FUD about municipal wifi

Dave points to a bit of scaremongering about publically provided wifi and says:

Citiwide wifi systems will make new products possible. Imagine an iPod that had wifi built-in. While you’re walking around NYC it could check if any of your feeds have updated. This is one of those things you gotta know we’re going to be doing in a couple of years, if not less.

Yeah, but even more so I can imagine a wifi mobile phone that does VoIP for free and so can the sponsors of this sort of reporting (Verizon the bluetooth cripplers are mentioned). I’d expect more of this sort of stuff, the closer that the day comes that I can walk around London chatting to people all over the world for no cost to me (& therefore no revenue to a phone company) beyond the price of my phone and taxes I’ve already paid.

Public Service Networking

chatting about what's important to you

One of my top new projects this year is to establish a (large) network of people working in public services in the UK. The idea is that there are plenty of people in public service who essentially do a very similar job to one another – it just happens to be serving a particular geographic area/population or it’s about a particular service to the public or policy area.

The network will give these people an opportunity to come together, show off about what they’re doing, find out what others are doing and just generally chat with people who understand the issues they face (because…durrr… they face them too). I’m kind of thinking of an ecademy for public servants.

My intended part in this is to host and facilitate the online world of this network and the even more important offline, face to face meetings between these people.

What’s different I hope from the networking opportunities that people have is that I don’t want to be prescriptive by constraining which groups of people talk to each other. There are niche networks for people who are interested in, say, performance measurement in social services in local councils in London. But where is there that people at the Home Office can engage with people from Bristol Council and the Audit Commission at the same time let alone with the serendipitous possibility that someone from a PCT in East Anglia might have recently been working on just the thing that they’re interested in and is eager to show off her learning?

Of course if people want to have narrower, area or policy specific conversations there too then that’s fine.

At the moment I’m looking at community-building software for the online bit and talking to some of the cleverer people I know about what would be really useful and how it should be done.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, then please feel free to, either here in the comments or by e-mail to lloyd AT perfectpath etc.


A departure now from the podwalking. I will certainly keep them up – perhaps a weekly feature, but this really is my weblog and it should be at least as much about what I’m doing and thinking as about exploring new technologies.

So here are a couple of audioblogs from this week – I’m still walking in the street talking to myself (!) but I’m concentrating more on what I’m thinking than about what I can see and hear.

So here’s something from Monday and Tuesday No photos, but some shownotes of sorts for those who don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention:

David Weinberger and his after dinner speech
del.icio.us my bookmarks at del.icio.us
The Dawn and Drew Show (Not Safe for Work or sensitive souls!)
Adam Curry and his Daily Source Code
Madge Weinstein (Definitely not safe for work)

Feedback strongly encouraged.

Podwalk 3

Another walk (well it starts off with a bus ride!) this time from Chelsea to Victoria Station
As before there is an accompanying flickr photoset at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lloyd-davis with the tag podwalk003.

I’m also trying out the “Liberated Syndication” podcast storage facilility at www.libsyn.com which gives me 250mb of space and unlimited bandwidth for just more than a fiver a month (thanks to the weak dollar) Let me know if there’s any noticable difference in download times or reliability.

If you’d like to send me your own audio comment you can do so at lloyd DOT davis AT gmail DOT com

Happy walk-listening!