The Defunct Jobcentre Plus Mirror on Twitter
An investigation of Twitter, the micro-Blogging site was undertaken and a series of pilots put together for individual and groups of Jobcentre Plus offices. These pilots offered automatic updates of jobs more-or-less as they are seen by the now closed Jobcentre Plus Mirror. The pilots were largely for Cumbria, and because they are automated, a special account was set-up for feedback and other human interaction. The work was subject to a Technical Note, TN-2012-01-01: "Timely Notification using Micro-Blogging". While useful, it did not attract a large number of users and was thus largely considered unsuccessful.
The Jobcentre Plus Mirror has now been completely replaced by a
pure-demonstration Jobcentre Plus
Examplar and these Twitter experiments abandoned. One account (@JCPM_Feedback)
has been left for continued debate.
Automated Twitter Feeds
The Twitter experiments were organised into a number of loosely-themed Pilots and were broadly divided into three groups, the Cumbrian, the Heavy and the Specialist. The pilots aim was to automatically post job vacancies, 'tweeting' is the term employed, within certain criteria in accounts specially dedicated to that task. The accounts were associated with certain UK Jobcentre Offices and the tweets appeared in a timely and prompt manner. It was all very unofficial.
|Tweeting and twittering|
With the withdrawal of the Jobcentre Plus Mirror, we're not allowed to scrape the relevant Government site anymore, and thus there's no feed of vacancies to provide these Tweets. It was therefore decided to closed all but one of these accounts, they were:
- @JCPM_Carlisle (Cumbria Pilots)
- @JCPM_WCumbria (kept as an example)
- @JCPM_Aberdeen (Heavy Traffic Pilots)
Finally there was one specialised 'National' account associated with a single vacancy type, using one particular Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code, @JCPM_National.
Almost all the accounts have now been either suspended or closed. One of them, however, @JCPM_WCumbria, is live but inactive, so that you can see what it all looked like in its pomp.
In some cases the accounts were suspended by Twitter, unilaterally and without explanation. We never did find out why.
While these Twitter accounts where automated, one was
specifically setup for feedback and other human interaction (@JCPM_Feedback).
Since the closure of the Jobcentre Plus Mirror this has become part of
a wider forum debating Open Data and Government Computing. This
account is monitored by the author personally, but it is suggested,
though, that the occasional old-fashioned e-mail
wouldn't go amiss.
Third-Party Twitter Support
There are now a number of
Twittering Jobcentre Plus offices. They appeared to be a grass-roots
effort, with little apparent guidance from any central
authority. There's therefore an endearing amateur quality to some of
them, but, nevertheless, they do recognise and try to fulfil Social
Network need. Twitter isn't just about organising riots. It is this
same need that we'd tried to address with the Twitter Pilots, and no
end of experts seem to have recognised and written about it. In the
absence of anything more formal, the Twittering Jobcentres are
therefore the "Code and Consensus" that are required to make these
things work. Approving of this, help and support was given where it
could. The help was largely in the form of a now redundant Redirection
Service and a now increasing out-of-date catalogue of
Feedback is actively solicited and the author would be happy to receive e-mail on this. Should something require changing or enhancing then the fact will be acknowledged with attribution, if requested, here.
- The Mirror is Now The Exampler
- The now-defunct Jobcentre Mirror has been extensively reworked to allow the technology to be demonstrated on old out-of-date data. Sadly the lack of a data-stream means that the remaining Twitter Pilots will be closed and this document has been changed to reflect this. 2013-01-05