Mash Ups and We're Not Talking Potatoes

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Presentation by Mike Saunt, Founder, Astun Technology at PSFBuzz North East: Effective Social Networking & Web 2.0 Strategies for Local Authorities - a Public Sector Forums conference, 7 July 2009, Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Mash Ups and We're Not Talking Potatoes

  1. 1. Social, AJAX Technologies and with a focus on data & mashups… Mike Saunt
  2. 2. Who is this guy? This may be a bit of a curve ball I’m not a webbie per se Focus on data integration and publishing Work in the private sector for Councils and the Police (that’s me on the left)
  3. 3. Overview •Twitter - Fad or new media? •Cool technologies • AJAX, Google Maps etc • What about DDA? •Power of the Desk… •Its all about the data • Examples • Live demo •Cash saving example •Summary
  4. 4. Web 2.0 – What is it?  Associated with Social Networking / Collaboration But it is more than just that…
  5. 5. Web 2.0 – What is it?  "Web 2.0" referred to the  ongoing transition from a collection of websites to a full- fledged computing platform  The forming of online communities and engagement  From a technical perspective  computer-to-computer interactions,  the opening of full machine-readable access to databases,  the opening of APIs for machine writing to databases Breaking it down…
  6. 6. Is Twitter a fad or new channel?
  7. 7. Twitter – some thoughts  Do people really follow a council via Twitter?  Would I want Council news via Twitter?  Councillor activities? Maybe to have contact with…  What happened to RSS?  Only around 21% of councils have one  Of those 21% how many audit numbers registered?  Who controls the data in Twitter?  What happens when mistakes go out?  And Twitter turn off delete functionality?  What happens if they go bust?  Who pays for SMS? Are the ‘old school media’ for it?
  8. 8. Twitter – old media against it?
  9. 9. Twitter – old media against it?
  10. 10. Twitter Sometimes old views can be better
  11. 11. Twitter  Great at the Mumbai attacks  Showed the real power  With local authorities  Snow events  Two way communication, find out what concerns citizens etc  Internal communication  From Chief Executive, Director etc?  Some cool things – TwitterPlan  Encourage discussions about planning  Not used solely but as part of everything  Demographics of Twitter users
  12. 12. Twitter  Twitter is  Great & Revolutionary  Some cool things – TwitterPlan  Encourage discussions  Not used solely but as part of everything  Demographics of Twitter users
  13. 13. Asynchronous Javascript And Xml (AJAX), Google Maps etc
  14. 14. Acronyms all around… AJAX Asynchronous Javascript And XML CSS Cascading Style Sheets RSS Really Simple Syndication; Rich Site Summary XML eXtensible Markup Language KML Keyhole Markup Language (Google ‘Earth’ format) TLA Three Letter Achronyms
  15. 15. AJAX…  Make calls to server without page refresh  AJAX prominent with Gmail, Google maps  called it ‘Javascript programming’  Circa 2004  AJAX coined by media bods  Derived from Java applets methods  Embedded in Internet Explorer by Microsoft  Outlook Web Edition  In late 1990’s  Now standard in browsers etc
  16. 16. Cool technologies & Accessibility…  ‘Normal’ Google Maps  No Javascript  But STILL accessible
  17. 17. Cool technologies & Accessibility…  ‘Normal’ Tripadvisor  Option to go to map (i.e. not essential or restrictive)
  18. 18. Cool and leading the way
  19. 19. But no Javascript?
  20. 20. Cool technologies  Shouldn’t be the only means of access  Disability Discrimination Act  Accessibility regardless of access type  Different browsers (non windows, text readers etc)  Different platforms (web, mobile etc)  Silent Billionaire  Google / Search engine optimization
  21. 21. Take a step back to see what has changed since E-Government and what else can we do…
  22. 22. My experiences… I’ve worked with lots of Local Government characters  Through E-Government  And T-Government What has changed over the years?
  23. 23. What has changed? 10 years ago there were lots of data silos with ‘data owners’ (Bureaucrats) Now data is more shared & centralized with ‘data custodians’ (Civil Servants)
