Social Media and Modern Ways of Working to Civil Service Live


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presentation to civil service live conference 1,2,3 April 2008 Alex Allan, William Perrin

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Social Media and Modern Ways of Working to Civil Service Live

  1. 1. Social media in government – CS Live Alex Allan Chairman, JIC William Perrin Transformational Government Links to resources can be found at
  2. 2. Social media – new ways of sharing information and doing business <ul><li>Getting information from point A to point B to form policy or deliver a service </li></ul><ul><li>Written information </li></ul><ul><li>Face to face information </li></ul><ul><li>Social media - beyond A-B - what about C and Z ? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Written information - 35 years ago Note to Heath about Margaret Thatcher’s suitability as a Minister for Fair Trading. Nov 1972 Telex – No10-Chequers Thatcher Archive Classification Main body of text Addressee and routing Title
  4. 4. Written information - today Title Main body of text Copy list Classification - often missing Routing metadata (concealed)
  5. 5. 35 years – any progress….? Title Classification Main body of text Copy list
  6. 6. Face to Face – 35 years ago Picture of Queen Paste Board Men listening to each other Notes being taken
  7. 7. 35 years on – Face to Face Dubious PowerPoint diagram Women and men listening to presenter A little note taking Everyone sitting back
  8. 8. 35 years – any progress…..? then – emphasis on communicating now – emphasis on listening to pictures “ ..slideware often reduces the analytical quality of presentations. In particular, the popular PowerPoint templates usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning, and almost always corrupt statistical analysis.” Edward Tufte
  9. 9. Publishing 154 years ago…. Northcote-Trevelyan report – foundation of modern civil service Command Paper Crest Generally un-engaging, huge process behind the scenes
  10. 10. Publishing today….. Crest reassuringly prominent Still hard to get excited Command paper Report about radically new ways of publishing information………..
  11. 11. 154 years – little progress Processes still paper driven, in lock step with Parliament, publication in big lumps at long intervals
  12. 12. Limitations – traditional and modern practice <ul><li>Compartmentalisation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Limitations – traditional and modern practice <ul><li>Donald Rumsfeld Ontology </li></ul>The Unknown As we know, There are known knowns, There are things we know we know. We also know There are known unknowns. That is to say We know there are some things We do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, The ones we don’t know we don’t know.
  14. 14. Limitations – traditional and modern practice <ul><li>Contained networks that die silently as originators move on </li></ul><ul><li>Tangled information flows - duplication and waste </li></ul><ul><li>Audit difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Self fulfilling and perpetuating </li></ul><ul><li>Practice embeds ‘knowledge is power’ </li></ul><ul><li>Artificially increases price of information, inhibiting its use </li></ul>
  15. 15. Paradox – traditional and modern practice <ul><li>Easier to find information in American public sector </li></ul><ul><li>on the web than in the office next door </li></ul>
  16. 16. Blinkers starting to come off
  17. 17. Rightsnet – public discussion forum
  18. 18. PBWiki – it’s free and simple
  19. 19. Basecamp – collaboration $12 a month
  20. 20. CabCam – video media inside Cabinet Office
  21. 21. UK CS in Facebook – 7,000 strong
  22. 22. Ministers blog publishing policy in real time….. Meeting blogged before I got back to my desk Consultation in demotic, online language 43 responses in 24 hours
  23. 23. Colleagues tell you where the good stuff is……. 484 people Digged this story
  24. 24. Whitehall - Britain’s most important knowledge factory… … .but with antiquated tools
  25. 25. What does this mean for civil servants? <ul><li>Things are about to change, radically after 30 years static </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Council working on collaborative tools </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge will be spread all over the networks </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge will be persistent and searchable </li></ul><ul><li>Less effort to find information </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge for working practices and IT </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet Office guidance out shortly </li></ul>
  26. 26. Now…… <ul><li>What have you done using social media you are proud of an you think we could learn from </li></ul><ul><li>Wouldn’t it be better if……. </li></ul><ul><li>Use PBwiki to create list of opportunities and improvements things we could do better on the web </li></ul><ul><li>If you were god for the day/had a magic wand….. </li></ul><ul><li>Use traditional boards to stick suggestions on </li></ul><ul><li>Or (if no time) go to </li></ul>Copyright notice – if you claim copyright for any of the images or screen grabs please contact me and I should be delighted to acknowledge or rectify. Otherwise Crown Copyright applies Some of these slides were originally used by William Perrin at a National Archivists Conference in Manchester