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What mobile might do to council websites

April 11, 2011

During the length of this Parliament we are going to see a radical redesign in the way local governments communicate with their communities.

Geoff Livingstone, author and co-founder of Zoetica, writes “as 4G mobile internet enters the marketplace, lightening fast wireless broadband will become an empowering technology. By 2014, mobile Internet use is expected to surpass desktop use. Consider that wireless empowered smartphones and tablets will continue to drive down the digital divide”.

In short, more people are going to start accessing council websites through mobile devices. I spoke to councillors about this earlier today and they produced three ideas that are worthy of sharing

–          There is an issue here about data protection for councils – smartphones must be kept as safe as possible to access emails due to the Data Protection Act.

–          This may create problems for lumpy council websites that are already difficult enough to read on a pc – let alone to find information quickly on a phone or tablet.

–          All in all  this would be a good thing as apps are increasingly created locally and information easier to receive.

All agreed that a significant overhaul of council websites is on the horizon. The challenge then is to not only do this in a cost-effective, mobile-friendly way, but also in an open(source) way that allows further changes to be made at later dates without vast addition expense.

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