Personal blogging by Steph Gray, former digital agency founder and erstwhile bureaucrat


Minding the shop

December 9, 2009

In my line of work, keeping track of the threads is half the battle. At work, we have (for now) three corporate sites, a sandbox, a development environment, and more. We have social media channels – some corporately-managed, many managed by external agencies in support of our campaigns – and an active stakeholder and media…

World of WordPress

September 21, 2009

There’s plenty of WordPress-powered online properties in Government right now and some very busy freelancers building them. For a while now, I’ve been trying to compile a list of useful people, agencies, tools and resources for WordPress, so I thought I’d kick it off here. It’s obviously incomplete, and mention here does not necessarily constitute…

Version 1.1

September 17, 2009

When BIS was created, we were pretty chuffed to have got a solid website built and launched in 72 hours. But as the weeks passed and the organisation started to build up achievements and an identity of its own, people started to ask when something, y’know, a bit meatier was going to arrive. Today, we…

Introducing inboxlistening: follow the online conversation by email

August 4, 2009

This being a personal blog and all, I thought I’d share a preview of a little development project I’ve been working on recently not linked to the day job: Why does the world need another online monitoring tool? There’s Google Alerts to get news and blog mentions by email. There’s Netvibes or Pageflakes if…

Hold the front page

June 11, 2009

Imagine – hypothetically – you go to work on a Friday morning, and by 5pm (after a busy day of coffee and muffins), your organisation technically doesn’t exist any more. After the initial flurry of rebranding, you decide you need a holding website of some sort, to tell people about the newly-branded organisation while you…

What standards and legal requirements do government websites need to take account of?

May 26, 2009

As well as the questions on social media that Neil asked of his recent interviewees, he also grilled them on some of the practical issues of being a jobbing government webby (something he has also covered brilliantly recently). One particular question – to which we didn’t really hear a corking answer from any of the…

Civil Service jobs, your way

March 17, 2009

The Cabinet Office has recently relaunched its Civil Service website and job search function, including a little ‘Developers‘ page tucked away in the footer. That page describes a rather lovely little API which lets anyone – with a freely-available key – retrieve a list of departments, vacancies and vacancy descriptions, including RDFa markup to the…

How to open source your stuff

March 7, 2009

One of the most rewarding things about open sourcing your stuff – for example, some code we developed for an internal project – is seeing what clever people do with it in ways you wouldn’t expect. At my talk at eDemocracy 08, I put up the chart below to try to illustrate four of the…