Blog

Long haul

March 21, 2019

I don't tend to feel I can write much here about the other side of what I've been doing these past nine years - our crisis simulation work. But here's a little flight of fancy into what simulating social media crises has to do with planes. Or something.

Blogging as thinking

December 31, 2018

2008-9 was a good time for me. I was a few months into an amazing new job thinking about how a government department might use social media creatively for communications and policymaking; and in the early months too of being a new dad. Work-wise, our little team did some amazing things that year, from low…

How to be a Very Stable Genius

January 18, 2018

I’ve not pitched a session at UKGovcamp for a few years, but I’m hoping to pitch one this year on something that’s been troubling me for a while. How does social media and digital culture affect our state of mind, and what can we practically do about it? A note of clarification on the title:…

The Traindomiser: a train adventure

October 26, 2017

We were having a family chat over breakfast one Sunday morning about the kind of holidays we enjoy: “Somewhere interesting & exciting” “Somewhere not too bleak” “Go interrailing” “Go somewhere on a beach” As it’s a truth commonly acknowledged that a chap in possession of a weekend must be in need of a coding project,…

Agent O

September 1, 2017

September 2012: five years ago. The paralympic and olympic champions were parading down the Strand. David Cameron and Nick Clegg were crowdsourcing ways to cut red tape. GOV.UK was still an alpha. Luke Oatham quit his newly permanent civil service job to come and work with me. Like all good business decisions, neither of us…

20 things I learned at CommsCamp 2017

July 14, 2017

I’ve been at the annual summer CommsCamp unconference event in Birmingham today organised by the awesome Dan Slee, Emma Rogers and volunteer team. The 20-things-I-learned format is a good one, so here goes again: The General Data Protection Regulation kicks in from May 2018 and we should all learn more about it: not least because we’ll…

Digital Hero: Stephen Hale

March 27, 2017

The thing about digital engagement is, followed to its logical conclusion, it drives a rational person to despair. To do online consultation well, you really need to fix consultation itself, which involves rethinking the roles of Civil Servant and minister, and finding precious pockets of political will and bureaucratic opportunity, rare as hens’ teeth. Focussing on…

In 2016, I…

December 31, 2016

Taking a cue from Matt Jukes and others, here’s some of my abiding memories of 2016, in pictures: Took a bit more time to think and let things percolate on my daily commute into London. Tried looking for answers to Why (which I struggle with), as well as How (which is where I’m more comfortable). Found…