Feeds

Info office to monitor blogs

Will brief UK.gov on major online debates

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Central Office of Information is developing a media briefings service to inform government about major online debates.

The COI's Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) is working on an online monitoring product to track public debates from blogs.

It aims to highlight those that generate significant debate on government policy and send them out in the form of an MMU online campaigns briefing to government departments.

The move reflects concerns within departments that government is largely ignorant of much of the debate taking place online.

MMU director Clarence Mitchell said: "Clients have told us that campaigning and debating are taking place online to such a degree that there's a whole new medium out there. They don't want to be blindsided by material appearing from the web out of the blue in the external media, so the online monitoring product we've been working on over the last year is really going to help."

It has been working with internet intelligence company 23 Ltd, which uses software to trawl the web electronically searching for blogs that are generating significant public debate. Blogs that generate a significant number of threads and posts register on the system. Human analysis then takes place to consider issues such as how many positive and negative comments have been posted.

Mitchell told GC News: "What we're trying to do is provide a service on a more organised and widespread basis.

"If we get five or six departments to contribute via their regular subscriptions to the MMU service, then we'll be able to launch it."

About 100 blogs could be monitored in the first phase, and these will largely be specified by individual departments. Mitchell said he hoped the briefings would eventually become a daily alerts service.

Several trials have already taken place, including one directed at the "silver surfer" community, and another at debate generated from counter terrorism measures.

"We looked at an online debate among pensioners in a recent budget. The debate looked at how the budget impinged on pensioners, their council tax payments, winter fuel allowances, and so on," said Mitchell.

The MMU is also digitising its equipment to capture incoming media. This will allow it to replace a lot of VHS and DVD recording and enable faster searching and distribution of media to government officials.

It is also at an early stage in developing an electronic cuttings service to complement its regional newspaper monitoring service. This, however, has some way to go, said Mitchell, as the COI's Government News Network regional managers are concerned that such a service could jeopardise the income they gain from print cuttings.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.