LocalGov Digital Voice round-up 15 June 2014

Not had time to dip into our stream of blog posts from across the sector this week? Don't worry - we've pulled together a weekly round up so you catch up.

Firstly, it's been great to add some new blog feeds to LocalGov Digital Voice this week and bring even more thoughts from across and around the sector together in one place. In the last week we've added Phil Jackman, Albert Freeman and Kate Sahota.

Phil works in public sector ICT in the North East and is currently blogging on the them of 'A Year of Work in Progress', providing insights into the daily challenges and successes of his working life.

Albert Freeman works for Bradford Council and as well as writing the odd guest post for LocalGov Digital, is also blogging on the challenges he's taking on around digital communications and channel shift. This week he's written on use of Vine and Instagram in local government.

Kate Sahota is a member of the LocalGov Digital steering group and a Programme Manager at Warwickshire County Council. Kate is getting her blogging mojo back by sharing the good (and the bad) of her current work. We're expecting to hear about digital skills and capabilities - a focus for Kate right now - but her first post is about starting with user needs.

If you're blogging and would like to be included on LocalGov Digital Voice then let us know. It's a great way to share your challenges, opportunities, lessons and work with other practitioners in and around the local government sector.

If you aren't blogging yet and don't want to start your own site but have something to share - let us know, we're happy to accept guest posts on this website.

What has been hot this week?

Local.gov.uk and a Local GDS

The 'local.gov.uk' debate goes one with talk splitting into discussion on if / how this could work and the more practical, platform focused debate. We expect more posts along these lines in the run up to LocalGovCamp and the Makers' Hack Day next week. 

Ones to read this week are some thoughts from Ben Cheetham and an idea from our vice chair Phil Rumens about taking inspiration from the model used to form a national cricket team to pull together a Local GDS.

Practical prototyping and service redesign at XJam

A few posts from our chair Carl Haggerty on  XJam. As part of Devon County Council's drive to 'think different, do different' they took part again in the global GovXJam. 

In this post for the council's CreateInnovate blog, Carl sums up how during the event collaborators created two working prototypes, joined up with other events around the world and created a physical space for collaborative working. He also shares feedback from those who joined in. Sounds like pretty exciting stuff!

#ComsAcad

This week was the LG Comms Academy held over three days in Manchester. There have been loads of tweets from the event which saw communicators from local and central government come together to share and develop best practice. 

While communications is only region of the digital landscape it's well worth digging in and checking out some of the issues debated including user insight to drive behaviour change, predictions on the next big things in local government digital communications (big data, gamification, personalisation, quantified self and inclusion), as well as practical sessions on a variety of tactics. 

We suggest you start with tweets from Sally Northeast or check out Comms2point0 for more of this sort of stuff.

Data, future public services, channel shift and more...

There's always a wealth of practical posts on Voice and this week has been no different.  Kevin Jump's love of data has led to a series of posts summing up new council websites which have launched since April, council sites currently in beta, common features across all council homepages and a look at the most likely top tasks and common search words. Take a look at the Jumoo blog for all this and more.

There's also a great post from Sarah Richards on getting data from user feedback.

And Steve Halliday provides an update on the next phase of the pilot to get the Government Digital Service performance dashboard out to local government. The next cohort of councils are signed up and will be trialling three new transactions (renewing a library book, council tax and concessionary travel passes) and Steve has blogged on what has happened so far and what happens next.

Last but by no means least, there's been some commentary and thoughts on the GDS tool allowing, for the first time, people to register to vote online. Dan Blundell muses on what this might mean for digital services in the future.  A post by Dan sharing some wise words on channel shift has been incredibly popular when we posted through Twitter so if you haven't already give that a read too.

Last week's key events

It's been a busy week for events of interest to LocalGov Digital. We've already mentioned the LG Comms Academy but there's also been a meeting about the next phase of the Performance Dashboard, a Really Useful Day in Peterborough and a chance to explore GDS assets that could be reused in local government. 

We're in the process of pulling together a collaborative events calendar, showing details of events posted from many sources across the sector. If you'd like to get involved in this work then get in touch.

On Twitter

There are some good conversations happening ahead of LocalGovCamp (20 and 21 June) around possible sessions. Those suggested already include looking at barriers to collaboration in the sector and prototyping the process of collaboration at scale (Carl Haggerty); cross-sector collaboration (Mary McKenna); a simple comparison framework for open source CMS (Sarah Lay); and creation of an open gov standard to allow digital transactions across all local government authorities (Dan Blundell). Jonathan Flowers, Mark Braggins, Simon Gray and Martin Howitt are also adding ideas to the list so check out #localgovcamp hash tag on Twitter to see these and join in. 

Join the discussion on @localgovdigital or @localgovcamp and hashtags #localgovdigital and #localgovcamp.

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If you'd like to add your blog to LocalGov Digital Voice or write a guest post for this website then get in touch.

We do a daily selection of links from across the sector and industry each week day on Twitter - follow @localgovdigital to get them in your stream.