28 comments

  1. Could you elaborate on “a Single Government domain”, please? Do you mean a single government website? As there’s already a single government domain, namely gov.uk. Confused. Ta.

  2. I presume this means merging everything to a single mega-site (eg putting everything under a much-expanded http://www.direct.gov.uk) run by a single CMS backend.

    This doesn’t seem to me to be a very sensible thing to do at all. Different departments have their own identities and have their own unique requirements. A “one size fits all” approach isn’t going to be able to satisfy these very well.

  3. I understood the whole concept was to reduce costs, yet this looks as though it is going to cost a fortune. How many years would it take for this project to pay for itself, keeping in mind that technology will have changed so much by the time that date arrives it will probably blow the budget anyway!

    It stinck of the NHS style of reform, which is also looking debatable before it has even started.

  4. it is a talented team but I have to agree with Roberts view that one size fits all apprach is definitely a mistake.

  5. I didn’t realise Jimmy Leach was working on this. Surely he should be playing the drums for me?!

    How will you combine current domains without loosing relevancy and rankings?

    Or

    If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

  6. Just an idea:

    Instead of trying to put existing websites into a single domain, why not create a entry site into everything out there. You could call this “start.gov.uk” or “your.gov.uk”

    My prototype example (http://projects.creotec.com/dev/gov-it/) shows my idea of creating of a search engine for citizens – users can personalise their own gov portal. Also based on their search trends and store profile, the system could help them build suggested portal.

    This approach I believe those not have to cost that much and would need very little in terms of maintenance. Plus, government departments/organisations can still have the freedom to create and manage their own websites.

  7. It IS broke and you SHOULD fix it. I work in public libraries and until very recently had daily contact with 100s of members of the Public a day. Rarely did they know even about directgov let alone all the other useful government websites. It all needs aggregating under directgov if the intention is really to empower the public to find government information and services.

  8. Government departments have never ‘got’ Directgov (for example) and still operate as if it doesn’t exist and STILL, years later publish public facing content etc…. what makes you think this is going to work? Directgov could still be a great site if everyone played ball – with the boring policy stuff on department websites, business stuff on BusinessLink etc – what is wrong with this model?

    ‘people don’t want content – they want tools and search’ – um…wikipedia anyone? And to use Directgov as an example – it has an excellent search engine.

    The problem is Google is clogged up with old department site content that should have been removed YEARS ago.

  9. I basically agree with Russell above.

    It does sound like a new directgov. I can’t see how it’s much different. The bit that amused me was that it’s a ‘proof of concept’.

    Sure – it’s possible, in theory, to have a single site. You can do anything in your imagination if it’s good enough.
    It it do-able in practice ?

    The thing is… anything truly _useful_ on the internet (and there are still precious few examples under .gov.uk) means you can actually _do_ something on line. Instead of filing in a form, getting on the phone, going to an office.

    Filling in a tax return, for instance. The web content side of that is a tiny fraction of what is required. The tip of a very large iceberg.

    Think you can combine all govt. tasks into one mega back-end ? Well good luck with that. I hope you have some very good technical folk in amongst your web designers. And a decade or two.

    Not trying to do that – want to provide content only and farm out to specialist sites ? Then it’s directgov. Maybe a better directgov, maybe not. But nothing more.

  10. I’m forced to agree with Robert Whittaker. The requirements of different departments not to mention the various users within those departments would tend to make this an enormous technical challenge.

    While having everything in one location may seem like a good idea in theory. However it would be unwise to allow a situation in which a single hacker could hypotheticaly disrupt the online services of the entire government. Having different domains gives a degree of redundancy that is well worth the extra expense.

  11. When it talks of a Single Government Domain are they talking of moving all local Government content on to it too, such as County Councils, District Councils etc. or is it for National Government purposes only.

    It is a little confusing at the moment when you have everything from main Goverment sites like directgov to local government parish council website all using .gov.uk

  12. Think you can combine all govt. tasks into one mega back-end ? Well good luck with that. I hope you have some very good technical folk in amongst your web designers. And a decade or two.

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