Where's our Directgov blog?

When the Guardian’s Michael Cross interviewed Directgov chief executive Jayne Nickalls in August last year, he wrote:

In its response to the Power of Information report, the Cabinet Office proposes that Directgov embraces Web 2.0 technology by incorporating a blog in which users exchange their experiences.

Now if it’s really in the official Cabinet Office document, ‘The Government’s Response to The Power of Information‘ (PDF), I’m damned if I can find it. But that’s not the point. We were promised a two-way communication channel with Directgov… and nigh-on six months later, it’s still not here.
Tom Watson’s ‘minister for e-government’ role still hasn’t been explicitly confirmed, as far as I’m aware. But if he’s looking for ideas, there’s one for a start. I hear the Directgov people are waiting to be given official guidance. But now we’ve got a blog-literate minister in charge, it’s as simple as three little words – Yes We Can – and a quick trip over to wordpress.com. We could do it tomorrow. What do you say, Tom? Jayne? Anyone?

7 thoughts on “Where's our Directgov blog?”

  1. Thanks Minister… I’ll keep an eye out. It would be a significant move on two fronts: opening up Directgov to public feedback, and setting a significant precedent for other similarly public-facing work.

  2. To be fair, I notice that Directgov’s new director of comms, David Dilley only started work this week. (See this COI press release which, astonishingly, fails to include his surname!) Still, nothing like striking when the iron is hot, eh?

  3. I don’t remember anything about DirectGov embracing web 2.0 specifically (will have to re-read my copy) but more about government generally embracing it, piloting and partnering to exploit the opportunities. What would DirectGov’s role be in this space? Perhaps as some kind of feedback channel or testing ideas but surely their focus should be on delivering the best citizen-focused information/transactional online channel? Shouldn’t others across government be encouraged to use social media? Otherwise this just sounds like a box-ticking exercise? Isn’t the feedback channel Tom’s blog at the moment?

  4. My vision for a Directgov blog would be: a) a straightforward What’s New channel; b) involving people in its development; c) encouraging discussion of what it should or shouldn’t be doing. All directly relevant to the Directgov site itself, not wider government e-activity. Very much like a typical web start-up’s blog, in fact.

  5. PS: I’m getting loads of traffic to this individual post, but there’s nothing obvious showing up in my search terms or referrals. Where are you all coming from? Use the contact form if you want to keep hush-hush…

  6. I think it’s probably attributable to reccomendation 13.
    Any type of blog on directgov will need to be incorporated into the existing franchise model – which means devolving responsibility and identifying the right department to communicate on behalf of the franchise

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