Category Archives: Uncategorized

Benefit sanctions: they’re absurd and don’t work very well, experts tell MPs

It [the sanctions regime] is a secret penal system because the decisions [to stop benefit payments] are made in secret, by officials; the claimant is not present; they are not legally represented; the punishment is applied before there is any hearing; if they get a hearing it is only long after the punishment has been applied. The scale of penalties is greater than the scale of penalties that are available to the magistrates courts… You are talking unmistakably about a penal system which has a set of characteristics which I would suggest are totally unacceptable in a democratic society.

http://gu.com/p/44ym4

How the embedded tech revolution has already started

I wrote recently about how I considered the whole wearable tech phenomenon to be a bit of a misnomer as projects like Google Glass will be superceded by embedded tech.

Well, this news from Google-owned Motorola confirms that. A pill that’s sits in your stomach, powered by stomach acids and acting as a authenticator, and a tattoo that sits on your skin – both realistic and achievable within the next few years. Exciting!

WordPress – can it cope to power a whole council’s main website?

Thanks for writing this up, Simon!

Seeing as I work with the folks at WPMU DEV (who make the Network Theme) I can answer the licensing question… It’s GPL licensed so once you’ve downloaded it you can do as you please within the confines of the GPL, just as you can with WordPress itself.

For me the big takeaway from that session is that there is a desire to use WordPress, given the complexity current systems represent and the amount of time soaked up by even the seemingly simplest of tasks. What’s stopping mass adoption is security and scalability.

You made a valid point about the WordPress.com setup. I can tell you that Edublogs (also owned by Incsub, who I work for) – the biggest Multisite after WP.com – runs off three servers and hundreds of databases.

In the session I mentioned a few plugins they’ve released which have a lot of the functionality so others can do the same. Multi-DB allows you to use up to 4096 databases. Something else that was mentioned was combining sites across a network so I talked briefly about post indexer and global site search which helps to unify all sites under a network – useful for content strategy.

There was also a conversation about branding in the session. Each sub-site in a network can, as you will know, have it’s own theme but it’s possible to use different domains too with multi-domains and domain mapping. I already know of one council using domain mapping.

Hope that doesn’t sound like an advert! As I said in the session, I don’t think many people realise just how powerful WordPress *can* be and those plugins do help to show what’s possible.

Of course if anyone has questions about using WordPress I’d happily answer them.

I commented on Council meetings – blogging and web-casting

I’ve advised councils on this and found that their main concern is representation – they don’t want the words of councillors or officers taken out of context.

When I approached Lichfield District Council about filming their meetings for hyperlocal site Lichfield Live, they welcomed me with open arms on the condition that the video was not edited (something I hadn’t even contemplated).

In my discussions with councils I’ve told them that they need to allow filming but that they should provide their own recordings as a matter of record. Comms should be charged with the responsibility of making sure that video misrepresentations are countered with the official, unedited version.

This comment is awaiting moderation as I type so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see it 😉

Council meetings – blogging and web-casting | Local Democracy

I’ve advised councils on this and found that their main concern is representation – they don’t want the words of councillors or officers taken out of context.

When I approached Lichfield District Council about filming their meetings for hyperlocal site Lichfield Live, they welcomed me with open arms on the condition that the video was not edited (something I hadn’t even contemplated).

In my discussions with councils I’ve told them that they need to allow filming but that they should provide their own recordings as a matter of record. Comms should be charged with the responsibility of making sure that video misrepresentations are countered with the official, unedited version.

This comment is awaiting moderation as I type so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see it 😉

I commented on Arrested for filming a public council meeting

Excellent deconstruction of events.

You’ve strayed from saying anything more than the council and Police “should be ashamed” but isn’t it a bit more serious than that?

As more and more community bloggers are attempting to hold power to account shouldn’t the decisions made by the council and Police here be challenged?

Otherwise, is the door not wide open for other councils and forces in all devolved nations to do exactly the same?