Oxford eDemocracy meet up

Oxford has a gorgeous old town hall complete with an ancient ceremonial mace.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture and so you’ll have to make do with this one of Steven Clift and Mary Reid who it has to be said were more interesting to talk to than the Read more…

Zimbabwe Twitterer

Sokwanele, a Civic Action Support Group in Zimbabwe, has used Twitter to bring a Flickr group of pictures to the attention of the Prime Minister via his Web team at 10 Downing Street. The pictures are powerful. Sokwanele are using lots of Web2.0 tools to bring their message to a Read more…

Sidewalks for Democracy Online

Steven Clift has written an essay outlining his wish-list for redesigning online democracy. The central idea is: "The typical e-government experience is like walking into a barren room with a small glass window, a singular experience to the exclusion of other community members.” I agree.  You’re looking at something online Read more…

“ICELE – What is it for?”

Professor Stephen Coleman is getting into his blogging. Yesterday he questioned the role of ICELE and the comments section has hotted up awaiting the arrival of someone to represent ICELE. Professor Coleman feels that ICELE has produced very little (and the little they have produced seems to be quite well Read more…

Coleman connects on Citizenship

That arch-sceptic of bloggers, Professor Stephen Coleman, has succumbed to the lure of blogging (for a week at least) as a guest blogger on Connecting Bristol. He’s just returned from an intellectually challenging conference in Amsterdam to pose some points about the changing nature of citizenship: 1. The rules of Read more…

Horses for courses – local websites

Over on the UKIE-dem mailing list and at Designing for a Civil Society, there has been discussion about the BBC relatively new plans to launch an Ultra-Local network of community sites and the closure of the BBC Action Network. Mick Phythian, a Local Government ICT manager from Yorkshire wrote: Working Read more…

e-Petitions – Rung One on the ladder

The NLGN have just published a paper called 21st Century Democracy – e-petitioning and local government. It is a big title and subject.  The author sees e-Petitions as the solution and there is some logic to it, but I feel she places far too much hope in them.  ePetitions are Read more…

eDemocracy Google Calendar

There’s been a flurry of calendar dates on the UKDoWire email list today.  A while back whilst experimenting with Google Calendars I created one for eDemocracy events.  Clcik on Agenda in the top right of the page to see the events so far listed. This button links to the calendar Read more…

BarCampUKGovweb

I’m a late comer to the BarCamp concept.  In fact I don’t really know what I’m letting myself in for, but the reviews are good and people have encouraged me to join in what is promised to be an invigorating day of unstructured presentation, comment and discussion. The idea is Read more…

eDemocracy buses

A bit like the proverbial buses – you wait all year for an eDemocracy event and then suddenly three (and then some) appear at once.

Yesterday Sophia and I nipped across to the bright lights of Bristol and the Watershed for the Modern Methods of governance – democracy in action or mob rule?.  (A Webcast has been promised).

We heard from Tom Steinberg of MySociety about how ePetitions and "golden pages" can help draw people into engaging with democracy and government.  A view that was put forward in our evaluation of ePetitioner for ICELE (page 8).  Mary Reid continued on ePetitions and Mike Brewin added some Bristol detail.  Ian Wiebkin from Kirklees Council presented the DigiTV project and the imminent digital switchover was hailed as a potential tipping point when interactive TV services could become mainstream.  I am currently sceptical about interactive services on TV and the figures that Ian was able quote from Sky were not comforting.  90% of Sky users have used the interactive service at some point, but nothing about how often they used them and what for.  Personally I don’t know anyone who has ever used digital TV to access a non-TV service, yet last night in the pub (not a Hoxton digirati crew) we found that Mr T, the farmer, was on Facebook and for the next hour a masterclass on social networking and virtual knickers ensued.  I have never heard that buzz about interactive TV services.

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