I’ll soon be writing more specifically about some of the topics discussed at last Friday’s Scotweb2 Unconference, but wanted to start with a brief summary of the day and some key messages I took from it.
All in all, the day was very uplifting and provided some real food for thought. It succeeded wonderfully in bringing together a small but committed number of Web 2.0 enthusiasts, mostly from the public sector but including a few from the commercial world. Although this meant that much of the discussions were in some way ‘preaching to the converted’, there was still plenty of new ideas to hear about and various calls to action.
Simon Dickson‘s talk exemplified this well. His passion and enthusiasm for WordPress came over in barrel loads, and certainly gave people something to think about when comparing the minimal costs of implementing the open-source blogging CMS compared with some multi-million projects he has seen in central government. It was also a more general rallying call for us to abandon concepts of quality being defined by cost, given that most of the traditional barriers to accessing these technologies are now being increasingly broken down.
James Munro, from Patient Opinion, also delivered an interesting presentation on the relationship between his independent service and the NHS, with plenty of engaging discussion about public perception, trust and the machinations of organisational change through feedback.
Derek Hemphill presented BT Tradespace, which most of the audience confessed to never having heard of. I’ve now set up my free account so will report back about that soon.
Stephen Dale also gave a brief introduction to the Communities of Practice platform for local gov and public sector professionals to develop and share knowledge. Non public sector members are welcome to join in where appropriate, although overt selling is not tolerated. I myself am a member of three forums and am so far enjoying the experience.
As I say, I’ll be writing more about specifics once I’ve had a change to collect my thoughts and notes. Thanks again to Alex Stobart for organising what turned out to be a positive and exciting day of discussion.