Time marches on

It’s been formally announced that BIS (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) is to move its corporate website over to Sitecore by March next year. Of course, it’ll be a shame to see them moving away from WordPress for the ‘shop window’: but I can say with some certainty that there will still be plenty of WordPress-based activity after the move. 😉
But that March launch date? As you may have noticed, there’s going to have to be a general election in the first half of next year. There are local elections scheduled for 6 May, making it the obvious date to pick for a national poll; although it could be as late as 3 June, and there have been rumours of a date as early as 25 March.
Check your calendars, folks: we’re now into territory where the election date is a factor in even medium-sized web projects. The Cabinet Office’s election guidance isn’t specific about website redesigns, but the thrust of all their advice is to reduce communication activity to a bare minimum during the ‘purdah’ period immediately before polling day. So in the admittedly unlikely event of them calling the election for March, the BIS Sitecore site might have to be mothballed until after Election Day – even if it’s bang on schedule. And then you’re into awkward questions as to whether the behemothic BIS would survive in its current form. It might never see the light of day..?

2 thoughts on “Time marches on”

  1. It certainly has the potential to be very familiar – the DIUS website was also Sitecore and by Eduserv and how long did that last?

  2. There may be a role for Gov Webbies to feed into “purdah” (or the pre-election period as it’s lovingly known in the civil service) advice as this is the first time we’ve had high profile web 2.0 projects running at the same time as a general election. What happens to departmental twitter accounts is pretty clear, but what about semi-personal ones? Do all commentariat-type deployments shut down?
    The answers will probably be very simple, but I’d like to know someone has considered them.

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