Video conversation with John Suffolk, CIO of UK government, on social media and data mashups

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At the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum in Mumbai, I had an opportunity to sit down with John Suffolk, Chief Information Officer of Her Majesty's Government.

In this six minute video we discussed the role of Web-based information for citizens to have self-service access to government services, social media including guidelines, and the availability of over 3,000 data sets that anyone can use to create mashups. This is a fascinating interview. The UK Government is a leader in these areas, and everyone – companies, nonprofits, and governments can learn from John.

My favorite quote about social media:
“We’re saying these tools are available. We’re not saying you must use every single tool. What we’re saying is use tools that appropriate for you to help you engage with citizens to understand what their needs are because that helps you design better policy.”

Direct link to video here.

In case you want to jump ahead, here are some timeouts:

:00 – 1:10
A little about John’s role as CIO.

1:10 – 2:16
Delivering Web-based services to citizens to do everything from apply for patents to renew a fishing license using self-service online services.

2:16 – 5:00
How the UK government worked with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, to launch data.gov.uk, a new British government website offering free access to a huge amount of public-sector data (over 3,000 individual databases) for private or commercial reuse including mashups.

5:00 – 6:50
Discussing social media guidelines and open source policies for UK Government employees.

Note to music fans:
In his John Suffolk - Government CIO blog, John throws in the odd music reference, just like I do. For example a slightly wild and crazy recent post starring "inky, pinky and stinky" had a reference to a Madness song. John has excellent taste in music (I saw Madness in New York City in the mid-1980s so I was right there with this reference).