Thursday, November 19, 2009

E-government Aargh


MyEgov of Taiwan is having a photo contest and they want you to register and vote. The link for the registration is here. There are some really lovely photos there, but the interface is clunkier than a Model A.

Aargh.

To promote it, they flipped me an image and an email advertising the contest. Brilliant e-government planning.... the email they sent contained only the image and no other information -- no link-- while the image itself... contains no link to the online contest they are promoting.

Aargh.
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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

how come taiwanese websites especially government sites always look so childish and stupid with all those tacky cartoony characters and graphics? it's really moronic.

Anonymous said...

Pretty ridic, Taiwan for all its technology manufacturing and design prowess, needs to start investing in the web and software. You can tell how incompetent Ma is as president actually by how all the government websites are like "all rights reserved, 2004". Wish it were better...

Stormoen said...

I received the same newsletter from the egov I recently signed up to. However, the link worked in the email i received from the egovernment...

Craig Ferguson (@cfimages) said...

There doesn't seem to be any kind of terms and conditions on the site in regard to the photos. This suggests it will function like a rights grab - avoid at all costs.

If you don't know what they plan to do with the photos, and what legal rights you're giving them, don't participate.

It's possible you'll find yourself legally unable to share or post your photos on your own website.

Craig Ferguson (@cfimages) said...

@Anon 2.48pm Ma's competence or lack of is irrelevant.

I deal with issues of copyright on an almost daily basis and can tell you it's a widely misunderstood field, even amongst the lawyers specializing in it. I don't pretend to be an expert, but do know a few things.

While "All Rights Reserved 2004" could be better phrased and it is in fact redundant, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

Craig: Er, what? Tunnel vision? When you know something, you really like to let people know about it don't you?

BECAUSE NO ONE WAS TALKING ABOUT COPYRIGHT ISSUES. Michael talked about 1) A clunky interface and 2) an email with only an embedded image and no link promoting the website.

I chimed in to say that there's no enough investment in websites and software in Taiwan. My example of copyright 2004 was a reference to the face that there are many very visible, very commonly accessed government websites have not been updated in several years. Since this is a most basic government function and is not a political issue in any way, this failure to even get the basics done right, I term incompetence. If you got a better word for it and when you decide to actually read what other people are talking about before commenting randomly on your copyright expertise, I'm all ears.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to low-tech high-tech Taiwan. There is not one tw.gov website online that is useful. Even Hinet's website is worthless. (En)

It's really an embarrassment that Taiwan looks so childish and old fashion online. The entire English version of the e-Taiwan program has been a complete waste of money, imho. sorry to say.

Craig Ferguson (@cfimages) said...

@Anon - You gave an example that was wrong. I pointed it out. What's the problem?

Pete Sanders said...

*Whoosh*

And Craig continues to live in his bubble without actually reading anyone else's comment...

Thoth Harris said...

@Anon 9:57 PM
lol. That's because everyone is still using computers that have Windows Millenium or Windows NT. I'm dead serious about this. A lot of people are too lazy to spend a week experiment (like kids in the West, or even I did, 5 years ago, just experimenting, and learn this stuff in a couple of days or a week!).
They would save both time & money just by investing in a new computer (Apples would appeal so much to the cutesy demographic in Taiwan!). The same goes for getting a new OS, be it Windows 7, or Leopard, or Snow Leopard. Believe it or not: spending 12 hours a day at work on old, slow, clunky operating systems would be halved by installments of new operating systems. Fear and laziness take the front-seat here on this issue.

Craig Ferguson (@cfimages) said...

@pete. I'm looking forward to your next comment showing Anon's apparant contradiction from "You can tell how incompetent Ma is as president" to "Since this is a most basic government function and is not a political issue in any way".

Regardless, my first comment was a general warning with explanation to anyone thinking of joining the comp, the second was pointing out that a poor example was chosen and the third was clarifying that. The rest of the comments are irrelevant because I either wasn't addressing those points (interface for example - I know it's a clunker. Didn't say it wasn't), or the comments came after my original one.

d.e. said...

@Thoth,
I beg to differ. It's not the OS nor is it the CPU or connection speed. It's the lack of creative talent plus the fear of hiring any foreigner in a gov't department to help set the design standard plus develop the content that is useful and informative.

In my own experience, I began designing websites in Taiwan in early 1995 using a 90MHz Pentium, Win95, a simple text editor, early versions of PhotoShop & Netscape and a dialup modem. (back in the SLIP/PPP Trumpet Winsock days).

The equipment doesn't really matter. I made 300+ websites with that early gear including many with backend services. A good carpenter doesn't complain about his tools.

The problem is that, first of all, the old fart dinosaurs that ran the government departments never understood the value of a good website.

Secondly, they figured that the IT staff could handle it, but most of these IT people didn't have any sense of design. They were tech geeks that liked cartoons and blinky lights and didn't care about content (because they had no idea what was needed).

Thirdly, when a budget finally came through, the department manager ended up hiring a team of webdesigners that spent months on one small flash graphic instead of hiring just one person that really had talent for 1/2 the cost.

btw, I've offered to donate my time (free) to many tw.gov departments over they years to help them improve their online presence, but not one person has every replied to my emails. So goes life.

Thoth Harris said...

Yes, d.e., the indifference of people to technical/technological/creative matters is sad, isn't it? Innovation is becoming moribund, at least here. Obviously, I don't man innovation, as in the ability to invent, on demand, a touch screen, an ultra-sensitive keyboard, or a faster chip. Taiwan's science parks certainly have that. It is real innovation I am talking about. And that is the kind of innovation which is bleached out of people in contemporary schools, whether they claim to nurture creativity or not. At least with the latter, such institutions wouldn't be lying.