Archive for December 11th, 2008

National Hack The Government Day

December 11th, 2008 by Ian

This is possibly not exactly what you’re thinking. This is ‘hack’ to improve, not destroy. Why haven’t we done this before?

Government isn’t very good at computers. They spend millions to produce mediocre websites, hide away really useful public information and generally get it wrong. Which is a shame.

Calling all people who make things. We’re going to show them how it’s done.

They’re completely right of course. Government currently are a bit of a joke on the web. Especially local Government. Just look my own councils awful awful website. Call that navigation? “Widescreen”? wtf? I’m not sure about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if was the gang at TheyWorkForYou, simply because I know they are very much on the ball when it comes to the web and politics in Britain. The web is a great way to share information that should be available to the public. Doing that only strengthens democracy and increases citizen interac…. oh why the hell am I saying this? They know that. We know that. Lets hope someone does something about it.

I personally feel that when large companies get involved with the Government and computers then it almost always ends in unmitigated disaster (see; NHS). Maybe if APIs are created, access is encouraged (or even allowed), OpenSource is utilised and work is done by designers and developers on a volunteer/small agency basis, then we’d see a lot more useful stuff. Well, a lot more usable stuff anyway and certainly a lot less waste. I’ve signed up. Lets hope this flourishes.

edit: example of government waste provided