The Portal and Directgov
‘Web Convergence’ is one of our key projects for the year – but what is it?
In a nutshell, it is the project to ‘converge’ the Portal’s citizen-facing planning and building regulations content with Directgov, and business-related content with Businesslink (BL), by March 2011.
In the past convergence has been a scary thing – we always thought it meant shutting down parts or even all the Portal.
However, in the last year the scope of convergence has changed significantly and is now an opportunity for us to increase the reach of Portal content with members of the public.
Our first proposal for Directgov last October was a virtual version of the Portal but with the familiar Directgov orange branding.
However, more recently Directgov agreed to adopt a much simpler convergence solution, which will see the project using the interactive house as the gateway for citizen content on Directgov.
The aim is that citizens will access high-level planning information via Directgov and link back to the Portal for the detailed content and transactions.
To be absolutely clear: we won’t be removing any content from the Portal in fact we will be adding content from The Planning Inspectorate; who are meeting their convergence obligation by migrating their non-corporate content to us.
This ‘light touch’ approach will cost less, a key consideration in this climate, and most of the work will be able to be completed in-house at Directgov and here.
Meanwhile, Portal content will be enhanced on the Businesslink site. The publishing company Sweet & Maxwell will rewrite business-related guides for publishing on the Businesslink site, which the Portal reviews.