We like to think that we’re ‘Open’ – are we? Enough?
In public we’ve been saying this for quite a while now:
Our May 2010 ‘Blueprint’ Board Paper suggested an overall blueprint for an ALISS Service Framework, and identified necessary activities:
- Co-ordination & promotion of technology development & maintenance (Engine + information services);
- Co-ordination & promotion of Service design & development (including maintaining library of service designs & community around these)
- Governance and Community-building;
- Ancillary services (e.g. making web pages findable; embedding new services in existing sites; training in how to have an effective Facebook presence; training in the right tone of voice (like PatientOpinion); etc.
And we’ve said that “our approach emphasises and must continue to promote Open Source (software code, ideas, innovation products and tools)”.
But how does this work out in practice? Here’s a wee story.
As part of Self-Management Week, Andy and I went along to a meeting of the Pfizer UK Foundation Symposium the other day. Various Self Management projects briefly summarised what they had been up to while supported by PF funds. Speaking about her Active ABC project, Anna Campbell made a key point about having to remind – and continue to remind – busy clinicians that you (the project and somewhere to refer breast cancer patients on to, in her case) are still there.
On the train on the way back, we chatted about what might the implications be for ALISS of this need to remind people?
Could a facility that alerted users (intermediaries, or ‘their people’/users?) to new resources just in, tagged with labels they’d expressed interest in previously, be useful? As is so often the case Amazon provides a useful mental model. Say you buy a book: thereafter Amazon shows and sends you a stream of communications about what other people who also bought that book, bought as well. It’s quite effective – at least as an alerting tool.
To us, chatting on the train, this felt like it could be an applet, perhaps built as part of a student project, or by a small development firm? It would better be an independent-but-linked application, rather than being embedded directly within the main Engine.
What could the developer use from existing ALISS resources? Well, we felt that they could
- use service-design templates, personas etc from the Open Innovation process pages – these are freely available
- use code from the Engine if this was appropriate – inter-acting with it – following open source conventions and protocols
- use data from the Engine – this will be freely available via an open API.
Is this enough though?