Feeds

Minister wants more mashups

'Wiki thinking is the way of the future'

High performance access to file storage

The new minister for transformation has advocated the cause of user generated content on public websites.

Tom Watson said one of his priorities for the transformation of government is that data mashups, in which users can take and combine data to meet their own preferences, becomes embedded in the thinking of all departments.

Speaking at the Tower 08 conference, organised by the Cabinet Office and IT industry association Intellect, Watson said: "Government is engaged in a big debate. I genuinely think if anything holds us back it's failing to comprehend the possibilities of what we can do with data mashups. My job is to explain it across government."

As an example, he cited work done by mySociety.org and the Department for Transport on producing commuter maps, and said the Cabinet Office is talking with the charity about further possibilities.

Watson also reiterated the government's support for the principles outlined in last year's The Power of Information report (pdf), which advocates the increased use of public sector information by the public, charities and community groups. There are 14 specific recommendations in the report. He said the government will report on its willingness to follow them "shortly", and acknowledged it would entail a change in attitudes.

"One of the things for service delivery that we need to know is what customers are saying," he said. "We need a cultural change, and 'wiki thinking' is a way that we can go forward."

Watson's speech placed a heavy emphasis on the potential of web 2.0 projects, in which content provided by users is the central feature of a website. He said government can use the technology to provide tools that would give people more power in their dealings with the public sector, but that so far it had not done enough in the field.

"The public sector has not been making transformation quickly enough," he said. "I see my job as helping to accelerate the pace of change.

Among the other priorities he mentioned for the next few months are to continue the programme of reducing the number of government websites, with an increased emphasis on Directgov and Businesslink, to improve content on these two sites, and to use new media to engage the public. He said this would involve more experimentation.

"We need to build stuff small, test it, then iterate, iterate, iterate," he said.

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.