Everything launched all at once

The last few weeks, I’ve been breaking our normal tradition of launching things the minute they are made (Matthew usually does this in 5 minute long release cycles). This hasn’t been deliberate, just the two things were quite hard to actual check properly and get out the door.

The first was the new UKCOD site (the parent charity that runs mySociety). It took a while to finish after I set up the infrastructure, while the trustees wrote and approved all the content. Thanks very much to Ayesha and Sym for the design brilliance. Also thanks to Mediawiki (the Wikipedia software) which the site is based on – although it isn’t a wiki, it is configured so only UKCOD people can edit it. You can see just how much Mediawiki can be skinned and made to look like a normal site. It is a useful, simple CMS that lots of people already know how to use.

I’m really pleased the UKCOD site is now there. I (speaking personally) think it is super important that mySociety and UKCOD are transparent organisations, and that we should demonstrate openness by being open ourselves. If there is anything else you’d like to know, please do ask – and we’ll either tell you, or explain why we can’t or won’t do so.

The second is the WriteToThem 2006 statistics. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone we’ve put them live yet – we’ll be doing publicity for it later in the week. Meanwhile have a look and send us any comments. This took ages to get out the door because I wanted to make sure the statistics were accurate, and presented in a way that wouldn’t be misleading. Let me know where I’ve failed.

Right, now off to singing…


  1. I second the thanks to Ayesha and Sym, but Francis is being too modest here. He took the initiative in setting up a draft site which kicked us trustees into action, and the first time we saw it, there was genuinely a reaction of “wow” at how much had been done, and how it looked.

    If there are other ideas for what should be on the site, please let us know. Onto a revamp of mySociety.org…

  2. Francis Irving

    And Amandeep is being modest too, he waded through all the site, especially they finance stuff, to make it all present and publishable. A volunteer accountant, while I get paid to make fun websites 🙂

    Anthony – wilco!

  3. The table says that Eric Forth “doesn’t accept messages via WriteToThem” – it would be remarkable if he did, given that he died last year. Perhaps there should be a note in the table where an MP has died.

  4. Francis Irving

    Ah! That’s interesting Phil. Eric Forth actually didn’t accept messages from WriteToThem even before he died – he was labelled the same in the previous years statistics as well.

    You’re right though that it should say something more helpful, I’ll have a think.

  5. Not wanting to deliberately cross the boundary line of good taste or anything, but doesn’t it look a little bit suspicious that both the MPs refusing correspondence from WTT died?