E-BUSINESS: A Wish List for Embracing Birmingham's Digital Revolution; Greater Sales Performance Full Campaign Management Facility

The Birmingham Post (England), February 14, 2006 | Go to article overview

E-BUSINESS: A Wish List for Embracing Birmingham's Digital Revolution; Greater Sales Performance Full Campaign Management Facility


Byline: DAVID BURDEN

Digital Birmingham launches today in Chamberlain Square. Kids and half-term willing I might head down there to find out what all the fuss is about.

My Digital Birmingham guide tells me that Birmingham is leading the digital revolution and that the city will be "embracing the latest technology ... to ensure our city and its workforce are ahead of the game".

Needless to say that got me thinking. What would be on my shopping list for a Digital Birmingham?

Thankfully it looks like the existing birmingham.gov.uk web site is going to get an overhaul.

It's a good site, in terms of the range of services and information, but looks horrendous and is a nightmare to navigate around. My pet peeve is that the main library page links to leisure and tourism not library services.

But being a digital city should reach far beyond the web site. Unfortunately a lot of the most obvious improvements are actually about playing catch-up.

Things like city wide WiFi, real time bus data to my mobile so I know how fast to run down the road, widespread access to CCTV cameras to help with journey planning, and RSS feeds of events and information so that I don't have to visit the web site to find out what is on. Many cities have already been there, done that.

So what could we also do that would help push us to the forefront of the digital revolution?

First we could embrace the rise of personal and citizen media.

Just go to feedmap.net to see all the bloggers that are based in the city. Take a look at www.frappr.com to find groups and places active in Birmingham, or www.flickr.com to view thousands of photos of the city. Or hunt down some Brum based podcasts. Why not build a site that not only merges community content such as this with official content, but also points people to the tools which will let them take part and create their own content? …

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