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


Open data on the cheap

August 4, 2010

Jimmy Leach, Head of Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office blogged earlier about a quiet little project his team have rolled out, using extended RSS 2.0 feeds to provide access to the FCO’s travel advice data. As he says, the key thing for publicly-funded organisations is to get the information out there, which…

Newsroom: the backstory

June 30, 2010

Cast your mind back if you will to chilly February, amid the growing crescendo/death spiral of pre-election communications. Neil and his team were finishing off the new corporate website, having shunned friends and family for weekends on end. A member of the senior management team came bounding back from a cross government meeting where they…

Public Appointments by RSS

February 6, 2010

In the words of Directgov: A public appointment is an appointment to the board of a public body or to a government committee. Around 18,500 men and women hold a public appointment. The public bodies involved are quite important, including health trusts, museum boards and regulators, some demanding specialist skills in law or social work,…

Adding RDFa to a consultation

January 19, 2010

Recently, I’ve been involved in a project to ensure our consultations support RDFa markup, to make them indexable and reusable by third parties, including Directgov. Without duplicating the quite accessible and useful COI guidance, I thought I’d summarise here the process involved from the perspective of implementing the standard with minimal prior knowledge of the…

Unleashing a Government response

January 18, 2010

A quick one – today at work we’re launching ‘Unleashing Aspiration’: the Government’s response to the review of access to the professions, which was led by Rt Hon Alan Milburn MP and reported last year. The digital brief was, on the face of it, not massively exciting – it’s a long document, covering 88 recommendations,…

Should you learn to code?

January 17, 2010

I was never a born project manager. I didn’t have the organisational skills, the discipline or indeed a sufficient dislike of my colleagues to want to inflict upon them the highlight reports, gantt charts and benefits realisation plans needed for Proper Projects. But in my fairly brief stint as formal Project Manager, I did have…

The Audacity of Growth

January 8, 2010

If there’s one thing Barack Obama taught us about the power of digital by the manner of his election, it’s that email still counts (and, for that matter, still works when you’re in government). For a while, I’ve been determined to focus more on how we use email as a corporate communication channel, particularly in…