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Web editors: next content clinic, Thursday 18 September

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Best practice, Events

The next content clinic will be on Thursday 18 September, from 11:30am to 1:00pm, at the Department for Transport. We can’t head to the pub afterwards, but do bring a lunch.

To book a place using Eventbrite, you’ll need the password: GOV.UKcontent

This clinic we will be showing:

  • open document formats and PDF/A
  • who’s reading your publications, and what they're reading
  • our new project to bring all GOV.UK guidance together
  • introduction to the content community on Basecamp
  • transparency data news and templates

Submit questions by Tuesday

After that, we'll talk about questions we've been asked since the last clinic. If you would like to ask a question or start a discussion, send me an email as soon as possible. Be as specific as possible and provide a URL if you can.

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  1. Comment by E. Brown posted on

    Hi Persis,

    What's Basecamp?



    • Replies to E. Brown>

      Comment by Persis Howe posted on

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Basecamp hosts our new government content community. I've just sent you an invitation. Please invite anyone else at PHE I've missed.


      • Replies to Persis Howe>

        Comment by Codie Lee posted on

        Hi Persis,

        How can I join Basecamp?

        • Replies to Codie Lee>

          Comment by Persis Howe posted on

          Hi Codie,

          Can you please email me your work email, with the name of the department or agency you work for, and I'll send you an invite. But please note, the community is only for those who publish content on GOV.UK.


  2. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    Hi Persis, as you'll be doing a sort of 'show and tell' as well as questions, have you considered doing these updates using internet conferencing? That would enable GOV.UK publishers to hear you and see your screen and avoid lots of travel time and cost. I'm sure many people are interested to hear and see the new developments, even if they don't have any questions.

    The conferencing tool we use also allows 'polls' so you can ask questions and participants click a response. Presentations can be recorded for viewing later. It shouldn't stop you running the meeting as normal for those who can join you in person.

    • Replies to Andrew Robertson>

      Comment by Persis Howe posted on

      Hi Andrew,

      I think we are a bit too late to add this for tomorrow, but I'd love get it set up for next time. It sounds like a great idea. We're also looking at live blogging on Basecamp. Again, for next time.

      I'll email you for more information.

  3. Comment by simonfj posted on


    Would you give this some thought.
    (BTW Persis. I take it you are using this service )

    You're getting to the point now where you'll be having lots of discussions between the webbies who design and run sites for GOV.UK, and other sites which won't be coming under the masthead. So they'll be a template for any cross-departmental group who are setting up a community-of-practice (COP) space. N.B. "virtual classrooms" in the eduspace. Samo, samo.

    Could we focus - not just on the asychronous stuff (like basecamp) but also for the "real time" communications (RTC in network-speak) which will be needed for all these COP's. Otherwise it's going to be like these departmental-centric blogs; a never-ending list of posts where one can never track down their COP, or follow and engage them, as a community-of-interest COI).

    GOV.UK workers are finally getting to the point where the local guys have been for (over) 3 years.

    GOV.UK started as a focus on publishing central services; top-down info. Now there is a focus on bottom-up communications. E.g and

    This has led to a focus on the (operational/policy) "groups" who do the same thing/address the same audience, in the two sectors. ( And these groups are usually composed of insiders AND outsiders. i.e. COP and COI.

    It's obviously getting so confusing for poor ol' Will. The generalist (outsider) and specialist (insider) views have him reeling between trying to satisfy two mindsets. ".... if we make the switch, we need to work out an orderly transition of content from one browse structure (i.e. generalist) to another (i.e. specialist)" .

    So " webbies" is the specialist group here. It'll be one of the biggest, especially if one wants to talk about classifying content (which really ought to be left to a group of librarians).

    And we do need a group of network guys, cause poor ol' Lisa, as the account manager for 2 services, hasn't been informed as to how federated services are constructed (not that she should need to know).

    There's obviously a crying need for quite a lot of community building/management across the silos, so it makes sense to use some standard, & open, tools. Should save enough time to meet down at the pub 🙂

  4. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Thanks Guys,

    I'll point to this one as an illustration of what i mean.
    i.e. a virtual (class)room for specialist groups consisting of forums/archives and real time comms access. It would be hosted at (say) webbies.GOV.UK. (central and local)

    If you take the same approach to all the specialists groups who inhabit GOV.UK, you'll end up with the idea of this directory being the place peers could find peers, share the learning and collaborate.

    You'll find this is already being attempted by people where, as they only have a blog so far, they point from it to their LI group's forum and twitter account. NO real time conferencing (recordings) to be seen yet, but it's possibly happening.

    Perhaps it is time that we revisit And include the idea that it's not just about publishing info but also a comms hub for people to be Included in an inquiry, making policy and sharing their learning.

    You've already set a natural contact point on most pages, with "Is there anything wrong with this page?" At the moment it just generates a Zendesk ticket into the ether. But it could quite easily say "More questions?" and point to a group's OPEN forum/help desk. Keep up the good work!