https://digitalhealth.blog.gov.uk/2012/01/12/health-conversations-our-blogs-columns-and-tweets-in-one-place/

Health conversations - our blogs, columns and tweets in one place

I'm quite pleased with this: Health conversations. It's a simple thing - a different way of presenting content that already appears somewhere else on dh.gov.uk.

Screenshot from Health conversations

We're using it as the DH version of a blogs homepage. We're pulling content from a few different sources - basically anything we regularly publish on dh.gov.uk that's personally attributed: blogs and columns, and tweets from our personal-official Twitter channels.

All the page does is aggregate a collection of RSS feeds, and present them in chronological order in a grid. It's the bonus bit of some work that Steph and Francis have been doing to enhance the way we present DH content.

I'm not really sure whether there's a demand for this from our users - it might not have featured that high up the list in a DH need-o-tron, and it's not solving a pressing policy problem.

The reason I like it is that it represents a few of the things we've been trying to do differently with digital communication in the Department of Health in the last year. Personally attributed digital content has had a central role in most of our work, so it feels good to see interesting articles pushing each other down the page like a game of health policy Tetris.

And it works because of the changes we've made to the way we publish our content, with every tag, category, blog and sub-site generating RSS feeds to make this kind of easy syndication and cross-promotion possible.

The other reason I like it is that I can imagine us putting it - or something like it - to work for other purposes.  With a couple of tweeks to the settings, we could use something like this to curate content around a policy theme - from external sources as well as internal - as part of a policy engagement campaign.

And it looks quite nice.

3 comments

  1. Daniel Crosariol

    I think it's great - accessible, succinct and easy - well done!

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  2. Helena Reeves

    Hi Stephen,
    Agree witih Daniel's post and good to see DH in the digital sphere!

    There was an NHS Digital Communications Review dated June 2010; any update on recommendations available?

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    • Stephen Hale

      That was before I arrived but if it's the same one I'm thinking of, I don't think any recommendations were published. It will all feed into our Information Strategy though - I hope to be able to post more about that soon.

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