The Guardian Technology website covered the launch of a new initiative to improve online communication by Local Authorities across the UK. Sutton resident Adrian Short is behind the project, Mash The State that seeks to get every Council to offer an ‘RSS feed.’ This may sound like a bit of technological jargon, mainly because it is! All it really is though is a simple instruction added to the website which allows other computers to pick up the latest stories from the site.

Something that will take no more than a minute to do, would allow Council news to be broadcast around the area and beyond automatically. Instead, the Council has to rely on people being keen enough to take the trouble to go to the website and scour it for news. Plenty of people these days have one or two sites, that they visit which do the looking for them, aggregating news and information from various sources. The Twitter feed on the top right hand of this blog is doing just that. Adrian runs a community site, Sutton Active which seeks to bring local news together from a number of sources including this blog. Adding a feed is a small thing that is easy to do, will become more important as Web 2.0 continues to develop, and best of all, is free. I’ve asked that Sutton Council should do this. The new-look council website cost £208k, it should be all-singing and all-dancing, never mind a simple tweak like this. Mash The State is looking at all Councils in the UK. Offering your support might encourage other Local Authorities to use the Web better.