Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Pigs, flying

Tom Watson MP, Minister for Digital Engagement, on news that lots of people were searching google for Swine Flu last month:-
As a very large number of click throughs for swine flu went to the wikipedia page, should public health officials spend time ensuring that the page is accurate and up to date? If not, should our content editors at DirectGov and NHS Direct be working with Wikipedians to make sure that wikipedia is providing the very best health care advice on how do deal with the H1N1 virus?
The hitwise article he's talking about states
DirectGov ranked second, although it – like NHS Choices – paid for most of its traffic.
People trust and rely on wikipedia far more than government websites, even though we pay for the government websites through our taxes and wikipedia is free.

My two cents:-
What makes Tom Watson think that 'public health officials', DirectGov and NHS Direct know better than wikipedia?

Since people trust wikipedia more than state funded websites, won't it contaminate the brand?

Like as Dave Cole off of Twitter says
@tom_watson No, not as a corporate entity; it sets a bad precedent. What would happen if (say) the MoD edited pages on the Iraq war?
An extra cent, from me, for free:-
Could the government save a bit of money by not investing / spending / buying sponsored links / adverts for its websites?

Its all propaganda, that's what's getting paid for, so the government can be seen to be doing something.

There was an advert in the Guardian, a big full page advert, those things don't come cheap, they come expense, it told me to use a hankie when I sneeze and blow my nose. My gran told me that for free. Can the state not take my money and spend it on telling me the same things my gran told me.

Actually, fuck it, I was trying to to blog this one, but here we go...

The other week I went along to a comedy night, Beat the Blues, with Peyvand Khorsandi & Hils Barker, it was very funny, there was even a surprise appearance of Shappi Khorsandi. Anyhoo, one of Hils Barker's lines was about how on the London Underground there are adverts advising people to drink five glasses of water a day. The government is prescribing that people drink water to stop being dehydrated.

Human's have been drinking water for hundreds of years, dare I say thousands of years, in fact, we always have done, it keeps us alive. Its fucking ludicrous that the government are spending money (that they don't have) on adverts telling people to drink water.

Whatever next?

Well, clearly its the adverts telling people how to breath.

Can they no fuck off and stop investing / spending money?

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