Technology

Friday Buzz: Steal These Big Ideas from Abroad

The United Kingdom's government has built a massive, well-organized online resource for its citizens to access services and information, and it's a strategy worth learning from. Also: The latest hot trends in the German event space.

Trying to combine the resources of numerous departments in a single, easy-to-use website is a major challenge for any organization.

But it can be done—just ask the British government. In 2012, its Government Digital Service launched GOV.UK, a site meant to put the government’s myriad basic resources—everything from employment and taxes to the justice system and immigration—under a single digital roof. The project has been a huge success.

At the time of its launch, British Minister of the Cabinet Francis Maude said that “GOV.UK is an example of how the civil service should keep continuously changing and improving and remain focused on outcomes. The public wants services to be delivered better, and with GOV.UK, we are responding with a digital platform that makes services quicker and easier to use, and produces efficiencies for government,” Maude said.

What might be surprising is that despite the ambitious effort having hit such a high bar, the Government Digital Service doesn’t see a reason to rest on its laurels.

“While GOV.UK has already made things better for lots of users, our ambition remains sky high,” Neil Williams, the site’s product lead, wrote in a recent blog post. “Far from patting ourselves on the back for a job well done we’re actively seeking out ways in which to improve what we’ve made, and to build on the foundations of the single domain.”

The strategy around the website is admirable—and one that any organization, large or small, can respect.

German Report of the Day

What can the German meetings industry teach you about your own neck of the woods?

If you said “nothing,” you’d be wrong, according to Conferences That Work scribe Adrian Segar, who highlights a new report from the German Convention Bureau predicting the megatrends over the next 15 years [PDF].

“Remember that Germany leads Europe as a meetings and convention destination, and is in second place worldwide after the USA as a destination for all meetings and conventions,” Segar writes on his blog.

In other words, the big lessons translate just like German translates into English. (ht @ConfThatWork)

Other Links of Note

Just a heads-up: There’s a good chance you’ll be feeling groggy on Monday due to this weekend’s shift into Daylight Savings Time. A survey by the Better Sleep Council, which represents the mattress industry, found that 61 percent of Americans are negatively affected by the time change.

Mobile-friendly sites matter more than ever: Google is about to start taking mobile-friendliness into account in its search rankings.

The online community platform Higher Logic has Fanaticall’s number—and they’ll be working closely to offer a new revenue source to associations. Read this press release for the scoop.

(Government Digital Service)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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