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Read about the latest innovations across Kent County Council and beyond.

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Welcome to iNews


Welcome to the iNews blog.

Join us here to find out the latest innovations within Kent County Council as well as technological developments around the world.

The Team hopes that the articles will inspire you to be even more creative in your day to day work and we would love your feedback. Tell us your thoughts, projects, pilots and ideas: we may feature them or even develop them with you.


If there is something innovative you are currently working on we would love to be able to feature it!

Please contact us at innovation@kent.gov.uk.



Disclaimer

The Technology Transformation team researches new technologies and looks for ways they could be applied in KCC to help us deliver better services. Not all of the innovations we research and test are right for all services, some may not be right for KCC after testing. We hope, however, that by reading these articles you might be inspired to see how some of them may help you and your team.
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12 comments:

  1. transformedbyyou said...
     

    Please see http://transformedbyyou.blogspot.com/2009/06/guidelines-acceptable-use-policy.html for ACCEPTABLE USE GUIDELINES

  2. socialreporter said...
     

    Congratulations on opening up innovation in the council with some interesting first items. The blog is in my reader! Small, personal thoughts on design:
    * there are *a lot* of pictures and I find they get in the way particularly in the middle of posts. I'm not sure of the point of the picture strip across the top.
    * the home page doesn't work for me, because without any teaser text it looks like a photo gallery
    * the large font size makes it difficult to scan text
    * I couldn't see any dates on posts (though that does show in a feed)
    * dark blue doesn't read easily against grey
    * the navigation is mostly admin ... would it be better to have some work areas?
    * commenting is difficult because you have to choose a profile. I chose Wordpress, and then lost my comment because I wasn't logged in to wordpress.com
    * maybe a page about the team?
    * the guidelines page, displayed so prominently, gives it the feel of an internal blog. Is that the main audience?
    But these are small points ... it's the content that's important!

  3. transformedbyyou said...
     

    Thank you for your comment. I have passed it on to my colleague, who deals with the layout. It has been agreed that the theme/layout will change according to feedback. :)

    I would appreciate any tips on the presentation of articles. Is it the number of pictures or their placement and size within the text? This is something that I can change if it would help readability. -Claire

  4. transformedbyyou said...
     

    Thanks for the feedback David. Really appreciate it.

    We thought a lot about the balance between pictures and text and the feedback we got was not too have much text on the front page and when we did, to make it big.

    Do you think this template would work better http://snurl.com/jtocr?

    Be grateful for any tools that can improve the commenting function, last thing we want to do is to lose people's feedback!

    A page about the team, good point - we didn't want to feel too narcissistic, but I agree it's useful to know who are the people behind the blog. For the moment, feel free to follow @noelito @CMatth03 @MrBromley92 on twitter.

    Will put the guidelines page further back ;)

    PS, really enjoy your blog especially on social reporting and games, if you have the time (or if you have already posted elsewhere), it would be great to get your thoughts on how this could be used, brokered, supported by local councils.

    Thanks

    Noel

  5. socialreporter said...
     

    Hi Claire - I've got mixed feelings about using pictures from Flickr that don't have specific connection with articles ... but it can be done really well. I love Tessy Britton's work at http://thrivingtoo.typepad.com/
    I think a Flickr pic at the top is OK if carefully chosen (as some of yours are) but within text I personally would only use stuff that is directly relevant.
    I think best thing is to look around lots of blogs for ideas. I've got quite a few in my blog roll at http://socialreporter.com doing things much better than I do!
    Noel - is there a strong reason for using Blogger? Others may disagree, but there's lots more themes and flexibility in Wordpress. I've used Blogger here http://openrsa.blogspot.com/ but I'm not an expert on what's possible. I think there are other commenting options though.
    I wouldn't be shy about putting the team up front ... I think blogs require personal voice
    Thanks for your interest in games etc ... we'll be launching the NESTA-funded Social by Social handbook with a game at Reboot Britain July 6 http://socialreporter.com/?p=629 and looking for collaborators to customise to different situations. I'll send you more on that. It would be great to develop something that worked for local authorities (innovatively of course)
    Thanks for being so responsive ... conversations are the main thing!
    David

  6. transformedbyyou said...
     

    I agree with you David on Wordpress. It sounds trivial but we needed a server to use wordpress plugins and couldn't get access, so we used blogger as we just wanted to start those conversations.

    Be good to have a chat about your Social by Social game. We are planning an "innovation barcamp" style event in Kent and are exploring opps for gaming and meetups more generally. This is our focus on it, http://snurl.com/jomnd and http://snurl.com/jtwgk, although very open to be inspired by innovators like yourself!

  7. socialreporter said...
     

    could just use wordpress.com?

  8. Innovation Unit said...
     

    Socialreposter thank you for your advice! I will review the pictures used in the articles, although I am keen to avoid large chunks of text. I'll have a look at your blog later :).

    Im a fan of Wordpress.com, its beautifully simple to use but the Team found it rather limiting on themes.

  9. Innovation Unit said...
     

    @social reporter

    I have now reviewed the text and images used in articles.

    The text is in a smaller font to make scanning text easier, pictures have been decreased to sizes below <10k, some images have been removed and text is now included as an alt to pictures.

    I am not currently able to do anything about the overall blog layout but I hope this helps!

  10. socialreporter said...
     

    Hi - I think that's a huge improve! Good content too:-) David

  11. socialreporter said...
     

    I think this is a huge improvement! Great content too:-)

  12. Innovation Unit said...
     

    Thanks, we try to take on board as much of the feedback as possible. Just to let you know we post-moderate comments which is why you won't see yours come up straight away!

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