Postbureaucrat

Personal blogging by Steph Gray, founder of Helpful Digital and erstwhile bureaucrat

Featured posts

Where next for Real Help Now?

February 23, 2009

As Simon Dickson and Dave Briggs have written up, today has seen the launch of a new site aimed at bringing together a range of information and help under the banner of Real Help Now, which I’ve been helping with. So far, there’s not much to say, as Simon says: We aren’t making any great…

Flexible bookmarklists: your friendly listing of Delicious-tagged items

February 9, 2009

A post over on the CILIP blog got me thinking about a couple of minor tweaks to the software behind digitalgovuk (which, lacking inspiration, I’ve called Bookmarklist. Rather than hard coding the base tag, we could make the URL a bit more hackable, and thus generate the same kind of friendly-looking listing of Delicious bookmarks…

Which constituency is that in?

February 6, 2009

I’m learning that old skool stakeholder engagement involves a lot of spreadsheets. We needed to work out which UK Parliamentary constituencies some organisations were in, to identify who needed to be contacted about an issue.  400 organisations, in fact. Could have been a boring day’s work for someone, but became instead quite an enjoyable lunchtime…

Going where the people are

February 5, 2009

It’s been an exciting week, from Digital Britain (now commentable) to Directgov’s SchoolClosures.org.uk prototype, UKGovWeb Barcamp to the PoI Taskforce Report. But right now, I’m personally the most excited about the new Mature Students campaign DIUS is kicking off in partnership with The Student Room and Directgov: Recommendation 1 of the PoI Taskforce Report challenges…

Freeing data, reducing pain

February 2, 2009

At Barcamp on Saturday, Harry Metcalfe of TellThemWhatYouThink and I presented some work we’ve been doing to build a web application which makes it easier to turn PDF versions of consultation documents into structured XML. Before you click on to something more interesting, give me a chance to explain in plain English why this matters.…

Building on the Barcamp buzz

February 2, 2009

Image credit: Neil Williams Like Simon and Andrew (watching from afar), Saturday’s Barcamp left me feeling optimistic about the state of digital engagement in and around government. The Power of Information Taskforce followed this up with the launch of their draft report which sets out an exciting, ambitious and refreshingly specific agenda for what we…

Introducing Commentariat & the POI Taskforce Report

February 1, 2009

I’ve written before about the perennial problem of publishing documents online for comment. The solutions either seem to be clunky, laborious to setup or use, or problematically inaccessible to users without Javascript. The problem remains, but there’s an extra option now, in the shape of Commentariat, a customised WordPress theme we’ve developed at DIUS and…