Surrey county council has launched a website which brings together a wide range of information on the area. Named Surrey-i, the local authority said that the website will provide residents with data on issues such as roads covered by gritting trucks in severe winter weather, care homes offering places for the elderly and crime …
... those handy dandy booklets with all that info that $city dropped in my mailbox every year, no?
I'd say carry on then. Hope they still have a few booklets with the same info at, say, the local library for those without computer and/or 'net access. The thing is, of course, that this sort of info is just great to have available, but really shouldn't be tied to any single way of delivery. If running a (small-ish) print run is too much trouble, make sure there's pdfs that can easily be run through the old printer or even the local print shop, should there be one in the vicinity. Because some of that info is mighty handy to have around if, say, the power goes out. Some of it especially then. Now that we're increasingly dependent on electricity for even basic things like communicating with the council, we have to have some sort of DR plan, even for the old home.
A website for the non-googlers
OK. This site agglomerates a bunch of stuff about Surrey. Where the schools are, the few roads that the council can't weasel out of not gritting, and which parts of the county are really inner-city hell-holes and not the nice leafy 'burbs we all think of as Surrey.
Fair enough - except ISTM most or maybe all of this information is generally available already. Either from surrey.gov.uk - without the "i" -(which already has a helpful "moving to Surrey" section) or the various organisations that provide these services (we're not in 1995 any more - everyone's got a website). The only feature that this idea has is to bring it all into one (more) place, rather than having to search for it yourself, piecemeal.
So if this is all to help people who are less proficient at searching to find stuff then I suppose the question is: how will they find out about this new service?
...so we lambast gov agency for having a mish-mash of cobbled together sites, where you are endlessly redirected between places to try and find out simple information, so they bring it all (well lots of it) together in a single place and they are moaned about that.
For once they are doing something right(ish) so well done to them.
Now if my local council could do the same so it doesn't take me 2 hours to try and find out the school term times.
Maybe a slightly misleading headline
But I like the idea of a council actually putting useful information on a website and not leaving all my personal data on a USB stick in a car park or losing it on a couple of CDs in the post...
A good start, but more could be done
For a public body, surely the right way to keep all non-personal data is on a server which to which the public have read access, with this being the live, complete, data rather than a dumped copy of the parts they expect people to find interesting?
Even better would be to use some sensible xhtml tagging to make it usefully processable, and if the first council to do this got the tagging scheme right, the others could just use the same scheme.
Remember, they (supposedly) work for us.
You mean surreyi.gov.uk
Re: Named surrey-i?
Nope - look at http://www.surreyi.gov.uk/ and the logo in the top lefthand corner.
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