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Closing down the Chief Minister’s media release site?

By johnboy - 17 February 2012 16

I’ve had this curious missive out from ACTGOVMedia:

Dear subscriber

The website (www.chiefminister.act.gov.au) and subscription service will be closing down permanently in the next few weeks.

ACT Government Minister’s media releases and ACT Government Directorate’s media releases will be uploaded to the ACT Open Government website at www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government. If you wish to continue to receive ACT Government media releases you will be required to subscribe to the RSS feed of this site. You will be able to subscribe at a later date.

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed. Web users are then able to subscribe to the RSS Feeds. RSS allows web users to easily stay informed by receiving the latest content from the sites they are interested in, rather than having to visit each site individually. Users have greater privacy by not having to join each site’s email list.

Further updates will be emailed to inform current subscribers about the status of the media release transfer to the Open Government website.

For more information please email ACTGOVMedia@act.gov.au

regards

Maria Evans |Communications Officer
Communications and Engagement | Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate | ACT Government
Level 4 Canberra Nara Centre 1 Constitution Avenue Canberra ACT 2601 | GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601 | www.act.gov.au

At the moment at least if you divine that “inform” is the option for information it links back to the soon to be decommissioned page.

One hopes this doesn’t mean government media releases will no longer be posted online for the public to access without stroking the egos of press secretaries.

That would be a positively Orwellian way to implement “Open Government”.

Some points to consider:

    1. Moving from an email list and website to an RSS feed is a backwards step in terms of general accessibility.

    2. There is almost no cost whatsover to automatically feeding information from one page to another.

    3. Looking at the Open Government site who can see where the RSS feed is?

    4. Discontinuing an email list, that has been in operation for a great many years, is sure to reduce the number of people in possession of government media releases. Again not a very “Open” way to disseminate information.

    5. It shouldn’t take a professional more than 10 minutes to get an rss converter continuing the email distribution list from whatever source the ACT Government chooses to run it.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Closing down the Chief Minister’s media release site?
taninaus 6:03 pm 18 Feb 12

housebound said :

Joy Burch’s department (community services, housing etc). Makes Arts look good.

Arts and Joy Burch’s Directorate are one and the same – Arts is now in Community Services.

joh8754 5:36 pm 18 Feb 12

The article says, “ACT Government Minister’s media releases and ACT Government Directorate’s media releases will be uploaded to the ACT Open Government website at http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government. If you wish to continue to receive ACT Government media releases you will be required to subscribe to the RSS feed of this site.”
I am assuming then, that although one website is closing down, the service that is being offered from that website will now be offered at another part. So we are still getting the service!
I am also assuming that perhaps they are trying to make all ACT Government websites similar to incorporate the ‘one government’ approach – something that came out of the Hawke review in 2011.
Just throwing up some ideas.

housebound 2:11 pm 18 Feb 12

I-filed said :

johnboy said :

I’m sorry, are we really being told that the ACT Government is incapable of migrating an email list? What on gods earth do the thousands of ACT Public Servants do all day???

JB the incompetence goes way, way deeper than the Chief Minister’s office.
ACT Arts aren’t capable of posting lists of successful applicants for Arts grants – and then fail to respond to formal requests for such – so not only is the Gallagher ACT Government incapable of administering an email list, they are incapable of fulfilling legislative requirements for advising competitive funding round outcomes – which would be organised by simply loading a PDF to their site once every few months.

Joy Burch’s department (community services, housing etc). Makes Arts look good.

Ian 12:31 pm 18 Feb 12

johnboy said :

I’m sorry, are we really being told that the ACT Government is incapable of migrating an email list?

What on gods earth do the thousands of ACT Public Servants do all day???

Fill in their timesheets accurately?

I-filed 12:05 pm 18 Feb 12

johnboy said :

I’m sorry, are we really being told that the ACT Government is incapable of migrating an email list?

What on gods earth do the thousands of ACT Public Servants do all day???

JB the incompetence goes way, way deeper than the Chief Minister’s office.
ACT Arts aren’t capable of posting lists of successful applicants for Arts grants – and then fail to respond to formal requests for such – so not only is the Gallagher ACT Government incapable of administering an email list, they are incapable of fulfilling legislative requirements for advising competitive funding round outcomes – which would be organised by simply loading a PDF to their site once every few months.

johnboy 11:11 am 18 Feb 12

I’m sorry, are we really being told that the ACT Government is incapable of migrating an email list?

What on gods earth do the thousands of ACT Public Servants do all day???

Gungahlin Al 10:33 am 18 Feb 12

Pretty extreme reaction to avoid a little list cleansing…
Just include an email to the list asking for re-registration. Then purge all that don’t. Problem solved.
I check my RSS feeds once or twice a day, emails much more.
Retrograde step.
And yes Mr Reason, where did the redefinition of RSS come from?

PantsMan 9:49 am 18 Feb 12

@ACTPS_Comms

You are, of course, going to archive the existing Media Releases and ask the National Library to archive the site? How could anyone in the future know the history of the GDE, public art etc without that catalog of failure?

And RSS sucks!

taninaus 8:52 pm 17 Feb 12

Yes I got this too and am very dissapointed they are ceasing the email list. Unless you use it RSS is a useless platform – I have subscribed to a few feeds then never gotten back to checking what has been posted very often – email is the best way for me to get the passive information.

Not happy ACT Gov comms.

ACTPS_Comms 6:40 pm 17 Feb 12

The current Chief Minister’s site is being decommissioned as there is a lot of information duplicated on other Government sites but primarily because the email subscription database is becoming increasingly prone to error and according the hosts of the site requires considerable work to function effectively.

The Open Government website will house all ministerial releases that will be uploaded and accesible in the same way they are currently on the Chief Minister’s website. From the time of the decomissioning of the current site subscribers through the RSS feed will also be sent directorate media releases that will also be accesible on the Open Government site.

Subscribers will be kept informed of the timing of media releases being moved to the new site and RSS feed and all the releases currently on the Chief Minister’s site will be archived and available on the Open Government site.

The email message in this thread gives subscribers a few weeks warning and time to contact the Communications and Engagement unit for further information.

mr reason 6:32 pm 17 Feb 12

I thought RSS stood for Really Simple Syndication. so does Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_(protocol)//w/index.php?title=RSS&oldid=407491111

johnboy 6:25 pm 17 Feb 12

RSS is a good platform for driving email, twitter, facebook, and whatever else comes along.

RedDogInCan 5:45 pm 17 Feb 12

Email and RSS – good to see they are moving out of the 90’s and into the 00’s. Any modern system would be using Twitter or Facebook by now.

poetix 5:32 pm 17 Feb 12

They’re renaming the Communications and Engagement area Communications and Divorce, too

Myles Peterson 5:01 pm 17 Feb 12

Don’t worry, JB

I’m sure the new system will be up and running well come November.

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