#BurningRubber was an event to celebrate ten years of Team Rubber (Delib’s parent company). It was a lot of fun to take the day out in *deepest North Somerset* at Colliters Brook Farm. There were small amounts of danger, some ball sports and a fire, all to be seen in Burning Rubber – the photo story.

Meanwhile, I just worked out that Delib is seven years old (incorporated June 2004). There have been a lot of changes in digital democracy in that time, here are some reflections from me:

  • We no longer have to spend most of our days creating the case that public consultation and engagement is worth doing at all. Instead we can spend our days making awesome stuff 🙂
  • Nobody says ‘but surely nobody really uses the internet?’. I don’t miss that.
  • We’re still discussing how much it’s ok to say in public. Cluetrain is still (ever more?) relevant, but cluetrain attitudes are by no means ubiquitous (and perhaps shouldn’t be?).
  • We’re still wasting as much time making things work in IE6. The cost of that work shows up in higher costs to our clients, or less time to add useful features to our apps. IE6 stubbornly won’t die in the UK public sector. It should. IE6 must die. Plus, in a wonderfully staged and widely-shared piece of pseudo-science, IE makes you stupid :P.
  • Lower cost, open source and / or web-hosted apps are winning. There has been plenty of coverage about expensive IT consultants ripping off Whitehall. I have no commentary on that story as I don’t know the details (Dave Briggs does have a nice roundup though) – but I do believe that simpler, lower cost, more flexible software and apps will win the day. Stuff has to be good, but it no longer has to be gold-plated and managed to death. (obligatory link to our simpler, lower cost, more flexible software and apps).
  • There are more and more digital democracy heroes: individuals and teams who want to get stuff done, will take responsibility, take (some) risks, and are literate about both digital tech and people. Because keeping stuff human matters. These people inspire us 🙂

After a turbulent 2010 (and a lot of turmoil for our public sector friends and clients), I’m seeing more and more great stuff in the UK, and abroad (hello Australia and New Zealand). I’m bullish about the potential of digital democracy to build a more inclusive, more responsive, more rewarding society. Times are interesting – and in a good way.

cheers,

Andy

Group photo. Some of these people work for Delib.  They like apples.  I am not in this picture

Some of these people work for Delib. They like apples. I am not in this picture.