Simon Berry's blog

What might things look like on 30 April?

The City

David Wilcox and I met up for a face-to-face in London yesterday to mull over progress made to date and contemplate what we may end up with when this exercise completes its first phase on 30 April. David will pitch in with further insights, corrections and clarifications.  read more »


Case study: New technology, traditional approach

Rural services OnlineRural Services Online,, the new website for the "Rural Services Network" was launched last week. Although it is implemented in Joomla (open source, web 2.0 etc) it takes a very traditional approach. Non-members can only see the news from the last 7 days. After that, all but the headline and opening sentence disappear behind an ID and Password.

There's also an 'Analysis & Comment' section, a Forum and Document Store for members only. Anyone can read the events calendar.

The journalism is very good and is by Johann Tasker of Ruralcity Media but will this site help organisations part with the £400+ membership fee? What do you think?


Membership and relationships

Mock up or ruralnet|online v1Sorry I've not been more active over here but you'll see more of me now that the ruralnet|online co-design process is well underway.

This process has been really enlightening and, as usual with the open innovation process, we are not where we thought we'd be when we started!

We've hit a bit of a watershed and our findings are relevant to this project, I think, so here they are.

Drawing everything together and injecting Paul's and Duncan's excellent work this week with Wordpress MU the image to the left is an attempt to show the status of our current thinking. Click on it to see it full size (it's on Flickr).

A focus on relationships between people and organisations rather than 'information'. A focus on 'services' rather than 'content'.

In summary, it's a graphical RSS aggregator, maybe Google Apps For Your Domain(?), with WordPress (organisational websites and individual blogs), Drupal (Experts Online), Gmail (for those who want it) and other things sitting behind it.

Although we've been focussing on ruralnet|online here, the system could be replicated for other networks using the Networks Online philosophy.

This is an Aunt Sally for everyone to have a go at. I'll be really interested in any comments and feedback.

Key questions are: What's the business model? Do we need a forum facility? What about shared file storage?  read more »


This may be too much to ask but . . .

. . . . is there a mechanism whereby users could specify a feed to be brought into the system. Maybe as part of their profile. So that stuff they wrote elsewhere that is helpful would pop up aginst their name here?





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