Blog fail! 3 blogs that just don't cut it.

Editor's note: This story was updated on March 10 with new information.

Some government blogs suffer from weaknesses that make them less useful than they could be. Here are a few dishonorable mentions, offered in the spirit of constructive criticism.

Author: Walt Warnick
Key fault: Bad navigation

The blog by the Energy Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information is awkward to navigate. Rather than allowing the reader to scroll down from the top to see all the most recent entries, the page shows only the top part of the latest post. To read a full entry, the reader must click a link labeled “read more.” To see older entries, readers must click to go to Page 2, then Page 3, 4 and so on.

That means the reader can't see the range of topics the blog covers or even read one full entry without a lot of work. It discourages readers from spending time on the site.

[now defunct]
Authors: Multiple
Key fault: Lack of mission focus

"GovGab" is hard to figure out. It’s a chatty, fun blog created by the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, and if it were the authors’ personal project, it would be a good read. On a typical day, we found entries on heart disease awareness, information on how to opt out of preapproved credit card offers, and two oatmeal cookie recipes with a report on the results of an in-office comparison of the finished products. A little further down was an entry on the State Department’s warning about traveling to Egypt in light of that country's civil unrest.

The problem is that the blog is not a personal project. "GovGab" bills itself as “Your U.S. government blog,” and it’s produced on government time by government employees. We’re not quite sure what its purpose is, but educating and informing people about GSA’s work doesn't seem to be part of it. Is this really a good use of public funds?

[Editor's note: GSA ended GovGab in late February. Replacing it is the blog.]

Director’s Blog
Author: Douglas Elmendorf
Key fault: Wonkish

If the "GovGab" blog suffers from being too personal and fluffy, the Congressional Budget Office "Director’s Blog" goes to the opposite extreme. Doug Elmendorf’s posts are certainly informative, but they read like dry news releases, with facts and figures and not much personality. For just-the-facts readers, that might be fine, but it doesn’t make for an engaging experience.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group