Ofcom’s commentable documents

Ofcom’s Tom Loosemore shows there’s still plenty that can be done with Typepad; an ‘interactive’ version of their Communications Market Review has just gone up on the same account used to host their Public Service Broadcasting review blog. It’s actually the second time they’ve done this; there was a similar trial earlier this year, with the PSB Review itself.

It works very much along the same lines as CommentOnThis; or the CommentPress theme for WordPress, as used by Steph at DIUS. But it’s one of the more innovative uses of Typepad you’ll see.

I must admit, I’ve gone off Typepad as a platform: I was finding it too restrictive, too tied to the concept of blogging (where WordPress was open to being used as a lightweight CMS). However, the single biggest thing in its favour remains the ease of setup: £75.90 per year, giving you full design control (unlike, say WordPress.com), generous disk space and bandwidth allocations, a custom domain, and the IT department need never know. News of a next generation platform is intriguing, with the promise of new features in time… but it’ll take a lot to wean me off WordPress now.

Given Typepad’s restrictions, Tom’s interactive approach is quite an achievement. Each paragraph in the document is its own blog ‘post’, with its own comment stream. It looks as if Tom may have spent a few hours last Friday, painstakingly creating each post in reverse order, to ensure they appeared in numerical order on the site’s (reverse chronological) homepage. Not something you’d want to do regularly… and WordPress ‘pages’ would have made it much easier. But hey, full marks for inventiveness!

(Thanks to Ross Ferguson.)

3 thoughts on “Ofcom’s commentable documents”

  1. TBH – I had very little to do with this one, which is the way I like it! It was the Communications Market Report team inside Ofcom who did all the copying and pasting and adding of slideshare links.

  2. Ah… but I knew the mention of your name would draw out the truth! 🙂

    Seriously though, it’s a nice piece of work. Hope it goes well.

  3. I really like it – and the use of Slideshare is inspired (I can see myself directing colleague to the site to show them it in action).

    Since feedback seems to be that people find this functionality useful, the next step must be to find A Better Way (TM) to make this kind of tool something that anyone can roll out, quickly and easily, without the need to reverse-order cut and paste or bodge platforms intended for something else…

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