Templating a Government 2.0 Blog

photo_102408_005What is a blog, and how does it fit into Web/Gov 2.0? Because with the most basic use of the technology, a blog isn't much different at all from a traditional Web site, and those have been around for a long, long time (OK, if that offends, the fact you're reading shows you're young at heart :P ).

So what makes a blog 2.0?

I would argue that it has to be interactive. It has to allow comments, and the author of the blog has to respond to and interact with the commenters. It should often link to other sources, promote the work of others, and have a collaborative instead of pedantic or hubristic tone. The author should also comment on others' blogs now and then.

After these essential elements, you have structural problems to address: how to handle commenting, how often to post, what other resources to include.

Commenting is easy. We've got a model from the President's transition site, Change.gov. In short: "stay focused, be respectful, tell the truth, no spam." Change.gov's policy also reserves the right to remove comments that violate the policy. Success in this area means clarity, and the gentle and consistent hand to steer comments back on track or to delete those that clearly cross the line.

How often to post is also easy. Three times a week, maybe a little more. If you don't have anything to say or you're going on vacation, perhaps you have a colleague who'd love to do a guest post.

More difficult is additional features. A schedule of events is good. Links to neighborhood or topical blogs. E-mail and RSS subscription options.

What else does a Gov 2.0 blog need?

(Also check out this great resource, a list of gov blogger Q&A's by Municipalist)

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  • published this page in Blog 2009-01-26 00:42:22 -0500

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