W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-egov-ig@w3.org > December 2010

Re: Proposal to structure new eGov IG

From: Mischa Tuffield <mischa.tuffield@garlik.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 13:50:54 +0000
Cc: <chris@e-beer.net.au>, "W3C eGov IG" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <B2E7FD0A-C341-4E3D-8CDB-B06A4068AF1C@garlik.com>
To: Hugh Barnes <Hugh.Barnes@nehta.gov.au>
Hi All, 

I have been lurking on this list, and have some points I would like to raise with regards to your decision to look at the user of Social Media for government organisations. 

I [1] am a researcher/developer at Garlik [2], a UK startup, and I was one of the authors of the "A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web" [3] and will drop my 2 cents inline further down this email. 

[1] http://mmt.me.uk/
[2] http://www.garlik.com/
[3] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/XGR-socialweb/ 

<snip>comments inline</snip>

On 20 Dec 2010, at 01:42, Hugh Barnes wrote:

> Chris wrote:
>> Oh - suggestion - in addition, the IG could produce a monthly news digest of e-Gov related material from the W3 (and Governments/elsewhere?), with each TF using their W3 liason contacts with other W3 groups to collate news of relevance within thier sphere for inclusion.
> Absolutely.
> What I have thought for a while now would be useful is a "this week in "-type summary/digest of activity. This should be targeted at time-poor followers who want to know what is being done and what is being debated. I know from my own experience that it can be very difficult to get back up to speed with goings on after one "drops the ball", so to speak. You can't find a way back in and you're lost forever (it seems).
> It requires a keen community-minded person to create such a summary. An example is http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Community_Updates for the OpenStreetMap community. I'm not volunteering.
> (Also, it's especially difficult to follow threads with all the lengthy top-posts. Really, inline replies work much better for many readers ("me" :) ) and archive searchers.)
> Now I'm going to abandon thread context (for reason above) and address a few things I noticed:
> * could someone explain the reason to single out accessibility as an eGov focus [1]? I've been a huge accessibility advocate since long before it was fashionable and I understand that government information *must* be published accessibly, but surely this is a given and there are plenty of general accessibility resources available that do this job? What am I missing about eGov?
> * use of social media should be singled out for guidance as an effective tool for engagement [1], but please can we use generic terms? Twitter is a single application platform owned by a for-profit corporation. Let's call it microblogging. My personal belief/hope is that federated open microblogging of the type available with StatusNet [2] will be the norm, probably after Twitter annoys everyone with their profit-making initiatives (which I understand they are under pressure from investors to pursue). Should W3C be encouraging private networks, even if they are in many respects, at least now, "open"? See also "A Standards-based, Open and Privacy-aware Social Web" [3]. </rant>

I am personally on a bit of mission trying to get the http://www.nhs.uk/ to make sure that they are being responsible with their use of social media on their website. And I feel that they way they have implemented their social features are irresponsible and negligent to say the least. I wrote up my issues with NHS Choices implementation of Social Features [4], and it has got a bit of traction with the press [5] [6] and with MPs in the UK [7]. Saying that, I received a thoroughly inadequate response from the NHS, and my next step is to make an official complaint to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)[8].

It should be noted that it is technically possible to host "social features" on your website whilst being responsible, insofar only allowing third-party communications to happen after a user explicitly clicks on a social feature. This is not how the NHS have implemented their site, and in my view this is wrong.

I am in the process of going through and analysing all of the UK government websites (may even look at the EU), and how they implement social features, and I am going to follow up this analysis with a write up of how government websites should be implementing social features without being intrusive and irresponsible with their users' privacies. I will mail this list when I am done. 

I would love to see this group develop a set of best practises to implementing social services, that would cater for a responsible user interactions to happen on government sites. I mean, I will be doing this myself, but would be nice to not have to do this work by myself. I am not, kicking up a fuss because I am not happy with Facebook, I don't mind Facebook doing what it does, they are a money making org, and they make more money the more they know about people. I am just not happy in the way that the UK's national health service is simply happy to give information about their website usage to both Facebook.com and addthis.com, without user consent. 

Sorry for the rant, would love to be involved with your work here, and would love to hear people's thoughts on my issues with the NHS's social features. 

Warmest Regards, 

Mischa *2 cents and stuff ....

[4] http://mmt.me.uk/blog/2010/11/21/nhs-and-tracking/ 
[5] http://www.v3.co.uk/v3/news/2273614/facebook-privacy-nhs-choices 
[6] http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security/2010/11/25/facebook-gets-sneak-peek-at-nhs-site-visits-40090972/
[7] http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2010/11/nhs-site-allowed-to-spy-on-your-visiting-habits/ 
[8] http://www.ico.gov.uk/ 

> * I'm not sure I see much of a need to address cloud computing either [1]. You could outlines pros and cons, but it seems fairly a policy-driven operational decision that will necessarily differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. I could be having a bad day, but I just don't get it.
> * I liked Daniel's public utility/service-oriented approach very much [4]. Let the tech be suggested to address the service need. For example, "Publishing documents especially laws and regulations that can be used and cited.", so we need to advocate well constructed, consistent, stable URIs.
> This is as much time as I can give to the conversation right now. Sorry I was mainly critical :~|
> Cheers
> ---
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-egov-ig/2010Dec/0023.html
> [2] http://status.net
> [3] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/XGR-socialweb-20101206/
> [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-egov-ig/2010Dec/0027.html

Mischa Tuffield PhD
Email: mischa.tuffield@garlik.com
Homepage - http://mmt.me.uk/
Garlik Limited, 1-3 Halford Road, Richmond, TW10 6AW
+44(0)845 652 2824  http://www.garlik.com/
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Registered office: Thames House, Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AD

Received on Monday, 20 December 2010 15:57:21 UTC

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