New 10 Downing Street site runs WordPress

Among the many interesting points of view and commentaries spoken today at WordCamp UK came some attention-grabbing news from Simon Dickson in his presentation about blogging and developments in government.

The official website for 10 Downing Street is about to be relaunched, and it will be based on WordPress.

Not much information available yet on the thinking behind why launch the site on WordPress, but Simon does offer some reasons in his post, including:

[…] If it feels a bit bloggy, there are a couple of good reasons for that. In part, it’s a recognition of the role now played by blogs in national political life. The political anoraks who are likely to visit a Downing Street site are probably spending the rest of their time on the political blogs, so it makes sense to adopt the same presentation methods. And yes, as you’ve probably guessed, the underlying technology is WordPress.

If it also means implementing the major elements of blogs that engage with people – comments and trackbacks, for instance – it could turn the official online presence of the British Prime Minister into a place for direct dialogue with the online public.

What an idea!