Steph from the Department of Innovation is at it again. I’m really very impressed by his new WordPress theme, Commentariat, which effectively picks up where CommentPress left off. After an internal trial, he’s used it publicly for the first time, allowing people to comment on the Power Of Information Taskforce’s report.
I think he’s correctly identified the weakness in CommentPress: it isn’t meaningful to comment on individual paragraphs. Better instead to offer the content in editorially selected chunks. And that’s what Commentariat does. It makes commenting a breeze: I’ve just been through the entire POIT document, commenting furiously as I went… and I’ve certainly never done that before. The technology is irrelevant: if it’s getting me to contrbute like that, that‘s why I’d consider it a success.
I don’t understand the potential ins-and-outs of copyright (which will be the subject of another post in due course), but I really hope we can find a way to release this ‘properly’ as a theme offered through WordPress.org. It will genuinely amaze people to see HM Government producing something like this, and offering it free to the world. Who says we don’t ‘get’ open source?