Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Redbridge-i website - Award Winning? Search for the Truth.


I just tried the Redbridge-i search facility and it appears to be working! This was after many complaints by on-line community users that the facility just doesn't work.

Looks like if enough people do report bugs and errors repeatedly something gets done about them.

In a report out today Redbridge is praised for the Redbridge-i website by the Audit Commission in the latest Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA).

Have a look at the Guardian on-line today: Red-i article

Also - there is a large article in the December issue (p.14) of "Redbridge Life" - read it here: Redbridge Life - Page 14

14 comments:

  1. You really don't think that the CAA report is referring to RiV2 do you?
    It's referring to the old Red-i where we did get to have a say [sometimes] and things sort of worked to a fashion.

    As for Redbridge Lies......

    The main forum is now almost a one way flow, or should that be dribble, of traffic. Apart from the odd comment from you Mark and Julie, Redimanager is just copying and pasting items from the news section to bolster the number of posts.

    It's a bloody disgrace. Forum? What forum? "Active discussions"? What? Active? It's about as active as Road Kill.

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  2. I've been trying to find the latest CAA to check but do you think I can find it? Naa. I can't find the latest CAA to which the guardian refers - have you go a link then? The new oneplace website goes live tomorrow. I am waiting to see Redbridge's CAA on there as soon as.

    I agree totally with you about the site and the fact that it is just not functioning for the people in the way we would like it to.

    Question is, what are we gonna do about it? eh?
    Do we create our own forum for the people , by the people, or do we keep using blog power to get our messages across? It's not difficult to set up a BB forum using free software. I have some knowhow and spare website capacity including database. But even if we did, we would have to get very large numbers of users in Redbridge using it.. blablabla just a thought. Have you (community users) discussed this option before Weggis?
    cheers

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  3. No I don't have a link. But I do know that RiV2 has only been up for just over a month and the CAA probably don't even know it has changed!

    Just how long do you think it takes government departments to produce a report?

    Question is, what are we gonna do about it? eh?

    We are already doing it. We are voting with our feet. We have this blog and the others in the side bar.

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  4. yeah agreed, people will vote with their feet and that's what's happening.

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  5. I just added my comments to the guardian newspaper article:
    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/rbnews/4783827.REDBRIDGE__Council_website_praised_by_government_watchdog/#show

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  6. Weggis - Turns out that it is the new website which has won a green flag on the latest CAA for Redbridge!

    Can you believe it? Here's the link:

    http://oneplace.direct.gov.uk/infobyarea/region/area/Pages/areaoverview.aspx?region=51&area=395

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  7. Yes. It's called "Box Ticking".

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  8. indeed, and look where that got Waltham Forest, 4 stars, now 2!

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  9. Over at "The Pickards" blog,
    http://www.thepickards.co.uk/index.php/200910/redbridge-is-not-all-is-cracked-up-to-be/

    they did an accessability study for the deaf and partially sighted on the old site in october

    "My first reactions were “triple-A? bet it isn’t” and “built into the CMS? now I’m really convinced they don’t understand accessibility”. So, given that Redbridge i seems to be frequently lauded as an example of what local government should be doing, I thought I’d better take a look to see if it is accessible, or if it is likely to present any significant barriers to disabled users.

    Whilst not proving the site inaccessible, the fact that the home page failed to validate was probably not a good start for a site which was allegedly claiming triple-A compliance, as it knocks that out of the water straight away…

    And the short answer is that it isn’t accessible. Never mind the triple-A level of compliance, it fails to meet the single-A level of compliance for either WCAG 1.0 or WCAG 2.0. And of course if you’re not achieving even the single-A level of conformance:

    A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document.WCAG 1.0: Priorities
    I wouldn’t normally be quite so public about this criticism, but for the fact that Redbridge i appear to be claiming a conformance level they come nowhere near achieving, and for the fact it appears to be frequently held up as an exemplar of what public sector sites should be doing when it is in fact failing the disabled, and it is failing them badly."

    now this is the old site, but is the new site any better, given they trouble they have had to actually get it working, and there are still issues with ie8 which now has 20% of the browser market and rising rapidly, in a few weeks it will be the single most popular browser.

    there is a reply to the criticisms from Roger Hampson here in full

    Roger Hampson says:

    November 22nd, 2009 at 5:58 pm
    Jack

    Just caught up with your blog. Thanks for the kicking, and the plug for your own services. As you say, we think we are at the forefront of trying to work through the benefits of interactivity to citizens and the public sector. We would want to be highly accessible too. I will tomorrow ask colleagues to look into the detail of your criticisms.

    Our visits have tripled, from an already high level, in the couple of years since we launched Redbridge i. That is not the only measure of success but it does feel to me like strong backing for our basic proposition: every large public agency should be experimenting with all these tools. Some things we have tested have been shaky, annoying, fallen flat; most have had a terrific response. Lots more to come.

    Roger

    Chief Executive
    London Borough of Redbridge

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  10. I see that Redi have found yet another way to stifle comment, in trying to post the above, I kept coming up with
    "too many characters"
    I removed about half of it, but it was still to big to post onto the site, so there appears to be a very small limit to the number of characters you can use.whereas before there appeared to be no limit.

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  11. I do not think that the redbridgei website is a total waste of time .(I am not going to mention what I think is good because that might mean the hatchet to that!).
    However, the level on interactivity has plummeted. I am at a loss why.
    Could a neighbour enlighten me.
    A special mention to Cllr Bond, brave enough to put a tentative toe in the Forum Waters.
    annesevant

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  12. I agree to a certain extent with you Anne. Things like making payments and tracking planning requests etc are ok. Forget forum benefits, it's too restrictive to encourage the on line community to grow.

    The "Report It" section is another bit that looks good on the surface but in reality has had no effect when I've used it. I reported 2 street lights out in the same street at least 4 to 5 weeks ago and they are still out now! On my control panel it says 2 things reported and none resolved. What is the purpose of having a flashy function like that if the council doesn't take action within a reasonable amount of time? Makes Redbridge citizens feel really important doesn't it? Not!

    Cheers :)

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  13. I could be wrong, but I am not sure we can access all the reported faults and check on the progress made in fixing the problem(s).
    Could it be another case of only imby correctness?
    I wonder if using the streetscene email address where they give you a reference number is a better option if you want to make sure the problem is fixed. Dare I say, streetscene are pretty efficient!
    annesevant

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