I’m quite pleased with this: Health conversations. It’s a simple thing – a different way of presenting content that already appears somewhere else on dh.gov.uk.
We’re using it as the DH version of a blogs homepage. We’re pulling content from a few different sources – basically anything we regularly publish on dh.gov.uk that’s personally attributed: blogs and columns, and tweets from our personal-official Twitter channels.
All the page does is aggregate a collection of RSS feeds, and present them in chronological order in a grid. It’s the bonus bit of some work that Steph and Francis have been doing to enhance the way we present DH content.
I’m not really sure whether there’s a demand for this from our users – it might not have featured that high up the list in a DH need-o-tron, and it’s not solving a pressing policy problem.
The reason I like it is that it represents a few of the things we’ve been trying to do differently with digital communication in the Department of Health in the last year. Personally attributed digital content has had a central role in most of our work, so it feels good to see interesting articles pushing each other down the page like a game of health policy Tetris.
And it works because of the changes we’ve made to the way we publish our content, with every tag, category, blog and sub-site generating RSS feeds to make this kind of easy syndication and cross-promotion possible.
The other reason I like it is that I can imagine us putting it – or something like it – to work for other purposes. With a couple of tweeks to the settings, we could use something like this to curate content around a policy theme - from external sources as well as internal – as part of a policy engagement campaign.
And it looks quite nice.