Web symposium tackles local government issues

Wellington conference to cover web use in local govt and beyond

Open source advocate Nat Torkington and Rugby World Cup 2011 marketing and communications manager Shane Harmon are among the speakers at the fifth annual ALGIM (Association of Local Government Information Management) Web Symposium in Wellington early next month.

Torkington will speak about online government projects around the world, in a session entitled “Open data”, and Harmon will speak on the use of social media in promoting and managing the World Cup.

The conference has grown in its five years to the extent that, while it remains mainly focused on the use of the internet in the local government sector, it is attracting the interest of web practitioners from outside local government, says ALGIM marketing and communications assistant Brooke Tietjens.

“A number of attendees are from the central government and private sectors,” Tietjens says.

The event attracted approximately 100 delegates last year, and “we’re expecting more this year”.

Other speakers at the two-day conference include Reem Abdelaty of the New South Wales Local Government Web Network, whose presentation will cover the online experience of six different councils in the state, including their use of open source versus proprietary software, site management and use of social media.

New Zealand presenters include representatives from the North Shore City Council, Horowhenua District Council and Taranaki Regional Council. The Taranaki Regional Council presentation is entitled, in a play on words, “See-a-mess to CMS”, and will cover the council’s migration to the SilverStripe content management system.

Presentations from the non-local government sector include a joint talk from the State Services Commission and Internal Affairs Department about the government’s Web Accessibility Guidelines, and a presentation on record-keeping by Archives New Zealand.

There are also some presentations from outside the government sector, including one from the Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind, about optimising forms that need to be filled in or downloaded by users, and by Vodafone NZ, on managing a successful intranet.

Microsoft NZ national technology officer Mark Rees is also scheduled to give a presentation.

The ALGIM Web Symposium is on at the Duxton Hotel, Wellington, on May 3-4.

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