Monday, 3 November 2008

Yoosk and FCO

Last week Yoosk ran an experiment with the FCO in which the FCO used Yoosk to gather questions from people in Wales. There were some interesting questions and David Miliband answered the top nine of them. You can see the answers here.

Stephen Hale, Head of Engagement, Digital Diplomacy gives the FCO thoughts on the experiment in his blog here.

For Yoosk it was an exciting challenge and we are proud to have given a voice to the ordinary person and enabled them to have a question put to, and answered by the Foreign Secretary.

We can't claim that it was a total success though as the response - in the number of questions - was disappointing - and some of our coverage on Welsh blogs was negative to say the least. Here I should hold my hands up and say that I am partly responsible as I did send out the same message to several bloggers asking them if they would like to offer their readers a chance to post a question - but lesson learned for me, it won't happen again! Miss Wagstaff was one person who didn't appreciate my email although if you read the comments you can see that she did soften a little..

So where do we go from here? We hope that we can continue giving Yoosk users the chance to put questions to the people in power - it's something which we passionately believe is both necessary and ultimately beneficial to all sides.

Monday, 11 August 2008

!0 Downing Street YouTube

Gordon Brown's second YouTube exercise asking for questions from the public has come to a close. It's great to see that the PM wants to respond personally to issues raised by people like you and me.

But is this really the best way to do it? Submission of questions has ended and the answers aren't due to be published until September - an exercise like this really needs to be immediate or it will lose its impact. Then, if you're interested in what people have been asking the PM and want to browse the questions, as far as I can see, there is no easy way to do it - you have to go through the questions one by one. Quite simply, nobody is going to bother.

And finally, how does the PM choose which questions to answer? Will he choose to answer the trickiest questions or will his people cherry pick the easy ones? In the end it doesn't matter which option he chooses because regardless, people are naturally going to think he's chosen the easy ones.

An exercise like this must be transparent or it will have no value. Naturally, we at Yoosk can think of a much better way of carrying out a public engagement exercise like this......we just need somebody at Downing Street to listen to our ideas.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Facebook App

This is a quick taster of what our new facebook app will look like. Users will be able to browse and vote for questions from within facebook and even post their own questions without leaving facebook! In the meantime, if you're on facebook, why not join our facebook group here?


A recent development for Yoosk are our two new widgets. The widgets are a practical and easy way of gathering questions from sources as diverse as local media sites to personal blogs. This is an example of our "super" widget:

and a "live" version of this can be seen on Jo Swinson's personal website here.

...and our smaller version:

which can be seen being used by Johnstone Press newspaper the Halifax Courier here.

Summer of Networking

Early summer saw Tim in London on a quest to secure some investment for Yoosk - several promising leads have come of his visit and Tim had the chance to take part in some interesting events.

One of these was the Channel 4 sponsored 2gether08 event in Shoreditch, held over the 2nd and 3rd of July.

Whilst there, Tim was interviewed by Intruders TV:

July also saw Yoosk nominated for its first award - The Catalyst Awards - OK, we didn't win, but its the taking part that's important isn't it...isn't it? Anyway there was some stiff opposition and the eventual winners were great sites being run by some very bright and innovative people.

There were also meetings with MP's and local councils about how best to use Yoosk to help politicians and councillors engage with the public - more on this later when we have finalised some details.

Back to Blogging

The Yoosk blog is back with a new address and a new resolve to keep it going this time. We'll try and use this space to highlight anything of interest we see out there in the social media world and keep you updated with anything new on Yoosk.