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Page history last edited by Dave Briggs 14 years, 6 months ago

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. 

Red hot news:

BarcampUKGovweb09 (#UKGC09)

BarcampUKGovweb took place In January 2008 for those working in and around, or simply interested in, UK government online. It was an opportunity for people with a wide variety of skills, experiences and perspectives to share their knowledge and get to know each other.

Since then an awful lot has happened - such as great examples of using social media tools and initiatives to make better use of government data. This second government online barcamp will be an opportunity to share some of the learnings of the last year and gain some ideas about what to do next.

This event should be of interest to all who work in the UK government digital media community: permanent civil servants, contractors, consultants, agencies, advisers, supporters, observers, and critics. 

If you think you've got something to contribute to improving how government organisations use the web, then this event is for you. There's a  Google Group that was set up for last year's event where you can find out more. 

Sign up further down this page, and be prepared to lead a session on something.

  • What did you build in the last year that you're most proud of?
  • What didn't quite come off as you'd hoped this year? - and even better, why didn't it work?
  • What's the coolest thing you're working on at the moment?
  • What's the tool or technique you can't believe we aren't all using? 

Some Background Reading

Pageflakes page from the last barcamp: BarcapUKGovWeb pageflake  

Event details

When: Saturday 31st January 2009

Where: tbc. 

Event Websites

Find the event on Facebook and upcoming 



  • Morning
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon
  • Dinner
  • Evening/Party 

Proposed Sessions 

  • [Dave Briggs] I'd like to run a social media surgery - a drop in space for people to come by to get some free advice on what social media type stuff they could use to solve a problem, or even if they would just like to have Twitter demonstrated to them! Who'd like to join me? Nick Booth is, and we need others else all we will do is giggle like girls all day.
  • [Jenny Brown] Last year I talked about why I love Twitter. Guess what? I STILL love it! Let's assess the best and the worst Twitter action of 2008.
  • [Aleksi Aaltonen] I can provide some observations on how they use Twitter at Social Innovation Camp to facilitate self-organising activity.
  • [Tim Davies] I could run a session around practical and ethical issues of using Social Network Sites in democratic engagement / youth participation. Or possibly something about Plings (DSCF funded pilot to collect, mash up and disseminate information about positive activities for young people) [Steven Flower] I could help with that!
  • [Josie Fraser] happy to help out Tim with regards to legal, ethical and safe use of SNS/social media with under 18s, and/or could report back on current DCFS cyberbullying stuff. Would  most like to do a session on digital literacy as a local & national agenda.
  • [Steve Dale] Last year I talked about setting up Communities of Practice in local government. There's been a huge growth in this area with almost 600 CoPs now active, members from both local and central government. I could cover lessons learnt - what's gone well and not so well, how we're measuring success of these CoPs, and what we're doing to train and support the beating heart of many of these communities - the community facilitators.  I'd be happy to help out with this as one of those community facilitators and about how I've used CoPs (and other social media tools) to do my work, develop guidance, etc. etc. [Ingrid Koehler]
  • [John Sheridan] There's lots I *could* talk about, from work to semantically enable the London Gazettes using RDFa, legislation URIs, rights expression, through to some of the policy issues around the re-use of public sector information. The topic I'd really like to see us address is "how best do we get our data out there". At some point I would also be happy to cover the work of the W3C e-Government Interest Group, which I co-chair, and potentially a wander through the relationship between governments and web standards development.
  • [Steph Gray] Now we've got some successes and failures under our belt at DIUS, I'd like to talk about online consultation and engagement in the policymaking process, including blogs, widgets, forums and commentable documents - and what the future holds.
  • [Harry Harrold] Could do something about youth engagement on social platforms.

  • [Paul Clarke] "What happens when official channels collaborate with grass-roots activities"... teaser here - could definitely be interesting...

  • [Neil Williams] Up for contributing to a group session on corporate twitter use. Could also speak on my experience of embedding social media tools internally on the intranet: what's gone well, what less so.

  • [Simon Field] At ONS, we are developing new web tools, like a data explorer, on top of a publishable API.  I'd be interested in better understanding how people want to consume our published data. If not a separate session, could be part of John Sheridan's "how best do we get our data out there".

  • [David Barrie] I'd like to facilitate an event that walks through the practical steps that need to be taken by local government and the community to establish a platform on which people collaboratively plan the future of their local area.  What needs to 'emerge'? What needs to be 'put in'? And how to make the most of and capture dispersed involvement? [Phil Green] interested to take part in this, maybe.[Nick Jones] Something on 'place'  at very local levels and how we tie that to service delivery, service design  [Mary Reid] Very interested to offer perspective as a councillor - practical ideas on merging face-to-face and online interaction around collaborative policy development

  • [Phil Green] offers to facilitate a discussion on how to meet the need to travel less, for environmental and resource reasons, whilst at the same time realizing opportunities to get even more and better connected.

  • [Shane McC] How to get non-technical types better connected, RSS readers / dashboards, coaching on blogging, commenting

  • [Daniel Johnston] Thinking about something on the join between public and private, and how to make privately delivered public services an accountable part of the open government framework.

  • [Martin Beake/Kate Grady] We, the NPIA are implementing a collaborative platform for the NPIA, the police and its partners to share thoughts and good practice. By 31st January, we will hopefully have something to say about the journey from a twinkle in someone's eye near to implementation.

  • [Nick Jones] Social media guidance for civil servants. Principles for online participation. Happy to lead a discussion that kicks of a revision cycle. We could also do some live wiki-ing together to capture examples of practice from during the year

  • [Tim Davies] If anyone else is up for dusting off old works of political theory and seeing how they apply/challenge/change in a world of social media and online government then I'd be interested in running a session of 'Political Theory 2.0'. Exploring (a) the ethical/moral/justice considerations that should come into our technology decisions, and (b) how social technologies are recognfiguring power in ways that potentially make a lot of existing political theory somewhat outdated*. I have no answers on themes - but plenty of questions to explore.

