The projects are run by the usual suspects. To my certain knowledge there have been eight projects "to create a children's web site" in the past ten years. All of them have been a dead waste of time and money. What happens is:
- A bunch of highly-paid senior manager get together to talk about "the need for a children's web site."
- They meet again a bit later to confirm what they said the first time.
- They meet again to talk about all the things they could do, usually referencing Nickelodeon and the BBC children's web sites of the day.
- In meeting four or five this morphs into a discussion for the need for a directory of children's services so that they can make sure they're all included in the site.
- By meeting eight a spreadsheet will have been created that will be circulated to all services asking them to provide the necessary information in the cells indicated.
- Meetings nine and ten involve paying a consultant to come in to see how the spreadsheet could be turned into searchable web content.
- Meeting eleven is the discussion about content delivery sites.
- Meeting twelve, if the project gets that far, gives the OK for a site to be set up some time, funding permitting.
- Meeting thirteen never happens because it's unlucky.
A couple of times the web directory has actually been published on the web. And that was the end of it. You couldn't find them but they were out there somewhere. Of course, the directory isn't a children's directory, nor a children's web site, or even anything remotely useful by the general public. The big deliverable output is just a user-unfriendly snapshot of services that could, and should, have been listed on the Council web site. Especially as they just used the Local Government Service List as their template. After a year each web site disappeared from view and the cycle began anew.
Back in the old days, in a previous incarnation, I was involved in a few print versions of this game. My protestations that they needed to build an updating mechanism into the process fell on deaf ears. "This is just a one-off publication."
People could never understand how I delivered the second and third versions of the directory in half the time it took to do the first.