Postbureaucrat

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

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Don’t be down with the kids

August 23, 2010

I started my career in market research, where soliciting the views of under 16s is frowned upon without rather a lot of faffing around getting hold of parental consent. Online, surveys tend to ask if you’re older than 16, and if not, chuck you out. On balance, it’s probably a good thing that dubious marketers…

Helpful Technology meets… Podcast: Harry Metcalfe on technology for social good in India

August 9, 2010

Photo credit: PA via the Daily Telegraph At the end of July, the Prime Minister and seven Cabinet colleagues visited India at the head of a huge British delegation of businesspeople, politicians and, unusually, entrepreneurial web developers. I caught up with one of them, Harry Metcalfe of The Dextrous Web, and we talked about the…

The innovation problem

August 2, 2010

Innovation vs Process. Social Media Ninjas vs IT Managers. Agile vs Waterfall. A few tidbits from the fringe of recent O’Reilly’s OSCON conference caught my eye in the last week or so, and helped me think about these age-old battles in a new way. Simon Wardley‘s session takes a bit of following if enterprise IT…

What does more for less look like?

July 23, 2010

The public sector has been paying lip service to the idea of achieving ‘more for less’ for several months now, whilst in many cases conceding that the end result is inevitably less for less. This week, Neil Williams and his team at BIS showed that there’s a way to deliver something better whilst spending less…

How to work with online communities

July 16, 2010

Of all the projects I worked on at DIUS/BIS, the one I am still most proud of is still going strong, if quietly, today: the Mature Students partnership with The Student Room and Directgov. When I wrote about it in February 2009, I explained: There have been some good examples of ministers engaging with online…

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…

2009: The year of Less

January 2, 2009

I’m not going to store up humiliation for myself by posting predictions or New Year’s resolutions for ’09, but from where I’m sitting, I’d say the big theme will be Less. And I’m not being entirely pessimistic. It goes more or less without saying that we’ll all be working smarter and leaner, assuming fewer staff,…