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Friday, May 23

I can't get no satisfaction

Rather than wait for his local council to start listening to 'customers', blogger Jon Bounds used the new website to set up a channel for 'customer feedback' about a Council.

So he did one for his - Birmingham City Council, the biggest in the country - and it's already got some damned reasonable questions on it like:


The trouble with both this and also with fixmystreet (what was neighbourhoodfixit) is the connections between ignoring such sites and their complaints/ideas and the consequences — especially the political consequences. And councils are ignoring them, I added something recently to fixmystreet and noticed that there were many others in my local area which hadn't been addressed one year on. And by 'not addressed' I mean ignored, because the email generated went somewhere.

All those people come away with a negative impression of the council as their consequence, and perhaps most importantly the people in charge of the council.

I don't think councillors, almost all of them anyway, have yet seen what's happening on such websites and thought - ahah! if I don't address these community issues I might lose my seat. Whereas if these issues made it into the local paper even in one letter to the editor, they would.

There's a tipping point of recognition which none of the political parties and only a few councillors have made.

It will happen but there's a political recognition here as much as anything else which they need to make and perhaps those advocating this type of engagement need to bang on about.

HT: Dave Briggs

Thursday, May 22

Google Reader clips catch up

er, way behind here what with other work to do and all that. So quite a lot, some may become posts, starting a new Firefox Scapbook thread sounds like a good idea ...

  • The Food Vision project
    via IDeA Knowledge. Website "promoting good practice and projects that deliver safe, sustainable and nutritious food and improve local community health and wellbeing. The case studies and toolkits within the site are designed to help and inspire those intending to set up similar initiatives." Phew! Hardly 'plain english' and government creating another website? Shurely shome misshtake?

  • Voter File 2.0: Catalist, Democratic Tool
    via techPresident
    Catalist is building on the lessons of 2004 (where Democrats had a database meltdown) and working to build a 50 state national database with the names of 180 million registered voters, plus 75 million unregistered people (for use by voter registration groups), enhanced with commercial data, specialty data (like who owns hunting licenses), integrated it with the Democrat's VAN application, and with a tool for subscribers to mine the data. Catalist's goal is to be a permanent piece of progressive infrastructure.
  • BBC's embedded player boosts traffic by 50%
    via PDA by Jemima Kiss
  • Change 101
    via BuzzMachine - Jeff Jarvis
    I’ve been teaching the faculty itself in all the tools of online: blogs, wikis, RSS, video, SEO, and on and on. The best part of this has not been my colleagues’ receptivity to, curiosity about, and eagerness to adapt the tools themselves in their classes but the discussion we have shared about the impact of these tools on journalism and education. We’ve had rich back and forth on the new architecture of media and news that the impact of this change on journalism education.
    Here’s the Keynote we’ve been using as notes for this discussion.

Here are the relevant slides about the interactive program

Feature Daily Express Daily Mail Daily Mirror Daily Star Financial Times The Guardian The Independent The Scotsman The Sun The Telegraph The Times
Apology Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Standard navigation Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No No
Site map or directory Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No
Search box Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Contact link No No Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Retains URL No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes