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Help to create really useful events for local government web managers & digital teams

Happy New Year everybody!

Hope you’ve had a lovely holiday and looking forward to the new 2013. We accomplished and overcome many things in 2012. We survived the end of the world, celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee, hosted the London Olympics and (most importantly) GOV.UK was launched!

It’s been a good year – Express Yourself!

Its been a good year but also a challenging one in many ways for all of us. Personally, for me it was a year of great growth and greater belief… in myself. Let’s just say, I expressed myself!  And that had a lot to do with the unconditional support from people I’ve met through government in the past few years. Which is why, no matter how far my job takes me, my roots in government will always stay with me. And it is for this reason, I’m delighted to be working with Local Directgov once again on projects that really do make a difference in the local government digital community.

 The Really Useful Days

Just last December, Local Directgov hosted another one of their “Really Useful Day’s” which focused on Social Media. I still remember the first ‘Really Useful’ day that I helped organized which saw many of our local gov colleagues brainstorm ‘Really Useful Apps‘ a couple years ago. It was a huge success and Local Directgov has continued their successful ‘Really Useful’ event series across the UK, visiting different parts of the UK with trial and tested, practical and useful events.

It was wonderful to come back and facilitate the Social Media ‘Really Useful’ day last month with Local Directgov’s fantastic and professional team. Much work goes into each ‘Really Useful’ event. Weeks of preparation, research and thought goes into what local gov needs to do better to ensure that attendees get the best value for their time.

‘Really Useful’ events are free to attend, therefore making them accessible for all local gov. What’s different about Local Directgov’s Really Useful events is it is an event that ‘converses with you‘ rather than ‘talk at you‘. And to ensure that the spirit of ‘usefulness’ continues within ‘Really Useful’ events, Local Directgov would like to invite you to suggest and vote on topics of events that you’d like to talk about and experience.

To suggest and vote, kindly go to http://ruthemes.ideascale.com/

We kicked off the Ideascale with our own ideas, but feel free to add on your own and don’t forget to vote!

Some of the ideas already on there are…

  • Design elements  – look and feel, not just content. Responsive design.
  • Technical data – More specific technical data on RWD, lazy loading, accessibility applied to complex interactions (eg mapping)
  • Software – Software: bought/open source: what’s working well for others especially integration and mobile apps. Open source CMS.
  • Channel shift – Channel shift strategies and case studies.
  • Future of LA websites – Future of LA websites – what’s hot, what’s not. Webmaster essentials- what do you really need to know legislation,trends, opportunities. Website audits.

More about the Really Useful Days

Really Useful Programme

Really Useful Days are part of the Digital Partnership programme between London Borough of Camden and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The programme’s aims are to improve public services by providing a seamless digital service between central and local government websites and improving take-up of ‘top tasks’ on the web through practical apps and sharing good practice.

A typical Really Useful Day usually involves:

  • expert speakers giving presentations on topics ranging from usability and apps to the development of GOV.UK
  • practical workshops that develop skills like analysing and improving customer journeys or building widgets
  • time for people to network with peers and gain insight into good practice on other websites
  • a comprehensive write-up put up on the Knowledge Hub afterwards, so participants have a record of what they learned

Really Useful Days are practical, free events, primarily aimed at local authority digital teams.

About Really Useful Days

The goal of the events is to:

  • promote good practice and networking
  • improve the customer experience on local authority websites
  • increase the take-up and completion rates of digital services, enabling channel shift and promoting digital by default

About Liz Azyan

Liz is a CREATIVE digital professional dedicated to helping individuals, governments and businesses realize their digital goals. She offers digital consultancy services on her website LizAzyan.com Liz is also a Google Fellowship Recipient (individuals selected based on their work and initiative in the arenas of technology, politics and social entrepreneurship), an invited expert panel on the Guardian’s Public Leader Network and has spoken at many public events and conferences on the subject of digital engagement.

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