A quick nod towards today’s New Opportunities (micro)site, in support of the white paper on Social Mobility. Most of it is fairly straightforward, ‘pages in a hierarchy’ stuff; well done, certainly, but nothing particularly special. There are a few points definitely worthy of note, though.
One is the root address: www.hmg.gov.uk – one of many domains pointing to the Cabinet Office’s webserver. It’s a very odd choice indeed; and somewhat ironic, given that the earliest government domains were hmg.gb. Presumably it’s because of the cross-departmental nature of the initiative itself; that would also explain the use of that lesser-spotted HM Government logo.
Another is the inclusion of Flash-based streaming video, direct from the host site itself – as opposed to the usual embedded-from-YouTube method. It’s quite a timely move, given COI new recruit Ross Ferguson’s reflections on that very subject this morning. Here’s one embedded example…
Streaming your own video can get expensive: at respectable quality, that’s a lot of data eating up your monthly bandwidth allocation. But I suppose the DIY approach means you can customise the appearance, see the usage stats, and (crucially in this case, I suspect) get around corporate IT networks’ blocking of YouTube et al.
Then there’s the ‘social media press release‘, which proclaims: ‘We want to encourage debate online and offline about the issues raised in this document, and have made the following resources available for bloggers and journalists to use within their own coverage of the White Paper.’ In practice that means a bullet-point summary, a dozen streamed videos for easy embedding, plus links to external resources and external coverage. It’s a nice package.
To be honest though, I’m not sure the fluffy ‘ordinary people’ video content is right for this sort of thing. I don’t see why anyone would want to include these case studies in their coverage. Surely you’d have a better chance with some pieces to camera from insiders / experts / Ministers? (Not that those are ideal, necessarily…)
As for ‘social mobility for bloggers’ – well, it’s always amused me how easy it is to get yourself some profile in this business. If you can crank out a half-decent blog, people will find you, and your name will become known. There aren’t that many people talking about the subjects I cover here. There’s no magic recipe: just demonstrate that you know your subject, and it’ll pay off. But that’s enough career advice from me… 🙂