Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Last night I attended another networking event at the Chemistry Club. I've been to a few now, and find them invaluable for making contacts and finding out what is going on in other sectors. I had the pleasure of talking to a number of CIOs from the government sector including the Ministry of Justice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our own BIS. Much of the discussion was around some of the challenges around BYOD (Bring your Own Device) and the growth of social media. Many sectors are interested to talk to us about both of these. BYOD is not really a concept for us, students have been turning up with many different devices and expecting them to connect and work on our network for years. They were also exercised by the announcement that the post of Government CIO had been abolished, and that digital reform of government would be pushed through by the Cabinet Office Government Digital Service, with Mike Bracken who spoke at our recent UCISA conference leading on this. His blog is definitely worth a read to see what's happening in the government digital space.

I also spoke to a couple of suppliers, and had an interesting chat with the Head of Future Media at the BBC about where things were going in that area. Our main speaker was Lewis Wiltshire, Director of Media Partnerships at Twitter, who spoke about how twitter can be used in different sectors to reach out to people and enhance your "brand", the definition of which varies according to what sector you're in. He had some interesting statistics, 40% of twitter users never tweet but just read content, 60% of tweets are during or about television programmes, in the UK 80% of tweets are from mobile devices compared to 60% in the rest of the world.
He talked about successful twitter campaigns, and how hash tags can be used very successfully to communicate and influence millions of people. Afterwards I had a chat with him about when hash tags go bad, and what can be done to avoid that.

Very useful evening. In my position I think it's important to network externally as much as internally, to get out there as much as possible, to find out what's going on, what we should be watching, what other sectors are doing, and make contacts. You never know when you might need them :-)

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