The jobs.gc.ca search widget
Last week, I learned about a search widget for the jobs.gc.ca site. It’s a simple little badge that can be deployed in the right column of any gc.ca site (I gather it’s only being distributed with the GoC realm at this point). Users can start their job search from the widget. See the widget in action on the Public Service Commission site.
Love the idea of widgets as a means to extend your presence beyond the confines of your own site. Widgets also have the advantage of allowing people to take complex actions — such as starting their job search — from wherever they happen to be encountered. Compare this to email or RSS, where often, the action that can be taken is limited to clicking through to your landing page (and then doing whatever it is that you wanted them to do in the first place). A difference of degrees maybe, but still.
I already knew about the widget for Working in Canada from HRSDC. But are there more out there? I searched a little the other day but couldn’t find anything. But I’d be surprised if there weren’t others. If you know of any, please drop a comment or otherwise flag me down.
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On 29th April Professor John Naughton, the first of our ‘Big Thinkers’, presented his view on the growth of internet and its implications for comms. He made 7 key points:
1. We need to see the ongoing changes in our digital ecosystem in some kind of long-term perspective. In that sense, what happened with print is probably the best historical analogy we have.
2. Most people still don’t understand the Internet. Firstly they tend to regard the Web and the Internet as synonomous. They’re not. The Net is the infrastructure on what everything else runs and is much bigger and more important. Because of its open and permissive architecture, it’s an enabler of disruptive innovation. Disruption is a feature of the Net, not (as politicians, content industries and governments believe) a bug.
3. Ecology provides a better analytical framework than economics for thinking about what’s going on.
4.The emerging digital ecosystem is immeasurably more complex than the one it’s replacing. Only those who can handle that complexity will thrive in it.
6. The network — not the PC — is now the computer in many contexts.
7. We need paradigms (mindsets, mental frameworks) in order to operate effectively. But paradigms also blind-side us. Thus to broadcasters the idea of “user-generated content” is an oxymoron. It can’t happen in their paradigm. So they didn’t see YouTube, Flickr etc. until it was too late. Ditto for newspapers and blogging.”
Just stumbled across the UK government’s Big Thinkers blog and this post caught my eye. Good summary of the big picture. i.e. what’s going on with the shift to digital.
BTW John Naughton is a perfesser type in the UK with a fancy title – “Public Understanding of Technology.”
He blogs at http://memex.naughtons.org/
Posted via web from Peter Smith’s Posterous
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From the Wikipedia article on Gartner's Hype Cycle
From Andrea Dimaio at Gartner:
Government 2.0 is rapidly reaching what we at Gartner call the peak of inflated expectations. This is the highest point in the diagram called “hype cycle”, which constitutes one of our most famous branded deliverables to our clients and that often feature on the press.
Almost all technologies and technology-driven phenomena go through this point, at variable speed. A few die before getting there, but many stay there for a while and then head down toward what we call the “trough of disillusionment”, i.e. the lowest point in that diagram, to then climb back (but never as high as at the peak) toward the so-called “plateau of productivity”, where they deliver measurable value.
If one looks at what is going on around government 2.0 these days, there are all the symptoms of a slightly (or probably massively) overhyped phenomenon. Those that were just early pilots one or two years ago, are becoming the norm. New ideas and strategies that were been developed by few innovators in government are now being copied pretty much everywhere.
Read the full post: Open Data and Application Contests: Government 2.0 at the Peak of Inflated Expectations.
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A word cloud of Web 2.0 themes, from Wikipedia
In explaining the business value or advantages of web 2.0, we often have to rely on analogy and metaphor. It’s a common technique to make sense of the unfamiliar in terms of what we already know.
In making these comparisons, it’s useful to juxtapose web 2.0 with what came before – Web 1.0. (We didn’t call it web 1.0 back in the day, the term was called into being only once we came up with web 2.0.)
However, this juxtaposition is often presented in black and white. As if web 2.0 sprang forth fully formed, in complete opposition to what preceded it. A clean break with the so-called 1.0 era. Some might even refer to it as a revolution.
I think it’s important to avoid this — we should recognize that the seeds of what we now consider Web 2.0 were planted way back in the early days of the web.
Today’s commenting systems on blogs have their roots in email newsgroups and internet forums. Twitter has its roots in text messaging and IM. And so on. It’s only when the social, participatory elements that have always been present in the web hit a critical mass that “web 2.0″ surfaced.
Why is this important? It lessens the shock of the new. It emphasizes that today’s web represents an evolution not a revolution. All of which makes it less threatening for people experiencing it for the first time.
I do recognize that today’s participatory web has great potential for social transformation — the documentary film Us Now makes a great case for this. But in a slow-moving, risk-averse bureaucratic context, talking revolution is unlikely to encourage decision makers to take you seriously.
And if you are trying to convince skeptics (your bosses perhaps) to “get social” or at least unblock access to the social web, it might be good strategy to point out that web 2.0 is not such a new thing after all. That the status quo will not be turned upside down from using a wiki or starting a blog. Rather, it makes sense to position these innovations as the logical next step in updating your web presence or your work environment.
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via Wordle – Wordle From Gov 2.0 Summit Notes.
Notes the creator:
Thought it would be interesting to see how my 8 pages of notes from the recent Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington DC turned out in a word cloud.
The words “people” and “data” pop out first. Nice.
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Detail from topo map available in the CanMatrix data set on GeoGratis
Last week I lamented the relative lack of GoC participation in the #gov20 trend towards providing government data in an open and reusable matter.
But whither the Government of Canada? Are there any examples of our federal government moving in this direction? Is there an example of a GoC API out there? Some easy-to-use XML feeds? I’m not aware of anything. But then I’m just a lowly digital communicator…
Then on the weekend, a @dbast tweet (I’m sure he saw my post heh) alerted me to the existence of something really neat — the GeoGratis service from Natural Resources Canada:
Geospatial data available online at no cost and without restrictions!
GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost and without restrictions via your Web browser.
The data will be useful whether you’re a novice who needs a geographic map for a presentation, or an expert who wants to overlay a vector layer of digital data on a classified multiband image, with a digital elevation model as a backdrop.
Looks like there are 81 data collections available, including base maps used for the Atlas of Canada (available in a couple of formats at a range of scales), various sets of topographic data generated from the RADARSAT-1 satellite, and print-ready versions of those classic topo maps. These last ones are seriously awesome — I’ve been using these maps for years when camping and canoeing, but had no idea I could simply download them for free!
Most of what I saw when jumping around was data or images that can be downloaded. Not sure how much of this stuff is available as a feed or via API, so I don’t know how easily this stuff could be re-purposed online on the fly by machines in that modern mashup style. But regardless, GeoGratis cool example of open and freely available Government of Canada data online.
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