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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new home for the GDS blog

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GDS team

This morning we moved the GDS blog over to the GOV.UK blogging platform. You might notice a few changes to the way the site looks and works, including a new URL.

The move is an important one for us, as it give us more control over the design and functionality of the blog, and makes things like searching by topic and author much easier for you.

The move does also mean some changes that we wanted to make you aware of.

Unfortunately most of the comments made during the last couple of weeks on the old platform will not be moved over, so they won't show up on the new blog.

Also, if you subscribe to email updates to this blog, you'll notice that the emails will change.

As with everything here at GDS, we really value your feedback. Please let us know what you think of the new platform, and how we could improve on it. You can comment below, send us a tweet or find our contact and email information here.

However you want to get in touch, we are keen to hear from you.

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  1. Comment by Walnut Creek Chiropractor posted on

    Too bad the comments don't move over. Over the last year, there was some really good stuff. No matter, I'm certain they'll come back. I also wondered why my RSS feeds were not working. Glad I finally went to the site to find out why. I missed the updated. Love the new site layout. Really clean and easy to navigate. Great job!

    • Replies to Walnut Creek Chiropractor>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Sorry you missed the move over - but very glad that you like the new look, and I hope you continue to enjoy our content. We welcome all feedback, so keep it coming! Thanks, Carrie

  2. Comment by Does Creatine Work posted on

    That would explain why I haven't seen any updates lately. Thanks for the notice. No worries on the comments coming over. Glad to see search being a priority! I've been using Google to search this site in the past (site: url) so having a local search option is most welcomed. That will make a nice addition.

  3. Comment by Debt Relief posted on

    I think common approach makes sense and the enhanced search facility is welcomed. Good design and functionality of the blog.

  4. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Re: "The context".

    I had hope you would have picked up what I meant. OK. my old GDS team home has now been destroyed, although the content is still there.

    And we've started again in this domain, for ALL the blogs, and projects, and..... But apart from the one suggested link I made to the blog's directory there are no others. There are no links, on each blog, (or anywhere else) which takes a reader to the directory. They all just point to i.e. No context.

    Sorry I'm so short. Been here too many times i guess. Eventually your blog directory won't look too much different than this one. i.e. a dog's breakfast of personal, departmental, service development, specific issues and peer groups' reports and opinions. None, apart from the personal blogs, are user centric.

    It's taken me forever to connect Stefan's comment on Janet's post (sorry I can't point directly to it) and compare it with what Arc was saying was saying last year. (sorry I can't point directly at it)

    i couldn't remember where you put the GDS project blogs. I get disorientated so easily, when trying to stay across developments in just a few countries. I do wish people would knock on the front door before they send the bulldozers in. Even Vogons give a little warning.

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Hi again Simon. We really do greatly value the feedback that we receive, and I totally appreciate that changes can lead to disorientation and frustration.

      One of the things we are looking at to improve is orientation between GDS blogs, and part of the move was to help improve the search function; although this is still a work in progress.

      Your feedback about the directory has been added to our list for discussion already, and it's something we intend to talk more about - we've had a couple of chats about how we can work with this idea already.

      As always, thanks so much for talking to us - it really is invaluable.

      • Replies to Carrie Barclay>

        Comment by simonfj posted on

        OK Carrie,

        If you really do want feedback here, there are going 2 b some very detailed discussions, and blogs ain't the tool to do it. (But we can talk about that bigger picture later). That said, let's start being (re)"constructionists" (as my mates in the open ed space say). All conversations above the radar, please.

        It took a while. But my confusion was created because, although I read this one, I didn't think about it. i missed the obvious. Again, sorry i can't point at individual comments, but juliachandler mentioned what we're all thinking. There is a confusion in divisions - between individuals reporting on behalf of government departments, and groups of inter-depart mentalists discussing the development of common services/common themes with their common constituency. That's pretty samo, samo in all govs. Old and new cultures.

        So the thinking (re: the blogs), which Graham mentioned on the same thread, is "A more satisfying solution (which) would involve making the blogs an integrated (rather than standalone) part of GOV.UK". If you want to explore this, then just tell me. In the meantime :

        GDS has it's new url, and the Vogons have stolen every hint of the teams' history. One copy is here, if you'd like to point at this page. It would save me explaining to others govs that some leadership is required. Maybe linked from the GDS "about" page. Up to you. Of course you could always use the situation as an excuse to talk to the National archives. It's pretty common for people who are focussed on the present to forget that they're leaving learning objects behind, or, more usually, just throwing their past away. (which is one reason why no one can learn anything, and departments reinvent wheels endlessly)

        You've got the Categories drop down under "what we do". Trouble is you've dropped the GDS "service" in the wider blog space. So you'll need to introduce/point to the "teams" (or 'groups' as they are called them in the open research space). The "teams" now will be working in themes - IA, Inclusion, Engagement, technology, etc - from various different departments. They ain't "from the GDS". The GDS is just a culture, with skills, which is developing in all departments. (like communications/media)

        Re: Bob's, Jon's and Mary's personal stuff, which is really good, now needs to be included in a team which reflects a theme/issue, not a department. That's the biggest change in all of this; separating the issues/services from any one department. So they need to have a 'leadership' (or simliar theme) team blog, because they're certainly providing it.

