There already has been much said about the news that MPs have awarded themselves £10,000 to spend improving the public understanding of parliament. MySociety have added to the noise with a very sound request for MPs to sign a pledge on Pledgebank saying they will give £2,000 of the allowance to a competition pot to be spent on joint tools. As the cost of selling is such a large part of the cost of projects like I’m a Councillor, I think this approach could be beneficial and I hope a MP kicks it all off very soon. A link to the pledge will hopefully follow.
It’s good to present on the first day of a conference. You get it out of the way and can start to enjoy the social (read liquid) elements in much more depth. The danger is Read more…
Dr Darren G. Lilleker · 3rd April 2007 at 12:35 pm
It appears there is a lot of money already being invested in the online presence of HM Gov by the COI and I was told that there is space for MPs to build a website within the parliament.uk web space. There are also a variety of ways for constituents to find out about their MP (for example: They work for you) that this seems to be money that could be wasted either because it is unnecessary or will be put into a pot that few actually dip into. The initiative to me misses the point. MPs will want to use this to reap the benefits of incumbency, if they are not allowed to do this then essentially it will be of no use and so the money could sit around doing nothing.
While I await to be convinced if there is a citizen demand for MPs on the web, I do think that this process needs thinking through. The first rule of building a website is considering its core function, Jack Straw seemed unsure of the real function to the users (host or visitor).
ShaneMcC · 3rd April 2007 at 1:02 pm
There has been lots of money spent and much of it unwisely, but it would be a mistake to simply say we will spend no more. I don’t think the money that MPs have now made available to themselves should be spent on a simple website as per what parliament.gov.uk might allow. I don’t know exactly what would work best but the decision creates a market for innovators to think what might be the best approach. The MySociety “pool the money” approach is a step forward because it could help get the money spent more efficiently if MPs decide to actually spend it.
You are right that the process needs thinking through and I too have seen no evidence that the end-user has been thought about. But perhaps now some brains outside of parliament might do that thinking for them.