Thursday, July 12, 2007
They may have editors and longer-than-usual approval periods, but government blogs are blooming, nonetheless. USA.gov includes a small library of current and archived blogs here, including examples from Smithsonian and military museums, the Library of Congress, and programs that include citizen participation or outreach at the National Endowment for the Arts, the GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Webcontent.gov, "your guide to managing U.S. government websites," includes guidelines for government bloggers here; if you scroll to the end, you'll see links to examples from U.S. federal and local agencies, as well as governmental blogs from other countries. A link to the National Weather Service guidance on RSS feeds, including guidance on blogs, also is included. We read with interest that this policy calls for "fair" and "unbiased" content that also "reflects positively" on the Weather Service and its parent agency, NOAA, and that publishing public comments on blogs is expressly forbidden. What's more, most of these examples emanate from smaller agencies or specific initiatives, rather than the largest of agencies. Webcontent.gov notes that internal government blogs see more usage, citing this Federal Computer Week article on the more than 1,000 internal blogs at the Central Intelligence Agency.