  • [Rob Blackie & David Rose] The Governent Communications Network's work developing best practce for digital press offices.

  • [Hugh Flouch] I'd like to run a session on using hyperlocal networks to make a real difference on the engagement, empowerment, & information sharing agendas.  I ran a simillar session at DCLG a couple of months ago. [Phil Green] interested in this.

  • [Neil Franklin] I could do something on running a corporate twitter account. Might team up with JennyB. Also - maybe my own session of revamping a major government website with social media tools... you all know which one! (Neil, if ok, could pitch in with some Corporate Twitter, FCO experience? (shane)

  • [Paul Caplan]  Different ways of 'monitoring' social media. Getting beyond 'mentions', stats, quant graphs, PowerPoints and Excel - yeh I know vested interest in Conversation Audits but heh I'm an evangelist. Interested in co-hosting with anyone interested in understanding how conversations work. I would be keen to co-host this session with you as I've been working on developing evaluation metrics that measure the impact online engagement activities have on the policy process - http://interactive.dius.gov.uk/diuswiki/wiki/Evaluation_of_Online_Engagement

  • [Josh] although this isn't primarily a newbies event (or is it??) what about a primer for people who are less aware of what barcamp(s) is/are and/or terminology that might expect about social media, web etc... perhaps almost a pre-session. could link into many topics suggested above.

  • [Peter Ashe] In case people wouldn't mind considering something at an early stage...up here (Scotland) we're scoping a national-but-very-local application aimed at helping people with 'Long-Term Conditions', who want to manage things themselves, find out about local sources of help etc. (surprisingly practitioners often don't know much about these). The application might in some ways be a bit like Plings , but for people with LTCs. But it's the 'how to help it fly socially?' that I'd value a (friendly!) critique of. Some ideas here, but would really like to share notes.

  • [Mitch Sava] Bridging the gap between the reality of the policy-making process and the public.  In other words, what might a new-world 'consultation' process look like, in which the public is engaged meaningfully through the policy process?  And importantly, what might a Web 2.0 tool look like that could help enable this? [Harrry Harrold] We're working in this area - would love to be involved in this.

  • [James Darling] Geeks and Government, sitting in a tree. Geeks and the government talk and do things differently, quite reasonably. How do we connect the best of agile web development practices with the best of how Government identifies and acts on IT projects?

  • [[Simon McManus]] The Importance of being Open. What we can learn from observing and participating in open source communities.  Why they work and how the lessons can be applied in every walk of life......or something similar

  • [Stephen Cross] [Chris Logan] Happy to contribute to various sessions with our experiences in local government web and social media.

Topics I would like to hear about


  • Making better use of search optimisation techniques
  • What hasn't happened since the last one, (ditto)
  • IT systems implementation & practice in 2.0 times
  • What role will the big CMS apps play in future, and will they fade away? [Neil Williams]
  • [Simon Field] Mass Collaboration failures - they tend to sink without trace, before we have a chance to learn from them.
  • Seeding and feeding - how to integrate social media strands - similarly, how to talk about/ train on social media without sounding like a geek, i.e. scaring off the not-so-technical [Ingrid Koehler]
  • How do we measure the success of social media in government? What value does Twitter (for example) add? [John Turnbull]
  • How have others in central government persuaded their IT security colleagues that using OSS for social media won't cause the sky to fall down? [John Turnbull]
  • Successful examples of campaigns within UK government
  • Use of Second Life and virtual worlds in government/communities [Alastair Smith]
  • Getting web 1.0 right. Who, if anyone, has managed to get officials across the organisation to take ownership of web content and maintain it well? [Neil Williams]
  • All of these beautiful ideas - but nobody has mentioned recession. Does it mean then that a) Gov will spend less money on developing these ideas or b) will spend more because in the long run it is more effective Gov? [Kevin Peyton]

 Volunteers to help organise the event 

Participants (aka Campers) 


  • DavePress Ltd would be happy to contribute something to running costs
  • Not wanting to be outdone by Dave Briggs - Podnosh would alos be happy to bosh some dosh if needed.
  • [Steve Dale] Not wanting to be outdone by either Dave Briggs or Podnosh, I'll match their offer.
  • [Simon Dickson] Puffbox too.
  • [Harry Harrod] Neontribe could find some cash
  • Alex Butler - COI - I think we've got a venue for you!.
  • Harry Metcalfe -- The Dextrous Web Ltd happy to throw its hat into the ring too
  • Mitch Sava - PolyWonk

Task List

(please cross out (and say who you are!) when it's done/claimed) 





  • Catering: COI has a cafe run by caterers. I will investigate if they will open on a Saturday for us.
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Tables and chairs 
  • Spreading word to non-obvious types i.e. comms and policy folk who don't know a BarCamp from their elbow may think BarCamps are too techie for them [Shane McC]
    • could it be made a condition of entry that you bring such an individual with you? Just an idea. [dave briggs] - I like this idea a lot. [Josie Fraser] me too [Neil Williams]. Great idea and I will ask some, but suggest changing 'don't know a barcamp from their elbow', as it might put them off  and make them feel that we are being elitist. [Jane] Dave Briggs has already blogged about it on the IDeA's communities of practice platform and I'll tout it in my Policy and Performance newsletter and blog (goes to 1800 Policy and Performance types) [Ingrid Koehler]
    • I don't think it is wise to make it a condition of entry (who wants rules), but it would be good to hold back a few spaces if possible for these folk who can be encouraged to attend.


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Please use the tag UKGC09 for content related to this event   



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