Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meanwhile, in the land of Nod

Plainly we've all been missing a survey on e-government and handily, the kind souls at Microsoft have filled the gap. Apparently 37% of the UK population think e-government services are as good as those offered by the private sector but 64% never use them. So at least a few people, if not lots, have an opinion about a service they've never used (perhaps more evidence of us passing the neighbour test?). 7% said that services were old fashioned and inefficient - if that's the set of people within the 37% then 20% of users think the services are rubbish, if it's within the 64% then just over 10% of people don't use the services because they've heard or think that they're rubbish. Which all goes to show that surveys are, for the most part, absolutely and utterly pointless. But I think I've been there before. Still, the source of the article I link to, publictechnology.net is home to some of the strangest web advertising I've seen in a while. Words in the article are double-underlined and link to ads when you hover over them. So if you hover over "public services", you're offered a link to Human Services Degree Information. Hovering over "survey" gives you an about real estate and surveyors. All very useful stuff I'm sure. I hope that's not the basis of their revenue model. Two conclusions are offered: With figures highlighting how access, digital inclusion and educating citizens are the key to increasing the use of online services, there needs to be a renewed focus on the importance of partnering with business to help support the public sector in developing solutions and enabling access for all. (which may be a Microsoft conclusion, although it's not stated) Improving take-up is the next big challenge - adverts with the strapline 'Connect to your council' have been appearing over the last few months in the press and on radio. We need to continue to encourage people to use the services on offer and get some real momentum going among local citizens – and that's everyone who lives in this country." (which is a conclusion from the LGA representative). Take-up is the next big challenge. Good lord, where have you been for the last 5 years. Take-up has always been the challenge. Even I've posted about it 67 times on this blog, let alone the number of times I've talked about it on stage. Zzzzz.

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