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

Featured posts

The next step

February 1, 2012

In May last year, emerged blinking into the limelight. It was the product of a true skunkworks operation – a few guys (and they were mainly guys) – tucked away on a disused floor of a government building in south London. The site had rough edges, but it pointed in an exciting direction: Satisfy…

The republic of UKGovcamp

January 22, 2012

Dan Slee’s  excellent suggestion of a ’20 thoughts’ format for reflections on UKGovcamp seems to have caught on, so here’s mine – more about the format than the content, in many cases. That I think Dave Briggs and Lloyd Davis are the very finest of fellows goes, I think, without me saying. No royalty: we’ve…

Farewell @neillyneil

January 11, 2012

So he’s off. Neil Williams, head of digital at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today swaps pinstripes for his dress-down trademark hoody and joins the growing team at GDS. To be fair, he’s been there on and off for nearly a year (as his colleague remarked to me yesterday: ’emotionally, he’s been gone…

The year of living helpfully

December 20, 2011

It’s been 18 months since I last walked the mean streets of Westminster as a civil servant. There are things I miss about the old lifestyle: having the scope to run with projects on the ‘inside’, being in the loop on the latest goings-on in government, and most of all, having a great team around me.…

Walk a mile in our sandals

November 28, 2011

I’ve written a piece for the Guardian’s Public Leaders Network on UKGovcamp, as part our plan to broaden the reach of UKGovcamp in 2012: Informal, social-media driven events like UKGovcamp and the recent WordUp Whitehall have an important role in bringing together SME suppliers, open source specialists and government digital teams to share practical experience and make connections. Participants in the…

Making WordPress accessible to AAA

November 24, 2011

At Simon’s recent WordUp Whitehall event, I presented on the process I went through on a project with BIS/DCMS to create a discussion platform for the eAccessibility Forum. The site went live yesterday, thanks to the sterling efforts of the DCMS Digital Comms team and their WordPress-smart IT colleagues – with a press release from…

How to kill off a brief

November 16, 2011

It’s one thing to run a pitch, compare proposals, pick one, and turn down the others. It’s sometimes hard on the losers, but people know where they stand: they tried, they didn’t get it. But sometimes it’s not as clear cut as that. Sometimes, you’re not quite sure what you want to buy, you chat…

Whitehall in WordPress

November 7, 2011

The clue was in the 150pt slide Simon put up at the start of the day, but actually I think he was just catalysing a conclusion most of the participants in Whitehall’s second WordUp event came to independently: we’re on the verge of a new era of Sharing. 12 months ago, only Number 10 and Defra…