do you need to get a tax-disc, on-line?
"bundle A" + evidence of insurance from the insurance company
Why not just give a stack of tax discs to insurance companies and scrap government provision? That would really save money and improve the service.
Why isn't it going to happen?
The same reason it didn't happen first time around: because that would involve civil servants stopping doing something. cutting empire, budget, etc.
Read this blog
He knows everything about e-gov delivery: http://blog.diverdiver.com/
FFS, won't someone think of us citizens just for once and PLEEEASE put MLF out of her misery.
Surely the best way for the government to present this information, is simply TO DO IT - and own it internally so at least they are responsible for their own content; rather than spending cash on employing the tenuously skilled MLF on the auspices that anyone is really going to listen... or that anyone in the public really cares?
This whole thing stinks of a PR exercise simply to tick a box on a customer engagement checklist somewhere, rather than any real and serious public consultation. Listen to the tone... she wants "general" but "off the wall" comments. WTF???? And "betransformative.com" : what a pile of carp!!! If .GOV was serious, it would have employed someone with an ounce of credibility rather than someone who once ran a website - and not a very good one at that.
So if you're listening Martha, I've got a general but off the wall comment for ya...
"F*** o** y*** par*** *** ***** c***t ** *"
miss 'i don't have a clue' fox
Considering her only good decision was getting out of Lastminute before everyone found out what a pile of poo that was. I could not believe it when we were bought by them, the entire management had no clue about anything but their share options.
May I enquire as to why this article was presented in a uniform black font on a white background?
Hey! Don't knock it until you've tried it!!
OK, so 'off-the-wall' ideas sometimes work, sometimes don't. However, that's how a lot of good stuff comes from. Wright Brothers? Dyson? Sinclair Black Watch? (ok, there's an exception).
But, you all get the drift. Doesn't cost anything to think, does it, folks and folkers?
MFL seems to have her marbles correctly aligned (she's probably worth more than all us 'commentards' put together), so maybe she should'nt be dismissed quite so lightly.
C'mon, lighten up a bit. Although that doesn't nearly equal Thatcher's bizzare appointment of (Sir) Richard Branson as the "Litter Czar" a couple of decades previous, but that's another story. OK, that didn't work, but neither did VIZ's "bottom inspectors", although I expected to see them "under Brown's (snick, snick)" gummint a year or two back....Fortunately, at the last election, he didn't 'winnit'.
OK, mine's the one with Roald Dahl's "Revolting Rhymes" wrapped in brown paper in the pocket*
BBC ? Nice one
"Digital champion Martha Lane Fox is leading an online review aimed at improving the government's central web portal."
Well surely one of the challenges is getting people who don't normally use the portal to - use it. The people who don't won't or can't are unlikely to take part in an online review.
The idea of bringing getting the BBC involved is almost brilliant.
As long as the govt (not just this one) can lose it's obsession with PR driven entrepraneurs.
http://www.directionlessgov.com/ (it's totally safe for work)
this is particularly worth reading
MLF = Attention Whore
On a side note the closeness of her initials to MiLF disturbs me.
Just missing the 'i' there, I mean who wouldn't want to?
@ Andus McCoatover
"MFL seems to have her marbles correctly aligned (she's probably worth more than all us 'commentards' put together), so maybe she should'nt be dismissed quite so lightly."
Why not? As far as I can see she has not had one original idea, or any form of continual success in her career to justify her position here as "Digital Czaress" or whatever the f**k tinpot role title she has been given; and as if to prove that she has no original ideas of her own - she has taken the remit for Directgov and is attempting to get the public to do her thinking for her on the premise that what we say "really matters."
I'm not really sure I give a toss what services are offered by DirectGov. It's never listened to me before - so why now? It's up to government itself to decide what we need to know about it's policies and services - and for IT to determine what I can and can't access online as services.
And as far as I can see, almost every service I need right now is available online from the various HM Gov websites so this sudden altrusitic gesture from MLF is both gutless and pointless.
"She was educated at ... Magdalen College, Oxford, where she read ancient and modern history....After university she showed interest in acting and prison governorship but joined the consulting firm Spectrum, involved in IT and media companies. Her first project was for British Telecom called "What is the Internet ?"... On 16 June 2009, she was appointed the UK Government's Digital Inclusion Champion to head a two year campaign to make the British public more 'tech savvy'. She has argued that "I don't think you can be a proper citizen of our society in the future if you are not engaged online."
Can't agree more
"I don't think you can be a proper citizen of our society in the future if you are not engaged online."
This shows so much about her absolute lack of understanding about people and society. Does this mean my mum is not a member of society? Maybe I should give her a call to find out how it feels to be an outlaw.
FFS indeedy deedy.
so... there shouldn't be any public consultation? or if there is then only reg comments writers are suitably qualified?
seems like most people here would prefer total inaction by the government. perosnally, i think directgov is a good idea in principle and if it can be made better, then good.
stop whining and start submitting ideas lard boys.
Martha Lane Fox is so, like, last decade.
Can't they get Christina Domecq? I mean, she's not doing anything right now, is she.
"so... there shouldn't be any public consultation? or if there is then only reg comments writers are suitably qualified?"
Correct. Please leave all the thinking to us Reg commentards.
Stop wasting money
Fire Lane-fox - shes undoubtedly getting paid loads to tell everyone what we already know - the site is rubbish & unnecessary.
Switch off the portal & stop wasting tax payers money until weve paid off all the debt....
Stick an "under construction" bitmap on the homepage & your work will be done. There you go, I've just saved the Government billions, now wheres my cheque...
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