Just a quick plug for the latest site to launch on Helpful Technology’s Read+Comment platform, which helps organisations build engagement sites around their documents without the hassle and expense of building from scratch.

UK Nordic Baltic Summit

Today, the Prime Minister is meeting eight of his counterparts, and their delegations of over 100 thinkers and doers from the Nordic and Baltic region at the UK Nordic Baltic Summit. It’s a summit about social policy issues primarily, to see what the UK can learn from a group it rarely meets with in this way, and to see what UK entrepreneurs and policymakers can contribute in return.

The event is unusual – almost barcamp or pecha kucha-like – with lots of short presentations across the themes of Technology & Innovation; Jobs, Family and Gender Equality; and Green Economy and Sustainable Business. The delegates will be hearing from the likes of Zopa and Spotify about their visions for the future, and mixing policy specialists, entrepreneurs, innovators and politicians with hopefully creative results.

Read+Comment has been used – within a turnaround time of about 10 days – to create a window on the presentations being discussed, presenting the documents themselves (embedded via Issuu) and enabling comments and cross-referencing between themes and countries. It’s also – perhaps more interestingly – a straightforward engagement hub, using widgets to link to coverage of the Summit, the pictures as they emerge on official channels, FCO tweets and a link to the LinkedIn Group that the FCO Digital Diplomacy team set up for the event. We’ve been helping with content preparation and comment moderation (all credit to the awesome @davebriggswife), hopefully taking some of the stress off the FCO team themselves, allowing them to focus on the event and the digital engagement around it.

I find myself really enjoying projects like these, and finding that WordPress + cloud services + a bit of lateral thinking can go a long way, helped by the flexibility of the Read+Comment theme. It saves money and is more agile than the old build-from-scratch approach, it delivers better websites than you could build within most corporate CMSes without breaking too many of the government rules, and it opens up this style of corporate digital engagement to organisations without sandbox-style infrastructure of their own. Anyway, enough of the sales pitch…

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