Lessons learnt – part 1

If you have an outsourced IT provider and they bring in an off-site ‘expert’ to do some work don’t assume the ‘expert’ is actually knowlegable.

Result – an ‘expert’ who deleted the core website templates and emptied the recycle bin when they were employed to create an XML sitemap

Solution – check the CV of the ‘expert’ before they start.

Make sure your licences are up-to-date and you know when they run out.

Result – an IT department who ‘decided’ not to renew a licence for a website search engine – so a none-working search

Solution – quick purchase of Google site search for £10; medium term a log of licences 

Be clear about the definition of words – ‘a managed service’

Result – a hosting provider who did nothing except ‘watch the boxes’ and fired off bizarre alerts 

Solution – do not assumed that words you recognise mean what you think – find out 


Digital communications strategy anyone? Part 1

We are currently in the middle of cooking up a digital communications strategy.

I thought you might be interested in the recipe which, hopefully, does not go wrong in the oven.


  • Recognition of the need to change and increase the use digital comms more as a organisation
  • Senior management buy-in to have a strategy
  • An organisational strategy with clear objectives
  • A top notch consultant with an unrivalled knowledge of digital tools, techniques and great strategic thinking skills.
  • Research activity by the consultant including: 
    • interviewing key internal contacts
    • reviewing key organisations documents
    • looking at comparator organisations
    • reviewing web stats etc
  • Research paper/recommendations by the consultant
  • Reconfigure the research paper to fit into internal templates
  • Rewrite objectives five or six time to align fully with organisational objectives

to be continued….



Accessible data anyone?

A bit like ‘traditional’ user accessibility do we need data accessibility guidelines?

In that case what else follows?

  • A screen reader = a data accessibility reader?
  • Do we need a dummies guide to accessible data?
  • What would accessible data user testing look like?
  • Do we need an online data format validation tool – ‘test my trial data’?

@baskers has written in much more depth, and with much more expertise on this subject. You really should read her blog article.

    Nine small moral dilemmas

    How often does this happen?

    1) Your manager asks to become a friend on Facebook

    2) Your manager sends you a work related question via Facebook

    3) A friend on Facebook becomes a supplier

    4) You know of a contract manager who is a Facebook friend of a supplier for the same contract

    5) A current supplier asks to connect with you via Linkedin

    6) A contact on Linkedin becomes a supplier

    7) You recommend a contact on Linkedin who later becomes a supplier

    8) A contact asks for a recommendation on Linkedin but you have never worked with them.

    9) You have a ‘semi-private’ conversation with someone on Twitter who then copies and uses your Tweets out of context

    So where does the line get drawn between relationships and is there any difference between these situations online and offline?

    Does it make a difference that online these interactions and connections become visible?

    Should they be included in declarations of interest? Is there anything that either HR or propriety teams need to get involved in?