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  1. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Hey Kylie,

    Thanks for the heads up. Seems like gov is going through the same issues .edu has been going through since all these new webby comms tools were invented.

    Could we stand back and take an overview of what you're going though with supporting the NIB group's secretariat, as it is the same situation for everyone in the gov and edu space. If you view things from the perspective of, then you're addressing the same problems as the secretariats who must support these committees (I.e. groups).

    The big change is that ongoing inquiries revolve around these kind of groups, and not departmental websites. So the center of your universe revolves around this page, and how we can combine the best of broadcast/streaming, and social/interactive, technologies in order to be inclusive of citizens.

    Our greatest problem is that we have yet to formulate a directory for these "topical" groups. So in order to find one (or two or three) who is inquiring into an area of interest, one must try and find
    them in these two lists, at the right time. and It's a bit like trying to watch a thousand TV channels without a TV guide.

    At the same time, many people in two levels of, are doing the same thing as your colleagues, pre and post mortem. i.e. Meeting "for informal knowledge sharing session to find out what other teams have been doing and to talk about my recent experiences". So you can see that these learning groups are trying to coalesce, without the benefit of a group-orientated institution.

    I won't go into which broadcast and interactive media tools might be the most useful combination to support a group's secretariat's shared learning. That's an ongoing experiment for every teacher/moderator. But I should point out that talk in the eduspace is about "flipped classrooms" - putting the evidence up (on a NIB page) prior to a "live panel show", and taking questions from the audience in advance.

    Perhaps we should just focus on this group's inquiry as it is the primary one for's reinvention. You and your colleagues obviously have a lot of experience in bridging between a petition and its inquiry.

    OK. Enough for now. If you're interested I can illustrate how the group structure could be put in place, by using the NIB as a template. Just let me know. School's out!

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Kylie Mulholland posted on

      Hi Simon, thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read the blog.

      In terms of bringing committees and organisations etc into a single directory and filtering by theme/area, I can see how that might be useful. The Government Digital Service manage the structure of GOV.UK so I’d have to hand off to them in this case, they welcome all feedback and I’m sure would be happy to chat to you -

      I’m not sure what you mean by ongoing inquiries - committees tend to be strategic steering groups for specific areas of government, and don’t necessarily facilitate or run inquiries. In terms of the 2010 inquiry into e-petitions that you referenced, GOV.UK has a tool for creating and signing e-petitions:

      Finally, the flipped classrooms theory is close to what the HMRC adopted for their graduate webchat that I mentioned. HMRC got great feedback from the students, which reinforces how effective this can be.

      Thanks again for your interest, always happy to chat.

  2. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Hi Kylie,

    Just one more note. (You'll have to excuse me. I've spent too much time in media, so I tend to view things from an (potential) audience's perspective).

    There's no "history" for the NIB. So no one will know that this inquiry has been going on, for years, as the

    You've also got no linkages to the other channels you're using, like #NIBmeetings , mentioned on the NIB site, so that's another channel a newbie won't know about. It's a pity cause twitter seems quite fashionable around the UK gov traps. And the link to the live stream, which would become the spot to link to the footage of the event, is a natural extension to the "minutes, agenda and papers".

    I'm trying to understand where the NIB's "related inquiries" are. There's no mention of these events,although they would seem to be related (to the same audiences). and

    So all up, it seems like we have lots of discussions going on, which is good. But we've yet to begin to aggregate them on any form of systematic basis.

    Just so you know. There are so many conversations like this going on around the world. They all come down to "putting yourself in the citizen's place". Your post is acting as a magnet for the ones in the engagement space. Bet you never considered yourself a best-selling author when you wrote it.

    When's the book coming out? (Need an agent? 🙂

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Kylie Mulholland posted on

      Hi Simon,

      The NIB page on GOV.UK follows the standard format for GOV.UK committee pages (see for another example) which we try to keep consistent, clear and simple. As part of that approach we don’t include notes on history or context - we state the purpose of the committee as it stands currently.

