Still funny after all these years

DirectionlessGov was created as a joke in only a morning, just before Christmas. It didn’t take long, and hasn’t had much more work done since it launched. But, 5 years on, it’s still relevant, with roughly stable levels of media coverage and users. If you think that isn’t a long time, here’s a different way of looking at it: when DirectionlessGov launched, YouTube didn’t yet exist.

It’s been a fun time; but we do have to ask the question, given we’ve not changed what it does in 5 years, why is it still relevant and useful? Shouldn’t DirectGov have realised it exists and incorporated the simple idea into what they do by now? Or is it still just plain crazy.

One comparison that always surprises me is that our friends in the US at the Sunlight Foundation randomly complain about a different government website. Over here, we don’t seem to do that much; because almost all of them are so much better than DirectGov. Not because they’re actually good (the new FCO site is well done), but simply because DirectGov sets the bar that low.

But, I’d really rather that I didn’t have to do this any more. I’d much rather be working on other new projects, because DirectGov, with its huge budget and staff, did something better than a group of people cooked up in a morning while Stef was sleeping. Making DirectionlessGov irrelevant should not be a hard problem, but it does appear to have beaten them so far.

I hope Directionless will not get a 10th Birthday party. But I’m not going to bet against it.

posted: 21 Dec 2009