Saturday, 28 February 2009

write to reply

if:book London and the Institute for the Future of the Book are both small think and do tanks which attract a lot of interest, so administrative overload can occur.

A few weeks ago I received a baffling email:

Hi Chris, I'm not sure if you are the right person to thank but I wanted to express my appreciation to whoever took the time to put the Digital Britain report up for comment on the web - fantastic resource / idea. If you are not the person, can you pass on my thanks to whoever did this?
All the best,
Patrick Dodds


Neither the Institute in NY nor if:book London had done this to my knowledge so..I couldn't accept or pass on thanks.

Then we heard from Joss Winn of the 'WriteToReply' project which has been putting public documents into a version of CommentPress, the open source WordPress application developed by the Institute (the second version of which will be available soon), and all was gradually revealed.

Take a look at the Write to Reply site,
and their hosted version of the Government's Digital Britain, a significant but underwhelming strategy which has also been critiqued in detail by NESTA's Charlie Leadbeater. You can read his full response at www.charlesleadbeater.net

He concludes:

"If the government is serious about wanting Britain to lead the way into the digital
revolution then it has to be honest about the scale of the challenge: added investment
in broadband will pay dividends only if it further disrupts traditional media industries
that are already being hit hard by the recession and which are more important than
ever to the UK’s future thanks to the crisis in the financial services sector.

Universal broadband will be essential infrastructure for the UK’s future. But even
more important will be the creativity and innovation of consumers and entrepreneurs
to create the social and business models of the future. Sadly Digital Britain has little or
nothing to say about these latter challenges. It is a route map to the future which
peters out after the first few metres."

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