      The strategy and terms of reference for the NIB committee are currently being reviewed, and will be different from the ISCG committee that no longer exists. These will be available through the GOV.UK site once they’re final and will give more detail on the NIB’s priorities and objectives - which should help to explain the work the committee are involved in.

      The minutes from the latest meeting (available to download) give the link to the webcasting site for people to watch back the footage. We encouraged NIB members to tweet the link to their followers and help to build an audience, and using the hashtag #NIBmeetings was a handy way to track this.

      As I mentioned in the blogpost, we’re considering whether live webcasting NIB meetings is something worth continuing and how we can best engage people with the work the committee will be doing in the future.

      Finally, you mention the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The HSCIC deliver technology and information services on behalf of the Department of Health, and Andy Williams and Kingsley Manning from the HSCIC sit on the NIB leadership group to feed into the work of the committee. You can read more about the HSCIC here:

      Hope that’s useful and thanks again for the comments!

  3. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Many Thanks Kylie,

    And I'm sorry for lecturing. Just a way for me to get my thoughts straight.

    You can see one of the biggest problems for anyone trying to get an education. One committee (can we call them "groups" as it's the general term which both content people like yourself, and network guys that "provision services" for committees, groups and all those other similar terms that fall under "agencies and public bodies", use). One committee sets up doing the same/similar inquiry as another shuts down, and never the twain doth meet. Bit like having a lobotomy between inquiries 🙂

    This is something the research guys on every NREN (National Research & Education Network) are trying to reform on a global basis. How do we get the similar groups doing the same research together, so they can share their learning? It applies as much to people like Liam's group as it does to any Local and National group.

    So we might rewrite your byline here as (maybe) "sharing an inquiry digitally". I went looking for something which relates to our discussion at the UK parlie site, as they will drive this, and the departments will follow their lead. Lo and behold!

    We'll see (which approach and combination of tools will work to) enlarge the public sphere.

    I think a little differently than the GDS guys, cause I'm looking at things from the backend (i.e. the inter-networks), so this (for me) is all about the "common services" various groups like yours will want "provisioned" (at an IP address). So you'd understand why I push the group-centric thinking.

    It might help everyone if you talk about "broadcasting" rather than "webcasting". It's closer to what's really going on here. i.e. The broadcast and interactive networks are aligning, and people like yourself are trying to get a handle on the "right" combination.

    OK. Enough for now. You've given me plenty to read. I'm making far too much noise on the GDS blog as it's the only one which acts as an aggregation point just yet. But you'll find so much of this inter-network services reformation (especially from the NHS end) will come out of discussions between "GDS National and Local" and a focus on the idea of one citizen's (personal data) account for ALL their services, and their groups of (similar) interest.

    GDS ain't even had that discussion yet. Be good.

  4. Comment by Kylie Mulholland posted on

    The Committee on Climate Change successfully used Google Hangouts (for free) recently for a stakeholder event. Some stats from the feedback they received:

    -86% of live-streaming attendees wouldn't have been able to attend the London event.
    -89% said they could follow the presentation OK
    -93% said it was useful to be able to have discussions with regional colleagues which they wouldn't have had in London
    -75% said the events were Good or Excellent
    -98% said they would attend a similar event

    The team borrowed a digital camera from a colleague and were pleased with the sound and visuals. They got some feedback about sound quality not being very 'professional' but largely people understood it wasn't expected to be completely slick.

  5. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Yeah, the consumer stuff is OK.

    I'd never knock anyone having a go with what's there for free.
    But we're trying to introduce the same culture as people in the labs. That means you'll want a virtual room, where people know your topical group gets together on a regular basis.
    Check out this one.

    I know, i know 🙂 One extreme to the other. But there so many offerings out there. I'm just trying to get a handle on what size suits different So they and their mates can have a regular natter.

    BTW. When are you going to give these guys a wrap?