Bits and bobs for Thursday 29 January 2015

bits-and-bobs

An occasional effort to link to interesting things I have seen. Not convinced about the format yet – let me know what you think.

  • One of my current obsessions is around mobile messaging apps. This interview with the CEO of Kik helps explains why this space is so exciting.
  • Slack has bought a company that does screensharing and voice chat to add to its text based workplace group chat thing. Makes Slack potentially more attractive to those looking for something approaching an all in one internal comms thing. For me though, it doesn’t move the workplace tech conversation on far enough.
  • A post about the future of Medium – published on Medium, of course. I really can’t personally figure out if Medium is incredibly interesting or just really boring. Could go either way – and the crunch will be when it begins to try and create revenue, I suspect.
  • A nice example from Simon Wardley on how to use his value chain mapping method.
  • Tumblr is rolling out new tools in its editor to help people use it to write longer form articles – a bit like Medium. Interesting, but one cannot help but wonder whether this goes against what made Tumblr popular with the people it’s popular with – i.e. quick sharing of memes, videos and so on. Is this Yahoo! starting to fiddle with its marquee purchase?

Enabling government as a platform?

On Saturday at GovCamp 2015, Mike Bracken announced the enabling strategy, the approach GDS is developing to deliver something they call government as as platform.

Here’s the nice, short video that explains it:

Now, this is very sensible and it is hard to argue against it. The one quibble I have is whether this really is government as  platform.

There’s no doubt that what is being proposed is a platform. However, when one thinks of well known platform plays outside of government – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, Google’s Cloud Platform, Salesforce and so on – the point is not that a platform has been developed, but that anyone can use it.

To me, what is being proposed by GDS is closer to a service oriented architecture – in itself a Good Thing and certainly not easy to achieve across as complex a system as government. Instead of building big end to end systems, we have a set of building blocks that can be assembled in different orders to create different systems. This saves time, and money, and creates more interoperable systems.

Perhaps, once all this is in place, the plan is to open it up to other organisations to make use of these service building blocks to develop their own tools. I hope so.

Imagine how good it would be if a supplier to government used the same financial platform that their customers were using? Could make life a hell of a lot more efficient.

Update: From GDS’s Deputy Director, Tom Loosemore:

The Social Media Exchange is coming up!

smex

I’m really pleased to be helping out my good fried Jude Habib with the Social Media Exchange event, which is coming up early in February. There are still a few places available, so I thought I would let folk know about it here.

Here’s the skinny:

The Social Media Exchange (#SMEX15) takes place on Monday 9th February 2015 in London. #SMEX15 celebrates the power of digital storytelling and the impact it has to change the world around us. This event, from digital media trainers sounddelivery, is a series of bitesized interactive masterclasses, practical creative surgeries and networking opportunities to help charities navigate the changing media landscape and exploit the opportunities available to tell your stories. With 20+ sessions available you’ll be able to create your own training plan. Sessions will be led by staff from BBC News, YouTube, Save the Children, MNDA, JustGiving, Mind and many more.

Whether you want to learn about online petitions, viral campaigning, understanding how to work with your case studies, gain valuable insight into working with TV production companies, learn how to be creative with visual content or sound, improve your blogging or social media skills, or simply take away top practical tips from our interactive surgeries. There is something for everyone.

This day is for people working in the charity sector or for the charity sector with an interest in the power of storytelling and the impact it can have – to raise awareness, change perceptions, inspire action, recruit volunteers, engage supporters and generate funds.

Find out more and book tickets now – I look forward to seeing you there!