There’s plenty to say about today’s Cabinet reshuffle… and, frankly, plenty of other places to read it.
But of particular interest to this blog and this blogger, I note the move of Stephen Carter from his Downing Street strategy job to the House of Lords, where he will be the Minister for technology, telecoms and broadcasting. It’s being reported in some circles that this is a ‘soft landing’ after ‘no discernible successes’. It’s certainly a return to pastures old: Carter was the first chief executive of Ofcom, the regulator of telecoms and broadcasting.
I’m also hearing rumours about another change in the junior ministerial ranks, of even greater interest to us lot… which I’ll cover if/when it happens.
PS: Interesting to see the BBC’s ‘snaps’ (Twitter?) -style coverage of the day’s proceedings doing so well in their ‘most read pages’ ranking earlier in the day. They’re taking a leaf out of the Sport site’s use of ‘live text coverage’ on a Saturday afternoon… and it worked well. When there was something to say, that is. Similar snappy style on most of the big news sites – Sky , Guardian, various others.
PPS: I see the Department of Energy and Climate Change have got their new domain all sorted out before close of play: decc.gov.uk Still DEFRA nameservers though… 🙂
I’m probably the last to pick up on this news, but for the sake of completeness, I should note the announcement last week of Tom Loosemore‘s imminent move from Ofcom to Channel 4’s 4IP.
With the demise of the notion of a Public Service Publisher online, quoted by Tom as ‘one of [his] areas of focus’ in moving to Ofcom, and 4IP’s stated vision of ‘re-inventing the way public service media is developed, commissioned, funded and delivered’, it seems like a natural move. Hopefully it’ll give 4’s efforts a sense of direction; I’m really not sure what their efforts are actually aimed at, and their new media efforts rarely shake the foundations.
Tom’s an occasional commenter on the Puffbox blog, so let’s see if he rises to the bait: does this affect your involvement with Tom Watson’s Power Of Information Taskforce?
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.)
The only surprise about Ofcom launching a new blog, in support of its review into Public Service Broadcasting, is that it’s taken so long, with veteran blogger Tom Loosemore over there. (It does bear an uncanny resemblance to Tom’s personal blog, actually.) With electronic communications being part of its remit, and its stated objective to ‘remain at the forefront of technological understanding’, you’d have expected them to be an early adopter. (See thoughts from BBC man Nick Reynolds on a related subject.)
This new blog is hosted on Typepad, which I used to recommend for people keen to run a ‘bog standard’ blog, especially if hosting was going to be an issue – but don’t any more. My experience is that people inevitably want ‘normal website’ features at some point, and Typepad really isn’t geared up for that. Not to the same extent WordPress is, anyway. (Another recent gov.uk launch on Typepad is the Dept of Health’s Diabetes blog, for whom Typepad’s instant availability was the primary motivation.)
Meanwhile, across the blogosphere – I’m just a little surprised by the ultra-personal tone of David Miliband’s latest post: reflecting on Arsenal’s performance on Tuesday night. Well done for the attempt to tie it into European politics. And yes, for the record, I have to agree on the sentiments. I’m not sure we’ll see Philippe Senderos surviving the summer: occasionally he does OK, but that’s not really good enough.