The best from the federal blogosphere

5 Lessons From Military Bloggers
Army 
July 2, 2010

In her final post on the Army Web site, Lindy Kyzer shares some of the insights and lessons she learned working with the military’s many bloggers while serving as the Army’s social media manager. Kyzer recently left to start a consulting firm, Lindy Kyzer Communications.

1. Never forget who you work for/serve. “Whether you write about military issues or you work for the Army, you have a constituency to serve. You serve them best by being honest, being committed to your values, and never forgetting that the goals of our Army extend beyond the walls of the Pentagon.”

2. Love what you do. “One of my favorite things about working with mil bloggers, in particular, is the passion most of them bring to what they write about. They take things personally, and they really care about issues.”

3. Network, network, network. “A good blog can’t exist in a vacuum. Blogs thrive on comments, trackbacks, linking and, most of all, a little love from your friends!”

4. Don’t get mad, get even. “Personal attacks definitely happen on a lot of blogs, but I’ve noticed that for my favorite mil bloggers, they really take the time to articulate an issue and tell the truth or their side of a story well. And that’s not just getting mad and being an Internet troll, it’s doing what my dad always said — get even.”

5. Give 'em hell. “When you care about what you’re doing and are focused on a bigger goal, it’s easier to go out there and challenge the status quo. The military, and everyone in government, needs the accountability provided by a free press.”

A New Era in Rulemaking
U.S. Forest Service
July 12, 2010

The U.S. Forest Service is taking an open government-style approach to developing an open government-style of rulemaking.

Service officials have established “The Forest Planning Rule” blog to share their ideas for reinventing how the government develops regulations related to land management.

In recent months, officials have gathered input from the public through a series of regional and national roundtable discussions. Now they plan to seek feedback on their initial ideas via the blog.

“The rule-writing team will be monitoring the blog postings as we refine the rule language, so your input is important,” the blog states.

Oil Spill Info Keeps on Flowing
Environmental Protection Agency
July 8, 2010

Jeffrey Levy, director of Web communications at the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking public input on the information the agency is providing about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a recent posting on the “Greenversations” blog, Levy highlights two new resources for spill-related data. The just-launched Socrata provides tools to help people search, sort and download data from a number of datasets. Users can also post their analyses for others to view.

And EPA has prepared a file that users can download to view data via Google Earth. So far, the file has four datasets, including water-sampling locations and aerial photography collected by EPA, NASA and other agencies.

“I’m excited to share these tools, but we can always improve them,” Levy writes. Therefore, the agency is asking for ideas on different ways to filter and sort the data and suggestions for creating mashups that combine data from a variety of sources.

Good News for Feathered Friends
Natural Resources Conservation Service
July 12, 2010

Terrell Erickson, a national biologist at the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, highlights a new effort to help wildlife threatened by the BP oil spill.

The service is particularly concerned about the 50 million or so migratory birds that pass through the Gulf Coast area every year or spend the winter there. So agency officials are working with farmers, ranchers and other landowners in the Gulf Coast states to make more wetland habitat available outside the areas affected by the spill.

The program includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. NRCS is providing technical and financial assistance to its partners in the project.

 

About the Author

John Monroe is Senior Events Editor for the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the development of content for print and online content, as well as events. John has more than 20 years of experience covering the information technology field. Most recently he served as Editor-in-Chief of Federal Computer Week. Previously, he served as editor of three sister publications: civic.com, which covered the state and local government IT market, Government Health IT, and Defense Systems.

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