Interesting ad for a rather odd job. Isn't this simply a resurrected 'e-envoy' job that Andrew Pindar had some years back? When confused simply invent a role, quango, project, institution, academy or whatever; launch it with much pzzaazz, then watch it produce a long unreadable, and rarely read report, that is out of date as soon as it is published, become obsessed with its own survival, until finally some future Minister says - what do these guys actually do? Then order the flowers for the funeral. Alternatively it will linger on and die a slow and painful death, sustained by a drip feed of residual funding.
In an attempt to juice up the Job Description, and 'get down with the kids', among the endless life sapping, jobsworth tasks, is the peculiar, 'Introduces new techniques and software for digital engagement, such as 'Jams' into Government'. What the hell is a ‘jam’? The last time this was tried - BBC Jam – several tens of millions were wasted. The job is doomed from the start, as it seems to focus on writing a strategy report, with all the usual bullshit about being able to liaise with ministers, civil servants, industry and so on.
Hire a maverick
To be effective they need to hire a maverick who can work within the online world, using those tools to create change; not a report writing, policy wonk. Don’t hire someone whose career has been in a big IT department or big corporate – they’re blockers not innovators. Don’t hire a luvvie from the BBC, broadcast TV or film background – that’s fatal. Don’t hire someone who wears a bad suit, with a combination lock briefcase, and feels uncomfortable not wearing a tie. Make sure they have a credible history disrupting, blogging, social networking, tweeting etc. Hire a trouble maker. No doubt we'll get some worthy or ex-corporate IT guy like Leitch or Pindar, even worse from another quango, who likes to churn out endless platitudes about globalisation in print and thinks that Twitter is a make of birdseed.