Get a Life

By Judith Welles

Blog archive

Get a Life: To blog or not?

Just two years ago, I wrote about what was then the emerging phenomenon of government blogging.  Today, government blogs have grown like Twitter.

By researching and interviewing some of the early starters, I looked into the potential of blogs for government and also for health care.  Although still emerging in health care, blogging has found a place in government agencies, starting at the White House

For government, blogs are a way to reach broader audiences with information and, to some extent, hear back from people whom those programs are trying to serve.  Blogs are another tool in the communication arsenal for agencies and organizations.

Also interesting is the use of blogs by journalists, myself included. When I was first asked to do a blog for Federal Computer Week, I wasn’t sure how that would work.  I was used to researching and writing facts, citing two or more sources, and seeking out knowledgeable interview subjects for expert views. I was not comfortable giving my own opinions because that was not objective. I was trained as a reporter, after all.

I was also concerned about those bloggers without journalism training who were becoming credentialed at political and press events. How would a blog by a journalist have any more credibility?

What I have learned is that blogging that adheres to basic journalism rules is a reliable, readable and accurate source for those seeking balanced information. At the same time, it also is OK to have a point of view and a sense of humor.   

Blogs by government agencies are more credible and reliable than the myriad of blogs you can find online on similar topics. Many of them, but not all, are listed on USA.gov, a site that also has its own seven bloggers doing “govgab.”

Still, there are times when I really do want just a personal view. I pay attention to blogs about people’s vacation travel, especially where to stay or not. 

What is your view on government blogs?     


Posted by Judith Welles on May 12, 2009 at 12:12 PM


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