Another new UK gov blog: one for the oldies

You may well have missed the UK’s first Day For Older People – called, extraordinarily, ‘generationXperience’ – on Monday just past. Could they possibly have come up with a less appropriate label?
I initially thought it was a reference to ‘generation X’ – normally taken to be people born in the late 60s or 70s. (Unless we’re officially considered ‘older people’ these days? I ran in a 10k at the weekend where the ‘veterans’ category began at age 35.) Then I thought it might be a Microsoft promotional campaign, accepting that many people are still choosing XP over Vista on new machines.
Turns out it’s actually a government campaign led by DWP, with a few pages on Directgov and a blog at wordpress.com, hiding behind its own domain. When I first picked up on it, the site was down, making me wonder if it had been deleted the day after the event… thankfully they aren’t that stupid. But if we’re all supposed to be marking a national day for this, shouldn’t there be more than two items, one of which is a ‘hello world’ effort? If the big day didn’t even set DWP’s Older People and Ageing Society Division’s creative juices flowing, how could it possibly have stirred the rest of us?
On the bright side – the two-way communication sentiments are encouraging, it’s good to put a human face on it all, and it’s intriguing to see it hosted (for free) at wordpress.com when DWP had its own WordPress installation(s) in-house pre-reshuffle. I guess we have to give it time.

One thought on “Another new UK gov blog: one for the oldies”

  1. Hi Simon – I’m one of the DWP blokes working on the generationXperience blog. Thanks for the comments. This is a learning experience for us which is why Hansard are evaluating the pilot, so observations like yours are really helpful.
    Branding’s a curious animal. We tested generationXperience with people over 50 and other oraganisations working with the target audience who really took to it. Maybe it’s less appealing to people like us who aren’t in the zone yet (!)
    We ‘ve got some more interesting stuff to come and we’ll see how it builds up. Drop in from time to time and let us know how you think it’s going.
    All the best,
    Geoff Ashton
    Geoff.ashton@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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