Info office to monitor blogs
Will brief UK.gov on major online debates
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.
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The next thing that will happen you will post a blog criticizing Gordon and the man himself posts a comment spelling out his policy or is that spinning out. either that or you get your door kicked in and whisked off to the slammer for a little reconditioning.
They can take our (virtual)-lives, and they can also take our freedoms!!!
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Hands up all those who can see this being integrated with the central IT system, ID Cards, NHS IT Scheme, your passport, nectar card and just about everything else you own or thought was sacred.
Before we know it, they'll know what we're going to do from the habits on our nectar/tesco/credit cards, where we're going to do it from our bank statements, who we're going to do it with from the ID cards, if there are any health risks from the NHS Central computers and finally, how it all went by reading our Blogs.
YOUR MIND IS NO LONGER SAFE - RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!
Anonymous? Too-right. I don't want my blog to be read... ;o)
Just subscribe to elReg weekly roundup
Inter company VAT zero rated to reduce the paperwork companies face and fix Carousel fraud.
Quit making everything illegal. Quit making Brits into criminals for no good reason. Roll back all those little nuisance laws twat-man brought in.
2004/38/EC 5(2) fixed, you'd better read up the foreign blogs too.
More Privacy, Less Biometric, fingerprinting, ying yangs.
Quit scapegoating. SUV drivers are not to blame for everything. Car drivers are not satan. More carrot less stick. Fix public transport before you expect everyone to switch to it.