[LINK] UK government to create 'super websites'

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Jan 11 09:37:44 AEDT 2007

On 11/01/2007, at 8:29 AM, Jan Whitaker wrote:

> At 07:16 AM 11/01/2007, Antony Barry wrote:
>> Perhaps it's the contrast between one resulting from bottom up
>> cooperation and the other from central direction.
> <snip> I think many centralisers are mostly trying to reduce  
> support overhead. That's the point of many mergers, besides  
> control. Roger said it well: Will anyone ever re-discover  
> diseconomies of scale and scope?

I don't have a problem with reducing support overhead, though the  
corollary that more centralisation = more control is not clear.

> Speaking of control.....There is also the matter of who controls  
> the data. If it's centralised, whoever has the button in that spot  
> makes it on or off. If it's distributed, the control lies in the  
> hands of the source.

I regard this as a minor 'problem' in the grand scheme of things.  
There are others who have access to the on/off button, and in the  
grand scheme of things, there are more on/off buttons that determine  
access to a website.

'Control' can be as much or as little is required to run a service.  
There was no hint in the article that government agencies would have  
less control over their data.

But look at the wider picture here: governments have always wanted to  
control how data is distributed to the public. Just because we are  
talking about a collection of websites doesn't change a great deal.

I can think of larger entities on the web which have 'control' over  
access to data - and not just Google or Yahoo, either.

On a personal level, I am as uncomfortable as Tony and others about  
the direction that this move is heading in, but this doesn't alter  
the simple fact that on paper, the merger looks like offering a  
number of advantages. How individual government departments handle  
the data and how they allow it to be accessed probably won't change  

I see this as a 'Portal 2.0' move, and as doomed to failure as  
portals were generally (and it's got a noice Web2.0 ring about it as  


Ivan Trundle
http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742
skype: callto://ivanovitchk

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