The tech hole in the government's digital content strategy

, posted: 16-Nov-2006 13:42

I see from an official press release and also a post on Russell Brown's Hard News that the government's Digital Content Strategy discussion paper is out (link goes to 3.2MB PDF file and yes, wouldn't it be nice and more accessible if those %20 encoded spaces in the URL were removed?).

It's worth reading the document and submitting a response before the lot becomes official policy and public funding is poured into it.

Russell Brown's got some good suggestions, and he is right to point that the Internet doesn't work in the centralised or top-down fashion that the document suggests. As Russell puts it:

The emphasis here remains on the institutional capture of both content and decisions about content.

Maybe it's just me, but that actually sounds quite menacing - more like centralised control and management rather than helping NZ's digital content grow by itself.

The content examples are quite interesting - never heard of the Te Ara encyclopaedia for instance, which is a nice site - but not that exciting or community-oriented for that matter. Again, you get the feeling of being steered towards a certain type of officially sanctioned content and that's not nice.

I was also looking for some mention of those not so unimportant people who are meant to build everything. You know, the geeks. Can't see much there, even though they were the digital content pioneers (like IDG Net) and serve up far more content than most other sites in NZ (like Geekzone does).

Maybe that ended up in the "too hard" bin? The document is honest enough to say that there's a lack of understanding when it comes to digital content trends and opportunities:

We need to better understand the digital content environment in the same way that economies such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia already do. There is no national overview of how big the sector is and what it currently contributes to the economy.

I hope that just refers to the financial aspect, and not the entire digital content environment.

Finally, being me, I couldn't help noticing that little power button on the document artwork:

Windows Vista has it as well:
Vista Power

... and I've got one on my Dell laptop too. In the document, it symbolises... umm... not sure but probably the power being turned on and off. :)

Update Thanks Chiefie, it is indeed the Standby button on Vista, whereas on the Dell it serves as a power button as well. Is that perhaps the official symbol? And here's a Power On/Off one, plus a Vista Power Button, courtesy of Brad Stewart:

Power Off!

Vista Power Button
Mustn't forget Mac users! Here's the OS X power button, as sent in by Su Yin:

Other related posts:
Wikileaks keeps publishing despite Assange's arrest
Letter to Simon Power, minister of commerce re: Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill
NZ government could create new last-mile monopoly with UFB

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