  24. 24. Power of the Desk… Bureaucrat -> Civil Servant  Bureaucrat from the French “Power of the desk”  Bureau – “desk”  Krat – “power”  Civil Servant (or public servant)  Servant - “to serve”  Civil - “consisting of citizens” There is a difference…
  25. 25. Power of the Desk…  Historically citizen interactions were made via a desk  Application form filled out and passed over the desk  Civil servant passes receipt or license back over the desk  The desk was the medium  For a bureaucrat it is about CONTROL  For a civil servant it is a means of COMMUNICATION Bureaucrats keep information safe FROM the public Civil Servants manage information FOR the public
  26. 26. Information Age  We’re no longer in a paper based world  People want access to information at any time Government, along with all industries, has tried to address this, with varying success
  27. 27. Information Age  Government stopped printing as many of these…
  28. 28. Information Age  and produced more of these… But has it all been successful?
  29. 29. Information Age  Some companies get the web
  30. 30. Information Age  and some companies not as much
  31. 31. Information Age How can we change? but the way that you do it…
  32. 32. Information Age  The Internet is a new MEDIUM of communication  When a new medium arrives  communication strategies need changing  which means the provision of information needs to change New medium = new rules
  33. 33. The Power of Information Independent review for Central Government...
  34. 34. Power of Information Task force  Report Published  Already driving change  Ordnance Survey has new strategy  Report promoting Government data sharing  i.e. data feeds for mashups…
  35. 35. Data mashups – the fun stuff
  36. 36. Data Mashing  4 quick simple examples  PlanningAlerts  FixMyStreet  BBC Travel News  Cleveland Police localising content
  37. 37. Data Mashing  Planning Alerts  Alerts around Manchester  Live Demo of a basic mashup  Pros  you can access this data easily  Cons  you already have it (most of you)  you don’t control it
  38. 38. Data Mashing  Fix My Street  RSS feed from FixMyStreet  Live Demo of a basic mashup  Pros  you can access this data easily  Cons  you have it sent via email (manual entry?)  you don’t control it / audit it
  39. 39. Data Mashing  BBC Travel News  Obscure XML format and mashup  Breakdown just for Manchester  Pros  You can access this data easily  You don’t have it  It comes from a reputable source  Cons  Not sure – can you think of any?
  40. 40. Data Mashing and Going Local  Cleveland Police  Very simple to implement  Simple drop down boxes in CMS  Localising RSS and how used  Good means for Councils to share data  Districts with Counties?  Neighbourhing?
  41. 41. Data Mashing  Planning Alerts  Re mashing council data that has been already scraped  FixMyStreet  Emails sent – why not collect yourself direct?  BBC Travel News  Great stuff – enough said  Cleveland Police  Example of localising RSS – simply!
  42. 42. A CASH SAVING example…
  43. 43. Considering all channels  Common enquiry is Refuse & Recycling  More so since alternate week collections  One clients has  Around 15,000 unique visitors per year to ‘My Council’ page  Over 700 people registered for localised Alerts  Attribute up to £5,700 PER MONTH for ONE SERVICE via web
  44. 44. Considering all channels Some numbers!
  45. 45. An example…
  46. 46. Why does this save money?  What can we see from these graphs?  November – people can see via website but not sure  December – starting to gain more trust  January – have trust ( nothing wrong!)  February – as January  So back to the numbers  Reduction from around 3000 calls to 1500-2000  1000 * (£4 - £0.17 = £3.83) = £3,833 PER MONTH or  1500 * (£4 - £0.17 = £3.83) = £5,745 PER MONTH
  47. 47. Web 2.0 requires a new approach…
  48. 48. “Web 2.0” it requires a new approach serve online communities remove policy barriers provide open access to your data expect re-use, encourage mashups use standard formats Don’t just be on but become part of the internet
  49. 49. Contact details mikesaunt@astuntechnology.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikesaunt 0788 7777 680 www.isharemaps.com Download Scripts for BBC Travel News processing to KML

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