Readers of this blog will know that I have a particular interest in edemocracy, politics and the internet. In fact I'd go as far as to say I'm passionate about the ways in which social media and the internet ca be used to empower individuals and government to make our lives and the world around us a better place.
With this in mind you can imagine my excitement to see via Twitter that two towering forces of academia, Oxford University's Internet Institute and London School of Economics Public Policy Group had launched a website, Government on the Web, dedicated to:
"improving knowledge and understanding of e-government and the impact of web-based technologies on government"
"Awesome", I thought. An online repository for research, case studies, practical guides, etc.
Imagine my horror to see the site that has been developed. Take a look at the screenshot above. Yes. That's it. No, I've not searched the Way Back Machine. That site was designed, built and published *last week*.
I won't list all the failings here – there's too many and it's too mean. But, holy crap, is this representative of the cutting-edge research being done by teams of UK experts in the field? Wow.
Back in 2007 I went to a one-day conference exploring the future of media at Goldsmith's University and blogged that the experience left me feeling that a lot of UK academics don't yet get social media.
Two years on and this site doesn't fill me with much hope that things have changed. The Oxford Internet Institute is twinned with Harvard's Berkman Center? Home to Doc Searls' and his ground-breaking work into VRM. But looking at this site you wouldn't get that impression.
I'll say it again for added emphasis: Wow. Really.