Saturday, 31 July 2010

Lines of communication

Right - we now have a lot of different ways to communicate and this entry is an attempt to list (for now) what there is and how we can join it all together without needing to remember zillions of passwords and website addresses.

Sasha set up a Ning group for NPWMG a few years ago and it has proven very useful since then as a way to keep in touch and update each other.

Then Gregg from Gwent produced this: a demo site based on the open-source Elgg.

And now there is also a Google group:

There is also a fourth option called POLKA provided by the NPIA. A couple of people from the group have approached the NPIA for a NPWMG account. The only slight concern with this is that the NPIA is now being disbanded and there is a real chance this facility may mysteriously disappear in the coming months.











Cover it Live

We're on a road to somewhere

I have changed the background image for this blog - a hint that as a group we intend to follow a road to somewhere rather than nowhere as in the Talking Heads song.

Sasha Taylor, James Bancroft and I worked via Skype last night to furiously create a blog, group, site and email account for the National Police Web Manager's group.  What I need to do now is rationalise all this stuff we have created and publish what is all it and how we are going to stick it all together in a meaningful huddle of online collaboration tools to enable us as a group to work together.

The story so far
The National Police Web Managers' Group (NPWMG) was started by a great man called James Pickett from Cambridgeshire Constabulary around 1999/2000.  The first meeting was organised by him and was an invite to his patch (somewhere on an airfield as I recall) for an initial get together of all those webby people working in forces at that time.  It was soon established that the most important thing a group like ours could offer was the knowledge that we were not working in silos and there were others out there who shared the same frustrations and difficulties. As time went on we established a pattern of national meetings hosted by colleagues at various HQ locations. Notable names from the past who shouldn't be forgotten include Shona from Dorset and Patrick from West Yorkshire. Who both acted as Group Secretary for the group in the earlier days.

More recent activities have included the coordination of the Crime Maps work during 2008 which led to the NPIA using the group's solution for the national CrimeMapper application. Other work includes the API for the national FAQs system

With the recent change in Government, the severe reduction in budgets and David Cameron's ideal of the Big Society, we are in a great position to move forward withe the group's main objective which is to work collaboratively together for an intelligent and cost effective way to provide the public with the best set of police-related web information and tools available.

Friday, 30 July 2010