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Government + IT = a mess

The GNN (or Government News Network) was nice.
It published the press releases from all the Government departments, and if, like me, you prefered to pick them up through an RSS feed instead of emails, it was lovely, helpful, efficient.

On the 1 April 2008, after quietly announcing it on the 28th March 2008 on their site (where, if you're using their RSS feeds you will never go), the GNN became NDS (News Distribution Service).

They boldly stated "The look and branding of this site have therefore changed, although the services remain the same."

Nuh-uh.

If you took the RSS feeds, these are now all dead, as they are coming from a different web address.
Emails of the press releases are coming from a new address too apparently.

This meant, for me anyway, re-registering as a new user (as they seemed to have wiped my account in the process) and re-subscribing to all the feeds again. Not a great start to the day! Especially when the Government had just announced the "Power of Information Task Force, which will drive forward the Government 's pledge to meet rising aspirations of modern communications practice and improve engagement with citizens through social media." It didn't bode well, if they managed to break one of the things that WAS working well at improving communications!

Also, during the 1st of April, any link to any news release prior to that date wasn't working either. Thankfully though, somebody there realised the problem and fixed it! A big relief for me - I really didn't have the time to spare to go in and fix every link I've made to the site over the past 3 years!

Lets hope things go smoothly from now on - after the DTI / Berr farce, I wasn't holding out much hope for this, but the rapid fixing of the dead links problem definitely gives me hope!

Comments

PSL said…
I use the GNN RSS feed too and don't seem to have had any problems - it's still updating today. I know that's not much help to you, but just in case anyone else was panicking...
Dumpling said…
I may just have been unlucky!
All's working well now, but the teething problems weren't fun :-)

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