Friday, 9 November 2012
53. Local Government Blog Clubs
There are many great local government blogs out there. If you don't believe me then check out this post from We Love Local Government. These blogs contain a wealth of ideas, thoughts and feelings. I'm not sure, however, if we are making as much of all of this as we could. In particular I wonder if enough local government people are blogging, if the right people are reading the right blogs and if bloggers are talking to each other enough.
I am writing this post as the author of a OWSAB (Occassionally Written Single Author Blog). Unlike multi author and frequently updated blogs it is more challenging for OWSABs to connect with an audience so clubbing together with other OWSABs seems like a smart thing to do.
It is partly for that reason I have been having a look at Triberr recently. Essentially the idea is that bloggers with similar interests 'tribe' together and agree to promote each others blog posts through social media and in particular twitter. The potential benefit is that you can extend awareness of your posts far beyond you own followers. The site automates this process in various ways. It is an intersting idea although I'm not sure the site itself works so well.
A better approach I think is the brilliant Weekly Blog Club which I came across recently. The way this works is that people tag links to posts on their personal blogs and they are picked up by the site and published incluiding as part of a weekly list. It's like a specialised local government blog aggregator although with human components (the site itself relies on different volunteers each week I think).
Three Wishes for Local Government Blogging
All of this is great, and there isn't really much to fix, but, if I had three wishes they would be:
1. Better Sharing inside Councils
In my council we just have started to use yammer and people are using this platform to share interesting blogs from elsewhere and I hope this develops. Even better, perhaps would be blog clubs for individual councils. Perhaps even internal aggregators for sharing (maybe even through intranets). Hey people could even meet up in real life to swap tips and give encouragement.
2. More Local Government Niche Blogging
As the number of bloggers increases it will be harder focus on the things that are of real interest. Hashtags are a great way to create smaller groups so maybe we need to be smarter about these? So for example we might want us #localgovHR #localgovSocServices etc. There may be better ways to do this of course.
3. More Inter Blog Conversations
Comments are great but I'd love to see more lengthy and considered responses turning into posts in their own right. In the academic world it is socmmon to see articles written 'in reply to' and I think there is scope for more of this sort of thing. As well as creating richer conversations it would strengthen relationships between bloggeres and takes people to blogs they might not ahve previously been to.
Have I got this wrong? Is it happening already? Let me know!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/4727573694/