        Just one more note, to kick around the next team's meet. You've read this report, especially 4.5. and 7.5. With the GCN and GDS, we have the inward (inter-departmental) facing, and outward (inter-citizen) facing, divisions of the civil service.

        So i guess one interesting approach might be to take this gcn home url/domain and consider a division of labour. The teams' blogs will naturally be mixed in to the outward facing part of the environment. Does that make sense?

  5. Comment by George posted on

    Much better! Nice work!. The only little nag I have is the Next/Previous controls but that has been mentioned.

    • Replies to George>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Yes - we are discussing those at the moment - thanks as always for your input.

  6. Comment by Stefan posted on

    There's a bit of tidying up needed on a least one of the category pages. The header para of has four apparent links, but only two of them are real - the other two just have <a> tags with no content (and one of the ones which is there has no closing </a>, so it runs into the next one. Not a disaster, but inevitably it was one of the missing ones I wanted, so a moment's frustration.

    • Replies to Stefan>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Thanks for your feedback - unfortunately there are bound to be a few glitches - but your comment means we can get straight on and get this fixed, so we're grateful to your eagle eyes!

  7. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Oh Carrie,

    That wasn't fair. I just starting pointing people at those very few conversations that are JUST starting to grow, and proving that the gds team is exemplifying the open way of doing things.

    Could you do us a favour? Just repeat this post here = So if anyone has bookmarked the old url they might be able to figure WTF! And point to all those "previous/recent posts" before this one, here, to the old url, so one can follow the history. Won't hurt to have a few duplications for (say) 6 months.

    It's quite logical to put the gds in the broader context. No probs there.

    Don't know what you're going to come up with so far as a directory for all the blogs though. I'd hate to be the one responsible for standardizing the topic tags on all the posts. Maybe introduce a "Time" tag for every entry, so we can at least get a snapshot, in time, of all the departmental talk. A glossary (with links to) is also going to help, just to make some (quick) sense of all the acronyms. I mean "HPRT", just rolls off the tHPonguRTe:)

    You know we say "content is king"? He's a bit useless without a queen to give him context.
    P.S. Could we sign in with a FB, LI, WP, etc account please. Sooner or later they'll be lots of talk about federating services, like these blogs. Might as well get into the swing of things early.

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Thanks so much for your detailed feedback Simon - I'll take some time to digest your comments and share them with the team, too.

      • Replies to Carrie Barclay>

        Comment by simonfj posted on

        And thank you for the home sweet home. Tell me when you need some new doilies:)

  8. Comment by Tom posted on

    Hi Carrie. The emails could do with being a bit longer. Or the "inverse pyramid" could be steeper. I didn't really get a proper sense of the story from just the email - but nor was I sufficiently teased. 🙂

    • Replies to Tom>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Thanks for your feedback Tom - we are planning on improving the email alerts, so I'll be sure to keep your comments in mind.

  9. Comment by Ross Chapman posted on

    I'm pleased you've been able to move the blog - it's a fantastic communication channel. I guess my number one comment is that the email alerts need some work - but that will take time obviously.

    I'm interested in the decision to use non-familiar sharing icons. Yes - it fits your (awesome) design aesthetic, but maybe not as familiar to users? Saying that, the audience here are going to be more tech-savvy!

    Congrats - and ..... onwards!

    • Replies to Ross Chapman>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      We agree that the email alerts need to be worked on - definitely on the list. Thanks for your feedback - onwards indeed!

  10. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    It would be great to have notification when a reply to my comment has been made.

    • Replies to Andrew Robertson>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Thanks for your feedback - we will add your request to our list and see what we can do.

  11. Comment by Stuart Barker posted on

    I like the change. The common approach makes sense and the enhanced search facility is welcomed.

  12. Comment by Stephen posted on

    I'm missing the next/previous blog entry links already! I can't just go to the oldest entry I haven't read and read/click through to the most recent entry anymore (without going via the blog index every time).

    • Replies to Stephen>

      Comment by Carrie Barclay posted on

      Thanks so much for your feedback - much appreciated - we will see what we can do about this.

  13. Comment by Dogsbody posted on

    So that's why my RSS feed decided to re-show me the last year's worth of blog posts! 🙂